Tag Archives: Farnum Hill Cider

Cider Review: Farnum Hill Cider DOORYARD STILL CIDER Batch 1214: Cider52

Trained&PrunedAppleTree

Cider: FARNUM HILL CIDER DOORYARD STILL CIDER BATCH 1214 

Maker: Farnum Hill Cider & Poverty Lane Orchards   Origin:  Lebanon, New Hampshire

website: www.povertylaneorchards.com

ABV: 7.5%  Bottle: 750 ml, wine cork

Style Notes:  The Dooryard series are cider batches that departed from the flavor profiles of established Farnum Hill blends. Each keg or bottle of Dooryard Cider is marked with a batch number, allowing you to look up the details of your specific cider, giving you a glimpse into the cider making process at Farnum Hill.

Fruit: Apples. Golden Russet is a featured apple in this blend.

Cider Maker: Nicole LeGrand Leibon.

Makers Notes: Dooryard No. 1214 – Still, in Bottles:

Our first Still (no bubbles) Dooryard in a while, this opens with citrus and sweet florals. We used a high proportion of Golden Russet in this, and its fruity sweetness and full body comes through in the mouth, with pink grapefruit, sour cherry and quinine. The finish is long and fruity, with citrus and their peels carrying. (NL)

FH Dooryard Still

Our Tasting Notes:  

Farnum Hill Dooryard 1214 Still Cider pours a bright and shining rich roman gold, with gigantic bubbles that immediately fall dead still.

Slight smokey notes of tobacco leaf, whiskey, and oak meld with citrus peel, baked apple, roast honey, chalk and green pepper. A quick swirl offers up toasted hazelnuts, and a hint of pineapple.

The first taste is smooth, silky, pleasingly bitter, lightly tannic, a bit salty, with subterranean lingering apple tones.

Deliciously complex aromas confounded at first. On reading the cider makers tasting notes, the quinine with pink grapefruit peel became more clearly identifiable.

The floral aromas were more green than sweet reminiscent of lilies and tulips, herbaceous and slightly pungent.

Reading the cider maker’s tasting notes can be very helpful. Accurate, well written information from the cider maker can increase your cider knowledge, and enhance the cider drinking experience.

Overall Impressions: Extremely intriguing smokey and green floral aromas. Vinous and crisp, with refreshingly bitter flavors of quinine and grapefruit. An aromatic, complex and challenging cider. If you enjoy a brisk Gin & Tonic, and white wines with sharp minerality, this is a cider for you.

Taster’s Side Note: The fact that this is a very Golden Russet heavy cider, makes us want to explore other ciders that feature this apple.

Dooryard 1214 was featured as one of the The Ciders Of Summer. Our Favorite American Craft Ciders For Drinking Right Now, perfect for summer, but certainly a cider we would drink in these cooler months, if we could find a bottle.

 

Tagged , , , , , ,

Cider Review: Farnum Hill Cider FARMHOUSE CIDER: Cider52

Trained&PrunedAppleTree

Cider: FARNUM HILL CIDER FARMHOUSE CIDER

Maker: Farnum Hill Cider & Poverty Lane Orchards  Origin:  Lebanon, New Hampshire

website: www.povertylaneorchards.com

ABV: 6.5%

Bottle: 750 ml, mushroom cork, wire hood

Fruit: Apples.

Cider Maker: Nicole LeGrand Leibon.

CiDER MAKERS NOTES: 

Our lightest, most casual cider, pale gold and bubbly, with a stroke of sweetness along with the tart, bitter, and fruity elements that good cider offers. Citrus, pineapple, bittersweet apple, and a trace of the barn. Farmhouse astringency is nowhere near the extreme, but shows a certain tannic edge. Agreeably versatile, sharing certain flavor elements with both beer and wine. A clean, appetizing finish makes it congenial with many kinds of food, from the snackiest to the whole-grainiest and back.

‘Farmhouse’ is more of a pub cider than our others. It varies a bit more from batch to batch, shows less complexity less alcohol than our others, and of course is less filling than beer. It and Semi-Dry are the most popular of our regular ciders. ‘Farmhouse’ is blended from a group of real cider apples that ripen earlier than most. So it’s a bit easier to make and less expensive to buy.

Visit the website to read more about  Farnum Hill ‘Farmhouse’

Farnum Hill Farmhouse Label

Our Tasting Notes: compiled over several tastings.

