Review: The Mitten, Virtue Cider


The Mitten
Virtue Cider — Fenville, MI

Stats:
  • Style:  Bourbon Barrel Aged Cider
  • ABV:  6.8%
  • Ingredients:  Michigan apples, yeast, and sulfites
  • Sampled:  750 ml bottle (provided by cidery)

Description:  When the leaves fall, there’s a chill in the air and the evening greedily takes hours from daylight, we stand strong and embrace the wintertime. It’s a time of rich foods, roaring fires and our favorite sweaters. Drinks change from refreshing to intense and satisfying. The Mitten is a Winter cider, a blend of last season's best, aged in bourbon barrels, with the new season’s fresh pressed apple juice. Straight cider, aged for 3 seasons, finds notes of vanilla, caramel and charred American oak, balanced with the best of the orchard, over-ripe apples and their sweet, tart, earthy juice. Many barrels are filled, but only a small portion, the very smoothest, will find their way into The Mitten. We love wintertime, especially when we have The Mitten to keep us warm and happy through the long, cold night. — Virtue Cider 


Random thoughts: After selling Goose Island to Anheuser-Busch in 2011, Greg Hall decided to make a career change.  He left his role as Goose Island's CEO and Brewmaster and founded Virtue Cider.  Check out this interview to learn more about Greg's cider journey.  The Mitten is Virtue's winter seasonal, and happens to be the first Virtue Cider I'm tasting. 


The tasting:  Golden straw in color, hazy, with light effervescence floating through the glass. Aroma of tart apple, hay, and a touch of bourbon. Taste also begins with tart apple and is immediately followed by bourbon. In the middle, light melon and oaky notes poke through. The bourbon is light, does not overwhelm, and melds nicely with the other flavors. Overall sweetness is fairly low. The Mitten is light bodied, moderately carbonated and has a soft mouthfeel. It finishes semi-dry with tart apple and notes of bourbon.


4 star.  Really Good.  I want this again!  I could not get enough of this cider! My 750 ml. bottle was quickly gone and I wanted more. Before I tasted it, I expected the bourbon to overwhelm. It didn't. It actually enhanced the other flavors. Overall, The Mitten is wonderfully balanced—the levels of sweetness and acidity were ideal (for my palate)!  The Mitten may be a winter seasonal, but I think it makes a fine summer cider as well.  My first experience with Virtue Cider did not disappoint!  I can't wait to taste the next one.


Have you tasted The Mitten or other Virtue Ciders? What do you think?


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