Shacksbury Vermonter Is All That's Great About the Green Mountain StateDecember 26, 2019
Now, for something completely different from Vermont.
Since the advent of Heady Topper, Vermont has been known as the eternal spring of high-mountain haze. The Green Mountain state changed the beer game for a half-decade (so far), and now Shacksbury is trying to do the same for cider while keeping the Vermont identity squarely in the forefront.
Vermonter is made from apples grown in Cornwall and aged in gin barrels from Caledonia Spirits in Hardwick, and the final blend was developed in partnership with Farmhouse Tap and Grill in Burlington. It’s the official beer of the Rooted Vermont bike race. It says the goddamn name five times on the label. When this barrel-aged cider changes the game, no one will be confused about where it came from.
Rarely does a cider look so much like the flesh of an apple. Vermonter is a gala-colored beige. A pure Vermont juicebox, by the looks of it. A note on the can: It’s great to see cider stepping up the design standards beer has achieved in the 2010s. Vermonter can sit alongside any beer without raising an alarm.
Vermonter carries the perfume of the gin barrel. It smells like a bowl full of dried juniper and coriander. That’s followed by the ripe smell of apple core, tempered slightly by pear and vanilla. Gins would kill for such a beautiful bouquet.
There must be something in the water in Vermont, because their apples taste like Champagne.”
There must be something in the water in Vermont, because their apples taste like Champagne. Not that sickly Cook’s stuff, either—more like the clean-finishing brut you splurge for on your anniversary. Mix in a spoonful of wildflower honey, and you have a good emulation of the wonders that await in your glass.
Hail the Green Mountain State’s new flagship. With its lightly sweet, nicely perfumed barreled cider, Shacksbury has blown past the standard set by The Alchemist, and it did it all in within state lines. They should print a can of Vermonter on the state flag. The only thing more Vermont would be Bernie Sanders fishing Lake Champlain in a pair of Birkenstocks. Even then he’d be drinking one of these.