By Andy Young

Willie Smith’s has launched a new apple spirits company, which will produce a number of spirits under the name of Charles Oates Distilling.

The brand launched last night with the Charles Oates Fine Apple Brandy, which has been aged in a range of Tokay, Muscat, and Sherry barrels, to create a Calvados-style drink.

“We are overwhelmed with how the product has turned out, it’s dark and rich colour and flavour is so exciting to see and taste it. We can’t wait to bottle our small batches and share it with the people of Tasmania,” said Dr. Tim Jones, Head Cider Maker and Distiller at Willie Smith’s and Charles Oates.

The creation and release of the Fine Apple Brandy and the focus on innovative, un-aged apple spirits are yet another way to celebrate the apple-growing history of the region.  

Sam Reid, Co-founder of Willie Smith’s and Charles Oates Distilling said: “I first fell in love with Calvados when I was visiting France on a research trip four years ago. It’s an absolutely delicious spirit and I knew that it was something we just had to develop in Tasmania. The still enables us to make a traditional style Calvados while also improving the quality of our cider.

"If we produce a batch we’re not 100 per cent comfortable releasing we can just distil it and make apple spirit. In this we’ve also found a way to reduce wastage in the cider making process, so it’s a win-win.”

At last night’s launch, award-winning author and Calvados afficinado Richard Flanagan was presented with the first ever bottle of the Fine Apple Brandy, which is available in 200ml and 350ml bottles from 10 April.

The Shout Team

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