How to read the labels ?

The following indications are required by law:

  • The sales denomination, that is, the name of the appellation accompanied by the words 'Appellation contrôlée', all this in very clear lettering.
  • the alcohol content by volume (minimum 40% abv.)
  • the capacity
  • the name and address of the manufacturer or the distributor. 
  • The mention of any allergens where necessary
  • The packager code if the packager is not the same as the producer who puts its name on the label
  • The green dot logo in the case of membership of a competent body
  • The batch number
  • The health message for expectant mothers

The label may also be marked "production fermière" when a brandy is exclusively farm-made (from harvest to bottling), possibly followed by the area of production for a Calvados AOC.

The age indications

The age of a spirit corresponds to the youngest component of the blending. Hence, a 20 year-old Calvados can contain brandies aged 40 to 50 years, but none aged less than 20.

Vintage Calvados (e.g. « 1954 ») is a reference year to indicate that the Calvados was produced from distillations from that same year. Mention of the bottling year is also recommended since, once bottled, Calvados no longer matures.

Although not mandatory, age, when indicated, must be presented as follows :

  • VS (Very Special) - Trois étoiles - Trois pommes : at least 2 years of aging
  • Réserve  - Vieux : at least 3 years of aging
  • V.O. (Very Old) - VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) - Vieille Réserve : at least 4 years of aging
  • Hors d'Age - XO - Très Vieille Réserve - Très Vieux - Extra - Napoléon : at least 6 years of aging
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