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Double Golden Harvest Farms

April 2, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned a sweet topic in a salty post.  It involved our local distillery and the unconfirmed report that they received a big award.

The distillery is Harvest Spirits, which is conveniently located in part of a building at Golden Harvest Farms.  The awarding body is the tenth annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  The results have been officially released, and the awards are as follows:

Cornelius Applejack – Double Gold
PEAR Brandy – Gold
Core Vodka
– Silver

With all the distilleries we have in the state of New York, this distillery was the only one that had the gumption to play with the big boys in the spirit world this year.  And they were justifiably rewarded.  Maybe next year Thomas Earl McKenzie, the distiller who makes an absolutely stunning rye, will get some of the recognition he deserves.

Now you may look at the list of awards and wonder, “So why haven’t you written a post on the PEAR Brandy?”

I find it difficult to compare two similar products when I don’t have them in front of me.  But when I first went to Harvest Spirits, I still had the memory of two other pear brandies etched into my mind.  And at the time, the batch being produced at the local distillery just didn’t measure up to these stunning bottles.

But as luck would have it, I was at Harvest Spirits just last weekend.  I was meeting my aunt and uncle there, and they had never been to a distillery before.  This was a big deal because they enjoy vodka.  They had also been skeptical when I told them about a vodka made with apples.

After taking the tour, and tasting two different batches of the stuff, they happily walked off with a bottle.  Over the weekend they polished it off with the help of a few friends, so it must have been satisfactory.

I mention this because on this recent trip I did two things of note.  One was that I retried the PEAR brandy, and it was better than I had remembered.  Clearly the distillers are honing their craft.  Although it has also been far too long since I’ve sampled the Aqua Perfecta.  Still, I really had the sensation of a whole pear experience.  Regrettably my liquor cabinet is still too full to accommodate another bottle of booze at this time.

Oddly, my aunt thought it tasted like cough medicine.  Maybe I need to take a trip to her pharmacy.

I also learned more about a new product they are developing.  It’s called Rare Pear, and it is pear brandy that is aged in new charred American oak casks.  And that promises to be very tasty stuff.  It was also nice to see the ricks filled with more Woodford Reserve barrels that will in time yield additional batches of the Cornelius Applejack.

Hopefully all of these medals won’t go to their heads.

In the meanwhile, if you are wandering the aisles of a liquor store anywhere in New York, and you happen to see a bottle from batch 21 of the Core vodka, please drop me an email.  One of my greatest regrets of the past year is buying only a half bottle from that batch.  I know that there must be another bottle of it out there.  Somewhere.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 2, 2010 1:55 pm

    It has been interesting seeing people try the PEAR; some people love it and others hate it. There is very little middle ground. Maybe it has something to do with the palate of different people I’m not sure. When trying it I would definitely suggest cool but not chilled (Refrigerator not freezer).

    And no, the medals won’t go to our heads. We are stoked about it, but now we have to replicate that quality over and over. We look forward to the coming months and years.

  2. rts2346 permalink
    April 4, 2010 10:12 am

    After reading this blog, I bought a bottle of the
    Cornelius Applejack at the Empire Wine store in the Northway Mall. Excellent! The guests at our family Easter dinner yesterday loved it, too. There is a tag attached to the bottle that says if you return the bottle to the distillery, they will give you a free shot glass – as if we needed another reason to visit! Thanks for writing about this. We will have to try their other spirits, too.

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