Michel Huard-Guillouet Hors d'Age Calvados
The Huard family have on the Le Pertyer property in the Suisee-Normand for five generations. Jean-Francois Guillouet, who recently took over for his retired grandfather Michel, is the 7th generation. Nearly 1,800 trees on standard rootstock grace the 15 hectare property. The soil is loamy, composed of an ideal combination of silt and clay. About 30 varieties of apples are grown on the property, predominantly from the sweet and bittersweet categories. The cider is fermented and aged about eight months, then distilled in a traveling column still. The spirits then go into large, elongated barrels, stained black by time, or well-seasoned 400 liter barrels where there complex apples flavors develop.
Calvados is a department (county) in Normandy in northern France that is famous for its Brandies—also called Calvados—which are created by distilling cider made from locally fermented pears and apples. The Calvados orchards and brewers date back as far as the 8th century; distilling came about in the 16th century. Categorized by both age and geography, Calvados production methods differ among the three sub-appellations: AOC Calvados, AOC Domfontais and AOC Calvados Pays d’Auge (highest quality). Generally, the longer a Calvados ages in barrel, the more it resembles Cognac and other fine Brandies in clarity and depth of flavor, approachability and complexity.