National Calvados Week returns for the sixth time this October as UK bars and restaurants celebrate Calvados Père Magloire and Normandy’s world-renowned apple-based spirit. National Calvados Week runs from Monday 15th October until Sunday 21st October, marking the harvesting of the delicious apples for the production of Calvados.
During National Calvados Week over 100 bars, shops, supermarkets and independent retailers will have specially curated cocktail menus, Père Magloire range tastings, food pairing, and cooking with Calvados, and will be offering the classic serve of Père Magloire and tonic. To reward all pubs, bars and restaurants who participate within National Calvados Week, Emporia Brands, the UK distributor and creator of National Calvados Week, ask that Père Magloire and tonic be promoted to customers, with a complimentary case of tonic to support them.
Creativity is key too, with plenty of inspired serves needed to show off the Normandy spirit through a week-long promotional menu.
> Retailers can sign up by participating in the ‘National Calvados Week Best Retail Display’. By uploading their display to the campaign’s social media pages on Twitter or Facebook, the best display wins the retailer a bottle of the exclusive Père Magloire Memoire for their efforts.
> A bottle of Père Magloire Memoire is also on offer for the ‘NCW Most Creative Cocktail’ which is to be run on their venues’ cocktail menu throughout the week. An image of their creation is to be uploaded to the campaign’s social media pages of Twitter or Facebook where the winner will be announced at the end of the promotional week.
> Calvados and Cigar matching at Soho Whisky Club, with Hunters and Frankau
> Special calvados drinks menus at Cocktail Trading Company, The Vault at Milroys, Frenchies, Merchant House, South Place Hotel, Trading House, Café Pacifico and others.
> In store tastings at Gerry’s and Hedonism
> Special Calvados drinks menus at Milk (Reading), Wash House (Manchester), Petit Café (Liverpool), Jakes’s Bar (Leeds), Circle Lounge (Halifax), 33 Cank Street (Leicester), Wilderness (Birmingham), Boiler Maker (Nottingham), Jazz Café (Lincoln).
Tasting at Blue Blazer, Edinburgh
> Meet the Maker event at Harry’s Bar
> Calvados Cup and Voodoo Rooms
> Special Calvados drinks menus in Edinburgh at Red Teapot bars, Bullard and Worth, Nightcap, La Petite Mort, Panda & Sons, Hoot the Redeemer, Blue Blazer, Nauticus, Miss Woos and others.
> Pop up menus in Edinburgh at Harry’s Bar and Kin.
> Special Calvados drinks menus in Glasgow at Five March, The Parlour and others.
> Pop up menus in Glasgow at Atlantic, Kelvingrove Café, Porter & Rye AND Finnieston.
The Père Magloire National Calvados Week, in association with UK creator Emporia Brands, returns Monday 16th October 2016 until the Sunday 22nd October 2017, taking place within bars and retailers across the UK, including London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
For some, Normandy’s lush green pastures reach their ultimate expression in the region’s famed cheeses and rich dairy butter. We all know that it’s always been about the Calvados. The magical alchemy that transforms green apples into golden nectar, it produces apple brandy as soft, fresh and pure as the beguiling French countryside from which it’s born. The week long celebration marks the harvesting of the delicious apples for the production of Calvados. During National Calvados Week over 100 bars, shops, supermarkets and independent off licenses, including London based Swift, Merchant House, Baranis, German Gymnasium and Plotting Parlour.
Other venues and highlights for the week include such Edinburgh stalwarts as Panda & Sons, Heads & Tales, Voodoo Rooms, Bramble and The Bon Vivant, as well as Glasgow based The Finnieston, Porter & Rye and Drugstore Social. 45 West in Leicester are also showcasing their serves, as well as Jekyll & Hyde in Birmingham, Alvino’s in Newcastle and Last Chance Saloon in Nottingham amongst others.
Meanwhile, participating Waitrose stores will be running an in-store price promotion for the month of October, seeing Père Magloire VSOP 50cl with 20% off. Scotland are covered by Drinkmonger and Royal Mile Whiskies in Edinburgh, plus independent stores across England including Riddles Emporium in South Manchester, 23 Wine & Whisky in Leicester and Fenwick’s in Newcastle. We’ve also partnered with The Drink Shop, who are offering 20% off all Père Magloire products throughout National Calvados Week.
Highlights of the week involve the Telegraph Aperitifs and Digestifs evening that kicks off the celebration on Friday 13th October, TimeOut London are also hosting an evening of Père Magloire to launch the promotion within MASH London, exclusive for their members, and John Lewis on Oxford St and Soho Whisky Club, both in London, are also getting in on the action with their own tasting evenings.
