Peaks and Pints Monday Cider Flight: Pommeau
In 1982, Pommeau went legit. Up to that point, the beverage, officially classified as a mistelle, was a well-guarded secret among French farmers who produced it and wasn’t legally available to the public market. The farmers would use a system called mutage, a process in alcohol production that slows fermentation, on their fruitiest and tastiest apple juice. Apple brandy, known as Calvados in the Normandy region, was added to the juice to prevent it from losing its flavor. It’s then aged for a minimum of 18 months before being bottled as a Pommeau. The ratio is approximately two-parts of juice to one-part of Calvados with an alcohol by volume between 16 and 18 percent. Right around the time E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial wanted to phone home, 15 producers involved in the beverage’s creation created an official association and sales soared from approximately 12,000 bottles to 150,000 over two years. Pommeau received an official Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée designation in 1986, regulating its production and process under French law. Today, Peaks & Pints presents Peaks and Pints Monday Cider Flight: Pommeau, a tasting of two Pommeaus.
2 Towns Pommeau
2 Towns Ciderhouse’s Pommeau is made from Willamette Valley grown bittersweet cider apples, which are hand-harvested and “sweated” at cool temperatures. After the apples have sweetened, the fresh-pressed juice is fermented and aged with apple eau de vie. The Pommeau is then matured in French oak barrels for one year. The result is a tremendously complex apple Pommeau that blossoms with aromas of fresh-pressed cider, dried fruit, and wood.
Alpenfire Cider’s Rosy Pommeau is a rich, fancy Aerlie red apple cider partially fermented before adding eau de vie, which is distilled from the Port Townsend cidery’s estate organic cider varietals and locally grown organic heirloom apples. Once blended Rosy Pommeau is aged in neutral oak for 15-plus months before bottling. Enjoy sweet floral aromas and notes of tropical fruit, berries, and honey.
Original photo by François GOGLINS