Black Currants were illegal from New York State in 1911 until recently (2006), nice to see them back !
Notes: Warwick Valley winery is New York State’s first fruit distillery (since prohibition) located in the Hudson Valley area. Using New York State produce they produce a wide range of quality products. They also have a winery,cidery and bistro. While we haven’t been there yet the products we have sampled are wonderful and it sounds like a great place to visit. Warwicks apple eau de vie brandy is made from a single variety of apples and spends a year aging in New York State oak barrels before bottling. Black Currants were illegal from New York State in 1911 until recently (2006), as they were wrongly suspected of being a carrier for a fungus of pine trees – threatening the timber industry.
They also produce a pear brandy, apple brandy, bourbon barrel aged apple liqueur, bartlett pear liqueur, and a sour cherry cordial as part of their American Fruits series. In this instance they use New York State (specifically Hudson Valley) Black Currants and their own distilled spirit to produce this cordial.
First Impression: More an eau de vie style than some others, many have a lot of other distracting flavorings and/or too much sugar added to them. Crisp well defined cherry notes with alcohol. Slight sweet and tangy with slight cinnamon spice notes with slight, savory and mineral notes around the edges. Cherries, fruit and dark fruit notes with a nice tartness to them.
Appearance: Nice natural looking purple red color, pristine in appearance. On swirling, leaves a oily even coat on the glass with long legs developing.
Taste: Smooth oily entry with a very fleeting touch of sweetness, then a little tartness and a pleasant warm of the sides of the tongue. Finish is long, jammy (but not sweet ) and spicy. Very nicely done and more tart than many a Cassis. Flavors are well balanced.
Drinks: Could be used as an aperitif or digestif. Could be used in a number of drinks calling for Cassis such as a Kir or Kir Royale and is a outstanding replacement for cranberry juice in a Cape Codder or Cosmopolitan and of course any other cocktail calling for cranberry juice.
Bottle: Standard clear class 1/2 cylinder 1/2 neck glass brandy bottle with simple but attractive graphics and paper labels. Green neckwrap and cork closure finish the package.
Final Thoughts: A excellent cordial using a very versatile but largely ignored berry. It’s nice to see it back in this area again and the American Fruits is making good use of it. A positive is the 375 ml size bottle – you can use it up and not worry about it going south before you reach the end. Would probably refrigerate after opening to be safe it not using it up quickly. As I said before drier than a cassis, which makes it a interesting alternative for one in mixing new cocktails- mixologists please take note.
Nice website but not a lot of information on the spirits.