Style: Dry cider aged in bourbon barrels.
Price: $17/750ml (Binny’s)
Appearance: Light gold and effervescent.
Nose: Apple juice, dry Riesling, hint of oak and corn syrup.
Palate: Light and bubbly. Dry but with a tangy apple flavor. Also some caramel and bitter oak.
Finish: More tart and then dry with a background of oak and caramel.
Parting words: Virtue was founded by Gregory Hall, former brewmaster at Goose Island brewery in Chicago. He founded Virtue Cider in order to make European-style farmhouse ciders. While a bourbon barrel-aged cider doesn’t exactly fit that profile it is very much in the spirit of the thing.
This is my first Virtue cider, having been disconnected from the cider scene for quite some time. It’s very well done and I will definitely be seeking more of these out in the future. The bourbon barrel makes itself known but does not overwhelm the crisp flavor of the cider like it does in other barrel aged ciders I’ve had. It’s priced like a special occasion cider but it does quite well with food. Think Gewurz or Sauv Blanc when pairing it with a meal.
I alluded to the price earlier. It’s listed at $17 at Binny’s but I’ve seen it for even more elsewhere. If you can get it for less than $20, it’s worth a buy. The Mitten is recommended.