A third brand that I came across on my French travels a few weeks back is Lecompte, a rather small yet equally stunning range of Calvados. It’s in 1923 that Alexandre Lecompte created the Lecompte House in Lisieux, and built the brand until its sale to Yves Pellerin. Seen as the premium end of the Calvados category and essentially created for the connoisseurs, Lecompte’s distillery ‘La Morinière’ within Notre-Dame-de-Courson, offers a substantial amount of old stock, created by two traditional stills for double distillation.
But how do they fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –
Lecompte 12yr – 40%
Very soft upon the nose with clotted fudge and vanilla notes coming through. Light on the palate, with hints of nuts and liquorice, followed by a slight fudge flavour that smooths out a dry finish.
Lecompte 18yr – 40%
Light fudge with a slight vanilla essence on the nose. Tropical fruit flavours on the palate, honey and apple, with memories of rum. Dry banana on the long finish.
Lecompte Multi-Vintage – 40%
Aged from stock laid in 1988, 1989 and 1990. Banana and soft fudge combine on the nose, with a light, soft offering of tropical spices and banana leaf that leaves a sweet finish.
Lecompte Secret – 40%
Using blends as old as 1923, with a minimum of 42 years. Rich on the nose with plenty of apple and oak blending perfectly. Both flavours carry onto the palate, with dark cocoa, raisin and a developing spice creating a very long and dry finish.
The Lecompte Secret has a rather interesting back story to it, with the following taken from the Lecompte website;
Eighty-five years after Maison Lecompte was first established, the new owners entrusted Richard Prével, a third-generation
Cellar Master, with the task of crafting the most extraordinary, the most perfect and the most complete Calvados ever made. Richard Prével spent five years blending, and composing hundreds of combinations of Lecompte’s precious eaux-de-vie. During the course of this tireless quest for perfection, he made an incredible discovery: several barrels laid down
by the founder of Maison Lecompte, undisturbed since 1923. This timeless treasure, crafted from over 100 individual eaux-de-vie, provided the finishing touch to a blend which was already exceptional.
I’m very lucky to have tried this, especially with its price tag, and it truly is one of the best Calvados expressions I have had. If the price puts you off though, the younger ages can offer some great recipes instead –
50 ml Lecompte 12yr Calvados
10 ml Cherry Brandy Morand
160 ml Fresh apple juice
2 slices Fresh ginger
½ stem Fresh lemongrass
3-4 drops Fresh lime juice
In a shaker, put the Calvados with fresh ginger and lemongrass and muddle all. Add the cherry brandy, fresh apple juice and a few drops of lime juice. Shake, strain and pour over ice.
Lecompte Old School
60 ml Calvados Lecompte 12yr
20 ml Saint Germain
3 dashes Chartreuse Elixir
Pour the ingredients into a shaker and shake. Pour into a highball filled with ice and garnish with a range of apple encrusted with currant.
Although probably one of the more exclusive ranges of Calvados available, if you love the category, you need at least one of the expressions in your life. And the Secret? Wow.
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