Links & Details:
tickets via Eventbrite
1st ever GOOD CIDER Event March 18 @ 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Get Your Tickets Now.
The Standard Cider Co. from Brotherhood
More Good News: “Cider will be on sale at the event, so you can plan on taking home a bottle of your new (and old) favorites!”
“Thanksgiving was celebrated with the greatest profusion. For three days previous all was bustle and preparation: the stalled ox was killed, – turkeys, hens, and geese innumerable shared the fate of Charles the first, – a load of the best walnut wood was drawn for the thanksgiving fires, a barrel of the best cider was chosen, the best pumpkins were selected for pies, (to supply the place of minced,)* and strong water was provided in moderation to assist the inspiration of the joyful occasion.”
* “It has been said that minced pies were proscribed from the bill of fare of the Puritans because they were customarily made by the Episcopalians on Christmas.”
From: History of the colony of New Haven: before and after the union with Connecticut. Containing a particular description of the towns which composed that government, viz., New Haven, Milford, Guilford, Branford, Stamford, & Southold, L. I., with a notice of the towns which have been set off from “the original six.”
Author: Edward Rodolphus Lambert Publisher: Hitchcock & Stafford, 1838 – Branford (Conn.)
via: google ebook
Image: Creator(s): Penfield, Edward, 1866-1925, artist. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, reproduction number LC-USZC4-1206 (color film copy transparency)
19th Annual Franklin County CiderDays will be held this weekend, November 2-3, 2013.
CiderDays is one of the premier events of the North American Cider Season.
From the website:
“CiderDays is a community event celebrating all things apples in Franklin County, Massachusetts. 2013 marks the 19th year of this event and there will be two days (November 2nd and 3rd) of orchard tours, cidermaking and tastings, workshops and much more. This is for all who love apples, fresh or hard cider, apple cuisine, apple orchards or just being in New England in the fall.”
Franklin County CiderDays November 2 – 3, 2013
Two days celebrating and enjoying The Apple.
A few of the 2013 Event Highlights that caught our eye:
• Second Annual Cider Days Harvest Party 2013 Friday, Nov 1st – A kickoff event to benefit CiderDays & includes the début of West County Ciders releases for 2013.
• The Cider Salon — “the world’s largest hard cider tasting with more than 60 individual cider brands from across North America”.
• CiderDay Locavore Harvest Supper
• Spanish Cider Tasting and Discussion with James Asbel of Ciders of Spain
• North vs. South Heritage Apple Smackdown, Part Deux, a tasting and discussion with Tom Burford and John Bunker.
• Michael Phillips talks about Apple Varieties for the Organic Orchard
• Finding a Great Cider Apple in Your Backyard with John Bunker and Claude Jolicoeur
• Apples for Juice and Cider with Claude Jolicoeur and Alan Suprenant
• Organic Orcharding Practices: A Primer with Jennifer Williams and Steve Gougeon
• So You Want to Be a Commercial Cidermaker with Steve Gougeon and Andy Brennan
• Cidermaking 101 Workshop with Bob Delisle and Charlie Olchowski
Visit Franklin County CiderDays website for ALL the details and a complete list of events.
Note: A bit about CiderDays from the website:
“CiderDay began in 1994 when Terry and Judith Maloney organized a small event to celebrate their harvest. Now called CiderDays and sponsored by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, it is a two-day event which celebrates its 19th year in 2013. The event is always held on the first weekend of November, when even the late-bearing cider apples have been picked.”
Observations on Cider.
From the great diversity of soil and climate in the United States of America, and the almost endless variety of its apples, it follows that much diversity of taste and flavour will necessarily be found in the cider that is made from them. To make good cider, the following general, but important, rules should be attended to. They demand a little more trouble than the ordinary mode of collecting and mashing apples of all sorts, rotten and sound, sweet and sour, dirty and clean, from the tree and the soil, and the rest of the slovenly process usually employed ; but in return they produce you a wholesome, high-flavoured, sound, and palatable liquor, that always commands an adequate price, instead of a solution of “villanous compounds,” in a poisonous and acid wash, that no man in his senses will drink. The finest cider was made of an equal portion of ripe, sound pippin and crab apples, pared, cored, and pressed, etc., with the utmost nicety. It was equal in flavour to any champagne that ever was made.
Title: Six hundred receipts, worth their weight in gold : including receipts for cooking, making preserves, perfumery, cordials, ice creams, inks, paints, dyes of all kinds, cider, vinegar, wines, spirits, whiskey, brandy, gin, etc., and how to make imitations of all kinds of liquors : together with valuable gauging tables : the collections, testing, and improvements on the receipts extending over a period of thirty years.
