Typically, eau-de-vie made from grapes, apples and some plums are not
marketed as clear spirits because they lack the intensity of traditional
eau-de-vie. Instead, eau-de-vie from these fruits are added to oak
barrel for aging over several years. Aging these fruit brandies in oak
casks mellows the brandy while integrating the soft vanilla overtones of
the oak with natural fruit flavors. The oak barrels allow the brandy to
breathe during aging which expels alcohol (known as "the angels' share")
while concentrating the complex flavors as the spirit matures.
If you've ever tried Calvados, the traditional aged apple brandy of
Normandy, you know apple brandy rivals the other well-known brandies of France--Cognac and Armagnac.
Westford Hill Distillers has been distilling and barrel-aging a wide
array of New England apple varieties since we opened for business.
Time will tell what blend of local apples will create the distinctive brandy
from Westford Hill Distillers.