Who: Schnapsbrennerei Alois Gölles
Where: Styria, Riegersburg (Austria)
Fully ripe apricots are hand-picked, cleaned, stoned, then mashed and fermented at a controlled temperature. Stones are added to the mash during fermentation to increase the particularity in its taste. The mash is then transferred to copper kettles and distilled in a traditional manner, two times over. The second distillation is what distinguishes it from others, as it enhances the “tertiary” flavors and subdues the heat from the high level of alcohol.
I first tried this when I was in Vienna, and it peaked my interest in brandy. I didn’t really care for it before, but thought I should try something typical of Austria while in town and it was the best decision I made. It turns out Austria does apricots very well (preserves, candies, brandy) and this was no exception. Incredibly balanced, delicate, aromatic and ripe, it’s perfect as a digestif or cold comfort during the long winter.