Author: Marquart, John 1867
Publisher: Philadelphia : J.E. Potter
Read online: https://archive.org/details/sixhundredreceipt00marq
A Slow Food Russian River Cider + Cheese Tasting Scholarship Fund Benefit Event
When our resident Cheesemonger crafted a fantasy-cheese pairing featuring Tilted Shed Ciderworks 2012 GRAVIVA! Semidry Cider, our cider pen pals at Tilted Shed responded by hosting the First-Ever Sebastopol Cider and Cheese Challenge and invited Apple Sauced Cider to join in. You can read about their cider+cheese pairing adventures here.
Actual Cider + Cheese Pairings are definitely more fun.
Want to enjoy a guided cheese + cider pairing featuring Tilted Shed Ciderworks & Devoto Orchards Cider? You Can!
Sign up for the upcoming SLOW FOOD RUSSIAN RIVER Benefit Event.
“Devoto Orchards and Tilted Shed Ciderworks, two Sebastopol-area farm-based cider producers, will join six local cheesemakers in showcasing craft cider’s amazing range and versatility.”
Yes. The cider artisans and orchardists behind Apple Sauced Cider and Devoto Gardens are launching a new brand,: Devoto Orchards Cider. This first seasons releases of farmstead ciders will include: Gravenstein, 1976, and Cidre Noir.
REMATCH: Cider + Cheese Pairing
A while back we posted A Cheesemonger’s Challenge: Cider and Cheese Pairing with Tilted Shed Ciderworks 2012 GRAVIVA! Semidry Cider, conceived by our resident cheesemonger, and originally published at: Consider The Rind.
The Idea: Select an interesting cider we have yet to try, and relying on the cider maker’s tasting notes, attempt to create a successful (at least on paper) cheese pairing.
Tilted Shed Ciderworks 2012 GRAVIVA! Semidry Cider from Ellen Cavalli and Scott Heath of Tilted Shed Ciderworks in the Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, was our cider pick. (You can read the original post here).
In reply to our challenge, the folks at Tilted Shed Ciderworks paired with Jolie Devoto-Wade and Hunter Wade of Apple Sauced Cider, and taking cues from our suggested cheese selection, created their own taste-off adding Apple Sauce Cider’s Save The Gravenstein to the mix.
Expanding on the original, the Sebastopol cider makers cheese selection included several local artisanal cheeses – guided by the pair local ‘what grows together goes together’ principle.
Visit the Tilted Shed Ciderworks blog to read the full post: First-ever Sebastopol Cider and Cheese Challenge and learn the results of their actual cheese challenge tasting.
Save A Heritage Apple. Drink a Gravenstein Paired with Local Cheese.
Pomme Fruit: Gravenstein Apples In The Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California.
The Sebastopol Gravenstein, a vividly colored, aromatic, flavorful heirloom apple is historically important in the Russian River Valley. So dominant in the region, the ribbon of roadway running through the acres of orchards became known as The Gravenstein Highway – honoring the apples prolific presence. Declining prices for processing apples, the increasing popularity of other more ‘commercially viable’ apples, and a booming West Coast wine industry, all led to Gravenstein orchards being ripped out to make way for the extremely lucrative wine grapes that now populate the region.
David Karp, writing for the LA Times:
“Gravenstein is still a favorite in northern Europe and is cultivated from Nova Scotia to the Pacific Northwest, but it reaches its greatest perfection in the Sebastopol district of western Sonoma County, at the border of the maritime and inland climatic zones, where the morning fog gives way to a moderately hot afternoon sun. The area’s fine, sandy loam soil is well suited to apples. The huge trees, grafted on seedling rootstock, develop roots deep enough to survive the dry summers without irrigation.”
Concerned Sonoma County cider makers are working to revive interest in this heirloom apple by focusing on the Gravenstein’s many desirable cider worthy traits, crafting ‘Gravs’ into unique ciders that celebrate and express the heritage of the apple and the region.
Saving Apples by Making Cider. Drink a Gravenstein Today.
Find A Gravenstein Cider:
Tilted Shed Ciderworks: Graviva! Semi Dry Cider
Apple Sauced Cider: Save The Gravenstein! Cider
Devoto Orchards Cider: Gravenstein first release October 14, 2013
Gleanings (sources for further reading):
Gravenstein apple image (detail) – credit: “U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705”
Link: The future of Gravenstein apples hangs on a thin stem. July 12, 2013 By David Karp. Special to the Los Angeles Times
Other Pome Fruits: Pears and Quince Considered.
