When distillation turns into art
of the double distillation in
Calvados Pays d'Auge
Calvados Boulard and double distillation are intimately linked. From its creation in 1825, the Maison stands as a precursor by adopting this method for all of its calvados. Later, the Boulard family has campaigned for this method to be recognized and associated with an AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée). This campaign yielded results in 1942 when the AOC Calvados Pays d’Auge was created.
‘On its site of Coquainvilliers, Boulard presently owns one of the oldest distillery with traditional copper pot stills in the region.’
The process of double distillation consists of two successive heating on open fire. The first one boils cider and gives the “brouillis” with an alcohol content ranging between 28 and 30 degrees. The second heating distillates that same brouillis again to obtain the “bonne chauffe” which alcohol content must be under 72 degrees out of the still. The future Calvados Pays d’Auge will be made from this eau-de-vie. During both operations the “heads” -first parts of the distillate- and the “tails” -last parts- are discarded to retain only the “heart”.
Mastering both the arts of ageing and blending, Richard Prével harmonizes the countless aromatic hues his oak barrels hold to the Boulard taste. The talent of the Cellar Master doesn’t reside only in the art of ageing his eaux-de-vie. He also nurtures the ageing of late calvados and tempers the ageing of the hasty ones. He blends, tastes and monitors all of these precious essences to obtain the perfect harmony, signature of the Maison.
Richard Prével, creative and passionate
Boulard Cellar Master since 1998
the Boulard touch: fine-grained and medium-grained staves
Following the distillation, the eaux-de-vie are poured in French oak barrels. The wood’s tannins will slowly blend with the fruity aromas of the calvados, giving it a subtle hue of gold and amber. This natural alchemy can last up to 40 years. All of the barrels are made of a blend of fine-grained and medium-grained staves, one of the Maison’s unique features.
Depending on the final blend, an eau-de-vie can progressively pass through older barrels or in drier or wetter zones of our four Coquainvilliers cellars. During the whole process of aging, a percentage of the eaux-de-vie will evaporate from the barrels. This is what is known as the “ Angels’ share”.