Yesterday marked the last numbered batch of syrup heading into Zoar Tapatree bottles…#20. It would have been lucky batch #21, but we couldn’t bear to have a #13, so there you go! Where is that thirteenth batch? It was collected and finished on a full moon, so it became the Full Moon batch. With only one more seasonal blend left settling, we’ve very nearly completed the spring run. Seasonal Blend I is a combination of each of the syrups from the first half, and Seasonal Blend II will combine the flavors of the second half.
This has been a very interesting process, tracking the sap from tap to spoon. Each batch had its own journey, its own characteristics, and its own distinct (delicious) flavor. The first half tended to have nutty, vanilla, and caramel tones. The second half marked the emergence of bolder layers of grain, coffee and citrus. It was a lot of fun to watch Jeri pick up her spoon to analyze each batch. It was even more fun when other discerning friends like Kathryn were able to join in the tasting and provide more insight! Paul and I loved all of the batches for their unique personalities, and we are looking forward to feedback from your tables.
The University of Vermont undertook a project to “map” maple and identify all of the unique aspects of each run. You can read a nice summary here. We concur! The challenge for the astute taster, however, is finding syrup that is more than a blend of multiple runs of sap from indiscernible places (not that syrup from blended saps and places can’t also be delicious!). Our goal is to provide your table with that level of knowledge. It’s a lot of fun for us, and we hope that our Sap House Notes subsection of Ruminations on the webpage will be a fun reference for you as you dip your spoons.
Distinct for Zoar Tapatree syrup? We think it’s the opportunity to know a particular run of sap from a particular forest. The trees are a pretty remarkable living part of our world, and we’re in awe of what they produce. Aside from amazing flavor, Paul and I see a beautiful red mahogany color of varying intensity in each batch. Also, because our processing is minimally filtered and then settled, you’ll see a dusting of naturally occurring minerals at the bottom of each bottle (some more than others–#4 had practically no mineral drop whatsoever, where #5—a very fast run of sap—had an almost immediate fall out of what we believe to be calcium). It’s a pleasure to now be able to put our spoons down and invite you to pick up yours…