Consider the vanilla bean. The Aztecs did. In addition to inventing long words ending in “atl” and awesome mythology, they had the patience to figure out how to cultivate vanilla — a particularly difficult flavor to come by. The pods are the fruit of an orchid plant (Vanilla planifolia), and they must be cured and fermented over the course of about six months. If that weren’t involved enough, the high-maintenance orchid itself must be pollinated by hand. Mexico continues to be a major producer, but bourbon vanilla pods from Madagascar are the Chanel No. 5 of vanilla, valued for its rich depth of flavor. For many years now, vanilla has been the adjunct that takes a cider’s status from gold to platinum. Not wanting to waste a drop we present Peaks and Pints Monday Cider Flight: Vanilla Bean.
Peaks and Pints Monday Cider Flight: Vanilla Bean
Newtopia Hip Hop Foray
Dry hopping is the process of adding hops, usually in secondary, to a beer to add more of a hop aroma. The concept of dry hopping cider works on the same principle as dry hopping beer. Hops work well with the sweet apple character of the cider. Newtopia Cyder discovered Citra and El Dorado bump up the orange in their creamsicle cider, Hip Hop Foray. Vanilla and lactose seal the deal.
Avid Cider Vanilla Bean Pear
“We called upon the Greek Goddess of Snow ‘Khione’ to forge a cider to combat that bitter, bleak, unyielding chill of her father’s (Boreas God of the North Wind) winter season,” states Avid Cider Vanilla Bean pear hype. “Equipped with a quiver of Madagascar Vanilla Beans her quest began with a hunt to collect the finest NW pears. In an effort of pure blasphemy to her father, she then pressed, blended, and fermented a drink in the perfect elixir that would allow us mortals to survive through the winter.” Peaks and Pints has no idea what that means, but EXCITING! This cider tastes exactly what hard apple cider, pear juice and vanilla bean extract can produce.
Locust Imperial Oak Aged Vanilla
Tired of beer and coffee, brothers Jason and Patrick Spears started Locust Cider in 2015 with traditional bottle-conditioned and farmhouse funky French styles cider in the plans. Today, Locust offers a broad range of ciders: from funky single-varietal heirloom vintages to simpler types spiked with secondary flavors Thai ginger and vanilla bean. Locust’s Imperial Oak Aged Vanilla cider is a blend of Washington apples and real Madagascar vanilla, creating what is best described as an adult’s all-natural cream soda. It’s then aged with oak adding bourbon and caramel notes to the vanilla and apple.
LINK: Peaks & Pints cooler inventory