"Arkansas Black Straight Applejack contains 100% apples, around 25 pounds per bottle. It is never blended with grain spirits. The apple “mash bill” varies from year to year, depending on what types of apples are available at harvest. Typically it includes a mix of several varieties of sweet, crisp, and cider apples. The apples are inspected, washed and crushed, then fermented and distilled with the must to preserve the fresh apple flavors. The spirit is then rested at just over 100 proof in a blend of French Limousin and American Bourbon barrels.
The finished product is a selected blend of barrels of different type and age, with each component of the blend chosen for its particular characteristics. The honey-freshness and assertiveness of the younger spirit complements the mellow, vanilla tones of more well-rested brandy. It is never cold-stabilized, and proof adjustments are made with fresh apple distillate. Try it on the rocks, in one of the delicious cocktails on this site, or in any cocktail that calls for brandy, rye or bourbon whiskey.
Our recipe pays homage to Arthur "Skipper" Ford, who made cider and farmhouse applejack from the exceptional heirloom apples that he grew at his ranch on Howell Mountain (Napa County). As a manager for the Dole Fruit Company, Skipper had access to heirloom varieties of fruit, many of which he cultivated on the ranch. The Arkansas Black Apple, with its tart flavor, was a family favorite. Sadly, Skipper and the Timberlane Ranch are long gone.
After years of hearing the legends of Skipper and his Applejack, John convinced his wife (and greatgranddaughter of Skipper), Samantha, to take a stab at recreating this classic spirit. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we do."