Comice Pear Crush

Comice in from the rain
We make a Comice brandy, as well as a Bartlett pear.  Two years ago we were serving both and found that 3 out of 4 people preferred the Bartlett, but the 4th enjoyed the Comice better.  Why?   The Comice is less sweet to the palate, more a fall flavor, whereas our Bartlett tastes like the height of summer, bright, and an awesome nose. For some reason whiskey drinkers often prefer Comice- perhaps the dry spiciness?   The Comice, like most other pear varietals we have tried to distill, lacks the specific ester that distinguishes the Bartlett pear brandy from all others.  Still, it is a tastier pear to eat, and we get some particular late harvest Comice pears from EZ Orchards in the Salem area which are so sweet, they are most enjoyable to eat while we make the brandy mash.  We are making Comice brandy now, after all the Bartlett have already come and gone.

We use most of our Comice brandy in a Star Crimson Pear liqueur- a combination of syrup made from red-skinned Star Crimson pears, and we bring the liqueur to 40 proof (20% abv with a combination of Comice and Bartlett pear brandy.  This makes the pear liqueur a combination of three pears and is one of our most popular late fall seasonal liqueurs.