Laird's Applejack 86 Proof

For all the apple brandy geeks out there, Laird’s has recently reintroduced a straight apple brandy bottled at 86 proof.

Previously, to my knowledge, the only widely-available product from them that was 100% apple brandy was their 100 proof Bottled-in-Bond variety (which I adore). Their regular, 80-proof applejack has been a blend of apple brandy and neutral spirits for at least the last few decades–someone correct me if I’m wrong on that!

I just recently got access to this at my shop in Minneapolis and really enjoyed it. I’m curious now (for those cocktail historians among us) whether or not this is a meaningful improvement on any historic drinks calling for applejack? Laird’s claims that their pre-Prohibition applejack was always bottled at 86-proof, although my assumption is always that 19th century spirits below 100-proof were a rarity. Maybe someone can give more information? Would this make a more historically-accurate Jersey Sunset, etc…?

Thanks in advance for all of your wise insights!

2 Likes

I’ve seen ads for this, but haven’t gotten a the opportunity to sample it. @slkinsey, have you? I adore the Bonded product, and have no use for the entry level blended Laird’s Applejack.

2 Likes

Can’t wait to try it out!

1 Like

Laird’s has also long had a 7.5 year old 40% abv. It’s been easy enough to order for around $45 but very few places keep it in stock. That tends to be true of the Bonded as well though. The one that is hard to get is the 12 year old because they didn’t make much of it back in the dark years for aged spirits. Im including a photo of the 7.5 along with their lineup as of last year.

Over the years, I’ve gone through several bottles of the 7 1/2 and the 12. They’re quite pleasant.

1 Like

In one of my first forays into a craft cocktail program, I was promoted before I knew what was what thanks to a few unexpected departures, and ended up helming a cocktail program I wasn’t at all qualified to run (at least to start. I am profoundly grateful for that experience–I learned through fire and flame, but man oh man did I learn), and we had an Laird’s cocktail on the menu. We ran out of the standard 80 proof, but had a case of the 12 year in the cage. I looked up our price per bottle, and it was entered as a 22 dollar bottle. There had been a mistake in entering the price (I think whoever added that to our cost spreadsheet accidentally put the cost of the Laird’s 80 proof 1L), and I didn’t know any better. So we poured an ounce and a half of Laird’s 12 year into a 10 dollar cocktail until we needed to reorder and I saw the actual price per bottle. It was not a fun conversation with my GM when I realized the mistake. But those were some delicious cocktails.

2 Likes