This winter we tried several types of apples, to compare the flavor of the brandy and to see if one type produced more yield than the others. After Criterion, we tried Hanner, an apple we'd sampled at Uncle Paul's produce, which had a sweet flavor but best of all was huge. Some of them were two pounds each and although their size cut down the amount of cutting, they bruised relatively quickly.
Golden Delicious, in terms of consistent quality, durability, juiciness, overall size and flavor, are hard to top. This winter we purchased, cored, put through our fruit grinder, fermented, and then distilled three bins worth, or approximately 2500 pounds.
We were happy to discover that we could still get large quantities of choice apples (and pears) throughout most of the winter from Wells Orchards in Hood River through Uncle Paul.
In January, we tried Sonata apples, pictured above with our friends Chris and Karen helping out. Sonatas were recommended as having the highest sugar content of all the apples. We'll make a final assessment of the apples once the brandy is ready.