Spirit Tree – Lavender Pear [The Only Cafe, Toronto]
Bar Review: Spirit Tree – Lavender Pear @ The Only Cafe, Toronto, ON
Sampled: July 2016
One of the almost hidden gems on Danforth Avenue is The Only Café – a narrow pub with tons of fun items things on the walls that makes the place explode with character. With photos, posters, a pinball machine and much more, there are endless ‘quirky’ things to discover within the café and the back patio. For a long time being a champion of craft and rare beverages, we were excited to finally make the venture into Greektown to see this café for ourselves after following their strong social media presence for awhile now. We were thrilled to see 5 craft ciders on tap upon arrival – as well as multiple unique bottled brews in the fridge.
Spirit Tree is one of the original craft ciders in Ontario – that features a more traditional selection of ciders than some of their counterparts. Being a longtime fan, we were thrilled we finally could try one of their newest offerings, their Lavender Pear, on draught. The cider, at 6% abv, is a golden ale colour, with no foam and very little, tiny carbonation bubbles. With a very strong musty smell to it, it is also slightly astringent in the nose, with mild fruit smells emanating.
The initial taste of Spirit Tree Lavender Pear is a medium-level floral taste from the lavender, with pear and apple notes less obvious. The cider is musty, tart, with slight earthy undertones evident in the mouth. As the flavour develops, it becomes more ‘fruity’ tasting with some citrus notes emerging. The aftertaste becomes more sweet and candied, with hints of hibiscus amongst the long-lingering floral and lavender notes. The cider is somewhat dry, but a relatively smooth and consistent tasting experience throughout.
With its strong floral flavours, Spirit Tree Lavender Pear is one of the most unique ciders around, as lavender is not overly commonly used in food or drink. While the cider does share some tasting characteristics with Spirit Tree’s Pear Cider, it is no doubt a unique creation of its own. It only seemed fitting to taste this unique cider in the incredibly unique The Only Café, and we would recommend experiencing both this cider and this bar if you are feeling like something different and uncommon.