Charles Oates Distilling produces fine apple spirits celebrating the apple growing history of one of the apple isle’s most famous orcharding regions - the Huon Valley.
The apples are grown, picked, crushed, fermented (into cider), and then distilled all on the Smith’s family farm in the beautiful Valley just south of Hobart.
While the still was commissioned in 2016, the real story began back in the mid-1800s when a rogue sheep stealer, Charles Oates ventured to the Valley and planted the first apple orchards.
It’s these same orchards his descendants, the Smith family (most known for Willie Smith’s cider), tend today.
The team started out borrowing various stills to make their spirit on until their own striking copper still was complete.
Made in the style of the traditional Calvados stills of France, the chapeau, it’s crowning glory, was hand beaten by local craftsman, Peter Bailey.
The team first released their white unaged apple spirit, then a series of fine apple brandies – both blends and single cask releases, and most recently, the rich and generous liqueur, Pommeau.
Charles Oates Apple Spirit is the purest aromatic expression of Tassie apples – simply apple cider, twice distilled. Made predominantly from the tannic but intensely aromatic heritage apple variety Frequin Rouge. A classic eau-de-vie - you can drink it chilled or in a Bloody Mary, martini or other, typically vodka based cocktails.
Charles Oates Pommeau is the result of aging the apple spirit for 12 months in the ex-brandy casks, then blending the juice of heritage apple varieties to become a complex, luscious liqueur with notes of caramelised apple and spice. Best enjoyed as an aperitif or with blue cheese.
After patient aging in ex-fortified wine barrel (Tokay, Muscat and Sherry), Charles Oates Brandy casks are carefully selected and blended to produce an elegant and outstanding spirit that shows layers of baked apple, sweet caramel and fruit cake aromatics. Smooth and persistent. Enjoy as a digestif or with mature cheese or rich dessert.
The full range of Charles Oates apple spirits are available via their website. You can learn more at charlesoates.com.au