“It was my summer of crazy fruit mashes,” says Connie Baker, head distiller of Carbondale’s Marble Distilling Company, of the season three years ago when she branched out from producing vodka, bourbon, and whiskey. The apricot brandy she tried didn’t turn out so well—over-fermentation caused all of the alcohol to disappear—but the test batch of peach brandy was delicious.
During the first part of the process “it was bright and crisp, with overwhelming florals,” Baker recalls. “Then it mellowed in the [aging] cask with hints of ginger, caramel, and vanilla, and a bourbon undertone.”
Based on that trial run, the distillery will introduce a full complement of its Paonia Peach Brandy later this year, with release anticipated for October or November. “We baby it as much as we can, but the barrel says when it’s ready,” says Baker of the time frame.
Made from 6,000 pounds of prime peaches from Paonia’s Riverside Orchards in the North Fork Valley, the brandy has been aging in two 53-gallon casks previously used for bourbon and Marble’s signature Gingercello. If it turns out tasting anything like that preliminary batch, it promises to be the perfect sip for fall.