The motherland of many a cider style, Normandy, France is also the origin of pommeau, the fortified drink of apple juice and apple brandy (or pear and pear brandy). With the traditional method of Normandy as the base, 2 Towns Ciderhouse also calls upon on the influence of Portugal’s eponymous fortified wine, port, in the release of its 2013 Pommeau. Out last month, this limited release “port-style cider” from the Corvallis, Oregon cidery is a blend of cider varieties like Dabinett, Porter’s Perfection, Kingston Black and more, yielding an ABV of 19 percent after the pressed juice is fortified with apple brandy distilled from its own cider and aged for one year.

Rich, velvety and unctuous, the pommeau is viscous in honeyed apple without cloying to the mouth, bringing bright cider apple acidity and tannin to the forefront, alongside the sweet. Full and robust yet maintaining its daintiness, this sipper is begging for blue cheese, or, as head cidermaker Dave Takush suggest, a “bold cigar.”

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