Old Normandy calvados

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Feldon

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A couple who are restoring an old chateau in Normandy, France, explore one of its old out buildings - a brewery/distillery left untouched for decades. Magnificent old wooden barrels that once held cider and calvados are discovered. As well as a few old bottles of calvados that are opened and tasted. Nice to know there are still ‘barn finds’ like this to be had in Europe. My mind drifts back to the forgotten people who spent their lives working there, and left a legacy in a few remnant drops of calvados.

 
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An Ankoù

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Lovely stuff to find, but unless it's been stored in oak barrels for about a million years it'll burn a hole in the back of your neck and strip the enamel off your teeth. Great stuff and I'm down to my last few litres so I'd better search out some more. Calva comes from the Calvados département of Normandy, but effectively. it's made all over Normandy and Brittany. It's just distilled cider. Lovely stuff if you get a good one. The standardised tuff you buy in supermarkets diluted to 40% abv, doesn't really cut it in my opinion. It's got to have been made by some long dead farmer, kept in an oak barrel, and dispensed reluctantly by his poor widow some twenty years later. At least that's where mine comes from.
 
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Distilled "applejack" goes back to colonial times in the US. There were both large commercial producers, of which Lairds survives, and small ones, including some of my forebears and me in a "chemistry lab" in the basement from age twelve.

Care and quality varied. The essential difference from Calvados is that very little ever saw the inside of a barrel. Between 1919 and 1933 it was customary to fill gallon jugs and bury them in places where representatives of the federal government were reluctant to search.
 

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