Rootstock Spirits is a craft distillery in western New York that focuses on the many fruits grown in this region, especially apples. One of the specialities of the operation is, of course, applejack. This bottling is a 5 year old expression (the black label in the photo above), which is an upgrade over the distillery’s entry-level 2 year old version.
Let’s give it a try.
Showcasing solid (if somewhat oxidized) notes of apple on the nose, this applejack is constructed with plenty of spice on the nose, along with a toasty, oaky character that adds a certain element of austerity to the mix. The palate is denser and more rustic than the nose would suggest, with a grassy, herbal character that punctuates the core apple character with an unexpected pungency. Almost beefy at times, the brandy presents a substantial savory quality and an edge of pepper and mushroom, though the finish falls back on baked apples tempered with a touch of baking spice. Sweet and savory are present in equal proportion here — which makes for a particularly unique presentation for an applejack. Love it or leave it.
B+ / $55 / applecountryspirits.com