Brandy - Laird's Applejack
Laird & Company
Laird Distillers - (Scobeyville,New Jersey)
Ingredients:35% Apple Brandy 65% Neutral Spirits
PROOF: 80 (40%)
AGE: Not Applicable
PRICE: $ 17.50 - 750 ML
Notes: Lairds is one of the oldest distilleries in the United States dating from 1698.They use whole tree ripened apples and naturally occurring yeasts, pot distillation and charred barrels to produce their brandy which is then blended with grain spirit.They also produce a 7 1/2 year-old Apple Brandy and 12 year-old Apple Brandy aged in charred oak barrels.
A strict historical interpretation suggests that the term applejack for this product is a misnomer. Applejack was produced by congelation (freezing hard cider in a buried cask, digging it up and removing the alcoholic liquid core) - not distillation, however, very few people use this method anymore.
Appearance: Very close to the 12 year-old in color, a somewhat burnished bronze color similar to a canadian whiskey..What worries me a bit is that this is made with 65% grain neutral spirits (read colorless) so I wonder where all the color is coming from. My guess is caramel - that would also explain some of the flavor or the lack of some types of flavor that are usually a sign of such things. Less of a coat on the glass when you swirl it as the 12 year-old.
First Impression: Alcohol and apples. . . green apples.
Taste: Some caramel, apple, a little spice. Lacks the complexity of its older unblended siblings. Finish is hot.
Drinks: Good for recipes calling for applejack and for cooking. 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 pipe instead.
Final Thoughts: A rather plain blended applejack/apple brandy, while having much more appeal than a apple flavored vodka it is in the end a bit disappointing. Would probably work well over real vanilla ice cream.
Bottle:The bottle is bright clear glass which shows off the color to good effect.The label is clear plastic with silk screening at the top with old style lettering that gives the impression of engraving like the antique bar serving decanters from the mid to late 1800's and a composite paper and plastic label at bottom.
Black neck wrap with a pseudo paper signature seal completes the package. While better looking than their old rather rustic presentation it looks like a lot of other bottles on the market. Whoever designed the bottle did not break much new ground.
Web site: http://www.lairdandcompany.com
A somewhat spare affair - minimal graphics and information, some basic recipes -adequate