The press agrees Distillerie des Fiefs sainte Anne Is the hot ticket in Calvados today !

Guide des Vins Gilbert & Gaillard 2012 (France)
“90/100 Calvados AOC Christian Drouin 1961 : Beautiful, deep orangy colour with coppery highlights. Rich nose with accents of baked apple and apple pie. On the palate, real fullness, abundant expression, dry character. Successfully retains power and harmony.

“87/100 Calvados Pays d’Auge Christian Drouin 1971 : Coppery hue with bronze highlights. On the nose, a mix of dried apples and smoky notes. Understated throughout. The palate still seems youthful, powerful, well-structured. More mellowness would have been beneficial.

“91/100 Calvados Pays d’Auge Christian Drouin 1981 : Orangy hue. Typical nose of mature brandy marrying dried fruit and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg). On the palate, extraordinary fullness with vegetal aromas (dried-flowers, heather) and more spice of the finish. A highly unusual effort.

“89/100 Calvados Pays d’Auge Christian Drouin 1991 : Golden hue. The nose is focused with suggestions of baked apple, smoky tones and a caramel-like touch. On the palate, a supple, very melted calvados delivering the same intense fragrances. Enjoyable presence, length and character.

Spirit Journal Paul Pacult – June 2010 (USA)
Calvados – Editor’s comments: A mystifyingly overlooked category of superior quality in the North American marketplace .What a pity. Without hesitation , I tell you that these are among the hallmark oak-matured distillates that the world currently has to offer.
5 best Calvados : N° 1 Calvados Christian Drouin 1959 : The greatest Calvados I’ve ever had and one of the finest, most complete brandies of any class as well . A stunning spirit achievement that can be summed up by saying “If you have only one Calvados in your lifetime, make it his one”.

92/100 Calvados AOC Christian Drouin 1959 :
Deep coppery colour with bronze tinge.
Radiant nose with caramel, “crème brulée”, exotic wood and tobacco.
Nice palate of great length and dominated by impressive spices.

90/100 Calvados Pays d’Auge A.O.C. Christian Drouin 1967 :
Amber colour with bronze tints.
Nose of baked apple, compote and a smoky touch.
Powerful but not heavy, with appreciable harmony and length: smoky, sweet spices.

89/100 Calvados AOC Christian Drouin 1969 : Coopery colour with nice bronze tints.
Pure nose recalling very ripe apple, almost cooked, on a base of exotic wood.
The powerful palate allies fruity and oak notes on a base of tasty tarte Tatin.
A masculine but balanced vintage.

86/100 Calvados Pays d’Auge A.O.C. Christian Drouin 1979 :
Orangey-coppery colour.
Oaky nose with pastry and grilled notes.
Virile, oaky palate with marked spicy notes.
Very fiery, a very young vintage which needs to mellow down.

87/100 Calvados Pays d’Auge A.O.C. Christian Drouin 1988 :
Magnificent golden colour.
Lots of oak on the nose, resin, smoke and burnt wood.
Powerful palate, well knit with a spicy oaky fragrance. Needs some ageing.

89/100 Calvados Pays d’Auge A.O.C. Christian Drouin 1989 : Deep gold and a hint of bronze.
Very sweet nose, spicy, recalling cinnamon and nutmeg.
The palate is a model of balance , the attack supple, developing to a firmer finish which gives this vintage a nice character.

87/100 Calvados Pays d’Auge A.O.C. Christian Drouin Hors d’Age : Aged robe with copper hints.
Smell of cooked apples, a touch of oak and spice.
The palate is powerful and full, with a balanced aromatic finish that us a little spicy.

85/100 Calvados Pays d’Auge A.O.C. Christian Drouin V.S.O.P. : Golden yellow colour, copper hues.
Distinctive nose of ripe apples.
Clean palate with the same classic aromas and a slightly spicy finish.
An accessible Calvados, a good initiation to the appellation.

Spirit Journal Paul Pacult - Dec. 2009 (USA)
Calvados Christian Drouin 1958 : ****/ Highly Recommended : “Rated Four Stars in 1999. Don’t think that it’s lost anything in a decade. Remains a Four Star winner”.
Calvados Christian Drouin 1959 : *****/ Highest Recommendation : “One of my favorite Calvados of all time. A masterpiece”.
Calvados Christian Drouin 1979 : **** /Highly Recommended : “Rated Three Stars in 1999. I’m raising the score by one star”.
Calvados Christian Drouin 1986 : ****/Highly Recommended
Calvados Christian Drouin 1987 : ****/Highly Recommended
Calvados Christian Drouin Hors d’Age : *****/Highest Recommandation : “A genuine benchmark”. “Top 10 Spirits for Christmas” Dec. 2009 (UK)
« Christian Drouin Calvados Hors d’Age :Normandy’s best-known spirit Calvados sometimes gets forgotten about in the corporate spirits world but his artisanal product deserves more attention. Having spent 15 years in small oak casks it has a lovely amber hue and spicy notes plus vibrant apple skin and dried fruit on both the nose and palate. Great length with a fiery 42% alcohol finale to warm your cookies »

