Virtue Cider announces the launch of The Mitten, the company’s award-winning bourbon barrel-aged cider, in 12-ounce bottles this month. This cider joins Virtue’s lineup of 12-ounce bottles that include Michigan Brut and Michigan Harvest.
An official release party will take place at the 3rd Annual Virtue Cider Stone Fence Competition & Mitten Drive on Sunday, Jan. 29 at the Chicago Athletic Association.
“The Mitten’s been our most popular cider at the Virtue Farm Bottle Shop, and we know it’ll be equally popular now that people can get it in a single-serving 12-ounce bottle,” says Gregory Hall, Virtue Cider founder. “We have this cider aging in 200 bourbon barrels for almost a year, and we taste through each and every one before we move to final blending.”
The Mitten, which was first released in 2012, is made with cider that has been aged for 11 months in Wild Turkey, Jim Beam, and Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. The aged cider is then blended together with juice from freshly pressed apples from this year’s harvest for a touch of sweetness. The result is a 6.8% ABV semi-dry cider that shows off a balanced blend of charred bourbon and high-acid apple flavors. Pronounced notes of vanilla and wood mingle with overripe apple, and maple flavors create a warm feel.
Hall has a long history with barrel-aging, having started bourbon barrel-aging beers in the 1990s at Goose Island Brewing Co., where he was brewmaster for 20 years. He brings this tradition to The Mitten, which was awarded Gold in the cider category at the Festival of Barrel-Aged Beers in Chicago, the first year the event included a cider category.
The new bottles of The Mitten are currently for sale at Virtue’s Bottle Shop in Fennville, MI. They will be available the Chicago area and in Michigan the week of Jan. 30. Virtue will also be at Cider Summit Chicago on Feb. 11 at Table 51.
About Virtue Cider
Virtue is the hard cider venture launched in June 2011 by Gregory Hall, former brewmaster at Goose Island, and co-founder Stephen Schmakel. We make European-style ciders from fresh heirloom apples— never from concentrate—and employ traditional farmhouse production methods that include native and secondary fermentation, use of wild yeasts, and an expansive barrel-aging program.