Aged apple brandy, or applejack, is a rarity, and Laird’s is one of the few U.S. brands that makes the stuff.
This 12 year old is a classic example of the product. Intensely woody on the nose, you might think you’re dealing with a whiskey.
Apple character comes along quickly when you sip it, though it’s never overpowering as it can be with young applejack or Calvados. Here you get a smooth and lightly sweet apple flavor that complements the vanilla, cinnamon, and oak wood character from the aging — almost giving you a rich and intense version of an apple pie (or, perhaps, an apple and a pecan pie served together). The finish is warming without being overly hot.
Applejack has never really been my bag, but Laird’s aged version makes a compelling case for drinking it.