When you work in the beer and cider business, you try a lot of products and sometimes you do get a bit jaded about the quality of products being presented, especially new products that are seeking distribution. Every once in a while something jumps out of the glass and slaps you in the mouth and reminds you how fun this business can be when you encounter something truly enjoyable. Aval Cidre provided one of those moments.
My friend, Tommy Klus, handed me a bottle one day when I was visiting at his newly opened bar and restaurant: La Moule. I’ve worked with Tommy off an on for around a decade now. He’s a whisk(e)y expert, drinks writer, and has set up the bar programs at many of Portland’s top spots, including the famed Multnomah Whiskey Library. One of his liquor contacts had sent him some bottles of a French cider they were beginning to import. Tommy passed it on to me hoping I could sign them for Oregon.
Aval, “apple” in the traditional Breton language, comes from a family farm that’s been making traditional cidre in Bretagne (Brittany) for a 1,000 years. Using traditional methods and apples, Aval Cidre Artisanal is an excellent example of the Breton Cidre.
Appearance: Gold Amber.
Aroma: Apples, straw, caramel, light butter, apricots, light spiciness.
Taste: Medium tannins, mild/medium acidity, mild/medium astringency.
Overall Impression: With a medium long finish, Aval is a very balanced example of a French Cidre. It definitely tips more to the “fruity” side of the flavor spectrum while others may tip more to the funky or earthy side. Aval is a super enjoyable cider that walks that line of easy drinking, flavorful, and moderately complex.
CO2 Levels: Medium sparkle.
Geography: Bretagne, France
Apples: Breton varieties, including a mix of sweets, bittersweets, sharps, & bitters.
Disclosure: I manage Aval Cidre for their Oregon wholesaler.