Calvados Review: Clos d’Orval Hors d’Age 25 ans

Category: Calvados

Origin: Clos d’Orval

ABV: 40%

Cost: £discontinued find similar at Master of Malt

le-clos-dorval-25-year-old-calvados

What they say:

Le Clos d’Orval

Name: Le Clos d’Orval
Location: Amayé Sur Seulles, Pre-Bocage, Calvados, Normandy, France
Harvesting owners: Alain AUBREE and Jean-Paul VUILMET
Type of production: Cidricole production
Surface: 20 hectares of apple and pears
Suggested activities: museum and farm visit, reception of individuals and groups, tasting
Geographical location: 6 km from the A84, between the Memorial and the Mont Saint Michel. 30 km from Caen, Bayeux, Vire, Saint Lô and Suisse Normande.

We currently have a Calvados stock allowing us to market Calvados from 2 years to over 45 years of age: Fine 2 years old, Old 4 years old, Old Reserve 8 years old, Out of 12 Years old, Age 18, Over 25 Years, Hors d’Age 35, Hors d’Age 1969.

The youngest, rich in volatile alcoholic beverages, are very fruity, while the older ones have acquired round and wood over the years.

What I say:

Le Clos D’Orval is situated near Villers-Bocage just north of the main A84, an area I know a little as our journey regularly taken from Ouistreham leaves the A84 at this point as we divert south on the road to Vire. I hadn’t appreciated how close by we were and aim to perhaps take a little detour north and visit in future. Le Clos d’Orval are a traditional farm (ferme) cider producers and distillers, producing Calvados to the AOC Calvados appellation. I selected this 25 Year Old out of their range as it appears to have been recently discontinued or unavailable in the UK so I took it as a last chance to taste – there are similar 18yo (£64) and 30 year old (currently £103 reduced to £93) expressions available.

Appearance:

Dark golden red brown (18/20), regular medium tears with long thin legs

Nose:

Fermented cider apples, brut Normandy cider, Granny Smith green apples, Bramley cooking apple, acidity and sharpness, cider vinegar, acetone nail polish remover, esters, fruity apple, peach and melon, dusty and sweet, honey, walnut, chestnut.

Taste:

Polished wood, beeswax, polish, shellac, rosy apple sweeties, tobacco leaf, well stewed fruit tea, tannin & fruit, caramel, highland toffee, arrowroot, cherry tobacco, fruity, apple, peach, melon, rancio

Finish:

Long, fruit veneer on polished antique oak wood, closed tannins with polished toffee

Overall:

Initially light and fruity, layers of complexity develop, slightly sour and tannic fruit tea

Score: 90/100

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