Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >
Nov 27, 2013 12:59 PM

Substitute for Laird's Straight Apple Brandy (BIB 100 Proof)

I am nearing the end of my last bottle for several favorite cocktails and need to replenish but cannot find this in the Boston area recently.

What would be the next-best substitutes (Applejack is not great in these recipes, and the 7.5 year Lairds Apple Brandy also seems to be in short supply here) - are there any specific brands of Calvados (under $30) for mixing rather than sipping (Morin and Daron come to mind as possibilities, but I haven't tried them yet)?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Morin Selection is our preferred mixing Calvados at $22/750mL bottle. It lacks the extra proof and that whiskey barrel note that BIB does but it packs a similar amount of apple flavor.

    And Laird's Applejack is crap -- it's only 35% apple distillate. Well, that 35% is great, but the fact that it's 65% "watered" down isn't.

    1. Try Liquor World in Poter Sq, Somerville. They ordered it in for me and had a few bottles left when I was last in there. If they are out, they might order it again.


      1 Reply
      1. re: EvergreenDan

        Thanks - I also note they are listed as a retailer of Giffard liqueurs now as well - have been hoping to get their stellar apricot version - maybe I will kill two birds tomorrow!

      2. Just order online. has Laird's BIB. Honestly, I don't think there is a decent sub for Laird's BIB - Calvados just has too different a flavor profile.

        7 Replies
        1. re: The Big Crunch

          Oh that It were that simple - MA doesn't allow shipments from other states, and last I checked did not have a workaround to address that. I so look forward to my NYC trips to swing by Astor...

          1. re: The Big Crunch

            Crunch - Astor beats DrinkUp by $1 on Laird's BIB, and you can get free shipping on a first-time web order of $99 or more. My girlfriend is going to be placing an order soon from there ;-)

            I just noticed that DrinkUP has the excellent 7 1/2 yr old for $27, that is the best price I have seen online, and it is not easy to find anywhere.

            1. re: ncyankee101

              The 7.5 is available around here across Boston (the place a 1/2 mile away that puts its inventory online has it for $29.99). The 12 year is sparse but you can find it or have places special order it for you from the catalog. The Bonded literally does not exist in that catalog. When I tried to order the BIB from the catalog, there was a gap between apple jack and 7.5 year where the BIB should be.


              1. re: yarm

                I thought it was you who told me that the BIB is for some odd reason distributed in MA by a different (and small) company from the rest of the line.

                1. re: EvergreenDan

                  Must've been someone else. I stay pretty oblivious to who distributes what (except for Origin and a few other small distributors who invite me to their tasting events). I can ask my bar manager who we get it from (as opposed to the Laird's applejack we also carry at work).

                2. re: yarm

                  State-run stores in Ohio and WV had the 7 1/2 yr for around $25, unfortunately I haven't been back up to visit in over a year. I would love to try the 12 yr but not at the $60+ price tag.

                3. re: ncyankee101

                  Cool, I'll give Astor a look. Right across the DC line in Montgomery County they have insanely low prices and a very good selection, so I typically haven't ordered online. However, some things like Mezcal, oddball liqueurs (like Gentian or Amaro Montenegro, for example), and many rums are not available in MoCo, and if they are in DC they are pricey. As a result I've started exploring the online options more seriously. In general I've found drinkupny beats the prices at BevMo for most things.

                  For Laird's BIB I can buy it in DC at Ace Beverage for a little under $30. I seem to recall it was around $28 or so a bottle, but that was a year ago, so it may be more right now.

                  As far as the OP... Sorry about your situation. I lived in MD for a few years right as I was getting into building the home bar and geeking out on spirits and it was also a state that wouldn't allow ordering liquor, which was rather frustrating. Moving into DC proper has been a mixed bag, but one of the small benefits is that I can order booze online.