Austin’s largest cidery has made a name for itself with its easy-to-find canned cider, but Austin Eastciders likes to experiment with small-batch draft offerings, too — including with the recent release of a rum barrel-aged cider.
The new cider, available now at bars like B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub, Haymaker and both locations of Pinthouse Pizza, was aged in Treaty Oak Distilling rum barrels for six months and has taken on a ruby hue and fun flavors as a result.
Though it’s still an apple-forward cider, you’ll notice it has “prominent notes of oak and vanilla and undertones of molasses,” as well as a mildly tart finish thanks to the barrel-aging, according to an announcement about the cider.
It’s not the first cider that Eastciders decided to age in barrels, or the first time that the cidery collaborated with a locally based spirits company to do it. Austin Eastciders also produced a tequila barrel-aged cider using spirit-soaked wood from Dulce Vida Tequila, whose corporate headquarters are located here, and a Cabernet wine barrel-aged cider as well.
Bourbon barrels are most commonly used in the barrel-aging process — because distillers making bourbon can only use the barrels once — but other boozy liquids can impart their own particular flavors in the resulting barrel-aged product, whether that’s beer, cider, another spirit or even wine.
In this case, the Austin Eastciders fermentation team acquired barrels that had previously housed Treaty Oak Barrel Reserve Rum, which matures in first-use oak barrels for a minimum of two years. As a result of the first-use run and duration of aging, rum’s sweet character (in particular, notes of dark chocolate and vanilla bean) is going to be present in the cider.
“Both fans of our cider and fans of Treaty Oak Rum will enjoy this release,” Dave Rule, vice president of marketing for Austin Eastciders, said in the announcement.
The aged cider might sound boozy, but it clocks in at a comfortable 6.9 percent ABV. Find it at Black Sheep Loudge, Eureka!, Central Market North, Loop and Lil’s Pizza in Lockhart, Porter Ale House, Red’s Porch, Violet Crown Cinema, Sean Patrick’s and Zelicks Icehouse in San Marcos, as well as the other bars listed above.
For more information about Austin Eastciders, which expanded to a much larger second production facility last year, visit austineastciders.com.