Brandy - Laird's 12 Year-old Rare Apple Brandy
Laird & Company
Laird's Rare Apple Brandy
Laird & Company Distillers - (Scobeyville, New Jersey)
Ingredients: Tree ripened apples
PROOF: 88 (44%)
AGE: 12 years
TYPE: Small Batch
PRICE: $ 49.99 - 750 ML
Notes: Laird's is one of the oldest distilleries in the United States, dating from 1698. They use whole tree ripened apples and naturally occurring yeasts to ferment the apples, which are then pot distilled and aged in charred oak barrels for 12 years. They also produce a 7 1/2 year-old Apple Brandy and a blended Apple Jack.
Appearance: If this was maple syrup, it would be a medium amber grade. A trace more yellow than a cognac of similar age: a somewhat burnished bronze color. Light coating on the glass when you swirl it, a crenellated edge on swirling.
First Impression: Peppery/mint with dark fruit and some cocoa notes on nosing. Slight acetone/esters smell. Round, full body, much more than most cognacs, buttery mouth feel, nice tingle on the tongue.
Taste: Caramel, baked toffee and apple, vanilla, nutmeg notes to it, lingering notes of tobacco, crystallized ginger. Medium length finish.
Drinks: We tried a a number of drinks, works well as a sweeter substitute for bourbon in Manhattans or Old Fashioned's,etc. Same for cognac drinks. Also, there are a number of recipes available from the web site- if you write to them they will send you some better ones that also are more detailed.
Cigars: Works well with a mild cigar.
Final Thoughts: A nice alternative to cognacs or Calvados. It is to Calvados what armagnac is to cognac - a cousin from the provinces (or in this case the colonies) that has more texture, body and aroma. All around, a interesting tipple that is worth a try.
Bottle:The bottle is a heavy crystal almost heart shaped decanter, with a round metallic label with decorative ribbon around neck of bottle and anchored behind label. Black neck ring with subdued gold lettering. Back clear label gives you the information on batch,date and bottle number.
Cork with wood top gives it a more elegant (read premium) touch to finish it off. Also the large turned wood top (looks like a nice drawer pull - there is a recycling idea for you) makes it easy to grip and open. Cork always gives a nice sound when you open the bottle and lends a antique feel.
Overall a attractive package for a gift for someone- including yourself.
Web site: http://www.lairdandcompany.com
A somewhat spare affair - minimal graphics and information, some basic recipes - an adequate web site.