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29 Mar 2024 | Jeremy


April’s Spirit of the Month is Avallen Calvados ($46.99). With Spring in the air and Mother Nature coming back to life, it just felt like it was time to highlight the famous apple brandy from France's Normandy countryside. A libation that can be enjoyed on its own for its depth and liveliness but can also be featured in refreshing and Spring cocktails. With notes of fresh apple fruit up front, there are also soft notes of baking spices which lead to hints of vanilla bean, more fresh apples on the finish. While the flavor profile for the Avallen is impressive enough, in my opinion, it is also worth noting what the makers of this Calvados are doing back in Normandy, France.

Part of the reason they decided to make Calvados was due to the low amount of water needed to grow apples in the first place. It is said on average it takes up to 32 Liters of water to make 1,000 milliliters of spirit (when including water used to grow products, to dilute the distillate, to clean the stills and facilities, etc.), for Avallen, it only takes 1.2 Liters of water to make 700 milliliters of Calvados. Even their appreciation to the work bees do in pollinating can be seen on the neck of the bottle with the saying "Bee positive".  The company is also B Corp Certified, meaning that they have proven they are an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative company looking beyond just profit margin as the end goal.

The forward-thinking producers of this brand source all their apples for their libation from over 200 different orchards (totaling about 40 different varieties of crab apples) all within 19 miles of their distillery. At the distillery, the apples are juiced then fermented outside allowing it to absorb as much native yeast as needed for up to 2 months. The juice is then distilled in a column still and aged in French oak cask for 2-3 years before it is blended.  

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