Sommelier Journal Calvados: The Epicure’s Secret Elixir Henrik Mattsson -Nov. 2009 (USA)
Calvados A.O.C. Christian Drouin Sélection : 2-3 years old, distilled from 40% pears and 60% apples. Lively aroma of fresh-cut apple. Use in drinks and cooking.

Calvados Pays d’Auge AOC Christian Drouin Fine : 3-5 years old. This lightly oaked Calvados is dominated by apple aromas. For the “trou normand” digestif, cocktails or cooking.
Calvados Pays d’Auge AOC Christian Drouin V.S.O.P. : 5-14 years old. Fruits, flowers, and spices blend harmoniously. Serve as a digestif or pair with Livarot cheese.

Calvados Pays d’Auge AOC Christian Drouin Hors d’Age : 15-20 years old, as evidenced by a flamboyant amber colour. This Coeur de Lion offers well-integrated fruit and oak flavours. Serve as digestif or with a cigar.

Calvados Pays d’Auge AOC Christian Drouin 25 Years Old : Lush, round and spicy.

Calvados Pays d’Auge AOC Christian Drouin 1989, 1988, 1987, 1981, 1979, 1977, 1976, 1971 : Ageing finished in Sherry casks. An attractive colour leads a rich nose with hints of dried and candied fruit and a complex, lingering palate.

Calvados Pays d’Auge AOC Christian Drouin 1970 : Aging finished in Port and Sherry casks. A rich, sweet nose of vanilla, baked apple and raisin carries through a long finish.

Calvados Pays d’Auge AOC Christian Drouin 1986 : Aging finished in Muscat de Rivesalte casks. Honey and floral aromas mingle in a supple mouthfeel.

Calvados Christian Drouin Pays d’Auge AOC : 1987, 1984, 1983, 1982, 1980, 1978, 1974, 1973, 1972, 1969, 1968, 1967, 1966, 1965, 1962, 1961, 1960, 1959, 1958 and 1939 : Aged only in Calvados or cider casks. Delicate, fruity, and mildly spicy, with soft tannins and a persistent finish.

The Washington Post “Loving Calvados to the Core” Jason Wilson - Sept. 23, 2009 (USA)
« The tarte Tatin arrived, and it was okay. Then came the Calvados, a Christian Drouin Hors d’Age. From the initial swirl, sniff and swallow, the liquid was a revelation: love at first sip. Suddenly, I felt warm and happy and laughed at myself for being down; I mean, please, I was on a business trip to France, not Des Moines. I must have spent the entire second half of the soccer game with that glass, and I went back to my room a little less lonely. That night started me on a journey that resulted in Calvados becoming one of my favourite spirits, if not my absolute favourite during the colder months ».

The Ghost of apples past Calvados Andrew Jefford - Sept. 23, 2009 UK)
Christian Drouin – Blanche de Normandie :
Background : a “white” apple spirit for cocktail use (therefore unaged, therefore ineligible for the Calvados AOC). Double distilled with severer than usual spirit cuts to maximise refinement. Appearance: transparent. Aroma: pretty apple fruit, skin and blossom. Successful and not spirity. Flavour: dry, pure, long, clean and appley, with a creamy edge. A success, and drinkable on its own .

Christian Drouin 1977 : Background: ageing included two years in sherry casks. Appearance: deep russet gold. Aroma: refined wood, sweetened with apricot and appleskin fruit. Flavour: massive concentration, with huge depth and definition. Long, driving flavours of liquorice and prune skin, smoke and umami, rolling around the mouth like thunder in the hills.

Christian Drouin 1973 : Background: aged entirely in old casks which had been refreshed with cider from time to time. Since then, Drouin has made more use of new wood, but the quality of this vintage (made with 33% 1972 cider and 66% 1971 cider) suggests that fine Calvados given long ageing really doesn’t need new oak. Colour: mid-gold. You wouldn’t guess its age from the colour. Aroma: beautiful apple scents streaked with subtle vanilla. Very fine: triggered and complex. Flavour: full, round, sweet, succulent, raisiny and complete. Has some of that elusive perfume called “rancio” which characterises all great spirits in old age. Wonderful depth and penetration. The apple trace is now a memory, a fossil print, hidden inside this chamber of tamed fire. Guillaume says that there are a “few thousand bottles left” which strikes me as impressive husbandry.

