Calvados is a most interesting spirits category, which is often overlooked. In this review, you will discover Boulard XO Auguste. Learn why it’s selected among our top 10 favourite calvados as I cover the following topics:

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Drink Overview

  • Distillery: Calvados Boulard
  • Expression: XO Auguste
  • Variety: Calvados
  • Region: Pays d’Auge, Normandie
  • Age: XO
  • Casking: French Oak
  • Cask Strength: 40% ABV
  • Pricing:
    • Drizly: From $118 / 75 cl [Buy Now]
  • Parent: Independent

Boulard XO Auguste is an excellent example of Calvados, an apple cider brandy from Normandy. You can learn all about it in our detailed guide. This particular creation named after the gentleman who founded the House in 1825. For an XO, like this expression, the minimum age is six years. Every single drop in the glass has to be aged for at least that amount of time. XO Auguste is actually a blend of Eaux-de-vies, ranging from six to 15 years and beyond.


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Boulard XO Auguste’s Robe

  • Hue: Golden brown
  • Clarity: Crisp
  • Viscosity: Thick

The robe of this noble spirit is a glimmering golden brown, proudly showcasing its rather thick and oily viscosity. The legs and tears are most prominent and slowly running down the side of the glass.


Boulard XO Auguste’s Nose

  • Notes: Caramelised apple, baking spice, tonka bean
  • Nosefeel: Warming, Prickly

To begin with, there’s a true blast of fruitiness, a whiff of freshness that excites me. Despite the age of this product, there’s still an abundance of the signature apple that keeps shining through. In all honesty, I consider this a most important factor with spirits that have been aged for 10+ years, because at a certain point in maturation and at a peak maturation, most spirits start to align, all smelling, tasting, and behaving rather similar to each other.

So finding that distinct, base material aroma in each and every sip is something I hold dear to my heart – that’s what you’re looking for.

Again, here is the star of the show: apple, baked this time with a hint of spice, and an almost sharp, slightly acidic fusty character. I would describe it as a combination of dry cellars with a bit of that “rancio” one would fin in Andalusian Sherry or with certain cognacs.


Furthermore, I’m detecting a hint of muskiness, earth, and distinct bitter quality, even on the nose. You can almost feel the tannins. Besides, cinnamon, some other traditional baking spices, and sprinkles of vanilla tinkle the nose. The finishing touch is added by tonka bean on top.

All in all, the nose is very complex and elegant, offering plenty of depth and variety. The assemblage is so perfectly put together, all the various elements are excellently balanced. Everything is beautifully interwoven into one olfactory experience.

Boulard XO Auguste’s Palate & Mouthfeel

  • Primary Taste: Bittersweet
  • Mouthfeel: Warming, Oily
  • Opening:  Dried basil, caramel, tarragon
  • Heart: Orange zest, musky apple, vanilla
  • Finish: Long [leather, black tea, nougat]

A very mellow beginning soothes me into a happy state of mind – creamy, luscious with a distinct sweetness upfront. Towards the back of the palate, then, the acidity and the freshness start to kick in.

I get a lot of a dry, tannic, bitter quality on the side of the tongue, almost as if you bite into an old crop of bitter apples. In fact, the base material for Calvados, as with Cidre, is primarily very old varieties with a rather unique aroma and taste profile.

In my humble opinion, the XO Auguste offers a most holistic stimulation of the palate. Multiple stimuli that are well-interwoven and present on the palate make for the underlying signature of this Calvados. Before long, I chew on the sensations of minty freshness, dried herbs, most certainly basil and lovage, as well as another classic, used in traditional French cuisine: tarragon.

Zesty orange and grapefruit juice throw a lively acidic note on top before the apple makes its comeback. After a couple of minutes, more leather, tea bag, and pipe tobacco-ish flavors start to come to the forefront, perfectly rounding off the wonderful overall experience.


How To Drink Boulard XO Auguste

The bottle will cost you somewhere between 130 and 150 US-Dollars, which makes this an occasional drink that would preferably enjoy from a crystal nosing glass. As always, I suggest sampling the spirit neat first, before pouring it over ice or mixing it into a longdrink. My mixer of choice is a splash of ginger ale.

Alternatively, pour the XO Auguste into any classic Calvados or Apple Jack cocktails. Obviously, this is a bit of an expensive Calvos to pour into cocktails, but as I always like to say: the better your ingredients, the better your drink will be.

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Boulard XO Auguste Cocktail Suggestions

We can suggest the following cocktails with this exceptional Calvados:

  1. Jack Rose
  2. Sidecar
  3. Sazerac
  4. Calvados Royal

Best Pairings With Boulard XO Auguste


VegaFina Andullo – a match made in heaven. The rich, spice-laden smoke with its luscious, leathery profile excellently pairs with the Calvados, particularly because the overall smoking sensation is still creamy and elegant, but certainly not overpowering.

When it comes to food pairing recommendations, what else could be suggested, other than a Tarte Tatin – apple all the way.

Either on top of the tarte, or as a soloist, I would wholeheartedly suggest you try a scoop of tonka bean ice cream.

Alternatively, I really enjoyed a handful of dates as finger food to go along with sipping this Calvados. For all the savory snackers, a crispy pretzel snack makes for an excellent choice, since the saltiness helps to bring out even more aromas and flavors of the spirit, all the whilst taming down the bitterness.


Overall Experience & Value For Money

The bottle that the XO Auguste comes in is glamourous: a beautiful decanter with a heavy lid on top. The ornate design on the front label mingles with the writing, which also indicates and defines this Calvados as a Pays d’Auge, Appellation d’Origin Contrôlée.

There’s a box for the bottle as well, which is golden and square, looking just as prestigious and expensive as the decanter.

Closing Thoughts

While Gin, Mezcal, and quite a few other spirits categories are becoming super-trendy right now, Calvados, like Cognac or Armagnac, seems to be an uninspired old man’s drink. However, nothing could be further from the truth, because Calvados, as you will experience with the XO Auguste, can be such an interesting and exciting spirit. Whether you drink it neat all by itself, poured over ice with a splash of ginger ale, or in one of your favorite cocktails: this is an absolute treat!

Buy Boulard XO Calvados
"Get your fair share of fruits and veggies every day, with this beautiful Calvados."
Bespoke Unit Rating: ★★★★★

Further Reading

Once you’ve finished reading our review, feel free to peruse our wide range of related content such as the following resources:

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