Several years ago, St. George Spirits produced an unaged apple brandy for Eleven Madison Park in New York City, blended from varieties such as Spitzenburg, Jonagold, Fall Pippin, McIntosh, Braeburn and Rome Beauty grown in Northern California. They didn’t send all of it to the restaurant, however: Master distiller Lance Winters and distiller Dave Smith stashed some in used French and American oak barrels. Now, three years later, the brandy has retained is tart red apple juiciness and minerality and picked up an almost amaretto cookie-like nuttiness. Oak influence shows in the mint, vanilla, cinnamon and peach flavors, but not so much as to cover up the decisively fresh apple liveliness. Like fall in a glass.
St. George Spirits, Alameda, CA
This story appears in the print issue of Winter 2014.
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