Christian Drouin Senior spent almost 20 years producing and ageing Calvados without selling a bottle, aiming to create a unique collection of Calvados vintages. Today, the second and third generation members of the Drouin family run this this award-winning producer, which creates high-end artisanal Calvados in the centre of the AOC Calvados Pays d’Auge.
Calvados starts with apples, and the Drouin family take care to only select apples from organic orchards where cows and not pesticides are favoured to look after the apple trees. The family works with 35 different varieties of apples, all harvested from the orchard floor rather than using mechanical pickers. Depending on the harvest and style of Calvados to be produced the apple juice is naturally fermented for between five weeks and 10 months in open wooden tanks before a double distillation in traditional Charentais pot stills. The resulting spirit is round and smooth with rich, fruity flavours.
The casks used to age the Calvados can be former sherry, port, Cognac and Bordeaux wine casks. A high angel’s share (around 4%) thanks to the Normandy climate supports the development of great aromatic complexity.
The Drouin range spans from the unaged eau-de-vie “La Blanche”, an aromatic distillate of pear and apple ciders, to the 15yo Calvados “Hors D’Age”, a stunning spirit aged in small oak casks.
Drouin has been awarded Best European Spirits Producer 2013 by IWSC.