Over 19 pounds of fruit are used per bottle and you can taste every one of them.
Notes: This is a eau de vie is made from Swiss Williams pears (called Bartletts in the U.S.) in small copper pot stills. Like some of the other excellent eau de vies reviewed on this website the Etters do not use bulk ethanol and chemical flavors like some (O.K. most ) of their competitors to make some bastardized vodka kool-aid and try to pass it of as eau de vie. It uses a much more true (but expensive) process. Indeed, the pears they use are picked at the height of ripeness and never put in cold storage before they are hand inspected and prepared for fermentation (8-10 weeks) then distilled and only the very center cut of the distillation is aged in glass demijohns to mellow for 3 years before bottling. Over 19 pounds of fruit are used per bottle.
Appearance: Clear bright as mineral oil, on swirling it leaves a thin clear coat on the inside of the glass and shows some impressively long legs. This is a sign that it is well blended in that the essential oils do not separate from the alcohol base – a difficult trick to accomplish.
First Impression: Smells like the skin and flesh of a ripe pear, right after you cut it open. Amazing! So smooth the alcohol presence is hard to detect on nosing till it warms- even then, very smooth.
Taste: Pear essence with a rush of finely distilled alcohol on the backside. Unlike the Schladerer and some other Poire Williams we have reviewed, this one has not been aged in wood and so has a cleaner “just fruit” taste (not that we don’t like wood aged eau de vie but this is a different style). Nips at the edges of you tongue as you finish it. A wonderful warming and long lingering finish.
Drinks: Enjoy it on its own with no distractions.
Final Thoughts: Some people may be slightly disinclined to buy it as it is pricier than the cheap imitations, but well worth the money for a well made hand crafted product. Another advantage to this brand is it will not turn or go bad if the bottle is partially full for a good long time- so you don’t have to worry about drinking it up quickly.You can relax and enjoy the bottle over time
Bottle: Clear rectangular glass with sloped shoulders- parchment style labels.
Web site:: http://www.etter-distillerie.ch
Fast-loading with a fair amount of information and beautiful photographs. Easy-to-read. Good content and descriptions of production. American readers take note: European design – run your mouse over things to find embedded links to click on.