Fruit-growers who look to cider-making “as a means of utilizing windfalls and small and inferior apples of cooking and dessert varieties not worth sending to market” should be warned that it is as important to the cider industry that good cider only should be on sale as it is to the fruit-growing industry that good fruit only should be sent to market. The juice of the apple is naturally affected by the condition of the fruit itself, and if this be unripe, unsound or worm-eaten the cider made from it will be inferior to that made from full-grown, ripe and sound fruit. If such fruit be not good enough to send to market, neither will the cider made from it be good enough to place before the public. Nevertheless, it may furnish a sufficiently palatable drink for home consumption, and may therefore be so utilized. But when, as happens from time to time in fruit-growing districts, there is a glut, and even the best table fruit is not saleable at a profit, then, indeed, cider-making is a means of storing in a liquid form what would otherwise be left to rot on the ground; whilst if a proportion of vintage fruit were mixed therewith, a drink would be produced which would not discredit the cider trade, and would bring a fair return to the maker. (C. W. R. C.)
Cider: (6) Various ciders and barrel samples.
Maker: Breezy Hill Orchard and Cider Mill
Origin: Staatsburg, New York
Fruit: Apple. Various orchards.
Cider Maker: Elizabeth Ryan
Cider: Hudson Valley Farmhouse Stone Ridge Scrumpy
Maker’s Style Notes: It’s alive! Fresh apple flavors and the aromas of yeast, some residual sugar, and natural carbonation in the bottle bring you a drink for all seasons. No sulfur, very unfiltered.
Our Impressions: A full round mouthfeel, yeast and honey aromas, apple syrup sweetness, effervescent.
Cider: Hudson Valley Farmhouse Farmhouse Cider
Maker’s Style Notes: American apple varieties grown in the Hudson Valley and a bit of sweetness make a refreshing beverage that can be sipped by itself or with a meal. No sulfur, not filtered.
Our Impressions: A favorite old friend that we always enjoy visiting. Zesty and alive, a refreshing anytime cider. Provokes rustic 18th century thoughts.
Cider: Hudson Valley Farmhouse Apple Seed Cider
Maker’s Style Notes: A blend of American and European cider apples creates rich, more complex aromas. Strong acidly like crisp white wine means you can pair this cider with any meal. Barrel samples, unfiltered.
Our Impressions: Winey. Reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp and silky.
Cider: Hudson Valley Farmhouse Lady Apple Cider
Maker’s Style Notes: A single varietal. Unfiltered. Made by the ancient Pomme d’api. Brought by the Romans to England.
Our Impressions: Easy drinking. Mellow apple flavor. More sweet than tart but balanced. A fine lady indeed.
Cider: Dabinett Blend -Barrel Samples
Maker’s Style Notes: A beloved French variety. Complex flavors and more tannins. Unfiltered.
Our Impressions: Pleasing subtle structure with soft tannins and a smooth light sweetness.
Cider: Ellis Bitter Blend – Barrel Samples
Maker’s Style Notes: A unique blend of bitter and acidic apples. Unfiltered.
Our Impressions: Complex and intense. A diverse array of bitter flavor elements are present more so than we have ever experienced as most commercially available ciders tend to have one or two bitter notes if any at all. Symphonic with lots of tannins and acid that support and supply structure. Delectably illustrates the concept of blending for structure and balance and unique fruit expression. Makes us curious to find out more about the old English cider apple, Ellis Bitter, used in this blend.
Note: All of these ciders and barrel samples were tasted May 10, 2013 at the Cider Salon hosted by Jimmy’s No. 43 to benefit Breezy Hill Orchard and Cider Mill and their campaign to raise funds to Rebuild Historic Cider House at Greenmarket Farm Breezy Hill. Find more about funding and rewards via Kickstarter.
Cider Knowledge: This type of tasting is a terrific way to get a glimpse into the growers and cidermakers process and learn a bit about how they approach fruit choices and utilize blending in the development of their fruit and cider portfolio.
Note on fruit sources: Elizabeth Ryan is the primary grower and principle cidermaker. Multiple orchards supply the fruit for these ciders.
CIDER, or Cyder (from the Fr. cidre, derived from the Lat. sicera or cisera, Gr. veicepa, Heb. shekar, strong drink), an alcoholic beverage made from apples.
Cider and perry (the corresponding beverage made from pears) are liquors containing from as little as 2% of alcohol to 7 or 8%, seldom more, and rarely as much, produced by the vinous fermentation of the expressed juice of apples and pears; but cider and perry of prime quality can only be obtained from vintage fruit, that is, apples and pears grown for the purpose and unsuited for the most part for table use. A few table apples make good cider, but the best perry is only to be procured from pears too harsh and astringent for consumption in any other form. The making of perry is in England confined, in the main, to the counties of Hereford, Worcester and Gloucester. These three counties, together with Somerset and Devon, constitute, too, the principal cider-making district of the country; but the industry, which was once more widely spread, still survives in Norfolk, and has lately been revived in Kent, though, in both these counties, much of the fruit used in cider-making is imported from the west country and some from the continent. Speaking generally, the cider of Herefordshire is distinguished for its lightness and briskness, that of Somerset for its strength, and that of Devonshire for its lusciousness.
Cider used to be made in the south of Ireland, but the industry had almost become extinct until revived by the Department of Agriculture, which in 1904 erected a cider-making plant at Drogheda, Co. Louth, gave assistance to private firms at Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, and Fermoy, Co. Cork, and provided a travelling mill and press to work in the South Riding of Co. Tipperary. The results have been highly satisfactory, a large quantity of good cider having been produced.
Inasmuch as English orchards are crowded with innumerable varieties of cider apples, many of them worthless, a committee composed of members of the Herefordshire Fruit-Growers’ Association and of the Fruit and Chrysanthemum Society was appointed in 1899 to make a selection of vintage apples and pears best suited to Herefordshire and the districts adjoining. The following is the list drawn up by the committee: Apples. – Old Foxwhelp, Cherry Pearmain, Cowarne Red, Dymock Red, Eggleton Styre, Kingston Black or Black Taunton, Skyrme’s Kernel, Spreading Redstreak, Carrion apple, Cherry Norman, Cummy Norman, Royal Wilding, Handsome Norman, Strawberry Norman, White Bache or Norman, Broad-leaved Norman, Argile Grise, Bramtot, De Boutville, Frequin Audievre, Medaille d’Or, the last five being French sorts introduced from Normandy about 1880, and now established in the orchards of Herefordshire.
Source: Online version of the 1911 Encyclopedia Brittannica
“This free online 1911 Classic Encyclopedia is based on what many consider to be the best encyclopedia ever written: the eleventh edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, first published in 1911.”