BROOKLYN — Making brandy can be a bit of a gamble.
Kings County Distillery and Brooklyn Winery released a brandy they created together last week, but they had no idea how it would turn out when they started the venture three years ago — or whether their businesses would be successful.
When they decided to partner up, both booze businesses were just starting out — and neither of them had made brandy before.
"Is it nerve-wracking? It can be," said Conor McCormack, Brooklyn Winery's winemaker. "You gotta take those gambles and always experiment and try new things. It could have been awful."
Now, both businesses are doing well — and the brandy was a success too.
Kings County Distillery's Colin Spoelman took 775 gallons of McCormack's Cabernet Franc wine and turned it into 110 gallons of brandy, aging it in old bourbon barrels up until this year.
"It's warming," McCormack said. "It's not bitter."
"It has that Christmas spice that people associated with aged spirits," Spoelman said.
The 375 mL bottles of "fruity," "spiced" brandy cost $45 each and there are less than 250 bottles for sale this year.
The brandy is available at Kings County at 63 Flushing Ave.
This year's bottles represent about a quarter of all the brandy the two Brooklyn businesses made together. In coming years, a few more bottles — with a slightly more aged taste — may be debuting, too.
"Maybe it’s done in three years, maybe it’s done in six years," Spoelman said. "It all goes by the palette, and basically you stake your reputation on making something good."