If you read my recently published article in the New York Cork Report, then you'll know that I love eau-de-vie. However, I've been having trouble finding an apple eau-de-vie. There are German apple liqueurs (i.e. Apfelkorn) but they are liqueurs and not eau-de-vie so I was not interested in buying one-sided liqueurs.
Basically, eau-de-vie is an un-aged fruit distillate. Although it could be considered a brandy (since it is distilled from fruit) it is generally made using the entire fruit, not just it's fermented juice. Notable examples: Framboise is made from raspberries, Kirschwasser is made from cherries, Grappa is made from grape pomace.
Researching this particular apple eau-de-vie, it is distilled from an apple cider. Since some appellations within Normandy can produce calvados using apples and pears, I thought there might be some pears in this eau-de-vie - but the bottle claims it is "100% Apple." I also discovered that this was one of the most highly-rated spirits of 2007; I did not know this before purchasing and trying this liquor so my opinion was not influenced by such factors. Regardless, for such a lauded spirits one would think this would be a rather pricey bottle; however, I found a .750L bottle for only $23 at my local spirits retailer. Seeing as how this type of spirit (i.e. eau-de-vie) is rarely consumed in the States, this is not surprising. Fortunately, I get to take advantage of the average American consumer's lack of knowledge/appreciation of certain fine drinks.
The sweet aromas of apple and pear are accompanied by floral aromas and a certain rustic "je ne sais quoi." Like all eaux-de-vie (the "x" makes this plural), there is some heat to this unaged spirit but there is a touch of butter and cinnamon that reminds me of a Tarte Tatin. I can see why this eau-de-vie was so highly rated.
Unfortunately, I now have a craving for some sort of freeze-dried apple and Chinese cassia flavored cereal. Perhaps the one advertised here by these two "heroes"?: