Sparkling gold clear Off-Dry cider featuring organic apples from Sweet Rose Farm in Blue Grass, such as Gold Rush, Querina, and Arkansas Black. This cider is fermented with local maple syrup, and then barrel aged in apple brandy barrels. Prior to bottling we back sweeten with maple syrup and the vanilla notes the oak and brandy and the maple notes soften the acidity of the apples and make a wonderfully complex drink.
We grow amazing apples here in Highland, but we are better known for our maple syrup; this cider is a perfect marriage of the two. In the olden-days, cidermakers would add extra sugar to their cider to boost the alcohol content in order to make a more stable drink (with our long, cold winters, who could blame them?), and at one time maple syrup was inexpensive and readily available. They would ferment the cider in barrels, and with the maple flavors, this would add complexity to the cider. We used apple brandy barrels, which add another dimension to the flavors of this cider.
The Oak of the barrel comes through on the nose, but the first sip soon gives way to the brandy and flavors including vanilla and caramel notes, from the barrel, and when swallowed the essence of the maple is left on the palate, along with the tannins from the oak. The maple flavor softly comes through, with just a touch of sweetness.. We didn’t want the Maple to dominate, only be a supporting flavor in this cider.