Pear
pear-brandy-thm
Pear In The Bottle
pear-in-bottle-thm
Cherry
cherry-brandy-thm
Blue Plum
blue-plum-brandy-thm
Mirabelle Plum
mirabelle-plum-brandy-thm
Raspberry
raspberry-brandy-thm
Douglas Fir
douglas-fir-thm

Clear Brandies (Eau de Vie)

The clear fruit brandies of France also known as eau de vie, which translates to “water of life”. In Germany, they’re referred to as “schnapps”. Most European countries have a local term for the clear, bone-dry brandies distilled from the regional fruit. Usually bottled at around 80 proof, these spirits are typically served at the end of a meal, or between courses, as the perfect digestif. These fruit brandies are traditionally un-aged to maintain the wonderful intensity of the fruit. Apple brandies are the exception to this rule. They mature beautifully in French oak barrels, which give them additional depth and complexity. The heart of Clear Creek’s product line is our fruit brandies, which are all made according to techniques traditionally used in Europe. We use only pure, whole Pacific Northwest grown fruit.

Pear Brandy

Our Pear Brandy is made in the tradition of France’s classic Eau de Vie de Poire Williams. Bartlett pears grown just an hour away in the Hood River Valley are crushed at their absolute peak of ripeness. This whole fruit mash is carefully fermented, and the spirit is distilled in our German-made pot stills. It takes 20 pounds of pears to make one 750ml bottle of Pear Brandy. The pear nose is intense, the taste is strong, but pure, and the aftertaste is clean with a surprisingly strong taste of pear. It is lovely served chilled.

Double Gold medal winner at the San Francisco International Spirits Competition, 2013 and 2000 (the only years we entered).

Compared to European brandies such as Trimbach and Massenez, Clear Creek’s is “Best of all” and “peerlessly true to the original fruit.” — Michael Franz, The Washington Post, December 17, 2003

“…the most extraordinary eau-de-vie in America, indeed, in the world.” — The Wine Bible, by Karen MacNeil, 2001

“The aroma is explosively intense, the essence of Bartlett pears pure and without heat, despite its eighty proof strength.” Eric Asimov, The New York Times, August 15, 2007

“Quite spectacular” — R.W. Apple, Jr., New York Times, January 27, 1999

Pear-in-the-Bottle Pear Brandy

Yes, we do indeed grow the pears in the bottles! Soon after the petals have fallen off of the developing pear buds, we very carefully slip bottles over the little pears, tying the bottles to the branches above. The pears happily grow in the bottles, until they’re big enough to harvest in July or August. The bottles of pears are then immediately brought to the distillery, where they are cleaned by hand and filled with our clear Pear Brandy. The result is a full grown, lovely Bartlett Pear grown in the bottle, surrounded by its spirit. In France they call it “Poire Prisonniere”, or imprisoned pear. We call it Pear-in-the-Bottle Pear Brandy.

“…the most extraordinary eaux-de-vie in America, indeed, in the world.”

The Wine Bible, by Karen MacNeil, 2001

Cherry Brandy (Kirschwasser)

Certified Kosher for Passover

Fresh Oregon and Washington cherries are crushed, fermented, and distilled into clear, delicate Cherry Brandy, also known as Kirschwasser. In German, Kirschwasser translates to “cherry water”, and is an integral ingredient in Swiss fondue, Black Forest cake and tortes. We use dark, sweet table cherries, giving the spirit a soft aroma of vanilla and almond.

F. Paul Pacult, author of Kindred Spirits (1997) and the Spirit Journal has described Clear Creek’s Kirschwasser as “delicate and serene … feline delicacy of cherry flavor robed in manageable spirit that plays like a string quartet … Highly recommended” and called it “absolutely delightful.”

“Kirsch, made of Oregon and Washington cherries, seems muted at first but comes alive in a subtle, minty aroma that evolves into the essence of sugared cherries.” Eric Asimov, The New York Times, August 15, 2007

Blue Plum Brandy (Slivovitz)

Certified Kosher for Passover

Now certified Kosher for Passover. Blue Plum Brandy, known as Slivovitz in much of Eastern Europe, in France as Quetsch and in Germany as Zwetschgenwasser, is pot distilled from a pure fermented mash of Italian Blue plums grown in the Pacific Northwest. We make it much as it has been made in Europe for centuries and believe the result is smoother, more aromatic, and more sophisticated than any European Blue Plum Brandy. It makes a great sorbet.

Our Blue Plum Brandy has received many gold medals starting in 2004 at the U.S. Slivovitz competition – even in years we haven’t entered. Under their judging criteria, they state, “Clear Creek Blue Plum Brandy is simply the standard by which all other slivovitz is judged.”

U.S. Slivovitz Festival, “Best glass aged slivovitz in the world” 2004, 2005 and 2006 (first entered in 2004)

This kept winning the gold medal at the U.S. Slivovitz Festival so in 2006 it became the comparison by which all entries are judged.

“Blue plum offers a beautifully sweet and delicate aroma of herbs, anise and fruit…” Eric Asimov, The New York Times, August 15, 2007

Mirabelle Plum

Our favorite Alsatian brandy, also known as eau de vie is the Mirabelle. We looked for 20 years and finally found the fruit at King Estate near Eugene, Oregon. They are small, beautiful little yellow plums that make a very delicate and aromatic eau de vie.

“The power of the Clear Creek eau de vie of Mirabelle comes …from its ripe, heady fragrance, its penetrating plum flavor and its lingering freshness.” — Florence Fabricant, New York Times, August 25, 2004

Raspberry Brandy

Our Raspberry Brandy is the distillation of a pure mash of fermented raspberries grown near the distillery. It is incredibly aromatic and very difficult to make. Fermentation of fresh whole raspberries is very tricky and some years we don’t get it right. So, some years there isn’t any at all.

Douglas Fir Brandy

Inspired by the obscure Alsatian spirit Eau de Vie de Bourgeons de Sapin made from pine buds, our Douglas Fir Brandy is truly a tree in a bottle. It took ten years of experimentation to successfully capture the true essence of Oregon’s state tree.
This brandy, also known as eau de vie is made from bright green springtime Douglas fir buds, hand picked, and immediately infused in our clear very delicate and aromatic brandy. This maceration is then re-distilled and re-infused with fresh new buds, giving the spirit its vibrant green hue from the Douglas fir’s natural chlorophyll. No artificial color has been added.

“Spiced and pure with juniper, forest floor, fresh wood, Christmas tree and sweet vanilla; long and quite amazing.” Anthony Dias Blue, Patterson’s Tasting Panel, 2007

“…the resulting eau de vie is a penetrating blast of forest aroma. On the palate it has the herbal, stomach settling effect of an Italian digestif.” Eric Asimov, The New York Times, August 15, 2007