WILLIAMS ROT/GELB059

Williams Pear Eau-de-Vie

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Exclusively for the Freimeisterkollectiv, two of the world’s best fruit distillers have joined forces. Georg Hiebl, who is based in the Mostviertel region of Austria, and Gerhard Liebl from the Bavarian Forest in Germany. Together, the two have won well over 1,000 medals in international competitions. Both have distilled hundreds of different raw materials each. For the Freimeisterkollektiv, Georg and Gerhard choose two varieties of the finest of all pear varieties: red and yellow Williams-Christ pears. With WILLIAMS ROT/GELB 059, the two ingenious distillers set a new quality standard for pear eau-de-vie.

Nose

fully ripe Williams pear

Taste

intense fruit | fresh citrus notes

Finish

red pepper | long finish

Ingredients

Red and yellow Williams' bon chrétien pear | yeast | water

Preparation

Two of the world’s best fruit distillers, Georg Hiebl from the Austrian Mostviertel and Gerhard Liebl from the Bavarian Forest, have selected two varieties of the Williams Christmas pear for their joint project WILLIAMS ROT/GELB 059: The yellow Williams is the fresher of the two varieties, with slight hints of citrus aromas. The red Williams pear, on the other hand, is juicy, has an intense pear aroma and a slightly spicy finish. The eau-de-vie made from yellow and red Williams’ bon chrétien pear combines these aromatic qualities to create a complex fruit brandy that sets new standards. Gerhard describes the decision to combine yellow and red Williams’ bon chrétien pear as follows: “Yellow and red Williams are distinguished from each other by two different flavor profiles. The aroma structure of the red Williams is more broadly structured and somewhat spicier. Georg and I have tried a few blends. The combination of yellow and red Williams pear eau-de-vie was exactly the most harmonious. That’s why we decided on a cuvée of yellow and red.”

Ingredients

The requirement for outstanding fruit brandies are ingredients of the best quality. Georg puts it succinctly, “The most important thing is the base product. The source product must be top quality.”  Gerhard adds, “If the quality of the pear is not good, because the tree is not adequate or because there simply wasn’t enough sunshine, you can’t make a high-quality brandy from it – and whoever likes can stand at the still.” The pears for WILLIAMS ROT/GELB 059 come from a friendly Piedmontese fruit farm. The contact was made during a long search for the best fruit.

Fermentation

The pears are cleaned of all stems and leaves and washed. Before being mashed separately, the yellow and red Williams pears are placed in a cold room for about two weeks, where their aroma slowly develops at low temperatures. Afterwards, they are lightly crushed, but without tearing the pectin-containing skin of the pears too much, to form a mash. The PH of the mash is lowered and inoculated with yeast. Fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled tanks. Care is taken to ensure that all the mash is constantly cooled. Any contact with oxygen is avoided. As soon as fermentation subsides, the distillation process begins immediately. This is the only way the two distillers can achieve outstanding quality. Georg emphasizes: “During the entire fermentation process, it is important that everything works well and nothing goes wrong. At the end of fermentation, the mash must be distilled quickly.”

Distillation

The distillation of the two pear mashes is done in small copper pot stills. Georg and Gerhard distill the mash of the yellow and red Williams pears separately. The mash is gently heated in the still and constantly stirred. The separation of the heads, heart of the run and tails is done by sensory inspection. In addition to years of experience, the master distiller’s sensory skills are the most important factor in distillation.Georg emphasizes: “The master distiller’s palate is what counts. He has to taste it and decide, do you distill it twice, do you use the column still. What suits the particular fruit better. Here you can also fiddle a lot, how to distill it best. And third, the palate is important in separating the heads and the tails so it’s a perfect fit.” Gerhard adds, “The passion is always to taste, refine and improve. And so we’ve been constantly tweaking throughout the years.”

Cuvée

The two distillates of yellow and red Williams pear are set to drinking strength by adding spring water in a particularly gentle way. After the so-called “marriage” of the high-proof brandies with spring water, the red and yellow Williams brandies are blended. Georg describes the aromatic combination of the two distillates as follows: “The yellow Williams is more the fresher pear that has a certain citrus touch. The red Williams is the one that is juicy on the palate and gives a very long finish. The two are an excellent combination.” After that, the finished cuvée needs a month-long resting period so that the complex aroma can fully develop. Gerhard emphasizes the special nature of this project: “To bring two distillers together at this level has never been done before, or rather I have never heard of it. And to blend a yellow and red Williams like this and bottle it as a joint project is also a novelty.”

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Reichhub | Mostviertel, Bad Kötztingen | Bayerischer Wald
  • Gerhard Liebl

    Distiller | Bad Kötzting, Bavarian Forest

    Founded in the Bavarian Forest as a grocery store by Maria Liebl in 1935, her husband and son transformed the post-war family business into a wine and spirits trade. Around 1970, the Liebl family began to produce their own spirits, the first own products were next Bärwurzschnaps the regional Blutwurzlikör (bloodworm liqueur).

    Today, the distillery is operated by Gerhard Liebl in the third generation. As one of the best distillers in Germany, he distils not only traditional specialties of the Bavarian Forest but also fruit eau-de-vie and liqueurs as well as whiskey and gin. 2018 Gerhard Liebl won the overall victory in the Fruit Brandy Olympiad for the third time: he was awarded the title of “Distiller of the Year in Gold” at the Destillata in Austria.

  • Georg Hiebl

    Distiller | Mostviertel, Lower Austria

    Georg Hiebl comes from a family that has been farming in the Lower Austrian Mostviertel for generations. The over 300-year-old square farm lies between orchards and ancient pear trees.
    When Georg Hiebl took over agriculture from his father, he realigned the business, because in the age of industrialized agriculture he saw no future for a small business without specialization. The decision to expand the distillery was shaped by both a passionate interest in flavors and economic considerations. Since 1997 he has dedicated himself exclusively to the distillation of fine spirits.

    Spurred on by his first successes, he continuously deepened his knowledge of the secret of high-quality distillates and began to experiment with unusual varieties. After several years of experimentation, he quickly rose to become one of the best in his field. He has probably won more awards than anyone else in his guild. Georg Hiebl won the gold or silver medal six times for the overall rating at the Destillata . The IWSC in London named him Boutique Distiller of the Year in 2014.