The Ultimate Guide to Spirits & Cocktails André Dominé – 2009 - H.F. Ullmann
“Christian Drouin has been producing calvados of the highest quality since 1980. Following very traditional cider production and distillation at the (extremely picturesque) Domaine Coeur de Lion, the maturation in used barrels characterizes the style. His son Guillaume, a qualified oenologue, contributes his wine-making expertise. Each vintage develops its own character, with honey and white blossom, sometimes nuts and cocoa, or fine wood and tobacco nuances, and always a common ripe apple, baked apple, or warm cider undertone”.

Ratings from BEVERAGE EXPERTS ( - Sean Ludford

Calvados Christian Drouin 1939 AOC :
***** Supreme !
Calvados Christian Drouin 1959 AOC :
***** Supreme !
Calvados Christian Drouin 1969 AOC :
**** Exceptional !
Calvados Christian Drouin 1979 Pays d’Auge :
**** Exceptional !
Calvados Christian Drouin 1989 Pays d’Auge :
***** Supreme !

"Ultimate Guide - Spirits & Cocktails"
by André Dominé - H.F. Hullmann (Germany)
"Christian Drouin and his son Guillaume not only have received recognition for their methods in which they dispense with new wood entirely, using barrels from other provenances such as port, sherry, banyuls, or cognac instead, but have also provided important initiatives. Christian Drouin has been producing calvados of the highest quality since 1980. Following very traditional cider production and distillation at the (extremely picturesque) Domaine Coeur de Lion, the maturation in used barrels characterizes the style. His son Guillaume, a qualified oenologist, contributes his wine-making expertise. Each vintage develops its own character, with honey and white blossom, sometimes nuts and cocoa, or fine wood and tobacco nuances, and always a common ripe-apple, baked apple, or warm cider undertone".

"Christian Drouin Calvados - The apple brand par excellence"
Ambrosia - January 2009 (India)
"It is in this 17th - century Normandy farm, dedicated entirely to apples, that the finest cider, pommeau and calvados are produced.
In this idyllic setting, the smoke of the stills rises from the heart of the orchard.
Christian Drouin has today given the family business a world-wide reputation".

"Calvados Normandy´s Noble Spirit"
by David Furer - Santé - October 2009 (USA)
"Christian Drouin - Hors d´Age Calvados Pays d´Auge : hint of rancio, spirits esters, and dried orange. Soft entry; serious spirit with lots of fine tannins. Nearly seamless integration of fruit and oak. Best value".

"Brandy Recognition", by Aleksandra Crapanzano
Whether for drinking or cold-weather cooking, Calvados packs a punch "
New York Time Magazine - 23/11/08 (USA)

"Like Cognac, Calvados is a twice-distilled, aged brandy. Burn unlike its better-known cousin, which masks its grape origins, Calvados is meant to taste of its fruit, specifically the apples of the Pays d´Auge region in Normandy. The great distilleries, like Adrien Camut, Christian Drouin and Michel Huard, blend more than two dozen varieties of small, highly aromatic apples to give their brandies complexity. For Jean-Luc Le Dû, the owner of Le Dû´s Wines in New York, it is precisely this bouquet of "an exalted apple orchard" that marks the best Calvados. Although it becomes smoother, more rounded and more pleasing to drink the longer it is aged, a young Calvados is the less expensive, fruity - and livelier - option when used for cooking".

"Travel", Spirited journeys" by Anthony Peregrine
The Daily Telegraphe - 22/12/07 (UK)
"At the Drouin family set-up at Coudray-Rabut, near Pont l´Evêque, I tasted a 25 years old blend that, were I connoisseur, I would call lush, round and spicy. This is perhaps the most rewarding slice of Calvados country, for the drink, and also for the visits and Postman Pat landscape. The Drouin place is a 17th-century half-timbered spread, standing confident upon the green country. It´s an excellent introduction to a world of orchards, stills, casks and some of France´s finest spirits".

In my glass by Rob Kasper
The Baltimore Sun, November 7, 2007 (USA)
"Pear ciders hit the spot before big feast begins. It is flavourful; seasonal and refreshing. Pear cider is worth a try, especially at Thanksgiving"
"Best Sip : Poire Pear Cider de Christian Drouin. This is a sparkling cider from France that behaves like Champagne. Straw-colored, with lively carbonation, it blends crisp acidity and sweetness. An ideal partner with lighter, pre-dinner fare".

"The press agrees Calvados Christian DROUIN is the hot ticket in Calvados today !"
"Travel", Spirited journeys" by Anthony Peregrine
The Daily Telegraphe - 22/12/07 (UK)
"At the Drouin family set-up at Coudray-Rabut, near Pont l´Evêque, I tasted a 25 years old blend that, were I connoisseur, I would call lush, round and spicy.
This is perhaps the most rewarding slice of Calvados country, for the drink, and also for the visits and Postman Pat landscape. The Drouin place is a 17th-century half-timbered spread, standing confident upon the green country. It´s an excellent introduction to a world of orchards, stills, casks and some of France´s finest spirits".

"SUPERB(90-95)/HIGHLY RECOM - Christian Drouin Blanche de Normandie Apple Brandy"
F. Paul Pacult, Wine Enthusiast, July 2007
"The smell of ripe just-picked apple is lovely, perfumed and slightly spicy. The palate entry is crisp and tart; the midpalate offers tastes of apple fritter, apple peel, cinnamon and nutmeg. Concludes with a note of cocoa or dark chocolate and turns semisweet and luscious in the finish".

"Best of the Best : Spirits" by Anthony Dias Blue - January 2006 (USA)
"As with grapevines, low-yielding trees generally produce the best apples. During the 1960s and 1970s, Christian Drouin amassed stocks of artisanal Calvados from local growers, many of which he now makes available in the Coeur de Lion vintage portfolio. The satiny Coeur de Lion Calvados 1963 combines ripe apple and subtle mushroom notes with a lingering finish".

"The Apple of his Eye …." by Elyse Gliskman
"Christian Drouin sets itself apart with being the only distiller to offer vintages dating back as far as 1939 and launching a new apple brandy category within a category product (Blanche de Normandie no aging, no tannins and clear in color) later this winter that he feels is great for cocktails and introducing 21-35 years olds to the wonders of Calvados. It is also important to Drouin to ensure every Calvados bearing his family name has its own personality. And he succeeds, from the light, refreshing palate of three year-old Sélection to a spicy 10 year-old VSOP to the floral 25 Ans to the rich, mellow feel of the international multi award winning 1963 vintage (currently rated this year´s #2 spirit in the world by Spirit Journal magazine)".

Washington Post feature on Christian Drouin´s Pays d´auge - Ray Isle
Sunday, February 15, 2004
"Forget that pallid apple-flavored fizz you find in your local grocery store. Christian Drouin, the French distillery best known for its award-winning Calvados, has finally brought tits tart, lightly effervescent hard cider to his area.
Each bottle of Christian Drouin´s Cidre Pays d´Auge preserves the crisp snap of a perfect fall apple in liquid form. It´s dry, not sweet ; has a refreshing lightly tannic finnish ; and it´s only 4 percent alcohol. You could serve it with someting traditionally Norman, but we found it went awfully well with Thai-spiced chicken sausages."

"The Seductive Apple" by Kristen Wolfe Bieler
Beverage Media, January 2004
"There are the few and the passionate who sing Calvados praises. One of the most dedicated Calvados ambassadors is Henry Preiss. Preiss Imports represents "Coeur de Lion", the Calvados with undoubtedly more awards to its name than any other. Over a decade of working with the brand to the U.S., Preiss has seen it come a long way. "When we started selling Calvados, people looked at us in a strange way. They wondered about a company selling very expensive Calvados. Frankly, it was a very hard sell in the early 1990". Today, Preiss receives reorders daily from his nationwide network of distributors and sees accounts getting creative with Calvados in the kitchen, behind the bar, and selling more and more snifters of older Calvados after meals. How does he explain the trend? "Calvados appeal is found in the obvious the incredible flavour : of Normandy apples. The distillate from these small, intensely flavoured apples lends itself to ageing as well or even better, than many other spirits. The product develops nuances and complexity that makes aficionados wonder :"How could this have come from apples ?"."

"A Is for Apple Cider, Sparkling and Intense" by Eric Asimov
New York Times, December 24, 2003
"The Dining section´s wine panel, tasted 21 ciders including 11 from the United States, 7 from France and 1 each from England and Austria"... "The ciders from France swept the tasting, taking the top three spots and four of the top six. What they all had in common was a rare intensity, yet each was different. The Christian Drouin, our overall favourite, came from the Pays d´Auge, Calvados country in Normandy, and had great depth. The flavours of apples, earth and mint went on and on. The Dupont, our second-ranked cider, also from Normandy, was slightly lighter in body and intensity, while No 3, the Eric Bordelet "sydre" ad he puts it, was crisp yet richly sweet".
1) CHRISTIAN DROUIN Cidre Pays d´Auge ***1/2
2) Etienne DUPONT Cidre Bouché Brut de Normandie ***
3) Eric BORDELET Argelette Sydre France ***

