When most people think of a Bottled-in-Bond product, they think of whiskey. Bourbon and Rye whiskeys are the most common expressions of bonded products, but the law allows for all aged spirits to be bottled-in-bond, including Brandies. Starlight Distillery has released an expression of their apple brandy as a bonded spirit.
The Huber family has been making wine and cider since the 1970s when they revived their pre-Prohibition vineyards, orchards and winery. In the 21st century, the family decided to get back into the distillation business and built first, a brandy distillery, and then, a whiskey distillery. They make traditional brandy from grapes as well as apple, pear and peach brandies. This apple brandy is made from apples from their orchards. The ripe fruit is juiced, fermented into cider and then distilled and aged. All steps of the process take place on the farm and it is a true tree to bottle apple brandy.
Starlight Estate Apple Brandy, Bottled-in-Bond
Age: Four Years Old
Nose: Caramel apples, baking spices – nutmeg and cloves, and oak.
Taste: Slightly tart apple with some caramel and vanilla with nutmeg, clove and cinnamon spices and oak tannins. Tasted with a dried cranberry brings forward the vanilla and sweetens the apple flavor. When tasted with a pecan, the spice is reduced, the vanilla is moved forward and the apple becomes a ripe and sweet apple flavor.
Finish: Long and spicy with lots of cinnamon and clove, sweet oak and lingering tart apple. The dried cranberry gives the finish a very strong cinnamon and oak finish. The pecan makes the finish long, dry and full of oak with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg spice.
I would pair this apple brandy with Rocky a Patel “Autumn” cigar because I think the spice in the smoke will enhance and compliment the spice in the brandy.
Photos courtesy of Rosemary Miller