Fruit Brandy

While the brandy we typically think about is made from grapes, the spirit can really be made from any type of fruit, berry, or not. Kirsch, for example, is brandy made from cherries, and slivovitz is brandy made from plums. Brandy can be made from everything from coconuts to juniper berries, but the most common type of brandy (aside from grape brandies) is that made from apples (and sometimes pears). In the U.S., apple brandy or applejack is a popular libation dating back to Colonial days — but the king of all fruit brandies can be found in France. Here, Calvados is distilled and aged in methods similar to Cognac, with various legal definitions and grade designations describing Calvados growing regions and the number of years spent in barrel.

Top Fruit Brandy Posts:

Domaine Dupont Calvados – Fine Reserve, Vieille Reserve, Hors d’Age
Arkansas Black Applejack 21 Years Old
Spirit of India Feni
Pur Spirits Pear Williams, Raspberry Vodka, and Bierbrand
Mulberry Club Fruit Brandies

Review: Yebiga “PRVA” Rakija

By Christopher Null | July 29, 2021 |

I first became acquainted with rakija — widely known as raki — through Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, where it seemed like he was always sipping on the stuff, invariably with a grimace on his face. Raki is the national drink of Turkey and is widely produced in eastern Europe and the western countries of the former…

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The Best Apricot Liqueur Roundup – 6 Brands Tasted, 2 Winners

By Christopher Null | July 25, 2021 |

Apricot is a tricky flavor to work with, but if you’re exploring classic cocktails, you’ll find apricot brandy or liqueur a component in dozens of recipes. When recipes call for apricot, they often call for plenty of it. The PDT Cocktail Book offers a recipe for an Apricot Flip which includes a healthy 3/4 oz…

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Review: Rootstock Spirits Applejack 5 Years Old

By Christopher Null | June 13, 2021 |

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…

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Review: Spirits of French Lick Absinthe Le Bleu and Old Clifty Hoosier Apple Brandy (2021)

By Drew Beard | May 11, 2021 |

In addition to American whiskey and bourbon (one of which we just reviewed here), Indiana’s Spirits of French Lick also focuses on brandy and botanical spirits, including Indiana’s first commercial absinthe and a unique Calvados-style apple brandy. We received samples of each for review. Thoughts follow. Spirits of French Lick Absinthe Le Bleu (2021) –…

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Review: Maraska Slivovitz 10 Years Old and Orahovac Green Walnut Liqueur

By Christopher Null | February 18, 2020 |

Maraska isn’t just the distiller of my favorite brand of Maraschino liqueur, it also makes a variety of other fruit brandies and nut liqueurs in its homeland of Croatia. Today we look at two of them, both traditional offerings but new entries into its catalog, a Slivovitz plum brandy and a green walnut liqueur. Let’s…

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Review: Laird’s Apple Brandies – 10th Generation 5 Years Old and 7 1/2 Years Old

By Christopher Null | February 15, 2020 |

It’s not every tasting event where you encounter distilling royalty. Laird’s — famed for its apple brandies — is reportedly the oldest distillery in America, a family business that has been in operation for nine generations. Lisa Laird Dunn, a current VP at the distillery, was on hand to pour various expressions of Laird’s applejacks,…

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Review: One Eight Distilling Untitled Apple Brandy No. 1 and Untitled Whiskey No. 9 (Batch 2)

By Drew Beard | January 10, 2020 |

The team at Washington, D.C.’s One Eight Distilling has been dipping their toes into things other than whiskey as of late. Recently, they released their first ever apple brandy under its own Untitled line, which was distilled on their old Kothe potstill and aged in ex-bourbon barrels for over three years. In conjunction with the…

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Review: Burwood Vodka, Gin, Honey Eau de Vie, and Medica Honey Liqueur

By Christopher Null | July 26, 2019 |

Alberta, Canada-based Burwood focuses on using local ingredients and “old world craftsmanship” to make white spirits — vodka and gin, mainly — and a wide range of liqueurs which it continues to expand at a rate of one new release each quarter. Today we look at four of the core products from the company, two…

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Review: Boulard Calvados Pays d’Auge VSOP Bourbon Cask Finish

By Christopher Null | April 5, 2019 |

The apple barons at Calvados Boulard have launched a new limited-edition expression that spins their widely available 4+ year old VSOP Calvados by finishing it in bourbon barrels. (Calvados is primarily aged in new oak or, more commonly, previously used Calvados barrels.) This expression is the first release in Boulard’s new 12 Barrel Collection, which…

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Review: Busnel Calvados Pays d’Auge XO 12 Years Old

By Christopher Null | December 30, 2018 |

When it comes to French apple brandy (Calvados), Busnel (which has been producing since 1820) isn’t as big a name in the U.S. as Boulard, but that may be set to change as ultra-premium expressions like this XO bottling, carrying a 12 year old age statement, hit the domestic market. Curious about the label? Pays…

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