In "Meet the Sprits That Lift The Spirit High" by Amanda HESSER
The New York Times, Wednesday 12, November, 2003.
"Eating lot of rich food, as people tend to do at this time of year, is fine as it ends well … It ends with the firm hit of a digestif - that liquid fire that shakes the digestive system out of its torpor and revives the fatigued senses"...
"Coeur de Lion" SELECTION - Christian DROUIN : "Lively aroma of fresh-cut apple, light, with hints of lemon and steel. Finishes with flavour of apple, seeds and crushed perpercorns".

"An orchard in a bottle" by Emily Green
Los Angeles Times, Wednesday, November 19, 2003.
" A half bottle or 375 milliliters, of Coeur de Lion, a large, reputable export house named after Richard the Lion hearted, will run about $ 15. Frankly, there is no crime in drinking it. Just be prepared for the bright fruit and fire".

"Pommes Proof" by David Williams
Harpers, December 13, 2002
" I definitely think there´s a resurgence of interest in all good-quality brown spirits, and we have noticed that with Calvados - where we are finding a lot of interest is in the vintage lines, adds Peter McKinley, partner at McKinley Vintners, which looks after the Coeur de Lion brand produced by Christian DROUIN".

Isabelle ENSUQUE - Armagnac & Calvados - Drinks Buyer Europe
March-April 2002.
" Drouin concentrates his business on a single target market, places where you can only get top-of-the-range spirits "

Calvados has become more sophisticated in recent years. So has Michael Jackson
Observer Magazine - 27 October 2002
" Like the whisky distillers, some Calvados houses are beginning to use casks that previously matured sherry, port or Malaga. A particular proponent of this technique is grower, distiller and negociant Christian Drouin, whom I visited not long ago. His Distillerie des Fiefs Sainte-Anne à Coudray-Rabut is near Pont-l´Evêque, on the road from Deauville. Drouin is active also in the region around Domfront, which produces Calvados with a blend of apples and pears.
Drouin is one of the new generation of producers featured in a new book Le Calvados (published in French by Flammarion).
Author Martine Nouet says "Norman roots are deep". I can´t stand "golden" apples. Give me the real thing , and I feel emotional even making a pie.
Christian Drouin´s Cœur de Lion 1973 : In this instance, the cask was refreshed with new cider, and it shows. Ripe fruit and apple blossom, in the fragrance and palate. Nutty, autumnal finish".

F. Paul PACULT´s Spirit Journal - (U.S.A.)
September 2000 issue (The official 10 year Summary Edition with over 3,750 ratings.
" The Ten Best Brandies I´ve Tasted : 1991 - 2000 : N° 5 CŒUR DE LION 1973 - Calvados Pays d´Auge "

September 27, 2000 (Canada)
" Cœur de Lion : no visit to Normandy would be complete without experiencing the wonders of Normandy cider and Calvados (apple brandy) . A superb place to do this is the Cœur de Lion estate near Pont-l´Evêque".

June/July 2000 (U.S.A)
Calvados by Eric GAUDET
" Why no start your trip with a visit to a famous Calvados producer ? Among the many producers of Calvados, the family owned Domaine Cœur de Lion (Lion´s heart) is worth a stop and tasting. (…) The owner Christian DROUIN prepares the Calvados in the traditional way. TO get a well balanced cider, he uses different local varieties of apples : sweet ones (like the Rouge-duret or Clos Renault), bittersweet (like Bedan, Binet rouge or Joly), bitter (like Mettais or Moulin à Vent), and acid ones (like Locart or Rambault). The proportion of the different apples in the blend is a part of the secret to making a good Calvados. When it is fully fermented, the cider is distilled into a spirit. (…) In the Domaine Cœur de Lion, it is poured into small (250 liters) oak casks which allow better transfers between the spirit and the outside air. Many of these casks are used Sherry or Port casks. They have been found to give less bitter tannins to the spirit, and more aromatic complexity".

" CŒUR DE LION CALVADOS : 800th ANNIVERSARY : this special edition of Cœur de Lion was created by Christian DROUIN, the leading Calvados maker of our time. Only 800 numbered bottles were made, in honor of the 800th Anniversary of the death of King Richard the Lion-Hearted, who was mortally wounded by a crossbow in Châlus, France, in the year 1199. It´s an elegant blend from 22 different vintages between 15 and 60 years old. This a regal, complex, absolutely delicious one-of-a-king spirit".

