Why Buy: If you think you're not a fan of Calvados, these three ultra-rare, ultra-aged, single cask bottles will definitely change your mind. These are, quite simply, extraordinary expressions, the very pinnacle of the distiller's art and a testament to time, on a par with the very best rum, whiskey, and bourbon we have tasted this year.

The Story: What we have here is the joining of forces between Nicolas Palazzi, of PM Spirits, and Alexandre Vingtier, two of the preeminent cask-hunters in the world, who live to unearth the forgotten barrel, to find the glittering needle in the massive haystack. But most important of all, what these two entrepreneurs are in pursuit of is those artisans who revere the production process and take their time, who value the details, and who are out to make nothing less than extraordinary spirits – spirits that may be compared to nothing else in the marketplace.


* Domaine Olivier was distilled on that estate, in Normandy, from a distillate of 50% apples and 50% pears. This fruit was grown in an orchard with apple trees as old as 30 years and pear trees as old as 220 years. The liquid was fermented for 8 months and was followed by a second distillation, on a small, mobile, wood-fired column still. It aged for 12 years in new French oak.

* Domaine du Coquerel is made up, predominantly, of apples, from trees as old as 50 years. Forty varieties find their way into the mix. The cider fermented for 3-6 months before being distilled on a small column still at the domaine. It aged at cask strength for 26 years.

* Cave Normande was distilled in the commune of Saint-Cyr-du-Bailleul, a terroir somewhat overlooked in the Calvados story, but one that, given its size, has over-produced through years. This is a 50-50 blend of apples and pears, grown in an orchard with trees that range from 20 to 200 years old. Distilled on a small, mobile, wood-fired column still, this Calvados matured for 45 years in French oak before being bottled at cask strength.


ABV: Domaine Olivier, 46.7% (93.4% proof); Domaine du Coquerel, 60% (120 proof); Cave Normande, 50% (100 proof).

Our Tasting Notes: 

* The Domaine Olivier leads with richness, with vanilla, dark chocolate, bread and butter, and rum all presenting themselves to you and then receding. The palate modulates this richness somewhat, as a host of tropical notes come to the fore: blood orange, papaya, coconut, cinnamon, and, at the edges, a touch of black pepper and licorice. The finish is no less rich than the start, with notes of salted caramel, almond, and balsamic, but balances these with welcome hints of lime and cherry.

* What a nose on the Domaine du Coquerel, a zesty melange of prunes, flambéed pineapple, orange zest, and roasted nuts, with trailing whispers of tobacco and hay. That zesty opening turns to intensity and richness, with a palate that delivers warm caramel, cinnamon, and dates. The finish points back toward the start, with lavender, rosewater, orange blossom, and hazelnut making for a marvelous push-pull of a drinking experience.

* The Cave Normande opens with a burst of old sherry, Jamaican rum, and dried orange, before going on to give hints of botrytized wine and black tea. The palate is rich and complex, an unfolding melody of honey, pine resin, pear, fig, banana, quince, all spice, and cacao. It finishes long, with subtle, but sustained, notes of clove, ash, and almond.


Our Guarantee: We always buy and source direct, so rest assured: your spirits will arrive in your hands with pristine provenance. Secure your order today!


*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with spirits estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Spring 2024. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in CT, KS, MI, NC, NY, TN, VA, & WA. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Thursday, January 4, 2024.