In addition, Fever Tree, Franklins, Fentimans, Double Dutch and Peter Spanton No.1 Tonic are the principle sponsors for this year’s signature serve, promoted within all participating venues across the UK, the Père Magloire and tonic;
50 ml Père Magloire VS Topped with chosen Tonic Water Fresh Ice (at least 4 big cubes) Slice of Fresh Apple
Using a large wine glass or a tall, slim glass, add the ice first then pour in the Père Magloire VS, followed by the Tonic Water. Cut a full slice of apple and drop into the glass.
A promotional video has also been commissioned by Emporia Brands, the exclusive UK importer of Père Magloire and National Calvados Week, which aims to see people coming together from across the UK to enjoy Calvados. To view the video, head to http://www.nationalcalvadosweek.com/press
The Père Magloire National Calvados Week, in association with UK creator Emporia Brands, returns Monday 17th October 2016 until the Sunday 23rd October 2016, taking place bars and retailers across the UK, including London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
For some, Normandy’s lush green pastures reach their ultimate expression in the region’s famed cheeses and rich dairy butter. We all know that it’s always been about the Calvados. The magical alchemy that transforms green apples into golden nectar, it produces apple brandy as soft, fresh and pure as the beguiling French countryside from which it’s born. The week long celebration marks the harvesting of the delicious apples for the production of Calvados. During National Calvados Week over 100 bars, shops, supermarkets and independent off licenses, including London based Demon Wise & Partners, NOLA, Cocktail Trading Company, Skylon and 155 Bar & Kitchen, who are pairing their special cocktail creation ‘Apple Turnover’, perfect to be matched with their Beetroot-cured Salmon served with chicory and apple salad, or the Scallops with smoked belly of port.
Other venues and highlights for the week include such Edinburgh stalwarts as Blackbird, Heads & Tales, Voodoo Rooms, La Petite Mort and The Bon Vivant, as well as Glasgow based The Finnieston and Porter & Rye, plus Rye & Soda in Aberdeen. Manhattan in Leicester are also showcasing their serves, as well as The Edgbaston in Birmingham and Bonbar in Newcastle amongst others.
Meanwhile, participating Waitrose stores will be running an in-store price promotion for the month of October, seeing Père Magloire VSOP price reduction of £2. (Original price £22 – promotional price £20). Scotland are covered by Drinkmonger in Edinburgh and The Good Spirits Company in Glasgow, plus independent stores within the likes of Cheshire with Corks Out, The Vineyard Wine Shop in Lancashire, Starmoreboss in Yorkshire, Dorset’s Shaftesbury Wines, Kent based Chiselhurst Wines, Cornwall with North Coast Wines and Wales with Gales of Llangollen. We’ve also partnered with The Drink Shop, who are running free delivery for the month of October on all Père Magloire expressions, as well as Drinkfinder who are offering 10% off all Père Magloire products throughout October.
Highlights of the week involve Soho Wine Supply in London, who will be hosting a Père Magloire tasting table on the 20th, with Soho Whisky Club and Brahms & Liszt hosting a Père Magloire range tasting on the 19th and 21st respectively. TimeOut London are also hosting an evening of Père Magloire on the 18th at MASH London, exclusive for their members and hosted by Brand Manager Matthew Dakers. Manchester will also see Brand Ambassador Dave Marsland showcase Père Magloire at Epernay Champagne Bar on the evening of the 19th, with support from Yelp! John Lewis on Oxford St in London are also getting in on the action, hosting a Père Magloire VSOP and Pont L’Eveque cheese tasting in the food hall, with the offer of a free glass to anyone who buys a bottle!
In addition, Fever Tree are the principle sponsors for this year’s signature serve, promoted within all participating venues across the UK, the Père Magloire and Fever Tree tonic;
50 ml Père Magloire VS Topped with Fever Tree Tonic Water Fresh Ice (at least 4 big cubes) Slice of Fresh Apple
Using a large wine glass or a tall, slim glass, add the ice first then pour in the Père Magloire VS, followed by the Fever Tree Tonic Water. Cut a full slice of apple and drop into the glass.
A promotional video has also been commissioned by Emporia Brands, the exclusive UK importer of Père Magloire and National Calvados Week, which aims to see people coming together from across the UK to enjoy Calvados.
National Calvados Week! What I hear you cry? Calvados? Well if your anything like the North of England, Calvados isn’t a big market compared to some of the other categories in the spirits world, but it is in London, and to help spread the word, a whole week dedicated to Calvados has been created.
