Born out of a love for old Virginia apples, Big Fish Cider Co. launched three years ago in Monterey, a small town nestled into the Commonwealth’s Allegheny Mountains. The young cidery’s name comes from the building that houses its tasting room — an oversized trout is mounted atop the space, which once housed both a theater and a restaurant.
Sourcing more titles from its surroundings, the Allegheny Gold cider is an homage to the eponymous range and the fruit that comes from its county. Locally grown Arkansas Black, Ashmead’s Kernel, Gold Rush and Jonagold apples go through a slow, cold fermentation to preserve the esters that exhibit fruit-forward characteristics without overbearing sweetness. The result is a full-bodied, off-dry flaxen goblet, exuding brawny golden raisin and red apple aromas with a plump palate of Meyer lemon, honeycomb, pear and flint. Tickling acid fringes the roundness and a lick of tannin provides both structure and texture, concluding with a salivating finish that leaves you wanting more.