Heavenly Spirits Announces a Special, Limited Edition Calvados Release from the House of Roger Groult Honoring the 70th Anniversary of the June 6th Normandy Invasion

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In Honor of the 70th Anniversary of the June 6th Normandy Invasion, Calvados Roger Groult is Set to Release a Special, Limited Edition Calvados sometime in April, 2014.

Because the invasion took place on June 6, 1944, this Calvados will have a minimum age of 6 years and only 1,944 bottles will be produced.

This six year old, Hors d’Age quality, Pays d’Auge Calvados is lively and round, with lots of baked apple taste and a hint of nutty prune in the middle. The finish is pleasantly persistent.

A limited edition Calvados by iconic producer Roger Groult is designed to pay tribute to the courageous allied soldiers who served in the historic D-Day combat arena on their way to liberating France and ending the Second World War. Heavenly Spirits, the sole US importer of this calvados had the opportunity to tour the Omaha Beach D-Day War Memorial and visit with Calvados Roger Groult this past January in anticipation of the release. “Even after 70 years, the people of Normandy continue to maintain a strong sense of appreciation and respect for the sacrifices made by the allies in this epic battle,” explains Jean-Roger Groult, current owner of the family business. “Because the invasion took place on June 6, 1944, this Calvados will have a minimum age of 6 years and only 1,944 bottles will be produced.” The label for this limited edition D-Day Calvados was inspired by a hand-drawn landing map borrowed from an old French journal. It loosly depicts the Omaha Beach invasion site and lists the allied nations who participated in the assault against the Nazi occupation.

Jean-Roger, who now represents the fifth generation of his family’s Normandy based apple farm and distillery decided to support and honor the memorable occasion for personal reasons. In 1939 several years before the invasion, Jean-Roger’s grandfather, Roger Groult, for whom the distillery is named, was serving in the French resistance as a truck driver when he was wounded by an exploding hand grenade. Following the attack, he was captured and sent to a Nazi military hospital with shrapnel in both his legs. In 1941, because of the severity of his injuries, he was released and allowed to return to his family and farm located in Saint-Cyr Du Ronceray in Normandy. During 1942, in an effort to protect as much Calvados as possible from the Nazis, producers from lower Normandy, like Roger Groult, worked with the INAO to create an official Calvados Pays d’Auge AOC, (Appellation d'Origine Controlee), declaring their beloved apple brandy a national cultural treasure to be protected from enemy requisition during war. Shortly after the D-Day invasion, Nazi soldiers commandeered and occupied a portion of the Groult family property. During this time, most French men, including Roger Groult were needed away from home in the war effort. Madam Groult, who was left to tend the farm, used to tell the story of their first taste of liberation, which came in early August, 1944. Apparently, the Nazi soldiers who had commandeered the farm intercepted radio transmissions stating allied forces were now in Vimoutiers, (20 miles to the South) so they turned and asked Madam Groult how close that village was to the farm. Thinking quickly, Jean-Roger’s grandmother convincingly told the soldiers Vimoutiers was just down the road, causing the soldiers to immediately flee in the other direction. Official liberation of Saint-Cyr Du Ronceray finally arrived a few weeks later on August 22, 1944.

Heavenly Spirits and the Groult Family encourage you to visit and support these D-Day memorial sites: http://www.dday.org

This six year old, Hors d’Age quality, Pays d’Auge Calvados is lively and round, with lots of baked apple taste and a hint of nutty prune in the middle. The finish is pleasantly persistent. It is ideally served straight up, before or after the meal, and can also work as a delicious “Trou Normand,” served in-between courses. Heavenly Spirits will have this D-Day Calvados salute available for US distribution in NY, NJ, MA, GA, TN, IL, RI, MO, CA, LA, NM, TX, DC, MD, DE, NH, NV, OR & PA by mid April, 2014. ABV: 41%, 6/750ml, SRP: $65.00.

Calvados (kal.va.dos) is an apple brandy from the French region of Lower Normandy. The Groult family moved to the Clos de la Hurvanière in the 18th century. Pierre Groult (1830-1918) began to distill cider around 1850. Encouraged by a gold medal he received at the Concours Agricole de Lisieux on 30 July 1893, Pierre Groult expanded production and increased his stock of calvados by purchasing a pot still and building a cellar. Pierre’s son, Leon Groult (1874-1923) built an additional aging cellar to meet the increasing demand. While Roger Groult (1905-1988), son of Leon, expanded the distillery, and in 1975 established the company as "Calvados Roger Groult SA" for the production and marketing of calvados. Roger's son, Jean-Pierre Groult (1946-2008), built the two largest cellars of the area in order to store and age more calvados. This move allowed him to develop the company's stocks for export and Calvados Roger Groult is now distributed in 25 countries. Jean-Pierre’s son Jean-Roger Groult took over the business in 2008 and he continues to produce exceptional Pays d’Auge Calvados enjoyed around the world.

Heavenly Spirits LLC is a growing Massachusetts based importer specializing in award winning distilled spirits from France, including; Armagnac, Calvados, Cognac, Absinthe, Rum and Whisky. The company has been the number one importer of Armagnac in the US since 2009, accounting for 20% of the market. The Heavenly Spirits portfolio is represented in twenty US states and includes brands like DuPeyrat, Normandin Mercier, Jean Fillioux, Delord, Dartigalongue, Roger Groult, ArmoriK, and La Muse Verte. In addition to serving as importers, the Cooneys function as both educators and cultural ambassadors. When conducting French spirit tasting seminars around the country they speak about history, technique, quality, value and taste, while they remain strong advocates for drinking in moderation.
For more information contact: Daniel Cooney - dcheavenlyspirits(at)gmail(dot)com

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