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  1. #1
    Enthusiast
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    Laird Straight Apple Brandy

    I bought a bottle of this yesterday. Damn good stuff. Almost like a whiskey. An APPLE whiskey. I swore I first read about this here somewhere but my search has not paid off. The Laird Applejack is good as well but get the Bonded Apple Brandy first. I think I drank too much though. Ouch.
    --Mark

    When I drink whiskey, I drink whiskey; and when I drink water, I drink water.

  2. #2
    Connoisseur
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    Jan 2007
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    Re: Laird Straight Apple Brandy

    I recently picked up a bottle of the bonded apple brandy, as well. Enjoying a very short pour right now (my first taste). A straw gold color with very impressive legs. The nose is all apples at first pass, but hay, light cinnamon, and maybe nuts make their presence known. Still, fruit dominates the aroma, and the taste. There is a definite alcohol presence on the palate, but it isn't overwhelming, and it can't hide some rummy sugar notes and a bit of maple flavor. Maybe (light) vanilla and raisins, too. The finish is a bit hot in the throat, but long and apple-y, with a sweet brandy roundness that reminds you this isn't whiskey. I really like it, but its youth and some of the flavor notes are more whiskey-like, as you said. It's not as refined as Calvados, nor is it meant to be.

    I understand there are annual extra-aged (7 years+) releases of this at lower proofs, which I'd like to try someday. And this makes up a good portion of the regular applejack, but it is a very different animal.

    On a forum at eGullet, I've read about folks using this instead of whiskey in some well-known bourbon and rye cocktails. I can see it having a place in a Sazerac (since it is in some ways flavorwise a melding of whiskey and brandy). I would think a variation on the Old-Fashioned with lemon instead of orange or a sour made with this could be nice. Not sure about a Manhattan. Of course, there are many well-known applejack cocktails (the Jack Rose being the most prominent) that this would be worth a shot in, especially since it is my impression this may be closer to what applejack was a century ago or more.

    My bottle cost me $22, and I'd say it's a bit steep at that price, but it is a specialty product, so maybe not. Either way, worth at least a one-time purchase to try it.

  3. #3
    Advanced Taster
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    Feb 2007
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    Dallas
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    233

    Re: Laird Straight Apple Brandy

    I stumbled across a bottle of the standard Applejack 80 in Dallas last fall. It was located in the brandy section. I like to try new things, so I bought a bottle. I had always enjoyed an occasional bottle of hard cider that I bought in Lubbock, Texas years ago. I thought the Applejack might be interesting. I was pleasantly surprised. It was bourbon like with a definite apple flavor but not overwhelmingly so. Nice for a change.

  4. #4
    Connoisseur
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    Dec 2005
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    NYC
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    Re: Laird Straight Apple Brandy

    If you like the 80 proof, then you HAVE to find some of the Bonded. There's no GNS in it and as a result the flavor is much stronger. It is a fantastic base for summer cocktails. It's available in VA state stores as Captain Apple Jack.
    "This is the real article. It is double-rectified busthead from Madison County, aged in the keg. A little spoonful would do you a power of good."

    -True Grit by Charles Portis

  5. #5
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    Re: Laird Straight Apple Brandy

    Calvados? I keep seeing this name and will have to search it out.
    --Mark

    When I drink whiskey, I drink whiskey; and when I drink water, I drink water.

  6. #6
    Enthusiast
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    Dec 2005
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    NY
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    Re: Laird Straight Apple Brandy

    Calvado's is the Cognac of apple brandies.

    Here- http://www.cocktaildb.com/ingr_detail?id=61

    and- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvados_%28spirit%29


    I love the stuff. I have quite a few bottles and they are usually magnificent , if you like apple brandy. The Lairds are good but different compared to good Calvado's. I find Lairds BIB and the 80 are great for mixing, while the Calvado's are meant for snifter's.

    Just like everything else in the world of spirits, Calvado's can be $$$$$, so keep that in mind of you plan on getting into it.
    Last edited by Joeluka; 06-08-2007 at 11:13.
    Joe

  7. #7
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    Jan 2007
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    Re: Laird Straight Apple Brandy

    I made a Sazerac the other night with the Laird's bonded. Equal parts apple brandy and OGD BIB, plus a bit of turbinado syrup, Peychaud's bitters and Herbsaint. After flaming a lemon twist and dropping it in the glass, I also splashed a drop of Fee Brothers Lemon bitters on the surface of the drink. This was a very complex, potent, and lovely drink to end the evening.

    I will try one made entirely with Laird's sometime, but I don't see how it can be as good as the above.

  8. #8
    Taster
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    Nov 2006
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    Houston, Texas
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    Re: Laird Straight Apple Brandy

    I was pleasantly surprised to read that others on this forum have been enjoying Laird's Straight Apple Brandy. This is one of the finest brandies made in the United States, in my opinion, and I love the history associated with it as well.

    I've been drinking this brandy for probably the past ten years or so and currently have a good supply of it at home, even though my local liquor store carries it in stock. It works well in all sorts of cocktails, Manhattans to Presbyterians, but I still think it tastes best in a glass on the rocks or as an Applejack Sour. However, on cold autumn and winter nights it works very well in a snifter just like any other fine brandy, although at 100 proof it packs more punch than normal brandy!

    Yes, I drink calvados and enjoy that fine Norman apple brandy, too, but when I think of apple brandy my first thought goes to the bottle of Laird's and its rather old-fashioned black and red label. There's a lot of American history in this bottle, and I'm proud to call it my favorite.

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    12,570

    Re: Laird Straight Apple Brandy

    I bought a bottle of the Laird's Apple Jack, not the brandy, and was surprised that it contained only 35% apple brandy, the rest GNS, which seemed like a rip for $17.99. The brandy was something like twice that. I have no doubt it's a fine product, but I guess this is just another reminder of what a great value Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is.

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Laird Straight Apple Brandy

    Chuck, that price is a ripoff.

    I get the Ajack for $11.99, and have never paid more than $20.99 for the bonded brandy.

 

 

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