The aroma of this new apple brandy, or eau de vie as they would have it, suggests a pile of freshly peeled apple skins. Apple fragrances are not uncommon in alcoholic beverages, most notably in some chardonnays that suggest green apple, but not the riper nose of Tamworth Distilling’s latest; it’s named after Lilith, who in Jewish folklore (possibly derived from Mesopotamian legend) is said to have been the first of the biblical Adam’s wives. She supposedly turned herself into the seductive serpent of Eden who tempted Eve with the apple. This brandy is made from heirloom Cortland apples from New Hampshire, the home of Tamworth, fermented and double-distilled in alembic and aged more than four years in whiskey barrels. The aging, which brings its color to pale amber, makes it more brandy, of which there is a strong tradition in New England since colonial times, than eau de vie, which is usually unaged and clear. It’s in the Calvados style, smooth on the palate with deep flavors of cloves, honey and black pepper. At 100 proof it follows the rules for a bottled-in-bond designation.
Tamworth Garden Lilith Apple Brandy, $95 for 750 milliliters, Tamworth Distilling, tamworthdistilling.com.