American cider makers are exploring cider beyond the apple. Pears, and even Quince, can be crafted into quite fine ciders. Along with our ongoing apple based cider research, upcoming posts will consider these other pome fruits, and the unique ciders, perrys and poires their artful fermentation produces.
Cider52: A Cider Review A Week The original plan: 52 weeks, 52 cider tastings, pairings and postings. As of May 3, 2013 we revised our goal, now it’s 52 American Made Ciders to be reviewed in 2013. We’ll continue to explore and review World Cider, but the 52 Ciders in 2013 goal is now CIDER USA.
With barely 13 weeks left in 2013 – we better get busy if we intended to meet our goal. So expect more cider reviews in these last few months of 2013 The Year of Cider.
US CIDERS REVIEWED SO FAR:
The list of American Ciders reviewed with links to the reviews:
Farnum Hill Cider DOORYARD STILL CIDER Batch 1214 pending
Eve’s Cider BECKHORN HOLLOW DRY CIDER pending
For a list of ALL ciders reviewed so far (Including ciders from around the world), see the CIDER REVIEWS: CIDER52 page.
Aaron Burr Bourbon Barrel Cider is only available at a handful of select establishments in the North East, and in very limited quantities.
A few sources we might suggest:
Jimmy’s No. 43 NYC
The Queen’s Kickshaw Astoria, Queens, NY
If You Find It – Drink It. We sincerely believe you will not be disappointed. You won’t have the opportunity to drink this cider again for at least 14 months.
Andy Brennan ages his small batch micro-crafted cider in bourbon barrels for 2 years – and there won’t be another release until very late in 2014 .
Here is a link to our tasting notes for Aaron Burr Bourbon Barrel Cider Sparkling.
If you want to explore the world of Aaron Burr Cider click here
And do read and enjoy Aaron Burr Cider’s Cider 101: True Cider in America
Below is a list of (early) American Cider Apples from DANIEL SMITH & CO. of Burlington, New Jersey, circulated as a broadsheet catalog for apple trees available in the fall of 18o4.
Cider: Aaron Burr Cidery BOURBON BARREL CIDER Sparkling
Maker: Aaron Burr Cidery
Origin: Wurtsboro, New York
ABV: 7.6 % Bottle: 500 ml, mushroom cork, wire cage.
Style Notes: Sparkling cider. Aged 2 years. Home-tapped and boiled maple sap.
Fruit: Apple. Orange County, New York Apples: Spy, Idared, and Empire.
Cider Maker: Andy Brennan has some interesting thoughts on the American cider revival. See Cider 101:
“Unbeknownst to Americans born in the 20th century, cider is a world-class low-alcohol drink which expresses the character of the land. It also allows for stylistic variation from farmer to farmer. Some cider-makers strive toward refinement and complexity, cultivating for flavor nuances (i.e. tannin and sharpness), while others produce a rough and earthy drink popular in taverns. Think of them as culinary folk artists.”
Makers Notes: Dry and light bodied. Full M/L conversion: buttery with imparted smoke and vanilla from barrel. Drinks like a French-style white when still, less dry and w/ faint maple exhale when carbonated.
Our Tasting Notes: Aaron Burr Bourbon Barrel Cider: Reviews composed over (3) separate tastings.
In The Glass: First Impressions: Beautiful vintage inspired bottle and lovely graphic design with handmade letter-pressed labels. Almost as much fun to pour as to drink.
On First Pour: Prolific miniscule bead. Active, lively, spry bubbles create a pétillant fog in the glass.
Color & Clarity: White gold. Lightly opaque as a result of the exuberant effervescence.
Aroma: Delicate aromas of apple flesh, clean oak and vanilla. Hints of spice, black pepper and citrus.
Taste: Apple custard, cream, oak, vanilla, bourbon, and whiskey, followed by flavors of baked apple, and ‘sous bois’ orchard aromas. Warming medium-long finish, expressing subtle hints of spice, quinine, sulphur, resin, dried apricot and orange peel.
5 Tastes Scale: From 0 Low – 9 High:
Aaron Burr Cidery BOURBON BARREL CIDER scores: Bitter 4, Sour 3, Salty 3, Sweet 0, Umami not noted.
The Tasting Lab: We enjoyed Aaron Burr Bourbon Barrel Cider at The Queens Kickshaw, one of our favorite spots for imbibing, alongside a few of their menu items that practically begged to be paired with cider.
