Taste of the Week
Longueville House Irish Apple Brandy
Thoughtlessly picked up a small bottle and poured, thinking it was Cognac. First sip disabused me of that notion. Now I was beginning to think properly as this smooth liquid with a different flavour to what I had expected spread across the palate. Then I remembered. I had acquired a couple of samples of Longueville House Irish Apple Brandy and everything fell into place, a very comfortable place indeed.
This regular Blas na hEireann winner is a favourite of mine. Normandy doesn’t want us to use the word Calvados here. And I wouldn’t want to do it either. I have from the start, maintained that Longueville is better, on a higher level, both in terms of flavour and smoothness, than the French drink.
And this inadvertent tasting again confirmed that for me and it is now my Taste of the Week. This is a small batch apple brandy from the 500 acre estate near Mallow. They grow the fruit and make their lovely cider. This is then double distilled in very small stills and matured for four years in French Oak. And the result is this beauty with a lingering finish to savour and enjoy. Good time of the year to stock up on it!
Longueville has 25 acres of apples and the orchard is over 20 years old. “We don't spray Roundup here,” proprietor William said. “We try to stay away from them. No pesticides.” One way they counter the aphids, a tiny bug that can do enormous damage, is to encourage the hoverfly by planting the likes of Fennel, Angelica and Yarrow. These attract the hoverfly, a natural enemy of the aphid. Sheep are normally kept in the orchards and they ensure a low level of grass. But they do have to be taken out immediately before and during the harvest. To read more about Longueville cider and brandy, please click here.