So what do you do with a small tank of cider left from the previous year's fermentations that didn't get blended up? What I thought I was going to do with it was save it for another month or so and blend it up with the 2013 heirloom apple harvest for the upcoming Old Fangled release. As we got to shuffling tanks around during last month's racking I decided to give it a taste just hoping it stored well enough and well I am happy to report it did store/mature well and it was delicious. Voilà! Enter Gravenstein Single Varietal and the first of what we've coined The Old Fangled Series, a.k.a all of our future strictly heirloom single varietal and special releases
This new cider was delicious, amazing clear, and the acidity, although softer now, held up incredibly well. It was so good straight from the tank that I entertained the thought of bottling this bone dry and still. Well... We didn't. We back-sweetened it ever so lightly, and endowed it with a light sparkle, capped it and slapped a label on it, and I don't regret a thing. It's clean, clear, REALLY DRY, extremely sharp and sour, and you'll love it if that's your glass of cider.
I'm not entirely surprised this cider did well over time. I'm a huge fan of this apple, you can do absolutely anything with it. Cook it, bake it, juice it, ferment it, sauce it, or just eat it. I actually cut my cidermaking teeth on tiny screw press with hundreds and hundreds of pounds of Gravenstein apples found around Olympia. It's all purpose fruit and early season apples must have made it a popular tree to plant 'round here back in the day.
Over the last few years to my delight there has actually been a handful of Gravenstein single varietal cider releases around the West Coast. Our good friends at Tilted Shed Ciderworks, Devoto Orchards, Two Rivers Cider, and Bull Run Cider all do a version of Gravenstein cider. Time for a showdown guys!
There is only roughly 80 gallons of this going into kegs and bottles, and to our CSC folks. Go get it. We are starting to squeak it out... So far only Gravity Beer Market in Olympia has received bottles, and The Eastside Club the only keg, but we'll keep you updated as to where you can find it.
To read more about our Gravenstein Single Varietal Limited Release check out Our Cider page. If you would like to read more about the Gravenstein apple check out Wikipedia. If you find yourself falling in love with the cider and this apple, you can also head on down to Sonoma County for their Gravenstein Apple Fair.