Eau de Vie - Schwarzwalder Kirschwasser
Schwarzwalder Kirschwasser (Black Forest Cherry Brandy)
Alfred Schladerer, Staufen Im Breisgau, Germany
Importer: Niche Imports, Cedar Knolls, New Jersey
INGREDIENTS: Black Forest Cherries
PROOF: 84 (42% )
AGE: 2 Years
TYPE: Eau de Vie
PRICE: $ 47.00 750 ML
Notes: This is a Eau de Vie (more specifically a Kirsch) made from cherries from Germany's famous Black Forest and distilled in copper pot stills in small batches. It does not use bulk ethanol and chemical flavors like some (O.K., most) of its competitors. It uses a much more true (but expensive) process requiring about 10 kilos (22 pounds) of cherries for each bottle, and is from a traditional area of production.
Appearance: Clear bright, no impurities whatsoever, on swirling it leaves a thick clear coat on the inside of the glass, shows some legs, then crinkly edges turning to a batch of small droplets. If it did anything else we would suspect some sort of chemical enhancement to add body.
First Impression: Luscious deep cherry, it has that wonderful, very specific smell that only comes from black cherries from the Black Forest - a depth and complexity other cherry brandies usually lack.
Taste: The bouquet is a wonderful prelude to the follow though- the actual taste. This Kisrchwasser seems to have captured the very essence of the morello cherry, dryish long finish with a wonderful afterglow. THIS IS NOT a sweetened cherry/cough drop kind of chemical cherry flavored vodka or (shudder) whiskey. This is a wonderful deep,dry cherry- it bears no relationship to those products. Wonderfully subtle, deep and textured with no detectable faults.
Drinks: There are a number of classic drinks for Kirschwasser such as the Florida Cocktail, Ladyfinger, Blackforest,etc. Not to mention, it can be used as a variation for anything calling for Maraschino Liqueur (another hard to get dry cherry liqueur) not to mention food pairings such as Black Forest Cake or any form of decent chocolate, coffee, or ice cream. The traditional way to serve this is as a aperitif or digestif- it certainly is excellent enough to stand on its own.
Final Thoughts: One of the best Kirschwassers I have tasted.A standout in the flavored brandy/eau de vie category and certainly requires consideration in any good liquor cabinet. If you want to have an excellent Kirschwasser this would be one of the few to consider. Yes, it is pricey, but it is worth it.
Bottle: Clear rectangular glass with sloped shoulders- family crest and name pressed into glass between parchment style labels. Other folk designs on sides and back. Red neck foil to distinguish Kirsch (others are white or green). Red wax medallion and cord at neck/shoulder area.
Web site:: http://www.schladerer.de
Fast-loading with a fair amount of information. Easy-to-read. Good content and descriptions of production.