Cider Review: Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouché Brut de Normandie

The name of this cider, Cidre Bouché Brut de Normandie by Etienne Dupont of the Pays D’Auge region of Normandy is…a bit of a mouthful. Luckily for you, assuming the end result of your asking for it by name is that you actually manage to acquire some, the cider itself will more than compensate for the case of dry mouth you just came down with while saying it.

In some ways, Etienne Dupont’s Cidre Bouché is very similar to another Norman cider, Clos Normand (previously reviewed here). Both are relatively dry but with some residual sweetness, both are made with French cider apple varieties, and both are highly carbonated in Champagne-style bottles. Etienne Dupont’s cider, however, is unfiltered and has just a bit of farmyard character to it.

There’s a tiny whiff of sulfur when opening the bottle and when pouring; this is dissipated very quickly by the vigorous bubbling of the CO2 bubbles as they come  out of solution. This is a very heavily carbonated beverage–try not to take a cork to the face when opening it, as I imagine that would dampen the mood of any celebratory occasion…these occasions being what this cider is particularly well-suited for.

Etienne Dupont is less astringent than Clos Normand, with hints of phenols and bitterness that may come from its aging with some sediment in the bottle, and a soft, pleasant acidity. It pours clear despite its unfiltered nature, until you get toward the bottom of the bottle and stir up the thin layer of sediment that sits there. There’s less sediment than you’d typically see in a bottle-carbonated cider made at home, though, so the home cider-maker’s ritual of pouring the bottle all at once to avoid stirring up the sediment with repeated pours is unnecessary (and would cause an enormous foam-over with all the carbonation anyway).

At 5.5% alcohol, you could sip quite a bit of this without dire consequences. And you’ll want to–it’s a very pleasant, celebratory cider.

It paired accidentally well with a piece of baclava that I happened to have at hand, scouring the tongue clean with bubbles and acidity between bites of sticky honey and rich, nutty sweetness. Perhaps at some point I’ll pair these on purpose and pretend that it was a well-thought-out pairing from the beginning…

I’m excited to see more of these ciders entering the U.S. market–there’s a massive cider tradition in Normandy with numerous producers, large and small, of cider and Calvados, so the potential for new imports is quite large. For an extensive account of this region and its cider, Pommeaux, and Calvados, I highly recommend Calvados: The Spirit of Normandy, by Charles Neal. Among other things, this massive tome describes La Route du Cidre–the cider route–a 40 km route through the Pays D’Auge region of Normandy with 19 producers of cider (and Calvados, and Pommeaux) to visit along the way.

For a more systematic review of Etienne Dupont, see this one by United States of Cider.

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4 Comments on Cider Review: Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouché Brut de Normandie

  1. Where are you able to find some of these ciders?

    • Hi Dan,

      Not sure where you are, but I like your first name! If you’re anywhere near Boulder, CO then the Boulder Wine Merchant on Broadway generally has it (as well as some good ciders by Blossomwood and sometimes Ross-On-Wye).

      Twin Peaks Liquors in Longmont, CO is currently carrying it as well.

      It’s imported into the U.S. by B. United of NY, so you could check with them to see which distributors they work with.

      -Dan

  2. I work at a Whole Foods in Manhattan in the beer department And have been actively boosting cider in our store. Since the last Cider Week I have been so interested in ciders. I highly recommend the organic brother to this Etienne Dupont as well as their special cider aged in Calvados barrels. I also recommend Christian Drouin Pays d’Auge.

    I am currently going through your blog so I don’t know if you have had these yet, but some American cideries I highly suggest are Farnum Hill, E.Z. Orchards, Virtue, Wölffer, Bad Seed and Sovereign. I would consider these to be in the upper tier of American cideries. I don’t know how hard these will be to obtain since some are from the NE region of the US.

    I am actually on my way to a French ffriend’s place to enjoy a Clos Normand, which I read you had enjoyed. It is certainly unbeatable in terms of price to quality. At 7 dollars you can get a Crispin cider… or a French cider. But that Etienne Dupont Brut totally blows it away.

    • Hi Bob,

      Thanks for your comment and for the cider recommendations! I hope you’re finding the blog to be useful. Of your recommendations, I’m aware of Farnum Hill, E.Z. Orchards, and Virtue–though I have yet to have sample their creations and hope to remedy that soon–but not the latter three. I’ll look for them. Farnum Hill does distribute their Dooryard cider out here in Colorado, so I’ll be sure to pick one of those up soon.

      I’d love to hear other Norman cider or Calvados recommendations if you have them. You’re right about the Clos Normand–an amazing cider for the price, and very good overall regardless. I haven’t had the Christian Drouin, but I’ve heard of it in the context of Calvados.

      Speaking of Calvados, I have a friend in California who managed to obtain a bottle of the Lemorton Reserve Calvados for me that is imported by Charles Neal–an incredible resource when it comes to Calvados and whose book on the subject is epic.

      We have Whole Foods out here in CO–I’d love to hear what you have planned for in terms of cider distribution out here…whether that’s something you want to take on or something that one of the local Whole Foods folks here might be interested in talking about.

      Thanks again and enjoy the blog! Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see covered here.

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