Tom's Foolery Applejack Cask Strength (1st release) (59.6%): Another random pick from my sample-yard. This time it is from Tom's Foolery Distillery. Tom's Foolery is founded by Tom and Liane Herbruck in 2008 in Ohio with the plan of being an Applejack distillery exclusively. In years although they added Bourbon, Rye Whiskey and Gin in their portfolio Applejack remained as their first love. They have four different Applejack expressions they bottle: Straight Applejack on a regular basis and Bonded, Single Cask and Cask Strength as limited editions. This is a sample from their 1st Cask Strength release. It is double distilled in copper stills and aged for about four years in a variety of casks like ex-Cognac, ex-Bourbon, ex-Applejack, 1st fill wine and newly charred American oak barrels. No sugar, coloring and/or flavoring added.
Color: Pale yellow, Chardonnay with very thin but slow legs.
Nose: Very winey first... Lime juice, grape pomace and apple vinegar. After allowing it air some dusty qualities appear: chalk, grist and cardboard boxes. Fruitier after adding water but these fruit aromas appear to be coming from casks as well instead of solely from the distillate. Pineapple, grape juice, lemon zest and custard.
Palate: Hot at this abv. Golden Delicous apples and honeysuckle. Green wood, cake batter and bread crust. Only after adding water the spirit shows itself as an apple distillate. Pear compote, apple crumble and cider. Toasted oak, lightly roasted coffee beans and nutmeg.
Finish: Long with lemon juice, white pepper and coffee.
Overall: If this was a blind tasting I wouldn't think about it as an apple brandy all the way till I add water on the palate. It nosed and tasted more like a young and well made single malt up until that moment. I am pleasantly surprised... It is crafty, it is young but not choked in small first fill charred casks. It is fresh, open and actually very enjoyable. I feel bad that it is the first time I am tasting something from Tom's Foolery. Now I want to taste more including their Bourbon and Rye. I'll keep my eyes open...