The spiciness of the blue mold in the Great Hill Blue grilled cheese sandwich (with prune jam and fresh pear salsa), comes alive when mingled with the varied whiskey flavors present in the cider.
Bread pudding with caramel sauce was caramel-apple whiskey perfection. A whipped cream smothered warm apple cobbler accentuated the ciders pure apple flavors, revealing tannins, and creating an explosion of flavor.
Cheesemonger’s Notes: Pair this cider with aged cheeses: Goudas, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Catamount Hills, or Sartori Gold.
Overall Impressions: A unique example of the beneficial effects of barrel aging on cider. An extremely refined, lean, sophisticated cider, Aaron Burr Bourbon Barrel Cider pairs exceptionally well with sweets, complex cheeses, and has enough depth and substance to be enjoyed simply, by itself. The finesse and quality of Aaron Burr Bourbon Barrel Cider signals this is a cider maker to watch.
Makers Cider Stats:
Bourbon Barrel Cider (2010-2011) 31 cases made
Specs: Dry and light bodied. Full M/L conversion: buttery with imparted smoke and vanilla from barrel.
Source: Orange County (NY) Spy, Idared, Empire apples, home-tapped and boiled maple sap.
If you have tasting notes to add please leave a comment.
Cider: Crispin BARE NAKED
Maker: Crispin Cider Company
Origin: Minneapolis, MN & Colfax, CA
ABV: 6.0 % Bottle: 22 fl oz. 650 ml.
Fruit: Apple. Uses fresh juice and concentrate.
Cider Maker: Bruce Nissen, Head Cider-Maker, Crispin Cider Company.
Maker’s Style Notes: USDA Organic certified hard ciders. Double fermentation process. Natural fermentation without chaptalization. American organic apple juice and “Forbidden Fruit” wit yeast. Following full fermentation, a second fermentation is initiated with the addition of new raw organic juice and sparkling wine yeast.
Our Tasting Notes: In The Glass: Crispin BARE NAKED:
In The Glass: Unfiltered, slightly opaque, golden amber. Tiny bead/bubble.
Aroma: Very confectionary, “real” candy – not synthetic – sugar aromas.
Taste: Flavors of sweet and sugary dessert apples, warm spun sugars, with a soft mouthfeel. No real “crispness” or acidity. Slight bright, green and grassy notes. A light spice finish, soft on the palette, no astringency.
Final Glass: Estery, with aromas of bananas and spice, and noticeably more opaque, creamy, milky, than earlier pours, with some residual sediments.
Overall Impressions: Sweet apples and spun sugar, with hints of spice and a bit of green grass brightness.
Note: Drank up-chilled, not over ice as maker recommends. Will try again over ice as suggested to see how and if that alters the flavor profile and cider drinking experience.
And: This is another Crispin cider that is fermented using beer yeasts (AND wine yeasts). Beer yeasts and cider making will be discussed in an upcoming post.
Pairing Notes- The Tasting Lab: We tried with curry spiced pumpkin seeds. The cinnamon, clove, and peppery spices of the seeds matched well with the sugar apple sweetness of the cider. Crispin Bare Naked cider will pair smoothly with spicy Thai food, Swedish meatballs, and Indian vindaloos and curries, as the straight ahead sugars and hints of spice in this cider will accent and compliment the complex flavors in a variety of highly seasoned foods.
If you have tasting notes or pairing suggestion to add please leave a comment.
Maker: Crispin Cider Company
Origin: Minneapolis, MN & Colfax, CA
ABV: 6.9 % Bottle: 22 fl oz. 650 ml.
Maker’s Style Notes: Super Premium cider. Naturally fermented with Belgian Trappist yeasts. Organic maple syrup added. An homage to American craft beer makers pioneer spirit. Designed to be enjoyed over ice.
Cider Maker: Bruce Nissen, Head Cider-Maker, Crispin Cider Company
Our Tasting Notes: Crispin THE SAINT:
In The Glass: Golden, creamy, milky, opaque. Lots of tiny very active effervescent bubbles.
Aroma: Very strong confectionary aromas on the nose, with a slight maple sugar note.
Taste: Culinary apples, spun sugars, honey syrup, with hints of maple in the finish.
Overall Impressions: This cider has one dominant consistent note: sweetness. Smooth, sweet, uncomplicated.
Note: Drank this cider up and chilled, not over ice as maker recommends. Next time we will try over ice and see how that affects the cider drinking experience.
And: Beer yeasts used in cider making. We’ll discuss that topic in an upcoming post.
Pairing Notes-The Tasting Lab: Drank solo.
