Four weeks after starting the infusion I could wait no longer (the initial process described earlier, here). So, the cheesecloth and funnel came out and the liqueur deployed, a rapid deployment compared to last years 6 week batch. I finally settled on the Band of Brothers theme reckoning apples from this tree probably fed a few of the boys 70 years ago.
I have had a taste or two along the way, once two weeks ago when it was still a bit harsh (but much mellower than the week before that). Some of that may have been down to our choice to cut the brown sugar in half and some might have been the short aging process. Still, the apples themselves shone through drafting their malic acid and natural sugars for the effort, but they were also very tart fruit and there is an almost lemon peel bite to this batch. And, two weeks more steeping (and a handful of walnuts) would really have mellowed the drink: it’s meant to be strongly alcoholic but not to taste or smell that way.
I promised the guy at Magnum Wine Shop a taste but it turned out such a disappointment compared to the last 7 or 8 experiments that I feel like I will have to qualify the description. At least he’ll probably beg off any future offers from me (although, that’s disappointing, as well). Harsh, brutal, and with God on its side.
[UPDATE: The sharp edge settled a little over night, but after the frankly successful toddy the remaining liquid has been put back on top of a handfull of walnuts and another apple to steep for two more weeks.]