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: Barking Irons Applejack

By Christopher Null | August 15, 2016 |

Barking Irons Applejack is a new apple brandy which is distilled (for its owners) at Black Dirt Distillery in upstate New York. The applejack starts with a distillate of jonagold, macoun, and gala apples that is aged in #2 char oak barrels (time unstated but said to be just a few months) at Brooklyn’s Van Brunt Distilling before being…

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Review: Mulberry Club Fruit Brandies

By Christopher Null | June 30, 2016 |

Regions like Albania and Azerbaijan are known primarily for their brandies — though few of these bottles ever make it to our shores. Two that did come from Mulberry Club, and Azerbaijani producer of fruit brandies. The company sent us two to sample, one made from local cherries and another, of course, from mulberries. Both are…

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Review: Spirit of India Feni

By Christopher Null | May 17, 2016 |

There’s going to be a lot of education in this post, so hang in there. First: Do you know what cashew nuts look like before they are harvested? Neither did I, but they look like this. That’s the cashew sticking out of the bottom of a bright orange fruit. That fruit is called a cashew…

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Review: Big Bottom Pear Brandy and Oregon Gin Collection

By Christopher Null | January 24, 2016 |

If you know Big Bottom, you probably know the company for its bourbons, most of which feature exotic finishes and impressive levels of quality. Big Bottom also makes white spirits, though, including fruit brandies (pear now, apple is coming) and a collection of gins. Today we take a look at four of BB’s latest white…

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Review: Domaine Dupont Calvados – Fine Reserve, Vieille Reserve, Hors d’Age

By Christopher Null | January 16, 2016 |

These Calvados bottlings hail from the Pays d’Auge, the primary production area for the classic apple brandy in France’s Normandy region. The company produces over a dozen different expressions of Calvados (plus cider and other beverages). Today we look at three of the more common bottlings, all on the younger side of the company’s offerings.…

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Review: Pere Magloire Calvados VSOP

By Christopher Null | December 2, 2015 |

Produced from apple cider pressed in the small Pays d’Auge region of Normandy, this VSOP Calvados is double distilled and aged in oak barrels for at least four years. This is young Calvados, but well made and quite drinkable. Some aeration is recommended to coax out the fruitier notes and allow some of the earthier…

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Review: Arkansas Black Applejack 21 Years Old

By Christopher Null | November 25, 2015 |

Earlier this year we brought you coverage of Arkansas Black Applejack, an artisan apple brandy that happens to be made in my own adopted community in Marin County, California. Now the husband and wife duo have put out a monster of an upgrade: Arkansas Black 21 Years Old. Now Arkansas Black is a youngish operation,…

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Review: Arkansas Black Applejack

By Christopher Null | March 1, 2015 |

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…

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Review: Boulard Calvados Pays d’Auge VSOP

By Christopher Null | February 8, 2015 |

Boulard is one of the pre-eminent producers of Calvados. This VSOP is just one step up from Boulard’s entry-level bottling, composed of a blend of brandies aged 4 to 10 years old, but it shows nonetheless how one company can do wonders with the simple apple. Crisp, classic apple notes are fresh on the nose, touched…

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santa fe apple brandy

Review: Spirits of Santa Fe Spirits – Apple Brandy, Wheeler’s Gin (2014), Silver Coyote Pure Malt Whiskey, and Expedition American West Vodka

By Christopher Null | April 9, 2014 |

Santa Fe Spirits is based, you guessed it, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Founded by Colin Keegan in 2010, the company now offers a range of five spirits, all with a southwestern bent and primarily column-distilled. We tasted four of them (all but the aged, single malt whiskey). Thoughts follow. Santa Fe Spirits Apple Brandy…

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