I am not sure what the calvados marketing strategy for the US is, but in southern California I am pretty sure that it does not exist.
I am a babe in the woods when it comes to apple brandy and, more specifically, calvados. As far as I know, calvados is brandy made from apples in the Normandy region of France. My limited experiences with this elixir have left me marginally obsessed.
Each time I enter a bar, or a restaurant, or a liquor store, I ask if they have any calvados (or any apple brandy at all). With the exception of BevMo, I have been disappointed at almost every turn. Some restaurants in rare instances are cooking with calvados, which is a good sign, but so far no one is serving it. I feel like I am a giant pain in the ass for asking all the time, but choose to believe that I ask out of curiosity and research rather than out of snobbery. But really, who can be sure?
I had a cheap bottle of calvados that had sat in the bar for a year or more. I was never inspired to try it untill I read Jason Wilsons Boozehound. He described calvados in such romantic terms that I was inspired. That bottle was doomed.
The first glass was strange, and hard to process. The flavor was boozy and complex and alien to me. I poured glass after glass and slowly got my head around the apple-y goodness. I still have a lot to learn but now that I have a minor calvados obsession, it won’t be long untill I attack another bottle.