The Top Rated Brandies From September

These ten brandies took home the highest rankings from our Tasting Table in the month of September!
Oct 05, 2016
  • 8
    Fruity & Rich
    Harvest Spirits is one of New York’s original craft distillers. Located on a family orchard a bit south of Albany, their tiny, 100-gallon pot-still turns out delicious spirits from the surrounding area’s celebrated orchard and stone fruits. The eau-de-vie’s production is traditional with two distillations from a dry, freshly-fermented cider.
  • 7
    From Peach Street Distillers comes this unaged pear brandy also known as eau-de-vie -- "water of life". It is made from fresh Palisade pears from the town where the distillery is located in western Colorado. This is bottled at 40% ABV in 375ml sized bottles.
  • 6
    Each bottle contains approximately 20 pounds of Palisade pears. Open-air fermented, distilled once, and aged in 100-gallon French and American oak barrels. Each spring, Peach Street Distillers places approximately 1000 bottles over baby pears to let the pear grow inside the bottle creating a beautiful (and limited) expression.
  • 5
    Clear Creek's "Cavatappi" grappas are produced from the pomace (skins and seeds) of Italian grape varieties left over from wine production. The Nebbiolo is bottled at around 90 proof.
  • 4
    Fruity & Sweet
    Although carrots are technically a vegetable and not a fruit, this eau-de-vie maintains the spirit of unaged fruit brandies. A neighboring farmer had a problem selling misshapen carrots at the market so he sold them to Hans Reisetbauer who made lemonade out of lemons, so to speak. As carrots have less sugar than fruit, it takes 90 pounds of carrots to produce one liter of alcohol.
  • 3
    Nutty & Rich
    The front label of Leberon's releases reads "Brut de Fût." This roughly translates into "raw from the cask" -- a poetic way to explain the core philosophy both at Leberon and Domaine d'Aurensan the sister estates in Ténarèze run by the sisters Rozes. All of their brandies are made with zero additives and bottled unfiltered at cask strength -- truly a timepiece of how Armagnac used to be made. Barrel management is key if one plans on releasing a spirit at the ripe age of 51. The sisters harvest lumber from their land and don't completely fill them in order to allow breathing room that creates a slow, noble oxidation.
  • 2
    Spicy & Roast
    The Lhéraud family has been farming grapes and distilling cognac since 1802, but it wasn't until current patriarch Guy Lhéraud took over in 1970 that the domaine began to bottle and sell their own produce rather than selling it to négociants (the merchant-bottlers who blend and bottle and sell most cognac in the market) The 20-year age designation on this bottle does not refer to the minimum age of its contents, but rather to their exact age when they were bottled.
  • 1
    The F. Meyer distillery was founded in Hohwarth in the Alsace region of France in 1958, and produces eau de vie. Its spirits are double-distilled in copper pot-stills and then rested in steel tanks for two to five years before bottling. F. Meyer Quetsch is made from sweet red plums grown in Alsace.