Multilayered, complex, delicate and subtle, with a nice assertiveness and depth.
Notes: Westford Hill is one of the newer distilleries in the United States, producing artisanal products on a small scale.They use 8 varieties of apples all grown in Connecticut and small pot distillation (65 gallon still) of each individual variety. They age each distillate in French oak barrels for 8 years then marry the aged product and rest it. They also produce a a number of outstanding Eau de Vies such as their Framboise , Kirsch, and Pear William.They also produce an outstanding Poire Prisonniere (sorry, no review yet – just a link to their site). They also know produce a new vodka called Rime
Appearance: Color of burnished Russian Gold, a trace more yellow than a cognac of similar age: a somewhat burnished bronze color. Light coating on the glass when you swirl it, a crenellated edge on swirling with long thin legs developing after a bit.
First Impression: Very delicate apple scents and whispers of oak, pepper and hints of leather, tobacco, very complex and subtle.
Taste: Multilayered and complex,but extremely subtle in some ways. Wonderful assertive body but delicate,almost ethereal aspects.The French oak lends lingering notes of tobacco,char, leather and a kind of Cognac or Armagnac structure/skeleton that the apples wrap around to form a complex whole. Finish is long and delightful.
Drinks: We tried a a number of drinks, Calvados-based, Cognac-based and a number of recipes available from the web site. All were outstanding. Of course, it was also wonderful by itself in a snifter.
Cigars: Works well with a mild cigar.
Final Thoughts: A excellent alternative to a Calvados or Armagnac. Multilayered, complex, delicate and subtle, with a nice assertiveness and depth. Contradictory terms that somehow have achieved balance in this brandy. One of the best apple brandies (of any type) we have had. Unmatched for subtlety,complexity and overall flavor.
Bottle:The bottle is a heavy clear glass decanter, with a very textured fabric label with cursive script, decorative ribbon around neck of bottle with a hand numbered label giving lot and bottle number. Black sealing wax (with a convenient pull tab for once!) and the use of a real cork always gives a nice sound when you open the bottle and lends a antique feel.
Overall an attractive, tasteful package for a truly outstanding Apple Brandy.
Web site: http://www.westfordhill.com
A somewhat spare affair – minimal graphics and information, some basic recipes – an adequate web site.