I’ve written about a few apple brandies on this blog and firmly believe that it is the most American of spirits, but there’s another brandy that belongs right up there with bourbon and apple brandy for its domestic history, and that’s peach brandy. Apparently peach brandies were once quite common, which is no surprise given the pride with which certain areas of the US regard this crop. However, I’ve only ever been able to find one brand of peach brandy, and that was yesterday.
Kuchan O’Henry Peach Brandy is made by Old World Spirits, based in California, and aged in French oak for some amount of time (probably not too long based on the coloring).
– 80 proof
– Made by Old World Spirits
The bottle is nothing remarkable to look at. It reminds me of a lot of the non-grape brandy bottles we see around these days. Tall, slim, prominent label. There isn’t much going on with the design either, with the name in script backed by some flourishes. The picture of the peaches is a nice touch to the extent that it conveys a sense of freshness. The back label has a charming an genuine story that traces the routes of this brandy to the eastern European fruit eau de vie tradition, which tends to be practiced by families in garages and sheds in the countryside. It does serve to indirectly highlight just how limited this country is with is spirits culture.
On the nose the brandy carries a rich, buttery quality that envelops a core of sweetness and ripe fruit. There’s a burnt quality around the edges, like someone’s taken a match to a teaspoon of sugar. These qualities carry through on the tongue. It is very smooth throughout, with a silky texture delivering that buttery sweet sensation. The finish is surprisingly peachy and long-lasting, yet gentle.
I’m impressed, if this is aged for as little time as its color implies, this is an incredibly smooth brandy. What I like best about it, though, is that it does a fantastic job of conveying the fruit. Whereas apple brandy takes on qualities beyond — yet still rooted in — its base fruit when it spends time in oak, if Kuchan’s aging seems to have boosted the essential peach aspects. This is great on its own, but I’m looking forward to trying a few cocktails with it.