We recently released our latest batch of Cidermaker's Reserve – the best of our ciders from the 2011 crop, coaxed through an extra year of conditioning, through the méthode Champenoise. We've been excited for its release, and have been absolutely enamored with this year's batch. It's a super complex, layered cider: rich in bittersweet apple tannin, but not over the top; juicy with sweet fruit aromas (think tree-ripe peaches, kiwi, grapefruit), but not sweet itself; brimming with vibrant aromatics – floral, faintly woody (maybe cedar or birch?), fall apples, subtle phenolics (that woody / spicy / sometimes smoky deep tone), and faint sweet candy. It drinks with an assertive astringency which highlights its dry character, but there is a touch of sweetness that darts in and out of the shadows in the background, bringing hints of fruit to the front before quickly dashing away again.
Now, for the second year in a row, our Cidermaker's Reserve has been awarded first place in the bottle conditioned category at the Three Counties International Cider & Perry Competition in Malvern, Worcestershire. It's also been selected as one of "Five Washington Ciders to Try Now" on the Forbes Travel Guide Blog. We're absolutely honored – and hate to let this cider go, as we'd love to drink it all ourselves – but it's so good we want to share!