Review: Anée Calvados Hors d’Age

Category: Calvados Hors d’Age

Origin: Distillerie Busnel

Bottling: Official

ABV: 40%

Cost: ~ €40-50

Score: 85/100

Anée Calvados Hors d'Age

What they say:

Anée Calvados Hors d’Age

From Distillerie Busnel, Cormeilles, France.

As early as 1820 the Busnel family started producing Calvados for local consumption after Ernest Busnel settled with his family in the heart of the Pays d’Auge Pont l’Eveque and later partners with Mrs Quetel.

The son of Ernest George Busnel wife’s niece Widow Quétel, Lucia, and later gave its name to the house and to the brand. Perfectionniste, exigeant , Georges soigne la sélection des pommes. Perfectionist, demanding, Georges heal the selection of apples. « Point de bon Calvados sans bonnes pommes » disait-il en 1902. Jour après jour, il surveille attentivement la délicate élaboration du Calvados et foule la campagne normande à la recherche de nouvelles eaux-de-vie. “There is no good without good apples Calvados” he said in 1902. Day after day, he carefully monitors the delicate development of Calvados and crowd the Normandy countryside in search of new eaux-de-vie. On raconte que pour parfaire ces assemblages, Georges allait jusqu’à marier douze eaux-de-vie d’âges différents. It is said that to complete these assemblies, Georges was going to marry twelve of brandies of different ages.
1906 , Georges a un fils, Pierre. 1906 Georges has a son, Peter. Est-ce les visites des fermes ? Do the visits of farms? La saveur des pommes qui avaient ensorcelé son père ? The flavor of apples that had bewitched his father? Toujours est-il que Pierre prend lui aussi le virus du Calvados. Still, Peter takes him as the Calvados virus. Très tôt, il se passionne et fait preuve d’un doigté exceptionnel. Early on, he developed a passion and demonstrated exceptional skill. A son tour, Pierre, formé à la distillerie et, associé dès 1927 à son père, prend en main la destinée de la Maison qui devient « Busnel Père et Fils ». In turn, Peter, formed the distillery and, combined in 1927 to his father, took over the destiny of the house becomes “Busnel Father and Son.”

En ce début de XXe siècle, la production augmente sensiblement et Busnel connaît une renommée grandissante. At the beginning of the twentieth century, production increases significantly and Busnel experiencing a growing reputation. Le Calvados Busnel est distribué dans toute la France, et principalement à Paris et à Rouen. Calvados Busnel is distributed throughout France, mainly in Paris and Rouen.

1938 , la distillerie Busnel de Pont l’Evêque connaît la consécration : elle devient le fournisseur exclusif du mythique transatlantique Queen Mary grâce à son Calvados « Grand cru Pré Neuf ». 1938 the distillery Busnel Bridge Bishop knows the consecration becomes the exclusive provider of the mythical transatlantic Queen Mary through her Calvados “Grand Pré Neuf believed.” Déjà grande marque nationale, les bouteilles de Calvados Busnel vont franchir l’Atlantique pour le marché Américain. Already great national brand, bottles of Calvados Busnel will cross the Atlantic to the US market.

La seconde guerre mondiale et les bombardements du 6 juin 1944 n’épargnent pas la distillerie : toutes les installations sont entièrement détruites. World War II and the bombing on 6 June 1944 are not saving the distillery All facilities are fully destroyed. Elles seront reconstruites et la nouvelle distillerie ouvrira ses portes en 1952. They will be rebuilt and the new distillery will open its doors in 1952.

En 1960 , Busnel réitère le succès des années 30s et devient fournisseur officiel du France. In 1960 Busnel reiterates the success of the 30s and became official supplier of France.

70s A la fin des années 70, la Distillerie Busnel s’agrandit, elle déménage à Cormeilles dans les locaux de la Grande Cidrerie qui existait à l’entrée de ce village typiquement normand depuis 1910. 70s in the late 70s, the Distillery Busnel grew, she moved to Cormeilles on the premises of the Great Cider that existed at the entrance of this typical Norman village since 1910.

What I say:

Calvados is an apple brandy produced within the Calvados appellation contrôlée of the French region of Normandy (Normandie). Calvados is distilled from cider made from specially grown and selected apples. The fruit is harvested and pressed into a juice that is fermented into a dry cider. It is then distilled into eau de vie. After two years of aging in oak casks, it can be sold as Calvados. Distillerie Busnel is in Cormeilles the Eure Department just south of Le Havre and Honfleur and appears to practice a double distillation carried out in a traditional alembic pot still, called either l’alambic à repasse or charentais. As an Hors d’Age Calvados this will typically have been matured for a minimum of 6 years and carrying no age statement or particular vintage is likely made up of a blend of stock with many being much older than 6 years old.

Colour:

Copper amber gold (11/20), slow forming fine tears with imperceptible/ultra-fine legs

Nose:

Sweet and sour/bitter, fermented apple cider/scrumpy with yeasty hints, suede leather, gentle spiced cinnamon, honey, dried hay/straw, oaky wood

Taste:

Smooth on the palate this presents with honeyed apples and dry cider, a light cinnamon and nutmeg, a little bready yeast sweetened with honey and a touch of melted butter,  a gentle toffee note reveals oak wood, becomes a little sharper and more acidic like apple juice, hints of strawberry or tart blackberry, tannic fresh/green French oak wood, baked cinnamon and apple pie.

Finish:

Medium, yeasty and spiced cinnamon baked apple tart

Overall:

Very enjoyable, quite light and easy to drink but with an interesting depth which suggests some real age in here. The tannic French oak and acidity is kept to a minimum and cinnamon spiced honeyed apples are the dominant flavour with such a delicate presentation. A lovely introduction to Calvados.