Review: Arkansas Black Applejack

Review: Arkansas Black Applejack

arkansas HI-RES

As far as local spirits go, for me, there’s nothing more local than Arkansas Black Applejack. It’s made by a husband and wife that live right around the corner from me, from Arkansas Black apples (hence the name) plus some Golden Delicious. The applejack is actually produced in Oregon at Clear Creek, after which it is aged in a mix of French Cognac and American Bourbon barrels.

Each bottle is a limited-cask bottling; the sample I tried came from a 2014 batch of just 2 barrels. (In 2015, 10 barrels are on tap for bottling.)

This is about as pure an expression of applejack as you’re likely to find in America today. The nose if immediately filled with baked apples — and a little bit of the funkiness you expect to see in a craft apple brandy. Bittersweet but authentic, the body is powerful with chewy apple notes, vanilla caramels, and baking spices. Initially quite sweet, almost like a grape brandy, it edges toward bitter as the palate takes hold, with the wood influence becoming more expressive. The finish balances these elements, offering a sugary zing tempered by notes of apple cider, root beer, licorice, and some savory herbs.

98 proof. Reviewed: Batch A, barrel TL-1, bottle #273.

A- / $50 / via facebook [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

Arkansas Black Applejack

$50
9

Rating

9.0/10

2 Comments

  1. John S. Steidler on March 1, 2015 at 8:01 am

    I don’t drink much brandy but this looks like a good one. The ingredients are similar to what an old german aunt of mine used to make when she was still alive.

  2. Nora on September 20, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Great review Chris – Sam and John are amazing and so is the hooch. :) Seriously – great spirit and amazing cocktails on the website!
    -N

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