Brandy Made with Locally Grown Rome Apples
Fredericksburg, VA. (June 4, 2019) – A. Smith Bowman’s deep Virginia roots led the Distillery to create an experimental brandy made from a traditional local crop –apples. Apple Brandy is the Distillery’s third release in its Experimental Series, which includes distilled spirits from a wide range of expressions, separate from its Abraham Bowman whiskey releases.
Apple brandies were very popular during the origins of the country and as Virginia is among the top 10 apple producing states, this homegrown crop was a no-brainer for this historic distillery’s newest experimental offering.
The Distillery worked with a local grower to select the strain of apple chosen for this experimental bottling, ultimately deciding on the Rome apple. These apples are a popular heirloom variety known for baking and producing sweet floral aromatic notes.
Throughout the distillation process, careful steps were taken to maintain the fresh fruit characters of the apple, which were first crushed before fermenting. To maximize the floral and fruit notes expressed in the brandy, Master Distiller Brian Prewitt specifically selected a yeast that would accentuate the floral and fruity components. Then, after a long, cool fermentation, it was distilled utilizing A. Smith Bowman’s custom microstill, George, where Prewitt again worked to intentionally utilize methods that would maximize the fruit character and emphasize the apple.
Following distillation, the brandy was barreled at 121 proof and aged in well-seasoned barrels that were previously used to age the Abraham Bowman Release 13 Touriga and Merlot Wine Finished Bourbon.
These barrels were then tasted constantly over three years to ensure that the soft aromatic character of the apple was not being overpowered by the oak. After three years of aging and tasting, these barrels matched the desired flavor profile and were bottled at 90 proof.
Prewitt describes the Apple Brandy as having a “beautiful golden hue and aromas of honey and fresh apples greet you on the nose. The honey gives way to a sweet, floral, almost candy like aroma that finally fades and gives way to vanilla and brown spice notes of the barrel. Upon tasting, the mouthfeel is silky smooth with vanilla and toasted oak notes lingering in a long pleasant aftertaste.”
Apple Brandy will be offered for sale at the A. Smith Bowman Distillery Visitor Center in Fredericksburg, VA on Thursday, June 13. It is very limited and is not likely to be repeated, however; new experimental spirits will be forthcoming.
A. Smith Bowman Distillery, well known for making-award winning bourbons, including two of the World’s Best Bourbons, expanded its offerings to include a new line of experimental spirits in 2016. The first Experimental Release introduced Rye Expectations Gin and the second release introduced Virginia Rum. The series will grow to include a wide variety of distilled spirits including many different expressions of vodkas, brandies, gins and rums. The Experimental Series explores a wide variety of spirits delving into unique recipes, wood types, exotic fermentables, and the use of local ingredients such as grapes, apples, pears, grains, and much more.
The Experimental Series bottles feature a small rectangle label on the front of each release explaining the provenance along with a hand numbered release number and bottle number.
Apple Brandy is bottled in 375 mL and will be priced at $29.99. It is 90 proof.
About A. Smith Bowman
A. Smith Bowman’s distilling roots date back to the years before Prohibition when the Bowman family had a granary and dairy farm in Sunset Hills, Virginia. They used excess grain from the family estate to distill spirits. In 1934, after the Repeal of Prohibition, Abram Smith Bowman and his sons continued the family tradition and built a more modern distillery in Fairfax County, Virginia called Sunset Hills Farm. The Distillery was moved in 1988 and is now nestled in Spotsylvania County near the city of Fredericksburg, 60 miles away from the original location.
As a small and privately owned company, A. Smith Bowman Distillery continues the time-honored traditions on which it was founded. Considered a micro-distillery by today’s standards, A. Smith Bowman produces an assortment of hand-crafted spirits distilled from only the finest natural ingredients and using the latest technology. This micro-distillery focuses on the production of premium spirits honoring the legacy of Virginia’s first settlers. Its various brands have won more than 100 awards in the past five years, including “World’s Best Bourbon” in 2016 for its Abraham Bowman Port Finished Bourbon and again in 2017 for its John J. Bowman Single Barrel at the World Whisky Awards.