Spiritopia is a small, Corvallis, Oregon-based producer of “dry liqueurs,” which are liqueurs designed to be considerably less sweet than traditional liqueurs. The company makes three different liqueurs at present. Two are reviewed here. (We missed out on the pomegranate offering.) Thoughts follow.
Spiritopia Apple Liqueur – This is a study of apples in three forms: half a bushel of apples go into a single bottle of the finished product. First they are juiced, then the juice is fermented into a cider, then the cider is distilled into brandy and aged in oak. All three are blended together to create this liqueur. The finished product offers apple pie on the nose — all caramel and applesauce swirled together, with a hint of cinnamon. The palate is a shift, sharper and more cider-like, with a sour vinegar edge to it that tamps down much of the sweetness. On the finish, the lasting sourness finds a foil in some clove notes and a hint of green banana. Interesting stuff… and a big departure from anything you’d put in your appletini. 46 proof. Reviewed: Batch #15. B / $35
Spiritopia Ginger Liqueur – This liqueur is made by steeping ginger in spirit for months, after which it is blended with raw organic sugar and spices, including Madagascar Bourbon vanilla. The finished product is cloudy and a ruddy brown in color. Sharp, fresh ginger notes on the nose, with an undercurrent of earthiness. Lots of florals open up on the palate, but the sharp ginger notes are hard to overpower, though hints of chocolate and some cinnamon give it the old college try. Engaging stuff, with a balance of flavors that eventually settle down into a spicy sweetness that offers myriad cocktailing possibilities. 52 proof. Reviewed: Batch #43. B+ / $30
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