Maker: Farnum Hill Cider & Poverty Lane Orchards Origin: Lebanon, New Hampshire
ABV: 7.5% Bottle: 750 ml, champagne cork
Makers Style Notes: What ARE Dooryard ciders? “Lovely cider batches” that departed too much from the flavor profiles of established Farnum Hill Cider blends. The ongoing Dooryard series: experimental ciders, ranging from bittersweet to superfruity, that sell out quickly, never to be made again. “It’s a veritable feast of the weird and the wild,” according to Steve Wood, one of Farnum Hill Ciders founding makers.
Bonus Feature: Each keg or bottle of Dooryard Cider is marked with a batch number, allowing you to look up the details of your specific batches apples, blend, and tasting notes. It’s a glimpse behind the making process at Farnum Hill Cider, and a chance to read more about the people, processes, and ideas involved in creating your batch of Dooryard Cider.
Cider Maker: Nicole LeGrand Leibon.
Makers Notes: Dooryard #1202A
“Dooryard 12o2A jumps away from the ‘rowdier tannins’ that we forecast for the Dooryard tribe. The fruit notes cluster mostly in the peachy plummy stone-fruit family, but without sweetness. Prominent is a long smooth savory ‘umami’ woven throughout 1202A’s aromas and flavors, pleasurably escorting the many acid, bitter, fruity, and woodsy notes that carry into the finish. But tannic bite and astringent pucker? Not really. So much for generalizations”.
Our Tasting Notes:
In The Glass: Dooryard 1202A is clear, bright, shining, pale gold, with a faint green tinge.
Aroma & Flavour:: Fresh dessert apple, green apple, tropical fruits, pineapple. Cider is full of “zing” with a tart crisp tannin balance.
-Ed. Note: When sampling, Farnum Hill Cider often gets short shrift as it is the cider we tend to chat over instead of review in a focused fashion. We decided that this indicates a very successful cider, as it inspires such conviviality.
Our Pairing-The Tasting Lab: We tried Farnum Hill Dooryard Batch 1202A with a variety of foods, including raw greens and brussel sprouts, a pairing that heightened the perceived experience of the ciders ‘sweetness’ and highlighted its inherent complexity. The raw brussel sprouts also benefited from the pairing, exhibiting delightful flavor complexity previously unnoticed in the little brassicas.
For a handy reference (with recipes), and an aid to studying the vegetable kingdom and understanding the relationships within botanical families see: Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison.
(See our The Farm on Adderley: Cider in Context review for our thoughts on the match of American craft cider with roots and earthy vegetables)
We like this cider very much with food or alone.
Cheesemonger’s Notes: Cypress Grove Purple Haze- a fresh chèvre made with fennel pollen and lavender livens up the already bright flavors in the cider and rounds out the whole experience by providing a hint of sweetness. Avoid Blues or other intense cheeses (aged Goudas, Cheddars, Parms) as they overpower the soft fruit flavors of 1202A.
Overall Impressions: We are always happy with a glass or bottle of Farnum Hill Cider. The Dooryard series, while divergent from the brands standard profiles, never disappoints. Consistent quality, finely crafted. Too good not to share.
Drinking the Farnum Hill DOORYARD series regularly can be a great cider education tool. Farnum Hill Cider’s decision to save cider blends that step outside of their established commercial brand profiles and sell Dooryards as unique one of a kind batches is an interesting example of real, classic, American style craft cider. Each batch reflecting variations in methodology, fruit available, and blending options. By posting tasting notes online for each specific Dooryard batch, Farnum Hill allows the cider explorer to understand how and why these flavor profiles deviate from their “standard” blends (Extra Dry, Semi-Dry, Farmhouse) and furthers our comprehension of the standard blends themselves. What are the characteristics of a Farmhouse? What differentiates this from an Extra Dry or Semi-Dry? Enjoy Dooryards often to taste the answers to these questions and keep up with the happenings at Poverty Lane.
Further reading: A Visit to Farnum Hill Ciders (NH): Watching Art Being Made from the blog East Coast Wineries.
If you have tasting notes to add please leave a comment.