To give you the heads up on all the events that are taking place over the UK, it’s probably best to look into Calvados itself, and see if it’s worthy of a dedication –
Calvados is an apple brandy, predominantly from the French region of Lower Normandy. The first known Norman distillation was carried out by “Lord” de Gouberville in 1554, and the guild for cider distillation was created about 50 years later in 1606. In the 17th century the traditional cider farms expanded but taxation and prohibition of cider brandies were enforced elsewhere than Brittany, Maine and Normandy. The area called “Calvados” was created after the French Revolution, but “eau de vie de cidre” was already called “calvados” in common usage. In the 19th century output increased with industrial distillation and the working class fashion for “Café-calva”. When a phylloxera outbreak in the last quarter of the 19th century devastated the vineyards of France and Europe, calvados experienced a “golden age”. During World War I cider brandy was requisitioned for use in armaments due to its alcohol content. The appellation contrôlée regulations officially gave Calvados a protected name in 1942, and after the war, many cider-houses and distilleries were reconstructed, mainly in the Pays d’Auge. The Calvados appellation system was revised in 1984 and 1996. Pommeau got its recognition in 1991; in 1997 an appellation for Domfront with 30% pears was created.
So it seems to be a rather significant part of the spirit history, but how is it created?
Apples selected for distillation into Calvados fall into over 200 specially-grown varieties. Several varieties may be used into one brand of Calvados, ranging from very sweet apples, to tart and bitter, at various proportions. The fruit is harvested usually by hand from mid-October into December and pressed into a juice that is subsequently fermented into a dry cider. This dry cider is then distilled into an eau-de-vie, which is in turn blended and matured for a minimum of two-years in oak barrels. The longer the maturation, the more mellow the final product. Usually the maturation for Calvados goes on for several years.
The label may contain one of the following terms with reference to the age:
‘Fine’, ‘Trois étoiles ‘, ‘Trois pommes’ for a Calvados matured for at least 2 years.
‘Vieux’ – ‘Réserve’ is at least 3 years old.
‘V.O.’ ‘VO’, ‘Vieille Réserve’, ‘V.S.O.P.’ ‘VSOP’ – at least 4 years old.
‘Extra’, ‘X.O.’ ‘XO’, ‘Napoléon’, ‘Hors d’Age’ is at least 6 years old.
Calvados is sold much older, typically at 6, 8, 12, 15 or 25 years.
Calvados is governed by an ‘appellation contrôlée’ system, which defines the regions where Calvados can be produced; the varieties of apples used; the type of pressing and fermentation; and the distillation and the maturation. There are three Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée for Calvados ; the basic ‘AOC Calvados’ accounts for over 70 percent of the total production, prescribes a minimum of two years ageing in oak barrels and distillation in single column stills.
The ‘AOC Calvados Pays d’Auge’ is the highest quality appellation, that includes all basic rules for AOC Calvados along with several additional requirements, among others a minimum of six weeks fermentation of the cider and double distillation in an alembic still. Finally, ‘AOC Calvados Domfrontais’, a much fruitier and subtler style which is made of at least 30% pears. The appellation was created in 1997 in order to accommodate the long tradition of pear orchards in the region.
One brand that i’ve know of for a while now is Calvados Père Magloire. Established back in 1821 by Debrise-Dulac, he made Père Magloire brand the most important Calvados brand in France by 1900. By 1968, Debrise-Dulac was taken over by Champagne Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, who contributed to the export development of the brand until 1998 when the independent Norman family group, Pays d’Auge Finances, took over. In 2005, Père Magloire maintained its position as the market leader brand of Calvados both in France and throughout the world, accounting for 70% of the export sales.
But how does Père Magloire fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –
Père Magloire VS – 40%
Sparkling apple on the nose with a slightly stewed aroma coming through. Sharp upon the palate, with a rich, natural sweetness of apple and floral fruits combining well. Bold, fresh and long on the finish.
Père Magloire VSOP – 40%
A minimum of 4 years old. Heavy apple aroma on the nose with a crisp, fresh flavour bursting on the palate. Well rounded.
Père Magloire XO – 40%
Minimum of 9 years old. Caramel and fudge aromas on the nose with a light, mellow apple scent. Sharp on the palate though with a strong apple kick, pepper and dry spice, moving to a citrus finish that lingers on the tongue.
Père Magloire 20yr – 40%
Blends of between 20 and 25 years. Fresh tobacco on the nose with candied apple, butter and soft wood aromas combining. The tobacco follows onto the palate, alongside cinnamon and crisp apple. Results in a dry finish.
Calvados is the basis of the tradition of le trou Normand, or “the Norman hole”. This is a small drink of Calvados taken between courses in a very long meal, sometimes with apple sorbet, supposedly to re-awaken the appetite. Or maybe just have one of these –
15 ml Fine Calvados Père Magloire
Top with Tonic Water
Build the ingredients into an ice filled rocks glass and garnish with a slice of lime.
If you are adventurous, National Calvados Week will give you a great insight into what is quite frankly sometimes a forgotten spirit. I’m not a cider fan, but Calvados? I could get use to it. Enjoy.