Roger Groult Calvados Pays d'Auge 7yo Kriek Cask Finish...

Roger Groult Calvados Pays d'Auge 7yo Kriek Cask Finish (47.3%): Now this is a spirit bringing the best of both worlds together for me... When I opened the FedEx box I received from PM Spirits a couple days ago this was the bottle made me squeal like a little kid. I obviously love every drop of spirit distilled in Normandy but I also am and always have been a big fan of Lambic and Geuze beers and especially of Cantillon brewery which these finishing casks are sourced from... I simply cannot wait to pour and taste this sample.

Roger Groult is a family owned brand based in Pay's d'Auge in Saint-Cyr-du-Ronceray where their estate "Clos de la Hurvanière" is located. The estate has more than 6,000 apple trees of 30 different varieties spread on 24 hectares. They double distill their cider using their wood fired alembic pot stills and age their spirit in oak casks owned by the family for more than hundred years as a part of their old solera system. Apparently fifth generation distiller Jean-Roger Groult was experimenting with various cask finishes for quite some time using whisky, Jurançon. sherry and other casks but this particular release is a result of a cask swap deal between Roger Groult and Cantillon. The Cantillon cask which previously held kriek lambic was filled with five year old Calvados in February 2019 for an additional two years and was emptied in January 2021 yielding 320 bottles in total.

Color: Red gold, polished copper color with immediate but slow and oily legs.

Nose: Unmistakably kriek beer on the nose: Old school black cherry soda, ripe blackberries and ripe black mulberries. Grain dust, mold and cue chalk. Very dry... Dried sour cherries and dried cranberries, creme de cassis and rose petals... A rack full of second-hand wool sweaters in a thrift shop and cedar cigar boxes.

Palate: Apple skin, apple seeds and dry apple cider. Tart and warming.... Less kriek more plane lambic on the palate: Dr. Pepper, grape jelly and rooibos tea. Corn nuts, whole grain snacks and green apple hard candies. Root beer, cinnamon, allspice and sumac. Apple Strudel...

Finish: Long with a subtle tingling sensation on the tongue, almost fizzy: Toasted grains, beer foam and red berries.

Overall: I liked it... I was expecting that I would but in the end I really liked it. I know that I got excited earlier and might have focused a little too much on the notes added by the kriek cask but I assure you that you never doubt that it is an apple brandy from nose to finish. Despite of spending two long years in a kriek cask the spirit never got overpowered by it. I only wished that its texture was a little thicker but it is what it is. Not a deal breaker... Thanks to PM Spirits for making this post possible and sending me this sample. Like always all the tasting notes and opinions above are all my own.

Price: $90