San Juan Island Distillery Apple Brandy
San Juan Island Distillery // Washington, USA
San Juan Island Distillery located on its namesake island in northwest Washington State is just east of Vancouver Island, Canada. The climate of the San Juan Islands is very similar to the climate in Normandy, France where Calvados (French Apple Brandy) is made. Their production is founded on the same traditions and techniques used in Normandy to create their distinctive apple brandy. Apple cider is distilled in their copper pot still in small 50-gallon batches; it is heated up very slowly to get the best quality apple eau de vie (fresh fruit distillate) possible. A typical 4 to 6 hour run produces about a couple of gallons of pure apple spirit at 78% alcohol. Most of that goes into old 59-gallon French Limousin oak barrels where it ages for three years. (NOTE: Currently, only available at the distillery and in select Washington state retailers)
American BrandyProduced in the US, this is usually referring to brandy distilled from grape-based wine. If the producer uses other fruit, it must be stated on the label. If aged under two years in oak, it must state the word "immature" on the label. Beyond that, labels such as VS, VSOP, and XO mean little as the brands themselves dictate what that means to them.
Cask TypeLimousin oak
"Golden bronze in color. Warm and inviting nose of waxy apple, caramel, maple, cotton candy and red delicious apples with hints of baking spices. Soft and rich start that quickly lightens up and becomes quite sprightly on the tongue. Aromas of baked apple pie dominate the experience. An intense heat throughout the taste that finishes with a bracing bitterness and just hints of the inviting aromatics. Enjoy in a hot toddy. "