Best of Year 2000 - 96 points
" Calvados CHRISTIAN DROUIN , Pays d´Auge, CŒUR DE LION 800th ANNIVERSARY : this burnished-gold spirit has aromas of butter and caramelized apples, with a hint of clover. The body is medium, and the palate is very dry and complex, with apples forming the backdrop and layer upon layer of spices, herbs and berries up front. The finish is deep and long, leaving the essence of apples".

September/October 1998 ( U.K. )
" Christian DROUIN is a great competitor and a great enthusiast; at the drop of a hat he will parade a great list of medals won in international competitions (…) His sights are firmly set on the discerning vintages spirits drinker. As a smaller distiller, his strategy of targeting the connoisseur appears to be paying dividends".

All the sampled Calvados from DROUIN were 42% alcohol and each showed a unique personality. Of course, any time you come across a vintage Calvados be aware that the year showing on the label is the year of distillation, not necessarily of the fruit harvest.
Conclusions :
It´s time for the Americans who savor distilled spirits to consider Calvados as a member of their libation repertoire. These are some of the greatest brandies not just from France, but that are available on the world stage at the present time...
And, without casting any negative thoughts whatsoever toward Cognac and Armagnac, two of my favorite spirits, I feel that Calvados´s place among the brandy greats has yet to be realized, in particular, in the U.S. "

" As a relatively small-time producer, DROUIN differentiates his products by aging some of them in port pipes or sherry butts. They don´t all spend their entire aging periods in these casks - some may spend their last six years in, say, a sherry butt, having previously been aged in a used cider cask. The results are nothing short of magnificent. The 1973 vintage, having been aged in used Calvados and cider casks, bore a distinct butterscotch nose, whereas the 1970 bottling, which had spent most of its life in sherry butts and a short time in port pipes, was almost reminiscent of a fine sipping rum ; it had a sooty, charcoalike nose and a very delicate, refined palate. Calvados could be coming into its own right now, and I urge those of you who aren´t familiar with the category to become acquainted whith it as soon as you have the chance. This is a spirit with as much style and sophistication as many Cognacs, Single Malt scotches and boutique Bourbons, and since I learned just how different one Calvados can be from the next, I think that this is a spirit that connoisseurs could explore for a long time to come."

" There are many more interesting things to knock back after dinner than woody VSOP brandy -drinks with a price tag that reflects their intrinsic value rather than their ranking on some luxury -goods index. (...) But what bottles do you put on the table to make the night feel young ? (...) For novices of the after-dinner arts, eaux de vie are the best primers because their pure fruit flavours, unobscured by oak aging, connect well with the meal just ended. Smooth, they´re not. For that, you´ll want something that´s spent time in wood - something like calvados from the Pays d´Auge in Normandy. This unsweetened distillation of apples is made in the fine-brandy style - barrel-aged, small-batch pot stills - and has a much softer taste than eaux de vie. Even in its VSOP state, calvados manages to keep an appley essence that makes it more distinctive than those highly serious but rather neutral-tasting cognacs(...) What´s old is new ? Calvados Pays d´Auge Coeur de lion, VSOP, Christian Drouin, Distillerie des Fiefs Sainte Anne LIGHT-GOLD COLOUR FROM LONG OAK AGING AND TART TATIN TASTE OF CARAMELIZED APPLE MAKE THIS MORE THAN JUST NORMANDY´S ALTERNATIVE TO ULTRASMOOTH COGNACS. KEEP IN THE FRIDGE. "

- BUSINESS MAGAZINE - Executive Report - People making News -
Stanley J. STANKIWICZ - January 1997 (Pittsburgh´s. USA). " Coeur de Lion Calvados, the world´s finest Calvados. "

CLASSIC SPIRITS OF THE WORLD - A Comprehensive Guide - Gordon BROWN - 1995 (UK)
" Coeur de Lion. High-quality hand made Calvados from a little artisanal distillery in the hills near Honfleur... "

Michael BATEMAN - SAVEUR - Sept/Oct 1994 (USA).
" Coeur de Lion 1963 : Our most unusual Calvados by far, complex, with a smoky nose and a prononced sweet wood flavour. "

