Tilted Shed Lost Orchard

Review of Tilted Shed’s Lost Orchard.  It is my first time trying this cider, and my first time trying any of Tilted Shed’s cider.  See here for a writeup on their cidery.  I ordered three bottles to be shipped, as their ciders aren’t yet available in Washington.

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Cider:  Lost Orchard, 2014 vintage
Cidery:  Tilted Shed
Cidery Location:  Sebastopol  CA
ABV:  8.0%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  American artisan cider from Organic cider apple varieties

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Availability:  40 cases released November 2016.  Tilted Shed ciders are sold primarily in California, but also in New York, New Jersey, and Portland Oregon (see here).

Cider Description:  Blend of very rare, feral English, French, and Old American traditional cider apples gleaned from lost cider orchards in Sonoma County. Varieties include Nehou, Muscat de Bernay, Porter’s Perfection, Yarlington Mill, Foxwhelp, Tremlett’s Bitter, and Roxbury Russet. Organically grown, from the 2013 harvest. Fermented to dryness in small batches by variety, then blended, aged, and bottle conditioned using organic cane sugar as dosage. Unfiltered, unpasteurized, minimal sulfites. A bone-dry, earthy, dense, savory, contemplative cider more reminiscent of orchard floor than of apples. Hazy, golden hue. Leesy, earthy aroma. Pours with a fine, lingering mousse that heightens the astringency. Notes of leather, cedar, lemon thyme, damp earth, cooked apple. Elegant tannic structure. Chill well prior to opening. Contains sediment. Pour carefully off the lees. Serve at 55° to 60°F in a white wine glass. Pair with well-aged cheese, pork, Dungeness crab, lamb, roasts, hearty seasonal fare.

Cidery Description:  We started Tilted Shed Ciderworks in 2011 out of an obsessive love for apples and cider. All of our apples are organically grown within 35 miles of our cidery, primarily in west Sonoma County. At our Sebastopol farm, we have planted 100 varieties of traditional cider apples and perry pears—a pomological research station on the edge of the Pacific. As cider evangelists, we are devoted to making ciders of individuality, integrity, artistry, and elegance. It’s thrilling to explore our unique terroir and the transformative powers of fermentation, and experience how our ciders shapeshift over time. We hope you’ll find our ciders to be a beautiful revelation of what the apple can do.

Price:  $20
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I had read so many good things about their ciders online, and was glad to hear they can ship to Washington.

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First Impression:  Light pumpkin amber hue.  Nearly still (very low carbonation).  Smells of rich earthy cider apples, funk, and honey.

Tasting Notes:  Dry to semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low bitterness.  Moderate funk.  Hints of sourness.  Low to moderate tannins.  Notes of baked apples, earth, honey, grapefruit, orange, hay, yeast, and leather.  Long funky slightly sour finish.  Moderate apple flavor.  High complexity.  Low to moderate sessionability.  Moderate flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  I really enjoyed it.  However, this funky earthy complex cider won’t be for everyone.  My husband for example wasn’t a fan as he doesn’t like funk (but he likes sourness and I don’t).

Most Similar to:  Lost Orchard tends towards a farmhouse style or a wild fermented cider, although it is more funky than sour.  Very few ciders are made entirely from cider apple varieties, but the most similar I’ve tried is probably something from Farnum Hill, or Dragon’s Head Wild Fermented or Alpenfire Pirate’s Plank.

Closing Notes:  This is an incredible value for a cider made entirely from cider apple varieties which has been bottle conditioned for so long.  Stay tuned for reviews of their Barred Rock and Smoked ciders.

Have you tried Tilted Shed Lost Orchard?  What did you think?

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