The Top Apple Brandies Under $75

Apple brandy is famously made in France, but the US and England produce some fine apple brandies as well. With the temperature dropping, it’s the perfect time to stock up on them all. Here are our favorites all under $75 with not a bad apple (brandy) in the bunch.
Oct 04, 2018
  • 12
    12 Domaine du Manoir de Montreuil Réserve
    85
    Fruity & Sweet
    Manoir de Montreuil is a collaboration between legendary importer Charles Neal and veteran calvados producer Patrice Giard. The project uses apples from Giard's beautiful, cow-filled orchards in the Pays d'Auge which are distilled twice using a traditional Alembic still. Older varieties of apples are favored because of their complexity despite the fact that they don't produce as much juice -- it's truly a labor of love. The Montreuil label represents a more fruit-forward style than Giard's classic line. Charles blends a spirit with bright orchard tones that sit very nicely in a cocktail, but the calvados has enough finesse to enjoy on its own.
  • 11
    11 Somerset Cider Brandy 10 Year
    85
    Fruity
    All of the apples for the Cider Brandy (called Apple brandy elsewhere) comes from the Somerset area, most from the brand's own orchards, but some fruit comes from surrounding family farms. Up to 40 different apples are used and have names such as Tremlett's Bitter, Brown Snout, and Stoke Red. The stills used are gas-fired, copper continuous-stills named Josephine and Fifi which can distill up to 2000 gallons of cider per day.
  • 10
    10 Copper & Kings Floodwall Apple Brandy
    86
    Rich
    Floodwall is the second aged apple brandy released by Louisville's Copper & Kings, and it's named in honor of Louisville's actual floodwall, built in 1957. Bottled at 100 proof, this apple brandy has been copper pot-distilled and then aged in a combination of bourbon barrels and 250-liter oloroso sherry casks, with a minimum age of four years for the blend. Launched in fall 2016.
  • 9
    9 Calvados Lemorton Reserve
    86
    Fruity & Floral
    The Lemorton estate is located in Calvados' Domfrontais in the southern part of the region. As opposed to the neighboring orchards to the north, the pear tree plays a significant role here in the brandies and ciders. In particular, the Lemortons tend trees that are 70-80% pear creating a spirit with a distinctive white flower character and tons of juicy orchard fruit. Like most farmer estates in Normandy, the focus is actually cattle and providing milk for the area's legendary cheeses. This is their "entry-level" bottling, but don't let that fool you -- Lemorton's Reserve is a great representation of the Domfrontais and a fascinating contrast to Calvados made only of apples.
  • 8
    8 Rhine Hall Oak Aged Apple Brandy
    87
    Fruity
    Rhine Hall distills fresh fruit eau-de-vie in their distillery in Chicago, Illinois. Their apple brandy is made with fresh whole apples from southwest Michigan, with roughly 25 pounds of apples needed to produce each 750ml bottle. The apple blend includes Jonagold, McIntosh, Gala, Cortland, and others. The brandy is aged for 9-14 months in a combination of toasted and charred American oak.
  • 7
    7 Roger Groult Calvados Reserve 3 Ans
    87
    Rich
    Roger Groult distills Calvados in the Pays d'Auge region of France, in Saint-Cyr-du-Ronceray. The cider base is comprised entirely of apples and aged for one year prior to distillation in copper pot-stills. After two distillations, it is aged in old Limousin oak barrels for a minimum of three years, with some older Calvados blended in as well.
  • 6
    6 Clear Creek Apple Brandy
    87
    Fruity
    Golden Delicious apples from the Yakima Valley in Washington are the base of Clear Creek Apple Brandy. Whole apples are crushed and fermented, then distilled in a pot still at Clear Creek's facility in Portland, Oregon. The spirit is aged for at least two years in Limousin oak from France before bottling. It is available in 750ml and 375ml bottles. Previously called: Clear Creek Apple Brandy, Barrel Aged 2 years
  • 5
    5 Laird's Straight Apple Brandy 100 Proof
    88
    Fruity & Sweet
    This is 100% apple brandy aged at least 3 years in charred oak barrels. It is bottled at 100 proof. The Laird's apple brandies are produced from cider that is allowed to ferment naturally; no commercial yeast strain is used.
  • 4
    4 Château du Breuil Réserve du Château 8 Ans d'Âge
    89
    Fruity & Rich
    This Calvados from the Pays d'Auge is produced in Le Breuil-en-Auge, in Lower Normandy. As is required of this region, the Calvados is double-distilled in copper pot stills. It is aged in French oak at the Château for at least 8 years.
  • 3
    3 Osocalis Apple Brandy
    93
    Fruity & Sweet
    Osocalis is a brandy distillery located in Soquel located in Northern California, but the traditions and methods of distillation are French. Dan Farber, owner and master distiller, spent many years in France and other parts of the world studying and making brandy. He began Osocalis in the early 1990's and exclusively produces brandies. A small, alembic still is used for distillation and in this bottling, over a dozen apples from the mountains of northern California are employed. It is aged for 15 years.
  • 2
    2 Clear Creek Reserve Apple Brandy
    94
    Rich
    Produced in Portland, Oregon, Clear Creek Reserve Apple Brandy is made using Yakima Valley Golden Delicious apples. They are crushed and fermented whole. After distillation, the apple brandy is aged in used and new Limousin oak barrels for a minimum of 8 years. Previously called: Clear Creek Eau de Vie de Pomme 8 Year Apple Brandy
  • 1
    1 Christian Drouin VSOP Calvados
    94
    Sweet & Rich
    Christian Drouin, père, began distilling Calvados in 1960 after purchasing a farmhouse and surrounding orchards, only to find little demand for his apples. Luckily a family friend with his portable still came to the rescue. The mobile stills built in 1947 are still in use at the Drouin estate, where they found their permanent home. The VSOP bottling is a blend of eaux-de-vie that have aged between five and twelve years.