Simon WOODS, The Big Apple - WINE - January 1994 (UK).
" Christian DROUIN father²s legacy and attention to quality has definitely paid off, with the company being awarded over 200 medals for its Calvados since 1971. Robert PARKER even gave a mark of 92 to the Coeur de Lion Pommeau, Calvados and apple juice blend which is Normandy´s answer to Pineau des Charentes. " Tasting Christian´s Calvados is an experience. Initially, you wonder whether the trouble he takes has been worth it. It is only with time in the glass, sometimes as much as half an hour, that the spirit really opens out and starts to give of its deliciously concentrated best. " The well-balanced and slightly apple flavoured Réserve, and the more complexe, smooth Hors d´Age are the most approachable and easy to understand. However, the vintage spirits are where the excitement lies. I tasted five vintages. The most unusual was a 1945 which had been stored in airtight conditions. Christian bought it from a farmer and aged it for three years and the product changed completely. I found it a soft, warm, brandy with a cidrery character, but a slightly short finish. " The1972 was initially tight and unyielding, but over half an hour, it involved into a richer, creamier brandy with a strong apple character and hints of vanilla and caramel. 1969 and 1968 followed. The 1969 was very closed and austere, with apples on the finish, while the 1968 was darker in colour with quite a sweetish character, almost like molasses and a delicate cooked-apple flavour. " I must confess to trying the elegant, delicate 1967 three times. Once at the farm, once over dinner with Christian at the Hôtel Normandy in Deauville, and much later, in the bar at the town´s casino. "

Sir Roy STRONG, The Calvados Cult - COUNTRY LIFE - April 15, 1993 (UK).
" What is unique about the Calvados of the Pays d´Auge is its double distillation... Until well after the Second World War, that process was carried out by mobile distilleries, extraordinary contraptions on wheels seemingly designed by Heath Robinson. They incorporated a small, wood furnace and large, bulbous containers connected by an assortment of tubes snaking their way up and down until they finally come to rest in a mouth which disgorges the drink. A distillery I visited near Pont-l´Evêque (Christian DROUIN - Coudray-Rabut) was still using one, but, on the whole, they are now to be found in museums. "

" Christian DROUIN, very much the businessman in suit, snow-white shirt and tie, was standing in the middle of a muddy orchard with a small herd of cows moving menacingly in his direction, obviously with somme form of eviction in mind. It was his orchard we were standing in, and his cellar - the Distillerie des Fiefs Sainte-Anne, producer of the "Coeur de Lion" brand of the apple brandy - has, in the words of James Ainsworth of britain´s punch and Sunday Times Wine Times, ´won more medals than you can shake an Olympic torch at´. "

" Of the small specialist producers in the Pays d´Auge region three of the best are Château du Breuil, Roger Groult and Coeur de Lion. "

Giles MAC DONOGH - FINANCIAL TIMES - June 13, 1992 (UK).
" DROUIN ages some of his Calvados in second hand port and amontillado sherry casks. This naturally adds to the color of the spirit and gives a fruity roundness to the calvados. Camut, Drouin and Dupont make high quality handmade spirits which are a considerable step up from the industrial production of big companies. Drouin´s vintages, such as 1967, 1968 and 1969, are far softer, occasionally giving off a whiff of honey and bananas. .

Andrew JEFFORD - WINE - July 1992 (UK).
" The types of still I saw in the Pays d´Auge varied widely ; Christian DROUIN uses a lovely old travelling still... DROUIN´s Calvados are austere, concentrated and demanding. "

" Young Calvados can be a bit tough on the delicate tissues of the mouth if you are not used to it. But if you wish to soften the taste, Christian DROUIN (whose company owns "Coeur de Lion") has written a book called "Cocktails from Normandy"; which details 60 otherworldly calvados-based knockouts. "

Stephen BISCOE - YORKSHIRE POST Friday - January 10, 1992 (UK).
" Christian DROUIN, the brilliant, wealthy, somewhat eccentric owner of Les Fiefs Sainte-Anne... he turned his father´s hobby into a business, learning all he could about Calvados... here, then, was an academic with unrivalled knowledge about something which had long been practised but never seriously studied ; his book, Le Grand livre des Calvados, was the first to be written on the subject. "

William FOSTER - SAGA MAGAZINE - March 1991 (UK).
" The Drouin family near Honfleur own Les Fiefs Sainte-Anne which produces their award-winning "Coeur de Lion". I relished the sheer elegance and lovely, appley flavor of their calvados. "

Jim AINSWORTH - SCANORAMA - September 1991 (UK).
" Drouin et Cie, Distillerie des Fiefs Sainte-Anne, «Coeur de Lion», one of the most go-ahead and quality conscious producers, with excellent range that includes a 1969. "

Tim ATKIN - ESQUIRE - June 1991 (UK).
" The finest Calvados is made by small, independant growers, the best are made by Christian DROUIN at Les Fiefs Ste Anne, Isidore Lemorton and Michel Huard. "

