Nat West is to Northwest cider as the sun is to the sky. Maybe a grandiose statement, but it sets the tone of West’s magnitude to today’s cider industry, especially on the left coast. An evangelist to the cause, West’s sermons on the subject of cider are sanctioned by the industry and respected by traditionalists and the unorthodox.

The host of several Portland-based cider festivals, Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider welcomes all ciders and speaks the good word of the beverage to all of those who will listen. The cidery’s scrumpys transcend the genre and move into amalgamations with wine, beer and spirits via barrel-aging, in a limited release line that collaborates with fellow Portlander David Shenaut of Raven & Rose in the downtown Rose City. Such a selection is the Eagle Rare Bourbon Barrel Aged Revival cider, a reserve release that is the kickoff to Rev Nat’s Tent Show Bottle Club, a program comprised of limited production ciders that launches Thursday. The first of its kind, this cider is aged in Kentucky’s Eagle Rare Distillery bourbon barrels hand-selected by Shenaut from his bar’s single barrel program. The cider, which is Rev. Nat’s Revival Dry (two-thirds European bittersweets and one-third American heirloom dessert apples), was aged for nearly five months in barrel and was bottled into only seven cases of 750ml bottles and two half-barrels.

Truly a limited release, this cider is definitely under the influence of bourbon. Vanilla, butterscotch, savory herbs and caramel apple project from the glass, while a matching palate that focuses more on sweet bourbon and ripe apple sums up the dry and round flavor profile. Detailed and quirky, rare and unique—much like the man who makes it.

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