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: 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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Review: Baltimore Spirits Fumus Pumila

By Drew Beard | November 25, 2018 |

Maryland’s Baltimore Whiskey Company is producing far more than just whiskey. In fact, their portfolio has become so varied that they changed their name recently to Baltimore Spirits Company. We haven’t even reviewed one of their whiskeys. They only offer one. Why were they called Baltimore Whiskey Company to begin with? Anyway. Our first taste…

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Review: Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy Bottled in Bond

By Christopher Null | November 17, 2018 |

The bottled in bond trend — which specifies that a spirit must be distilled in a single season, aged for at least four years, and bottled at 100 proof — has made its way to apple brandy. Laird’s is the latest brand to jump on the train, relaunching a bonded version of its iconic applejack…

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Review: Belle de Brillet Pear & Cognac Liqueur (2018)

By Christopher Null | January 24, 2018 |

Belle de Brillet has been around for decades, and thanks to its generally good availability, it’s become one of the most iconic Poire Williams — pear brandy made from Williams pears — on the market. In taking a fresh look at Belle de Brillet — our first since 2013 — it’s curious that Poire Williams…

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Review: Copper & Kings Apple Brandies – Deep Hearts Cut and Floodwall

By Christopher Null | September 13, 2017 |

Copper & Kings, purveyors of some of the most interesting grape brandies made in America, has spread out to that other classic brandy-making fruit, the apple. The company recently launched two apple-based bottlings, an unaged expression (unusual ’round these parts) and a more traditional barrel-aged bottling called Floodwall. Thoughts follow. Copper & Kings Un-Aged Apple…

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