boulard calvados pays d'augeBoulard is one of the legacy producers of Calvados, distilling from cider in the Normandy region of France since 1825. The Boulard Calvados Pays d’Auge VSOP, one notch up from their entry level, is a blend of brandies–each aged for a minimum of four years.

Unlike almost every other brown liquor, the one thing you won’t get on the nose is a lot of oaky vanilla. Swirl it, and it’s almost all fruit–earthy, tart, musty fruit–but fruit nonetheless. Throw in a little nuttiness and some champagne-like yeast, and you’ll want to tip your glass back for more.

The oak does make an appearance when you sip, on the front and again on the unexpectedly long finish. In between: lots of dry fruit, toffee, some subtle caramel, mint and plenty of rum-like funk.

Naturally, you can use it anywhere you’d use other apple-based liquors like applejack, as in a Stone Fence or a Jack Rose. (In fact, this is a big step up from your average applejack, which is often cut with neutral spirits. They’re also often made in New Jersey, which is something of a step down from Normandy.) But I made a dynamite Old Fashioned with a little gum syrup and aromatic bitters. I also had some luck pairing it with a Krispy Kreme donut, so there’s that.

— 40% ABV
— $40 | BUY

CE Rating: ★★★★

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