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Aging Apple Brandy?


WI Distiller

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No one has posted anything on the new Brandy forums yet, so I thought I'd start things off with an apple brandy question: how are the apple brandy makers out there aging their products? Small or full sized barrels, American or French, toasted or charred, new or used? Anyone using used whiskey or wine barrels? How long are you aging it?

Any thoughts on what you do and why would be interesting to hear.

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  • 1 year later...

ViolentBlue, are you familiar with Westford Hill Distiller? I ask because of your use of the term "new world" apple brandy.

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I really like the term, "new world" apple brandy. It does seem appropriate. It implies tradition--a heritage--while simultaneously breaking from the old world.

One of the issues apple brandy has, IMO, is the handle. In the states, craft distilleries are all calling it different things--"eau de vie de pomme, apple jack," what have you. The kind of customer who is going to pay for premium, aged spirits wants to buy into a community of tastes. If everyone who produces apple brandy in the U.S. calls it by a different name coherency is lost.

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Good luck getting a consensus.

I think, mostly, eau de vie refers to a white spirit. Though Clear Creak uses it on their 8 year apple brandy. I thought real hard about using 'apple jack' - but the industry (wholesale/retail) feedback I got was that it's perceived as a less valuable product than simple 'Apple Brandy'.

I do think that using a light char with apple brandy is 1) distinctly American and 2) really tasty.

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Yeah, the only time I've seen eau de vie being used for a brown spirit is Clear Creek's eau de vie de pomme, but since Clear Creek is relatively widely distributed I think it makes an impact. I imagine it would be hard to get producers to come to a consensus. I hope it happens, because I think the marketing advantages would be significant. Hard for a spirit to have an identity if no one is sure what to call it.

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Could anyone provide some insight as to whether apple brandy would need to be filtered - and if so a recommended filtering mechanism - prior to bottling it? It is quite clear to the eye but unsure about any temperature stabilizing etc. Look forward to any wisdom on the topic.

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