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Cider

Along Came a Cider: Cider Review: Virtue Cider’s Baldwin

For once, I’m trying to be prepared and ahead of the game. When this goes live, I’ll hopefully be traveling with The Tall One. We need a bit of respite. But between this moment and that anticipated one there are snow storms and cross-country flights. I write in hope because I prefer it to other available options. Fingers crossed, cider friends!

Today, I’m sharing my thoughts on Virtue Cider’s Baldwin. For those who aren’t familiar with Virtue Cider. The company was founded in Michigan in 2011 by Greg Hall. The cidery offers many different cider styles, many of which are inspired by different cider making traditions from cider regions of the world or local Michigan ingredients.

This cider came to me as a sample of Virtue’s first Cider Society box. That’s their regular subscription or cider club. You can read more about Cider Society here: https://virtuecider.com/pages/cider-society

Virtue Ciders have appeared many times on this blog in the past. Here’s the full list. You can also find additional background information on Virtue in these earlier posts.

Spitz: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2021/10/cider-review-virtue-ciders-spitz.html

Pear: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/05/cider-review-virtue-ciders-pear-and.html

Michigan Apple: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/02/cider-review-1911-rose-and-virtue.html

Rose: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/02/cider-review-1911-rose-and-virtue.html

Brut: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/02/cider-review-citizen-ciders-tree-tapper.html

The Mitten Reserve: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/03/cider-review-whitewood-cider-cos-olivia.html

Percheron: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2017/10/cider-review-virtue-ciders-percheron.html

Ledbury: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/02/cider-review-roundup-virtue-slyboro.htm

The Mitten: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2014/05/cider-review-virtue-ciders-mitten-and.htm

Red Streak: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/06/trying-virtue-and-olivers-ciders-at.htm

You can find out more about any of these ciders and much more at Virtue’s website: https://www.virtuecider.com

Here’s the official description for the Baldwin, “Part of our Apple Fest Series which features a single apple varietal. The Baldwin apple is a large crimson red and coppery green apple that is crisp, juicy, and aromatic with a spicy sweet-tart flavor.” This cider’s ABV is 7.7%.

Appearance: bubbly, brilliant, medium straw

Virtue Cider’s Baldwin reminds me of many modern American ciders in its appearance. The cider is brilliant with visible bubbles and a medium color intensity. The hue reminds me of ripe straw.

Aromas: Cooked apples, apple skin, Pixi Stix

The Baldwin reminds me most of cooked apples when I let its aroma notes waft to me. I can get other inklings as well: green apple skins, Pixy Stix, and grapefruit.

Dryness/sweetness: Semi-dry

This cider is neither dominated by sweetness nor completely reliant on it. There is enough sweetness to keep things easy-going and approachable and not a bit too much. What sweetness I do detect is very appley and natural.

Flavors and drinking experience: tart, minerals, high acid, well-balanced

I appreciate how this tart and minerally cider feels so fresh on the palate. It really does feel so green apple tart to me; it’s somehow high acid without being overly austere or pointed. The Baldwin is a well-balanced crowd pleaser of a cider. I enjoy the strong bubbles and medium full mouthfeel.

I had this at a lovely quiet dinner of pescatarian okonomiyaki, dumpling soup, and cucumber salad. What a set of pairings! Each dish brought out a different element of the cider, and all were delicious. I would enthusiastically recommend exactly this to anyone who wants to explore such a well-balanced cider in all its visissitudes. And my eternal gratitude to my dear friends who cook so well and share their gifts.

Categories
Cider

Along Came a Cider: Cider Review: Virtue Cider’s Spitz

Fall is showing a strange facet this week; it’s warm and rainy. Much of the summer was the same way, so this feels like a look back at the season just passed. But it’s still Fall, the season of apples. That’s the perfect time to review Virtue Cider’s Spitz and introduce Virtue’s Cider Society.

Virtue Cider comes to us all from Michigan. This cidery was founded in 2011; congrats on turning 10 Virtue! Greg Hall started this cidery after his tenure at Goose Island Brewing. Today, Virtue cider has three cider houses and an array of farm animals, including pigs and chickens.

I’ve reviewed several Virtue Ciders in the past. Here’s the rundown.

Pear: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/05/cider-review-virtue-ciders-pear-and.html

Michigan Apple: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/02/cider-review-1911-rose-and-virtue.html

Rose: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/02/cider-review-1911-rose-and-virtue.html

Brut: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/02/cider-review-citizen-ciders-tree-tapper.html

The Mitten Reserve: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/03/cider-review-whitewood-cider-cos-olivia.html

Percheron: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2017/10/cider-review-virtue-ciders-percheron.html

Ledbury: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/02/cider-review-roundup-virtue-slyboro.html

The Mitten: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2014/05/cider-review-virtue-ciders-mitten-and.html

Red Streak: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/06/trying-virtue-and-olivers-ciders-at.html

You can find out more about any of these ciders and much more at Virtue’s website: https://www.virtuecider.com/

Part of what I want to do today is to introduce Virtue’s Cider Society!

This cider club will allow members to taste special small batch Virtue ciders that are not available to the wider public. The club ships four times a year, unlocks special discounts, gains member access to club events, and includes gift certificates in each box.

Read all about it here: https://virtuecider.com/pages/cider-society.

I was lucky enough to receive a sample of October’s box with four new Virtue ciders: Spitz, Jonathan, Golden Russet, and Baldwin. These ciders highlight special apple varieties, hence being named after these four heirloom apples. As you can see the package is stunning. I think this is such a treat, and would make an awesome gift for any cider lover in your life.

I don’t have a lot of individual info about the Spitz, aside from it featuring that apple. It’s ABV is 7.3%, and it won a Silver medal at this past year’s GLINTCAP competition. I wish I knew more.

Appearance: Brilliant, warm straw, no visible bubbles

This is a lovely cider. The color classically describeds what I see most often as warm straw. It’s brilliant and shining, but I don’t see visible bubbles in the glass.

Aromas: fusel oil, peach, minerals, ripe apple

The Spitz offers up an intensely inviting aroma. It reminds me of tart apples, peaches, minerals and just a bit of fusel oil. It smells tantalizing.

Sweetness/dryness: Semi-sweet

Everyone tasting agreed that this cider is a semi-sweet. It’s fruity but not cloying.

Flavors and drinking experience: Tannic, high acid, overripe apples, creamy

I appreciate it so much that the Spitz cider manages to taste tannic and pleasingly tart. The cider brings flavors of overripe apples, sweet cream, oranges, and peaches. None of the elements or flavors comes across as sharp or pointed; Instead, the cider feels creamy in my mouth. The level of fizz is relatively low; I’d call it petillant rather than truly sparkling.

We paired this cider with two vegetarian pizzas from a beloved local pizza place I can’t believe I’ve not yet tried. Takeout pizza is always a treat, but having this super-fresh delicious pizza with a wonderfully full-bodied cider was amazing.

I can’t wait to try the rest of the ciders in my October box from Virtue’s Cider Society!