Calvados, in more simple terms apple brandy, is distilled from cider, exclusively in the Normandy region and outskirts. The fruit is harvested and a combination of sweet and bitter apples creates the initial cider, from there it is fermented and distilled. After two years of aging in oak casks can it then be sold as calvados. There are many factors that affect the quality of the cider – the soil type, apple type and the pressing of the fruit.
Like Armagnac and Cognac, Calvados also follows the categories of VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale), along with Hors d’Age which has to be aged for over 6 years. A younger bottle can be enjoyed as an aperitif, whereas older calvados can be enjoyed with cheese or pudding as an after dinner drop.