Review of Two Ellies: An East Meets West American Cider Story, a collaboration between Eleanor Leger of Eden Specialty Ciders in Vermont and Ellen Cavalli of Tilted Shed Ciderworks in California. It is my first time trying this, although I’ve tried Tilted Shed’s Lost Orchard, Barred Rock, & Smoked, and Eden’s Sparkling Dry, Cinderella’s Slipper, Heirloom Ice Cider, Sparkling Semi-Dry, Northern Spy Ice Cider, Honeycrisp Ice Cider, Imperial 11 Rosé, Heirloom Brandy Barrel Aged Ice Cider, Guinevere’s Pearls, & Windfall Orchard Ice Cider.
>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Eden Specialty Ciders (the cidermaker Eleanor brought it to me in her suitcase!). 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: Two Ellies: An East Meets West American Cider Story
Cidery: Eden Specialty Ciders & Tilted Shed Ciderworks
Cidery Location: Newport VT & Windsor CA (bottle says made at Eden in Vermont)
How Supplied: 750ml bottles
Style: American artisan cider from Gravenstein apples from Tilted Shed in California and Esopus Spitzenburg apples from Eden in Vermont (both heirloom varieties), naturally sparkling, dry
Availability: Very limited (likely only in parts of CA & VT), released September 2017
Cider Description: This special cider is a cross-country collaboration between the two Ellies of American fine cider – Eleanor Leger of Vermont’s Eden Specialty Ciders and Ellen Cavalli of Sonoma Country’s Tilted Shed Ciderworks – who each contributed an hierloom apple variety particular to their terroir to showcase their mutual passion for traditional cidermaking.
A bit on terroir: The term is most commonly used in the wine world, and describes the impact of the region (soil, topography, climate, etc) on a product. Even ciders made from the same type of apples & yeast using the methods can vary widely region-to-region as the apples are different due to the environmental variance. For example, the same variety of apple from the NE will commonly be significantly higher in acid than those from the NW.
Price: n/a (and unknown)
Where Bought: n/a
Where Drank: home
How Found: n/a
First Impression: Dark straw yellow hue. High carbonation (natural, from secondary fermentation in the bottle). Smells of funk, acidity, must, and citrus.
Tasting Notes: Dry. Light bodied. Moderate tartness. High acidity. Low bitterness. Low to moderate tannins. Hints of sourness. Low funk. Notes of lemon, yeast, funk, wood, honey, and must. Long acidic fizzy tannic finish. Low apple flavor and sessionability. Moderate complexity and flavor intensity.
My Opinion: I liked but didn’t love this, but that was anticipated, as my personal preference isn’t typically for dry acidic ciders. However, it was expertly crafted. I enjoyed this cider more at close to room temperature, as that cut the sharp acidity and let the fizz settle down. My husband was a huge fan, as expected, as dry sparkling cider is his favorite. It had a surprising amount of tannins for being made with heirloom (not cider) apple varieties, which I enjoyed. I’d recommend Two Ellies for lovers of dry, acidic, highly carbonated ciders.
Most Similar to: This reminded me of Tilted Shed Lost Orchard & Understood in Motion 02 (but both of those were nearly still), and Eve’s Beckhorn Hollow (except that had some different flavor notes).
Closing Notes: Even though this isn’t a personal favorite, I’m glad I got the opportunity to try it and share about it.
Side Note: Eden has previously collaborated with Angry Orchard (see my review of Understood in Motion 01), and also recently released a budget-friendly cider made with Québec dessert apple varieties, called Border Buster (see this article). Tilted Shed has also been staying busy, with multiple new releases, as announced on their Facebook page.
Have you tried any ciders from Eden or Tilted Shed? What did you think?