TRAVERSE CITY — 7 Monks hosted one of its infamous tap takeovers on Tuesday. this time featuring 20 different hard ciders from throughout the state.
I enjoyed a flight of three cider samples along with a delicious order of 7 Monks’ signature bacon-wrapped dates.
The first on my flight was Seitsema’s Orange Label — its Yellow Label cider that was matured in oak bourbon barrels. The oak comes through with a strong highlight. The finish was smooth and dry, which begs for another sip.
Next on my flight was Virtue’s Mitten, which is not your average cider. The Fennville cidery uses a blend of last season’s best and then ages the cider in bourbon barrels, combined with new season apples to provide a unique experience. The taste was quite complex and awakening. At first the bourbon flavor is almost overwhelming, but as your palate begins the acclimate the fresh apples come through and continue to evolve to the last drop.
Last but far from least, Vander Mill’s Totally Roasted was my favorite. This cider is made with over four pounds of homemade cinnamon roasted pecans, cinnamon and vanilla. Totally Roasted had a nice clear, golden color and had a strong aroma of warm roasted pecans. On first taste, the apple immediately grips and greets you, while the pecans pull through bringing you to a dry and subtle finish.
The cider market is growing and expanding right alongside the brewing industry. The tap takeover served as a great opportunity to sample more of what Michigan has to offer.