For more about Crispin Cider Company, read this informative interview from Heavy Table with Crispin Cider Company founder and CEO Joe Herron, written by Joe Norton, 2009.
If you have tasting notes to add please leave a comment.
For an interesting read on apples and the human quest for sweetness: see Botany Of Desire: A Plants-Eye View of the World, Michael Pollan’s fascinating look at how plants have directed our desires.
“Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings. And just as we’ve benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. So who is really domesticating whom?”
The Cider Raid.
Last Friday evening occurred the annual cider raid to Forest Home. The crowd began to assemble at Cascadilla bridge even before 9 0 clock, and by half-past, the appointed hour for starting, about ninety-five students, supplied with tin horns, and like musical instruments, had assembled on the bridge. Mr. Walch was chosen master of ceremonies, and the procession started on its way, amid the din of countless discordant tin horns and conch shells. The procession first proceeded to Sage College and serenaded the inmates. It then marched across the campus and called out “Sibley Bill,” who responded with a characteristic speech, recounting the various reminiscences of former cider raids. The raiders then wended their way to Forest Home, and entered that antiquated little town in silence. But when the bridge was reached they uttered a ringing war-whoop, and rushed pell-mell upon the cider-mill. Here they were kindly received by the proprietor, and treated to all the sweet cider they could well hold. The lonely little store, further up the street, was next visited, the proprietor aroused from his quiet slumbers, and, amid an unearthly din of horns, he unlocked the store. The crowd regaled themselves with pipes, tobacco, cigarettes, candy, etc., much to the depletion of the merchants stock. Songs were indulged in, and soon the procession turned homeward, making night hideous on the way, by discordant snatches of song and the renewed tooting of horns. The Sage maidens were aroused once more from their peaceful slumbers by another serenade, after which the crowd dispersed, apparently well-pleased with the evening’s entertainment.
As reported in the The Cornell Daily Sun, Volume IV, Number 22, 22 October 1883 — The Cider Raid.
Maker: West County Cider Origin: Colrain, Massachusetts
ABV: 7.3% Bottle: 750 ml, champagne cork
Style Notes: Small batch varietal hard cider. Primary apple is the Reine de Pomme, blended with Dabinett and Redfield.
Makers Fruit Notes: “Reine de Pomme is an archaic French Apple. We found it in the Geneva Reference Orchard. In 1987, in France, the only reference to it we found was a listing in a nursery catalog from the 1920’s at an apple museum in Normandy. No one seemed to know of it. But, forgotten or not, we were struck by the taste- tannins and iron- that made it inedible, but intriguing for a cider. As a cider it has a deep, dark-fruit, honeyed taste. We blended it with our Dabinet to round out the tannins, and Redfield to add bright fruit and to balance the bitter-sweets. Though blended, Reine de Pomme leads the taste, and the Dabinet and Redfield fall in nicely as supports. It is the fullest-bodied cider we have made. And the closest in taste to a French Cider”.
Bottle Notes: The Reine de Pomme – ‘Queen of Apples’ is a classic French ‘bittersweet’ apple. The strong tannins give complexity to this cider. This cider stands up well to robust tastes at the table. Dry.
Tasting Notes – In The Glass: Pale, clear, and bright rose gold. Tiny surface beads. Some legs/tears. Sweet dessert apple, sous bois, malted sugar, vanilla, tropical fruit, pineapple, ‘bright’ green notes of pepper and grass. Some leather, hints of spice, white pepper, and wood. Iron. Long tannic finish with medium acidity. Winey with a light, silky, smooth mouth feel.
Our Pairings – The Tasting Lab: This queen becomes humble when matched with food, elevating the flavors in the food to heights beyond her own. As a supporting player she does her best work with intense aromatics (garlic, lemon zest, oregano) but we found little that enhanced her own qualities or produced a completely new experience through pairing.
Cheesemonger’s Notes: We tasted this with St. Nectaire which brought out a caramel note that was undetected in the cider on its own or with our other flavor pairings. Other fairly mild washed rinds would probably produce the same delicious effect. Consider Hudson Red or Rougette.
Overall Impressions: Another beauty pageant contestant this pretty in golden pink cider boasts a powerfully sweet aroma that is perfectly balanced by complex tannins and bitter flavor elements. Pair with zesty Mediterranean dishes for a regal match or enjoy Reine de Pomme on its own to appreciate her unique variety of flavor notes.
If you have tasting notes to add please leave a comment.
*secondary source of quote: Liquor laws of the United States, their spirit and effect (1885) references “The Digest of Manufactures” Hamilton as originator, unverified.