Eau de Vie - Pear William
Pear William Eau de Vie (Pear Brandy)
Westford Distillers, Ashford, Connecticut
INGREDIENTS: Bartlett Pears
PROOF: 80 (40% )
AGE: Rested for 1 year then bottled
TYPE: Eau de Vie
PRICE: $20.00 200ml
Notes: This is a Pear Eau de Vie - 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 to produce some godawful sweetened pear abortion that bears more resmblance to canned pears in syrup from your grade school cafeteria days. It uses a much more true (but expensive) process requiring about 5 pounds of pears 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: Smell like a ripe Bartlett pear and well distilled alcohol-creamy full texture with fruit alcohol high notes slight telltale of skin and seeds (and their resulting fragrances and oils) that only comes distilling all of a real pear - not its chemical eqivalent -it is something many other pear (flavored) vodkas and brandies usually lack.
Taste: The bouquet is a wonderful prelude to the follow though- the taste of the distilled essence of Bartlett pears .The lingering hints of seeds and slight oily feel and aromatic tingle from the skins natural oils add to the texture and let you know this has been distilled from real pears, seeds and all.
Drinks: There are a number of classic drinks for Poire William (as it is more commonly known in Europe) Also it is excellent to add to a Mojito or a Capirina . I also highly reccomend using it to replace lemon or lime in Martinis (use Lillet Blanc instead of vermouth) or in Gin and Tonics.
It makes for wonderful, fruity and subtle drink. Be careful, however, as it makes the drinks smooth and seductive enough you may wake up somewhere you don't remmeber. As to food, it is assertive enough to be an outstanding pairing with dark chocolate, pastries or ice cream.
Westford also has a number of cocktails that were developed for them worth trying. The traditional way to serve Eau de Vies is as an aperitif or digestif- a civilized way to start or end a meal- 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 half 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: Certainly a contender for one of the best pear Eau de Vies 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 Poire (Pear) William, we certainly reccomend this one. The small bottle goes a long way and is cheaper than buying a 750 ml of something that will go bad halfway. Small and artisanal, not corporate and big box - freshness and thorough quality and portion control trumps volume and price-again.
Bottle: Clear tapered oval bottom Italian glass bottle with a very tastefully done spiral label- honeycomb yellow 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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