XO Wines & Spirits/Skånska Spritfabriken is a young company located outside of Lund in the south of Sweden since 2009. In the beginning their only product was apple brandy made from locally sourced apples, but since 2012 they’re also producing pommeau, applejack and single malt whisky.
Their pommeau, Pommes Feliz, is made by master blender Kim Paulin who mixes the apple brandy with unfermented apple juice and lets it rest in french oak barrels, and the abv of this batch is 18%. So far so good, let’s get on with the tasting notes.
Nose: A fresh yet at the same time rather heavy aroma of ripe apples, a soothing sweetness from vanilla and baking spices. Mouth: Somewhat more dry than the nose suggests, with hints of oak to balance the semi-sweet explosion of apple and vanilla, and a touch of spicy cinnamon as it fades and leaves dry, woody apple notes. Maybe just a little bit thin and rough around the edges, but still a very pleasant aperitif to enjoy on the rocks.
It almost felt like I’d ruin this gentle spirit by using it as a cocktail ingredient, but I had to try just for fun. So I found the cocktail Apple Dandy by Brian MacGregor, Wingtip (45 ml Tequila reposado, 30 ml Pommes Feliz, 15 ml chamomile syrup, 15 ml lemon juice – shake with ice and strain into coupette, garnish with a lemon wheel studded with cloves), and while the pommeau doesn’t really come through, the fruity, floral combination of apple and chamomile together with the grassy, smoky tequila makes it a very nice and refreshing cocktail.