Calvados: The Spirit of Normandy


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Calvados, the incomparable pear and apple-based brandy from Normandy, France, has a history dating back nearly 500 years. While not as well-known as Cognac or Armagnac, Calvados holds a dear place in the hearts of many spirits lovers. In this comprehensive study, famed spirits writer and author Charles Neal, takes the reader on a back road voyage throughout northern France, from mount Saint Michel to Rouen to Omaha beach and the small, hidden hamlets of the Orne. The history of the region and its distinctiveness in France are fully defined and all of the factors that go into making quality Calvados are explained, from the various soil types, apple and pear varieties, and cider production to its distillation and aging in barrel. Complete with biographies and reviews of more than 200 producers and illustrated with lush, evocative photography of the Norman countryside, Calvados is an indispensable guide for the serious spirits connoisseur and nectar for Francophile souls.

Editorial Reviews

Calvados is an astounding 700-page stroll through the history and culture of Normandy and Calvados producers, through orchards and cellars, down to seemingly esoteric details, like what a producer might have scribbled in chalk on a typical barrel. Mr. Neal looks at the multitude of different apples, from sweet to acidic, that might go into a producer s blend. –Eric Asimov, New York Times (Nov. 2, 2011)

About the Author

Charles Neal is a leading importer of French spirits and is the author of Armagnac: The Definitive Guide to France’s Premier Brandy and has contributed to The Art of Eatingand The International Wine Cellar.

Product Specifications

  • Hardcover: 766 pages
  • Publisher: Board and Bench Publishing (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061544640X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615446400
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 7.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds

Additional information

Weight 4.2 lbs
Dimensions 2 × 8 × 9 in