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Bittersweet Freedom 2021
Bittersweet Freedom 2021
Bittersweet Freedom 2021

Bittersweet Freedom 2021

Bittersweet Freedom 2021

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Some apples are better than others.

6 years ago, we had the immense good fortune to stumble onto what has become our favourite apple. Having tried ciders from traditional European cider apples over the last few years, for us, nothing has topped the incredible character of the humble Hyslop. 

Hyslop is a crabapple variety that originated in North America in the 19th century (around Boston likely). We only know of 3 trees in Ontario, and they’re extremely biennial: meaning they bear fruit every other year. 

Las fall our farmer surprised us by picking the fruit in an 'off year'. We got an 1/8th of the fruit we normally do, making for a tiny vintage of 300 bottles.

Even though we discovered these trees back in 2016, this is the fourth time we’ve gotten our hands on these crabapples.

Why are we so obsessed with Bittersweet Freedom? 

  1. Its’ distinct tannic character, chalky in a way that is completely different from other apples and grapes. Most tannins (that we’ve experienced) in grape wines tend to be smoother, and almost fruitier, where the Hyslop is uniquely chalky. To us, European cider apples are also more similar to grapes in their tannin profiles. In our experience Hyslop stands alone with it’s distinct mineral-like tannins.
  1. The gorgeous orange zest/marmalade flavours and aromas distinct to this fruit. 
  1. The barnyard funk our native yeast add, working in harmony with the intensity of the fruit.

This bottling is different from our previous vintages for another reason — it was aged in a barrel that previously held a wine aged with tarragon. The oak held on to notes of candied anise, basil and liquorice, which brings an added depth to this cider. 

We’ve had a few people comment on it’s similarities to skin contact whites. That combo of grippy tannin and citrus definitely gives us that vibe. 

Bittersweet Freedom is the ultimate dinner sipper. The experience of drinking this with food is just sublime.

8.1% ABV | 750mL

A note on tannins:

Tannin is a broad term which encompasses many different molecules. They aren’t just one thing at the molecular level, they are a complex group of different polymers. While much of the research into different tannins is ongoing, it seems to be generally accepted that longer chain tannins are more astringent (they have more of the drying sensation in your mouth). Our best guess as to why the tannin experience of drinking this cider is so unique, is that Hyslop apples have been blessed with a high concentration of uniquely long chain tannins, unlike most grapes and other tannic apple varieties (at least, the ones we’ve come across).

Ingredients: Apples. Gluten free.

Wild ferment. Zero residual sugar. Vegan.

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