Wine barrel-brewed cider a first for Lockhorn

By NATALIE WALTERS/Montana State News

Glen Deal, the current owner of Lockhorn Cider House, started the business with the help of Adam Olsen, a carpenter, who became one the of the cider makers. Both Deal and Olsen are now looking forward to tasting their first wine-barrel fermented cider, which has not been named yet.

Currently, Lockhorn produces and sells cider flavors from bourbon barrels, but their wine-barrel fermented cider will be something new for the duo. Lockhorn Cider House is one of first cider houses in the state of Montana to prepare tasting a dry cider fermented in a 2014 Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon barrel, according to Lockhorn’s monthly newsletter.

A dry cider is traditionally fermented in an oak barrel, according to Olsen. However, Olsen anticipates that the new unnamed cider will pick up a lot of the oak and berry taste from the wine. According to Lockhorn’s monthly newsletter the Lodi wine is described as a “smooth, bold, full bodied, slightly tannic (acidic) and bitter” wine.

Due to the brightness of the wine berry, Olsen thinks that the cider is going to be “more of a magenta color, or close to a rose color.”

Lockhorn has made non-traditional cider colors as well, such as their seasonal blueberry flavor, which turns the cider blue instead of the color of apple juice, according to Lockhorns monthly newsletter.

The 2014 Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Nappa Valley region in California, just south of Sacramento. According to Scott Bigelow, a wine salesman in the Nappa Valley: “the cabernet grape ripens at a hotter temperature in comparison to other red wine grapes, the result is a berry flavor that is sweet, rather than raisin like.”

When the cabernet sauvignon is brewed into wine, it maintains the berry flavors, but with less sweetness, developing a bitter taste, according to Scott Bigelow.

The Lodi barrel that the cider is being fermented in is also a dry alcohol, which means there will be “very little sugar in the beverage” Olsen said.

Within the next few weeks, Olsen and the other members of Lockhorn will be tapping into the barrel to taste the results. If the results are positive, Lockhorn will begin to sell the cider at their store location off of Main Street in Bozeman.
– Edited by Ross Sellers

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