Pere Magloire Calvados
If cider is north-west France's answer to wine (it being too cold to grow grapes there), then Calvados is its answer to Cognac.
Calvados is the name of the département as well as of its most famous drink; records show that cider distilling dates back to the 16th century.
Only one area and one method of production is permitted for AoC Calvados du Pays d'Auge - the cider from which it is made must be fermented for at least a month, then double-distilled in a pot still and aged for at least a year.
Pere Magloire was established in 1821 and by 1900 had become the best-selling Calvados brand in France - owned for a time by Veuve Clicquot, it is now a family company.
Pere Magloire VSOP Pays D'Auge Calvados
Aged for 4 years, it is correspondingly mellow. Mahogony in the glass there are aromas of cider, apple blossom and a touch of floor polish.
The palate is elegant and harmonious with some apple fruit sweetness and refreshing acidity; well-balanced and finishes well.
It is reminiscent of a cognac but has an underlying linear sweet-sharpness without the cooked fruit aromas of cognac.
Drink as a digestif or trou Norman.
£30.35 for 70cl from The Whisky Exchange, £21 for 50cl from Waitrose; provided for review.
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