Mcmenamin’s operates two distilleries in the Portland area, one at Edgefield and another at Imbrie Hall. Their products aren’t generally sold outside of their own operations but with dozens of small strip mall bars all over town it isn’t exactly hard to find their stuff if you want it.
Recently I went shopping for presents and found a number of new products on their shelf. Among them was this tasty little number. Aval is middle welsh for apple, Pota is old Irish for a pot still. From the name you would expect an apple brandy but Aval Pota is basically apple pie. Unlike a number of the other ones on the market this one isn’t a moonshine base it uses a single malt whiskey.
Blended with apple juice and spices down to a reasonable proof this is a pretty sweet liqueur. It runs well hot or cold, the apple flavor in most things is normally too mild to notice but this holds up well. Apple smell on top is a nice aroma followed by the cinnamon. The flavors carry over into the first and second notes where you get the sweet and crisp kind of apple flavor you might get from a dried apple ring. The whiskey has a nice bite on the end, being from single malt it doesn’t have the more spicy or rounded notes of a bourbon or rye.
A little spendy for something this low a proof, most flavored whiskey products aim a little lower since they know the whiskey flavor will be covered over and thus any imperfections will be less noticeable. Pick up a bottle when things get colder and drop a little into your tea or cider. This doesn’t disappoint.
33% ABV and $29.95 for a 750ml bottle.