Eau de Vie - Kirsch
Kirsch Eau de Vie (Cherry Brandy)
Westford Distillers, Ashford, Connecticut
INGREDIENTS: Montmorenci cherries -nothing else.
PROOF: 80 (40% )
AGE: Rested for 1-2 years then bottled
TYPE: Eau de Vie
PRICE: $ 18.00 200 ML
Notes: This is a Eau de Vie (more specifically a Kirsch) made from Montmorenci cherries from Northwestern New York (near Buffalo, New York- a place much more noted for wings and the famous Anchor Bar where they hail from, than cherries) and distilled in pot stills in small batches. It does not use bulk ethanol,sugar artificial colorants ,and chemical flavors like some (O.K., most) of its competitors. It uses a much more true (but expensive) process requiring about 5 pounds of cherries for each 200 ml bottle.
Appearance: Clear bright, no impurities whatsoever. On swirling, it leaves a thick clear coat on the inside of the glass, shows some very long legs, then crinkly edges, some turning to a batch of small droplets.
First Impression: Luscious deep cherry, including the slight telltale sign of almonds that only comes from cherries from distilling the entire cherry - a tricky process that gives it a depth and complexity other cherry brandies usually lack.
Taste: The bouquet is a wonderful prelude to the follow though- the actual taste. This Kirschwasser seems to have captured the very essence of the montmorenci cherry, dryish long finish with a wonderful afterglow. Nice lingering hints of marzipan add to the texture and let you know this has been distilled from real cherries,pits and all. THIS IS NOT a sweetened cherry/cough drop kind of chemical cherry flavored vodka or (shudder) whiskey. This is a wonderful deep,dry cherry- with a slight marzipan in the background it bears no relationship to those other products. Wonderfully subtle, deep and textured with no detectable faults.
Drinks: There are a number of classic drinks for Kirschwasser such as the Florida Cocktail, Ladyfinger, Blackforest, etc. Not to mention, it can be used as a variation for anything calling for Maraschino Liqueur (another hard to get dry cherry liqueur) not to mention food pairings such as Black Forest Cake or any form of decent chocolate, coffee, or ice cream. Westford also has a number of cocktails that were developed for them worth trying.The traditional way to serve this is as a aperitif or digestif- and it is a wonderful treat- almost a pity to mix it with anything else
Other: The Chateys use a 200 ml bottle for their Eau de Vies, this is a unusual choice but has many practical advantages - 1. It keeps the price per bottle down, 2. Portion control,it ensures that the bottle of eau de vie is used up rather than sitting 1/2 empty and oxidizing/spoiling for the next 6 months or year.
Eau de Vie will not spoil like like wine but is best when consumed within a reasonable time frame.The 200 ml size is great for a dinner party both in size and cost (either at home or at a restaurant) as 2-6 people can easily properly dispose of a bottle during the course of an evening and either as a gift or bought at a restaurant it is still cheap enough not to wince at the thought of using up a bottle.
Final Thoughts: THE best Kirschwasser I have tasted. A standout in the flavored brandy/eau de vie category and certainly requires consideration in any good liquor cabinet. If you want to have an excellent Kirschwasser this the one to consider. Yes, it is a touch pricey, but it is worth every dime.
Bottle: Clear tapered oval bottom Italian glass bottle with a very tastefully done spiral label- Red wax hand dipped wax seal, and hand tied cord with neck hang tag in neck/shoulder area.
Web site:: http://www.westfordhill.com
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