Domaine Pacory Calvados (54.0%): Second random non-whisky sample of the week... This time it is a Calvados Domfrontais bottled exclusively for K&L Wine Merchants. Although in general Calvados can be distilled from a mix of pear and apple ciders AOC regulations require Calvados Domfrontais brandies to be distilled from at least 30% pear ciders. That being said actually producers from the region tend to use even higher percentages of pear distillate in their brandies which is the case for Domaine Pacory as well. This five year old sample on my desk is distilled from 70% pears and 30% apples and bottled at cask strength.
Color: Oaked Chardonnay, apple juice color with thin and very slow legs.
Nose: It noses straight like a cider in the beginning. Fruit salad with pears and apples (duh...), apple vinegar and green spruce wood. After allowing it to air it and with a few drops of water it gets a little dusty and mineral... Seltzer water, metal flasks and fig jam. Watered down apple juice and the smell after a heavy downpour in the countryside.
Palate: Powerful entry: Bartlett pears, Concorde pears, honey-crisp apples and kiwi slices. It is tart and piney... Heavy and mouth covering texture with white pepper and ground ginger notes. Adding water makes it tarter which I kinda enjoyed but the nice thick mouthfeel I really liked before got lost. More vinegar less fruits on the palate now... Also it started to show its young age. Lemon juice and candied lemon peel. I definitely I liked it more without water.
Finish: Medium long and tongue tingling... Candied fruits and ginger beer.
Overall: Didn't have high expectations for this one but it turned out pretty rewarding. For $40 this brandy is an absolute steal in my opinion. It wouldn't knock your socks off but it would give you a hell of a pairing with your late afternoon espresso and maybe even with a fruit tart... Thanks to Florin for the sample.