Eau de Vie - Etter Zuger Kirsch (Cherry Brandy)
Etter Zuger Kirsch
Etter, Zug, Switzerland
Importer: Preiss Imports, Ramona, C.A.
INGREDIENTS: Swiss cherries
PROOF: 84 (42%)
AGE: 3 Years
TYPE: Eau de Vie
PRICE: $ 41.99 375 ML
Notes: This is a eau de vie is made from Swiss cherries in small copper pot stills. Like some of the other excellent eau de vies reviewed on this website the Etters do not use bulk ethanol and chemical flavors like some (O.K. most ) of their competitors to make some bastardized vodka kool-aid and try to pass it of as eau de vie. It uses a much more true (but expensive) process. They use a type of cherry that is increasingly rare - the black "Mountain Cherry" which is smaller and sweeter than most but grows on a tall cherry tree (most trees have been bred down for easier harvesting)then distilled and only the very center cut of the distillation is aged in small glass demijohns (50L) to mellow for 3 years before bottling. Over 16 pounds of fruit are used per bottle.
Appearance: Clear bright as mineral oil, on swirling it leaves a thin clear coat on the inside of the glass and shows some impressively long legs. As I have noted in other reviews the fact that the essential oils do not separate from the alcohol base is a testament to the distiller's skill.
First Impression: Smells like the skin and pulp of a fresh cherry - although one you are not entirely famliar with. So smooth the alcohol presence is hard to detect on nosing till it warms- even then very smooth.
Taste: Cherry oils and essence with a rush of finely distilled alcohol on the backside giving you a warming rush as it slides down the throat to a sunset in your stomach. This variety of cherry has a distinctly different flavor form its Black Forest cousins - almost more like a Maraschino or Dalmation.Unlike the Schladerer and some other Kirsch we have reviewed this one has not been aged in wood and so has a cleaner just fruit taste (not that we don't like wood aged eau de vie but this is a different style). Nips at the edges of you tongue as you finish it. A wonderful warming and long lingering finish.
Drinks:Enjoy it on its own with no distractions. Although it does make a Aviation cocktail that is almost better than sex (well, depending on your partner and/or bartender).
Final Thoughts: Some people may be slightly disinclined to buy it as it is ricier than the cheap imitations, but well worth the money for a well made hand crafted product. See our Cocktail Math article for a real cost breakdown. Another advantage to this brand is it will not turn or go bad if the bottle is partially full for a good long time- so you don't have to worry about drinking it up quickly. You can relax and enjoy the bottle over time.
Bottle: Clear rectangular glass with sloped shoulders- parchment style labels.
Web site:: http://www.etter-distillerie.ch
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