2 Towns Cellar Series La Mûre

Review of 2 Towns’ newest Cellar Series cider, La Mûre, a sour blackberry cider aged in Pinot Noir red wine barrels for over a year.  It is inspired by Belgian-style sour lambic beer.  I’ve tried most of their cider line-up; see my past reviews here.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by 2 Towns.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received it for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review cue.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.<<

Cider:  La Mûre
Cidery:  2 Towns
Cidery Location:  Corvallis OR
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  750ml bottle
Style:  American craft sour Belgian lambic beer inspired cider with blackberries, aged in Pinot Noir barrels

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Availability:  Limited release of 70 cases, mostly in the 2 Towns tap room and a few select accounts in Oregon.  In general 2 Towns ciders are available in AK, CA, HI, ID, IL (Chicago), MN, NV, OR, and WA.

Cider Description:  La Mûre is made with 100 percent fresh-pressed Northwest apples and whole, Oregon-grown blackberries…Inspired by the Flemish beers of Belgium, La Mûre is 6.9% ABV, bone dry, and holds complex fruit character. La Mûre is aged in local Pinot Noir barrels with lactobacillus for over a year, resulting in a strong backbone, light oak flavors and a wild lactic tang.  “This cider is for the more adventurous cider drinker who dabbles in wild ales, sour beers and farmhouse or Asturian-style ciders,” said Dave Takush, head cider maker at 2 Towns Ciderhouse. “La Mûre is French for blackberry. We named this cider after the berry  to pay homage to the Flemish ciders of Belgium, and echo wild lambic beers like framboise and cassis.”

Cidery Description:  At 2 Towns Ciderhouse we believe that the long history of cidermaking demands respect and deserves to be done right. Starting with the highest quality whole ingredients from local farms, we take no shortcuts in crafting our ciders. We never add any sugar, concentrates or artificial flavors, and instead use slow, cold fermentation methods to allow the fruit to speak for itself. As a family-owned company, we are committed to the growth of our team and enrichment of our communities. We take pride in producing true Northwest craft cider.

Price:  unknown (probably ~$20)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home, with a group
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Red wine hue.  Still.  Slight turbidity and sediment.  Smells of blackberries, red wine, oak, sourness, and funk.

Tasting Notes:  Dry.  Light to medium bodied.  A balance of moderate tartness, acidity, and sourness.  However, the sourness is more at the front of the palate than a typical sour cider where the sourness hits further back.  Hints of funk and bitterness.  Tannic blackberry flavor.  Moderate to high red wine influence.  Low to moderate oak influence.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate flavor intensity.  No apple flavor.  Very low sessionability.

My Opinion:  I’m not a sour cider fan, so no surprise, I wasn’t a fan of this cider.  And thats ok…not everyone likes every cider.  I knew going into it that I needed some backup, so I had three cider friends over.  They are all sour cider lovers, especially berry sour ciders, and loved this one.  We opened a lot of ciders and this was one of the few that actually got finished.

Most Similar to:  Finnriver Barrel Berry Sour from Port Townsend WA (although less sour) and WildCraft berry ciders from Eugene OR (all their ciders have a slight sourness although most aren’t advertised as sours).

Closing Notes:   If you love sour & farmhouse-style cider, Belgian-style lambic beer, etc, and can find this special release, give it a try.  2 Towns really branched out with this one, making something that won’t be a crowd pleaser, but will be truly appreciated by those who enjoy these types of uniquely crafted ciders.

Have you tried any sour ciders?  What did you think?

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