To create a truly unique apple brandy we start by picking, grinding and pressing apples from our apple orchard to create a distinctive apple juice blend from over 120 varieties of cider apples and other apples in our apple orchard.
Then we allow the apple juice to ferment naturally (without the addition of any yeast or other additives) for six to twelve months (a classic technique in the Normandy region of France to create Calvados).
Then we distill the fermented apple juice (or hard cider) twice in our Alembic Charentais Pot Still to produce a high proof spirit that is ready to age.
Then we age our apple brandy for at least one year in new oak barrels and then age it in premium used Madeira barrels to create a smooth finish that highlights our apples.
Prior to the release of our first apple brandy in 2019, we were very excited about an early review of our apple brandy that appeared in the following excerpt from “Burgeoning Interest in Apple Brandy” an article by Matthew Rowley in the Summer 2017 edition of Distiller Magazine published by the American Distilling Institute: “On two different days, ADI Vice President Andrew Faulkner broke out bottles of apple brandies … The real surprise, however, came from Andrew Richards of Shady Knoll Distillery in Millbrook, New York. Richards, who was one of the attendees, grows over 100 varieties of apples with his family and managed to slip one of his own brandies into the mix. Made from a mix of 80 percent Gold Rush apple and 20 percent pear on a five-gallon pilot still, the 122-proof spirit had deep, complex tastes and aromas that suggested butterscotch, nutmeg and other warm spices. It was funky and carried a whiff of butter, baked apples and acetic acid, but the shocker was its age. Richards had distilled the spirit a mere six weeks earlier. It wasn’t a perfect brandy, but the enthusiastic response from his peers in a blind tasting was enough to send Richards home knowing he was on the right track. We’ll be seeing more from Andrew Richards in the coming years…”
We are pleased to announce that our Apple Brandy won the Bronze Medal from the ADI 2019 Judging of Craft Spirits, which is the oldest and largest competition dedicated to craft spirits.
We love our Apple Brandy straight, but try this classic “Sidecar” cocktail served during World War 1 at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris:
- 2 ½ oz. Shady Knoll Apple Brandy
- 2 tbs. Triple Sec
- 1 tbs. fresh lemon juice
- Pour 1/2 tbs. Triple Sec in small plate, invert martini glass and twist on plate to coat; then dip rim in sugar to coat lightly
- Combine other ingredients, shake with ice, strain and serve straight up