Recently, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel over to France and check out a criminally underrated category of spirit here in the UK; Calvados. Originally attending to see one of the main distilleries of Calvados, I was to find out that Boulard was to be not far down the road. Having the chance to experience another distillery and their creations is always a fantastic honour, and I duly share with you what I came across. But first, a bit on the Boulard brand itself –
Boulard, or Calvados Boulard as it is written correctly, started out back in 1825 by Pierre-Auguste Boulard, and are now into their 5th generation with Vincent Boulard the current manager. With a varied range, and some of the most striking of bottle and label designs, Calvados Boulard has been one of the leading Calvados brands in the world. With not much on the way of significant history, it’s the liquid that kick-starts the talking, so below, I give to you my tasting notes on my experiences so far –
Boulard XO Auguste Calvados Pays d’Auge – 40%
A blend of 6 to 15 years and named in homage to Pierre Auguste. Fresh apple with flavours of sweet fudge on the nose. Plenty of fruits on the palate, with a sharp citrus cutting through drawing out a long, bitter finish.
Boulard Extra Calvados Pays d’Auge – 40%
Soft upon the nose with a slight cocoa, vanilla and almond mix. The cocoa returns on the palate, with a candied orange and lingering tobacco leaf on the palate for a long, aromatic finish.
Also under the Boulard banner are expressions including Hors d’Age 12yr, and XO, VSOP and Grand Solage, all of which have won awards over the years. It’s these expressions that are perfect for expanding your palate towards cocktails –
45 ml Calvados Boulard V.S.O.P.
25 ml Orange Liquor
25 ml Lemon Juice
Pour the orange liqueur with lemon juice and Calvados in a shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a glass. Garnish with orange zest.
60 ml Calvados Boulard Grand Solage
1 barspoon Sugar
1 dash Orange Bitter
1 dash Old Fashioned Bitters
In an old-fashioned glass, pour the sugar and add bitters and ice. Mix for 20 seconds, add the Calvados and stir again during 15 seconds. Garnish with a slice of apple.
Worthy of inclusion within your drinks cabinet, even if theirs not much to talk about in regards to history. As mentioned though, it’s the liquid that does the talking, and just look at them bottles!
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