Spirits Of French Lick Old Clifty Hoosier Apple Brandy
Our Old Clifty Hoosier Apple brandy pays tribute to the more than 150 Southern Indiana apple brandy distilleries once dotting the landscape along the creeks, tributaries, and springs that still trickle with limestone water, in the southern tier of the Hoosier state between 1855 and 1914. The name and the label photo actually belong to the distillery belonging to Mr. Henry Robertson in what is now known as Cave River Valley Nature Preserve north of Campbellsburg Indiana, a legendary distillery producing roughly 20,000 gallons of apple brandy yearly from 1818-1904.
Fermented from fresh-pressed Michigan apple juice, containing a blend of the best available apples. Double pot distilled with an average proof ceiling of 135 and entered into the barrel at still strength. We ferment our juice at 67 degrees for around 14 days to preserve all the natural flavor and aroma of the apples, only making minor adjustments to pH as needed, to bring forth the full fruit bouquet of the apples. After fermentation, we strip our wine in our 1200-gallon stripping still down to 20 proof to retain all the "sweet water" and essential oil of the distillate. From here we enter our 350-gallon copper pot still, Sophia, and make our cuts, taking only the finest, sweetest, and most aromatic distillate to the next stage of the process.
Old Cliffty enters the maturation process at a still proof of around 135 degrees. We entered this batch into once used re-charred wine barrels of 63-gallon capacity with a number 2 char and new American oak toasted head. The brandy was subsequently matured in our maturation Chai for two years, never dropping below 55 degrees or rising above 90 degrees to make use of all four seasons and to retain all of the aromatic volatility. After two years, barrels were carefully hand-selected by our distiller and blended to profile, they were then married together in blending Vat number 2 and proofed down over a year-long period to a bottling proof of 90. This further tank maturation gave the assemblage time to come together and experience slight micro oxidation in a neutral environment.
Appearance: Dulcet amber and caramel tones, thick and viscous legs.
Aroma: Baked apple crisp, caramel apple. Ripe red apples.
Front: Velveteen palate, initial apple pie flavor resolves to deep clove.
Mid: Spreads across the palate for full mouthfeel, velvety, cinnamon, with slight menthol.
Back: Cinnamon and a slight menthol followed at the back of the tongue and sides by tannic yet balanced apple skin and vanilla. The exhale is pure apple croissant.
Finish: Stewed apples and a slight pear-like sweetness that rises as aroma on a high note.