Spin Cider Tour de Lopez

Review of Spin Cider’s Tour de Lopez, co-fermented apple & blackberry juice, finished with loganberry juice. It is my first time trying this, but I’ve had their An Apple for Teacher and Sammamish River Trail.

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<This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Spin Cider.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received this for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review que, considering it is a new release and the info may be helpful for folks deciding to purchase it.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.>

Cider:  Tour de Lopez
Cidery:  Spin Cider
Cidery Location:  Olalla (Kitsap County) WA
ABV:  7.1%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style: American craft heritage apple & blackberry cider finished with loganberry juice

Cider Description:  Tour de Lopez is a blend of our apple and blackberry wines, finished with juice from loganberries grown here at the farm.  This blend is a tribute to Lopez Island, the flattest, quietest, and most bike-friendly of the San Juan Islands.

Cidery Description:
Why “Spin”?  Cathie and I are bikers and got inspired to open a cidery while on a bike ride in Vermont. We name (almost) all our ciders after our favorite bike routes.
Our approach.  We follow a more traditional cider-making approach, working only with fresh juice that we press ourselves. We age all our ciders, never filter, and never use concentrates. We do very small batches – sometimes only 12 cases per blend.
What’s in the blend?  Most of our blends use both cider apples and dessert apples. Our orchard is young, and just starting to produce, so we source some of our fruit from Yakima and some from an Oregon grower. When we add other fruits, we try to use pure juice – nothing fake. When possible…we grow the fruits ourselves.

Price:  n/a (retails for $15)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up with the WA Cider Week samples

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First Impression:  Dark purple-red hue.  Low to moderate carbonation.  Smells of sweet tart berry.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate to high tartness and acidity.  Hints of tannins and bitterness.   No sourness or funk.  Notes of blackberry, tart green apple, and a hint of lemon.  Moderate length tart finish.  Low apple flavor.  High berry flavor.  Moderate overall flavor intensity, sessionability, and complexity.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  Lots of berry flavor.  I would have personally preferred a bit more sweetness or less tartness however.

Most Similar to:  Alpenfire Calypso, except with more berry and without the oak influence

Closing Notes:  This sure packed in a lot of berries per bottle, I assume due to both fermenting apple & berry juice together and adding more berry juice afterwards.

Have you tried Spin Cider?  What did you think? 

2 Towns Traditions La Mûre

Review of 2 Towns’ newest Traditions line cider, La Mûre, a sour Marion blackberry cider aged in Pinot Noir red wine barrels for over a year.  It is inspired by Belgian-style sour lambic beer.  I tried this previously when it was a cellar series release (see here).  I’ve also tried most of their cider line-up; see my past reviews here.

>>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.<<

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Cider:  La Mûre
Cidery:  2 Towns
Cidery Location:  Corvallis OR
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  375ml bottles
Style:  American craft sour Belgian lambic beer inspired cider with Marion blackberries, aged in Pinot Noir barrels

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Availability:  In general 2 Towns ciders are available in AK, CA, HI, ID, IL (Chicago), MN, NV, OR, and WA, although this is a more limited release.

Cider Description:  Inspired by the historic lambic beers of Belgium, La Mûre embodies the Flemish styles of old.  Northwest apples and Oregon grown Marion blackberries are fermented wild with Lactobacillus.  Aged in Willamette Valley pinot noir barrels for one year, this unique cider is then removed from these dusty casks and bottle conditioned, revealing complex aromatics and a lactic tang that only time can unfold.

La Mûre won silver medals this year at two cider competitions – GLINTCAP and the Portland International Cider Cup.

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:  n/a (but their other 375ml Traditions releases run around $9)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  It showed up.

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First Impression:  Bright purple-red hue.  Low carbonation (more than the last batch).  Smells of blackberries, red wine, oak, and sourness.

Tasting Notes:  Dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Low to moderate 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 sour oaky blackberry flavor.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate red wine influence, oak influence, complexity, and flavor intensity.  No apple flavor.  Low sessionability.

My Opinion:  I’m not a sour cider fan, so no surprise, I wasn’t a big fan of this cider.  And thats ok…not everyone likes every cider.  With my last tasting of this I had three cider friends over (as well as my husband), and I discovered that this cider was a big hit with lovers of dry & sour ciders.  My tolerance to sour has increased in the last year though, and I found this cider much more palatable; therefore it is possible I may still acquire the taste for sours.

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 dry sour & farmhouse-style cider, Belgian-style lambic beer, etc, this cider will probably be to your liking.  I don’t think this cider will have a mass appeal, but I think it will be appreciated by fans of this style

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