Dan-Armor Cuvée Spéciale

Maker: Cidres Dujardin, Jurques, Calvados, Lower Normandy, France

Place of origin: Brittany, France

Style: Dry Breton cider

Notes: No sweetener added.

ABV: 5%

Price: $5 (Trader Joe’s)

Appearance: Iridescent orange with a quick, foamy head. Head doesn’t last but the bubbles do.

Nose: Mineral water, apples, caramel.

Palate: Medium bodied and semi-dry. Crisp, dry apples up front with a hint of brown sugar, then fades into bone-dry minerality.

Finish: Clean and slightly chalky.

Parting words: In part three (at least) of my ongoing effort to at least understand French cider, if not enjoy it, I head southwest from Normandy to Brittany. Brittany has a long and fascinating history with deep historical ties to Normandy and the British Isles. I would love to go into all of that here but only one aspect of those connections is applicable here: cider. Cider is beloved in all three areas for cultural, historical and geological reasons. Apples grow much better in all three places than grapes do, so the cider making tradition is strong in all those places.

Anyway, this is my first Breton cider and I’m enjoying it much more than the Norman ones I’ve had. It lacks the sour yeasty funk of those and instead has a delicately sweet and refreshing character that is much more enjoyable. At $5 this is an easy buy.  Dan-Armor Cuvée Spéciale is highly recommended.

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