Leslie GOURSE - TWA AMBASSADOR - May/June 1991 (USA).
" Norman at the Ritz Carlton´s Jockey Club stocks one Calvados he likes to show off because of the apple grown in its bottle (brandy is added at bottling time). "

" I drank a 40-year-old Coeur de Lion (one of the finest marques) at the Majesty´s favorite watering-hole in Normandy, and it really was a fine a spirit as has ever passed my lips. "

Tim ATKIN - THE GUARDIAN - March 23, 1991 (UK).
" Chistian DROUIN, the area´s most dynamic producer. "

Robert McLAUGHLAN - THE GLASGOW HERALD - December 7, 1990 (UK).
" I was particularly taken by the Calvados made by Christian DROUIN at Fiefs Sainte-Anne, a small producer making splendid stuff : really, a must. "

Anthony DIAS BLUE - SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS - November 8, 1989 (USA).
" The Coeur de Lion VSOP is smoky and rich with a complex, spiced apple flavor and a long, dry finish. The 25 Years Old Calvados is lovely, dry and elegant with exquisite complexity and smooth texture. "

- L.A. STYLE - Fashion´s Gossamer spring - April 1989 (USA).
Calvados Coeur de Lion V.S.O.P. : This producer maintains his own orchards, carrying out the entire production at the estate. Baked apple nose with a suggestion of oak. Rich apple taste invites repetition. Age not specified. 84 proof. 750 ml. bottle. Calvados Coeur de Lion 1962 : Deep, complex nose first offers a demure glimpse of apple, followed by a fleeting sense of aged wood. Soft, silky taste, suggestive of Cognac ; the apple comes through, but quietly. 84 proof. 750 ml. bottle. Calvados Pomme Prisonnière : Bottled at Distillerie des Fiefs Sainte-Anne. This is a truly unique Calvados, with an apple inside the bottle ! Bottles are tied to the branches of an apple tree, and the apples grow inside each bottle. Pronounced nose of Normandy butter and apples. Butterscotch sensation in the taste, followed by rich apple flavors. Age not specified. 80 proof. 1000 ml. Bottle (one liter).

Michael DENTON - DECANTER - April 1989 (UK).
" Christian DROUIN, at Gonneville-sur-Honfleur, produces CŒUR DE LION, one of the newest and most exciting arrivals on the scene. "

James AINSWORTH PUNCH, September 1988 (UK).
" The Drouins, at the Distillerie des Fiefs Sainte Anne, near Honfleur, use concentrated, late-ripening apples, and produce their CŒUR DE LION brand from a former travelling still that is permanently parked outside their three hundred-year-old cellar-cum-shop. The results have won more medals than you can shake an Olympic torch at. "

Tim ATKIN - WINE - September, 1987 (UK).
" Christian DROUIN´S 1969 is extraordinary. "

Antony ROSE - THE INDEPENDANT - November 14, 1987 (UK).
" The «artisan» Distillerie of the Fiefs Sainte Anne offers Calvados per excellence. "

- DRINKS INTERNATIONAL - July/August, 1987 (UK).
" Of the small Calvados producers, the premium accolade could well be awarded to Distillerie des Fiefs Sainte-Anne, and their top quality range of Calvados which sells under the CŒUR DE LION name. "

- HARPERS - April 24, 1987 (UK).
" The most recent «serious» entry into the Calvados scene is the boutique Distillerie of the Fiefs Sainte-Anne at Gonneville-sur-Honfleur. "

Jane MacQUITTY - THE TIMES Saturday - January 10, 1987 (UK).
" Christian DROUIN, young owner of the family-run Distillerie des Fiefs Sainte Anne and producer of by far the best apple brandy available in this country. "

Robin YOUNG - DECANTER - March 1987 (UK).
" The current phenomenon in Calvados - The Distillerie des Fiefs Sainte-Anne at Gonneville-sur-Honfleur. "

Robert M. PARKER Jr´s - THE WINE ADVOCATE - November 12, 1986 (USA)
" I have enjoyed a few superb aperitifs over the years, the exquisite Pineau de Charente from Normandin Mercier comes to mind immediatly, but never have I been so enchanted by a before dinner drink as this. In short, this is a blend of Calvados (apple brandy) and apple juice, produced by a firm in Normandy called Distillerie des Fiefs Sainte-Anne. It should be served chilled and it slips down the throat far too easily given its 18% alcohol content. On the palate, this aperitif is gorgeously fresh (I would refrigerate the unused portion of the bottle after use) and quite fascinating to sip. Very Highly Recommanded.

Margaret SWAINE - ONTARIO MEDICINE - November 1985 (Canada).
" The Hors d´Age has a wonderful, deep, mellow, delicate, long, lingering taste. "