Virtue Lapinette

Review of Virtue Lapinette, described as a French Brut style cidre aged in French oak barrels.  It is my first time trying it, although I’ve had their Mitten and Cherry Mitten.

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Cider:  Lapinette
Cidery:  Virtue
Cidery Location:  Fennville MI
ABV:  6.8%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American French-style barrel aged cider

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Availability:  DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MO, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, WA, and WI (per this diagram)

Cider Description:  This Norman-style cidre brut is fermented with French yeast and patiently aged for months French oak.
Lapinette offers a complex nose of both farm and barrel, with a refreshingly dry, mineral finish.

Cidery Description:  Virtue is a craft cider company launched in 2011 in Fennville, Michigan, by Gregory Hall, former brewmaster at Goose Island, and co-founder Stephen Schmakel. Our mission is to make European-style ciders from fresh heirloom apples — never from concentrate — and employ traditional farmhouse production methods that include native and secondary fermentation, use of wild yeasts, and an expansive oak barrel-aging program. We partner with local family farms by purchasing the highest quality apples for our ciders.

They have a tasting room in Fennville.

Price:  $10.99
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  This was a good deal, I hadn’t tried it, and it appeared to be a style I’d like (French), so I bought it.

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells of green apple, white grape, and must.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Low funk and bitterness.  Hints of sourness and tannins.  Notes of green apple, white grape, lemon, yeast, and mineral.  Moderate length finish.  Low to moderate apple flavor and flavor intensity.  Moderate sessionability and complexity.

My Opinion:  I was expecting a full on French-style cider, the typical apple-forward type (although if I had looked at photos of the cider online I would have known better just based on the color).  However, this is more of a Farmhouse-style cider, with astringency, heirloom apple flavor, citrus notes, and some sourness & funk.  This was nice (I especially liked how juicy the flavor was) and well made, but not a style I enjoy.

Most Similar to:  Millstone Farmgate Dry and WildCraft Dry

Closing Notes:  I hope to try more ciders from Virtue in the future.

Have you tried Virtue Lapinette?  What did you think?

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