Germain-Robin Apple Brandy
40% Alcohol (80 Proof)
40% Alcohol (80 Proof)
As the Autumn air begins to cool, people start to crave the comforting warmth of savory dishes and spiced fruity pies and desserts (apple, pumpkin, squash, and so on...). So naturally you are going to want a drink that pairs well with this Fall food. My pick? Apple Brandy.
In France, Apple Brandy is called Calvado, whereas in Colonial America it was called Apple Jack. Granted the methods for distillation were different for the two, with the Americas using a "freeze distillation" process, in which the water from the fermented juice would freeze, concentrating the alcohol which stayed a liquid. Kind of like how higher proof spirits like vodka will stay liquid in the freezer, whereas a soda will freeze and explode everywhere. This freeze distillation is a pretty crude method, but worked well enough for the early settlers. I don't even think anyone makes commercially available true Apple Jack. Laird and Company make a product called "Apple Jack," but it's still just an apple brandy made through whiskey distillation methods. I'm curious to try some of the real Apple Jack, so perhaps I will have to find a moonshiner skilled in it. Or make my own. Hmm...
Anyway, what all this brings me to is Germain Robin's Apple Brandy. I've reviewed a few Germain-Robin spirits over the past couple months, including their Coast Road Reserve, Select Barrel XO, and Single Barrel Colombard, all of which are great. So, when I heard they had an Apple Brandy, I got excited.
Germain-Robin's Apple Brandy is made using more of the classic French-style traditional distillation rather than the rustic Colonial-style distillation. But hey, that's fine with me. They only make one barrel a year of their Apple Brandy, so it's pretty limited stuff. It's distilled from heirloom Sierra Beauty, Jonathon, Ben Davis, and Gravenstein apples from the Anderson Valley. A portion of their cider undergoes malolactic fermentation, which when done intentionally in traditional winemaking gives some wine a richer, rounder, buttery taste. In this, it aids in giving the brandy a richer, creamier texture.
Germain-Robin's Apple Brandy shares traditional cognac aromas with hints of spiced Fall apples, pears, and vanilla. It tastes of dry pears with subtle creamy apple, a touch of spiced citrus, and some oaky vanilla in the soft finish. This tastes more like a traditional brandy than a cider, but the apples are certainly present, making this a welcome change of pace for brandy drinkers.
Drink This: if you want a delicious, classy Apple Brandy that can hold its own against many traditional brandies. And honestly, it tastes better than many grape brandies, especially at this price range.
Don't Drink This: if you're looking for an "Apple Jack." If you want a true "Apple Jack" like Johnny Appleseed used to promote while running around planting trees, go make your own by the freeze distillation method... then send me some... :)
Had some ice cider in Quebec city this weekend. Intensely, syrupy sweet. Not to my taste, and much too pricey for me to take a swing at aqcuiring the taste right now.ReplyDelete