Fenceline Whip & Tongue, Spur Bearer, and Pommeau

Review of Fenceline’s first cider club shipment, including Whip & Tongue, Spur Bearer, and Pommeau.  It is my first time trying their cider.  I’m doing this as a mega review since its a cider club shipment.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Fenceline.  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: Whip & Tongue / Spur Bearer / Pommeau
Cidery:  Fenceline Cider & Wine
Cidery Location:  Mancos CO
ABV:  6.8% / 6.7% / 22%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  American craft orchard-based heritage cider

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Availability:  shipped to ~ 40 of 50 states (see here for their 4x/year cider club and here for individual bottle sales), local pickup, and retail sales in Colorado & Arizona (see here for details)

Whip & Tongue Description:  The Whip & Tongue is our expression of a Bittersharp cider. The fruit was sourced from highest quality, Colorado Grown, English-style cider apples available.  Aged in French oak casks, this cider is well balanced and fruit forward. The rich layers of tannin and malic acid born into this old world fruit presents the tongue with a myriad of flavors.

Spur Bearer Description:  This cider is crafted from rare, red fleshed apples that are close relatives of the wild apple forests of Kazakhstan.  At their core, these apples are crimson red, and their flesh is bursting with a myriad of wild flavors.  With roots that stretch back to the Eurasian steppe, red fleshed apples are hearty and well adapted for life here in the arid west.  This cider is complex, tart, and tastes of summer melon and tropical pineapple.

Pommeau Description:  Pommeau is traditionally a French product and very popular in Normandy.  A select amount of this 100 proof apple brandy product becomes the alcohol base and preservative for fresh apple juice that we age in bourbon barrels.  This unique spirit, called Pommeau, lives in between the bold and higher proof Calvados and the sweet and tart of the cider it was born from.  Fenceline’s Pommeau is made from a bittersweet apple blend, which we then distilled at Honey House Distilling in Durango, Colorado.  Once blended with fresh apple juice, the final mixture is then left to age in used bourbon barrels for 12 months.  The result is a bright harmony of sweet, tannic, and tart – true to the cider apples and the mountain orchards from which it came.

Cidery Description:   Fenceline produces hand-crafted Cider & Wine located in Mancos, Co. They are on a mission to preserve the rich apple and fruit legacy of this high desert and mountain region by sourcing ingredients directly from the community orchards based in the Southwest.  The cidery’s Mancos-based tap room pairs Fencline’s products with live music, food trucks, and an outside patio for the ultimate tasting experience.

Price:  n/a (retails for $59 + shipping every 3 months)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  the cidery contacted me

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Whip & Tongue Tasting Notes:  Light amber hue.  Very low carbonation with some foam.  Smells sweet, of oak, and alcohol-forward.  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness.  Low acidity.  Low tannins.  Hints of bitterness.  No funk or sourness.  Notes of rich complex bittersharp apple, oak, leather, and lemon.  Long tannic oak finish.  Moderate overall flavor intensity and apple flavor.  High oak influence.  Moderate to high complexity.  Moderate sessionability.

Spur Bearer Tasting Notes:  Peach hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells of sweet, of watermelon.  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of pineapple, watermelon, and raspberry.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate overall flavor intensity, complexity, and sessionability.  Low apple flavor.

Pommeau Tasting Notes:  Moderate amber hue.  No carbonation.  Smells sweet and alcohol-forward.  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Moderate tartness.  Low acidity.  Low bitterness.  Hints of tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of baked apple, caramel, leather, brown sugar, and orange.  Moderate to high complexity and overall flavor intensity.  Low apple flavor and sessionability.

My Opinion:  I really enjoyed all three.  Especially that they weren’t super dry or acidic (which is common with heritage ciders).  Amazing complexity.  The Whip & Tongue was my favorite though, with a lovely scent and rich oaky flavor.

Closing Notes:  See here for more info on their cider club, which includes cider seasonally, every 3 months (~ Jan, April, July, Oct) plus other benefits (including a discount on additional bottles).

Have you tried Fenceline Cider?  What did you think?