The apples used for Calvados are inedible cider apples – there are 46 different varieties with different characteristics. Some are sweet (douce coet, clos renaud
), some are bittersweet (bionet rouge, bisquet cartigny, douce moen
), some are bitter (fraquin rouge, bisquet, metais
), and some are acid (avrolles, locart vert, petit jaune
). These apples are fermented into a cider that begins at 6 – 8% ABV, which is then distilled according to the particular region.
The spirit is aged in cask. It is common to age it first in new casks and then rack it into second fill casks for a long maturation. Branded Calvados is commonly a blend, and the age claim refers to the youngest spirit in the blend.
There are a number of designations that are used:Fine/3 star/originel
: 2yr (3 for Domfrontais)Vieux/réserve
: 3yr Vielle réserve/VO/VSOP
: 4yr Hors d'age/Extra/XO
Applejack has been distilled in the U.S. since the 17th century.
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