Review of 2 Towns’ newest limited release (late Dec 2015), Dark Currant, a cider with black currant juice added and was aged in new oak barrels.
Cider: Dark Currant
Cidery: 2 Towns
Cidery Location: Corvallis OR
How Supplied: 500ml bottle (and kegs)
Style: American black currant cider, oak barrel aged
Availability: Limited release which is available in OR, WA, AK, HI, CA, ID, NV, MN, and Chicago IL.
Cider Description: Harvested from NW farms, local black currants are fermented during the cold winter, on Oregon-grown white oak. A strong oak profile backs the complex berry aromas. You can’t fight the currant.
The black currants were harvested from Queener Farm in Scio, Oregon and Kalapooia Haven Farm in Brownsville, Oregon in late summer, then this cider was lightly aged in new oak barrels until its release in December.
Cidery Description: 2 Towns was founded in 2010 by partners Lee Larsen and Aaron Sarnoff. Dave Takush joined us shortly thereafter. All three of us grew up together in the Corvallis, OR area. We’ve had explosive growth since our inception at which point we had intended to produce and distribute cider to the Corvallis, OR and Eugene, OR areas only (incidentally, the 2 Towns of our namesake). It became readily apparent that our initial vision needed to grow as we hit our maximum capacity in our first production space (a converted 1,000 sq ft garage) in roughly 2 months. We’ve since built 2 new production facilities with a total of 25,000 sq ft of production space and our team has grown to over 30 people to help us to distribute to 9 states and counting.
Over this time, we’ve kept to our original goal of bringing craft hard cider back to the people. We feel that a craft cider is made with fresh-pressed fruit and contain no artificial flavorings. Our fruit is all sourced in Oregon & Washington and all of our ciders are also free from added sugars other than those present in the juice and in some cases local honey. We feel that cider doesn’t need to be sweet to express the natural flavors of the fruits we ferment.
2 Towns Ciderhouse planted an orchard in 2011 with all traditional cider apple varieties such as Kingston Black, Dabinett, Jersey Brown Snout, and many others. 2 Towns has also contracted with several growers in the Willamette Valley and beyond to grow additional traditional cider fruit.
Where Bought: Full Throttle Bottles
Where Drank: home
How Found: I read online about the release and had been on the lookout (2 Towns is one of the brands I try just about everything from). I was at Full Throttle Bottles to pick up some 2 Towns Pommeau, and figured I might as well get it.
First Impression: Cranberry pink hue. Low carbonation with tiny bubbles at the edges of the glass. Smells like raspberries, black currant, citrus, and oak.
Tasting Notes: Semi-dry. Moderate acidity. Moderate tartness. No bitterness, sourness, or funk. A hint of tannins. Raspberry, blackberry, and black currant notes with hints of lemon and oak. Light to medium bodied. Low apple influence. Low barrel influence. Moderate to long finish. Moderate sessionability.
My Opinion: I’m not usually a huge fruity cider fan, but I really enjoyed this…probably as the black currant didn’t completely overpower the apple, and it wasn’t overly sweet, tart, or juice-like. I enjoyed the oak influence, but it left me wanting more oak flavor (but I say that about most barrel aged ciders).
Most Similar to: Other black currant ciders. I’ve had Finnriver Black Currant. As far as craft black currant ciders, I’ve read Doc’s Draft and Slyboro make them. In comparison to Finnriver Black Currant, 2 Towns Dark Currant is less fruity, rich, and tart. However, the flavor added from the oak barrel aging was nice. I slightly prefer Dark Currant. This fruity barrel aged cider also reminded me of Alpenfire Apocalypso, which is a rum barrel aged blackberry cider (similar to their Calypso, which is a regular release, although this was a keg-only release).
Closing Notes: This was quite tasty, and a great mix of summer (berry) and winter (oak) type flavors. I think 2 Towns ciders are unique and at a great price point.
Have you tried 2 Towns Dark Currant? What did you think?