This weekend I found myself in the heart of the New Forest at a strange cross between a cider festival and steam rally; I watch a ceremony of Wassail and was serenaded by the jangled tones of The Plonker, the local agricultural orchestra. In between picking out bit of straw from scrumpy I tried an interesting product that was a little out of place #1 it was distilled #2 it was from Gloucestershire*.
'Owler Pear Spirit is made by Charles Martell, the man behind Stinking Bishop Cheese** and is made at Hunts Court Farm Distillery in Dymock Gloucestershire. It is an unaged pear spirit / eaux-de-vie and is bottled at 40%ABV.
It's not cheap, £50 for 70cl***
nose: dry, full, hint of vanilla pear and apple
taste: really, really smooth. Full pear flavour but not too sweet and with a pleasant dryness. Hints of vanilla and almond. Like the nose dry, and then warmth at the end. As eau de vies go it's pretty good.
* Not 'Ampshire or even Daw-sett.
** This is a Glouchester cheese made from the milk of Gloucester cattle, which in 1972 consisted of only 68 Gloucester breed heifers. It has a distinctive odour which comes from the process with which the cheese is washed during its ripening; it is immersed in perry every four weeks while it matures.
*** This is what first caught my eye, I wondered how they could justify charging so much.