The distillery at Mount Vernon is an American treasure. It is a true 18th century distillery using copper pot stills, wood fires and grains milled at the water mill next to the distillery. George Washington was a fan of fruit brandies and it was decided a couple of years ago to make some apple brandy at the distillery. The result is a brandy of very good quality.
Records show that Washington kept a few barrels of apple and peach brandy for his personal use, but I don’t think that he ever made any in the distillery. However, this distillery is about more than just recreating what Washington made at his distillery, it is about what Americans were making and drinking in the 18th century. Apple brandy was more popular than whiskey and actually would cost a person more for a drink of brandy in a tavern than it would whiskey. Tasting this brandy will show why.
George Washington Apple Brandy
Age: No Age Statement
Nose: Lots of apple fruit – sometimes it is green apple and sometimes it is ripe apple and sometimes buttered fried apples. It changes as it opens up.
Taste: Fried apples in butter with some nutmeg. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the ripe apple flavor becomes more pronounced and sweeter. Tasted with a pecan and the flavor is more green apple with a slight tartness that is very nice.
Finish: Medium long with lingering apple sweetness. The cranberry and the pecan really don’t change the finish.
I decided to pair this with a Fuente “Curly Head” cigar. I find the smoke to be a mild tobacco with a hint of cedar spice. I did not want a cigar with a robust flavor that would overpower the brandy. The brandy added some sweet fruity notes to the smoke and the cigar added some vanilla notes to the brandy. I think it was a good pairing.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller