Doug decants: 2018 Perry Pear Eaux de Vie, Capreolus

by blog on January 20, 2021

Perry pears, used to make the pear equivalent of cider, are endemic to this part of the Cotswold’s but are sadly now largely viewed as uncommercial. Most of the varieties Capreolus use are found within 30 miles of the distillery and carry with them the incredible complexity which is much more akin to the wild pear than the classic dessert pears. The pears are very difficult to work with but the effort yields great results.

In this eau de vie, traditional local varieties of these tiny fruits hang from trees up to 300 years old & 10 metres tall. Picked on two family farms, every piece of fruit is hand-graded and cleaned before a slow wild yeast fermentation. A true expression of locality and heritage.

Each pear is inspected and sorted by hand by founder and distiller Barney Wilczak and family, gently washed and slowly fermented at cool temperatures to best preserve aroma. Further tying the eaux de vie to the local landscape and its indigenous microflora, only the fruits naturally occurring wild yeasts are used for the conversion of sugars to create the small yield of alcohol that helps carry and preserve this pure essence in the glass.

Barney Wilczak, founder and distiller of Capreolus Distillery

Once fermented, the fruits are transferred to the distillery. Respecting the ingredients, the fruits are gently placed by hand into the custom copper still.

Most of the varieties are found within 30 miles of the distillery and carry with them the incredible complexity which is much more akin to the wild pear than the classic dessert pears.

Heated by 100% renewably sourced power it is clothed in a water bath, removing the risk of scorching. The choice of copper rather than cheaper stainless steel serves two roles. A superb conductor of heat, it allows a gradual transition of flavours as they evaporate within the still. Secondly it binds undesirable flavour components to its surface, part of the alchemy and art of distillation.

A first distillation concentrates the essence of the fruit to create the “low wines”, a spirit of 15-30% ABV. After several first distillations, the low wines are combined and once again distilled, either to concentrate them further or for the final spirit run. The first section, known as the “heads” are highly volatile, undesirable and are rejected. A rapid change to the “hearts”, where the true beauty of the spirit lies, the goal in distillation. Finally, heavy and fatty, the “tails” are removed.

The clear spirit is then aged to develop its full aromatic potential before release.

Rich and perfumed layering aromatic pear flesh with hints of spice. Expansive aromas with notes of green leaves, sun warmed wood, vanilla and gentle sweetness. Mouth filling, contrasting sweet high floral notes of juice with the texture and long-lasting savoury and spice infused bass notes of perry pear skin.

248 bottles made.

2018 Perry Pear Eaux de Vie

 

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Interested in finding more about the Capreolus Distillery range? Contact us directly:

[email protected] |  [email protected] | 01483 538820

*Note: We are still open for business, doing deliveries, and keen to help everyone with their booze needs in this difficult time. Natural wine lovers can visit our online shop and order online!

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