CADENHEAD’S DUPONT 13yo 44,8%
The Big Apple
Here is the first calvados on Hors d’Age ! As you probably know, this spirit is the result of cider (fermented apple juice) distillation. As for cognac, calvados is an AOC with a limited production area (located in the Normandy region). This one has been selected by Cadenhead’s, the famous whisky independent bottler, and comes from Dupont’s distillery. This isn’t their first malternative as they’re bottling rum and cognac (some 30yo Charpentier for example).
Colour: Old gold, orange lights. Heavy irregular tears.
Nose: Apple crumble first. No surprise here. Then it goes more exotic. Pineapple syrup. Passion fruits. Hints of freshness and spiciness. Mint chocolate. Pear syrup. Vanilla stick. Tannic scents. Light tobacco notes. Flambéed bananas. Nice coffee smells. Gingerbread. Great freshness on white pepper and cardamom. Well, quite convincing and not as “calvados-y” as expected.
Palate: Sweet/oily texture, dryness on the aftertaste. Banana cake as a first echo to the nose. Caramelized apple. A nice sugariness, some acidulous aromas like fruit sweets or pink candies. Candied citruses. Lemon meringue. Some pastry notes. Marzipan, almond paste. This Cadenhead’s Dupont has a little cognac side with a slight rancio on licorice and nutty/buttery notes. A beautiful prunes eau-de-vie aftertaste, underlined by a pleasant dryness and cider apple aromas. The palate is more “calvados-y” than the nose but still kept exotic accents. A nice au-revoir on cocoa powder and maple syrup.
Last Notes: Exotic and spicy scents. Mango stew. Peach syrup. Quinces. Plums liquor. Raisins cake. Cinnamon. Cherry liquor. A bit of mint syrup. Caramelized and licoricy palate. A nice roundness amplified by a richer texture that sticks to the tongue and the sides of the mouth. It stays quite long, I would even say medium long as the ABV is 44,8%. It ends on caramelized nuts and a great wave of date marmalade.
This Cadenhead’s Dupont is a talkative calvados, sometimes focused on exotic flavors and sometimes expressing a generous pastry/buttery apple maelstrom. A well-balanced cognalternative for sure. Maybe a little lack of complexity to reach the 88 points mark. However, it’s Hors d’Age approved!
My very subjective note: 87/100