We don’t drink much apple brandy round these parts, either domestic or foreign. Daron is the Calvados brand you’re probably most likely to encounter in the wild. There’s not a lot of information about the brandy’s provenance available (it’s Daron’s entry-level spirit), but it comes from the Pays d’Auge region of France, which is widely regarded for its apple orchards. Aging time is not disclosed.
The nose is mild, distinctly apple but slight and a bit thin. On the body, a rush of alcohol, then old wood tones. Apple comes on later, with a bit of vanilla and cinnamon on the finish. The balance is off on this; there’s not enough fruit and the wood character is too hoary and rough for what ought to be an elegant spirit, and the body is too thin for any of it.
Sure, at this price you don’t expect greatness, but this Calvados is mainly fit only for mixology, not straight sipping.
B- / $20 (375ml bottle) / daroncalvados.com