In The Glass: Clear, radiant shine. Glowing golden.

First Pour: Slight froth that immediately settles in to a light mousse ring with miniscule bubbles. Distinct legs.

Aroma: Green apple, warm sugar, apple peel, fresh green grass. Black pepper, grapefruit, rooty and a bit barky. Cidery, hint of quinine, ripe apple, powdered sugar, leather.

Swirl: Wood/oak – but not vanilla – slight tropical and dried fruit notes, pleasantly herbal, more quinine and grapefruit.

Taste: Fresh, bitter, tannic, and cidery. BSA. Extremely subtle sweetness. Rustic, nicely rough.

Finish: Long, slow, relatively gently tannins, soft powdery, slight citrus note. Bitter lingers, tapers off, and tannins slowly re-appear. Well balanced. Slightly drying and a bit warming.

2 tasters- (2) different Taste Ratings:

TASTE RATING SCALE: Our (2) tasters experience of the balance of bitter, sour, and umami was different:

Taster 1:  Bitter: 7  Astringency: 7   Sour: 6   Salty: 2   Sweet: 1   Umami: 3 

Taster 2:  Bitter: 3  Astringency: 7  Sour: 4    Salty: 2   Sweet: 1   Umami: 1

Our Pairing-The Tasting Lab:  None.

Overall Impressions: Farnum Hill Ciders DANCE. Visually, and in the mouth. Farmhouse Cider is no exception. The tannins and bitter notes tussle and tumble in this cider* and give you quite a flavor ride. Farmhouse is rustic yet focused, with bitter, sour, drying elements all jostling, and giving dimension to the cider. The aromas of this bumptious blend almost insists you drink it. For all its rough-hewn charm, this cider’s profile is very precise and finely honed. When drinking a Farnum Hill, you experience a well crafted, rounded, fully complete cider. There are no wrong notes, and much enjoyment to be had.

*This may be why our (2) tasters had different experiences of Bitter and Sour balance in this cider.

TERMS, DEFINITIONS & LINGO: 

BSA Bitter Sweet Apple: Referring to aroma and flavor characteristics of Bitter-Sweet Apple varieties used for cider. Bittersweet apples are low in acids and high in tannins. Tannin accounts for two palate sensations: astringency and bitterness.

From CIderUK.com:

Bittersweet apples impart the characteristic flavour of English ciders; as the name implies they are low in acid and high in tannin. The latter is responsible for two sensations on the palate – astringency and bitterness. In the bittersweet apple, there is a whole range of combinations of these two characteristics, varying from little astringency coupled with intense bitterness to very marked astringency coupled with mild bitterness. Typical bittersweets are Dabinett, Yarlington Mill and Tremlett’s Bitter.

ADDITIONAL READING:  FH Cider Talk & Terms Farnum Hill explains their cider profiles and the philosophy behind the ciders they craft.

 

If you have tasting notes to add please leave a comment.

Tagged , , , , , ,

The Ciders of Summer. Our Favorite American Craft Ciders for Drinking Right Now:

LOC apple image

A Few of Our Current Favorite Summer Ciders:

West County Cider Redfield. A beautiful, pink hued cider with clean, clear tannins and lively acidity. Goes anywhere a rosé can go, and then some.

Farnum Hill Summer Cider. Effervescent, crisp, clear and bright. Well structured with a tannic finish as long and warming as a summer’s day.

Farnum Hill Cider Dooryard series: Current favorite: Batch 1214. A still cider, full of tannins and bursting with notes of quinine and pink grapefruit. A cider that quenches like a crisp gin & tonic.

Aaron Burr Bourbon Barrel Cider. Lean and sophisticated, notes of spice, citrus, apricot, and fresh apple with irrepressible bubbles providing continual refreshment.

Tieton Cider Works Apricot. The perfect outdoor entertaining cider. A fruity floral foil to tangy barbecue sauces and grilling marinades. Perfect as a base for a cider sangria and enjoying with brunch on the patio.

Eden Ice Cider Orleans Bitter. Anytime, anywhere, all summer long. On ice, mixed, shaken, stirred, spritzed, or frozen. A lovely herbal bitterness that refreshes.

Note: We have only begun to taste the variety that is American craft cider. If you have favorites, especially for summer cider drinking, please leave a comment.

Order is not indicative of preference.

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Cider Review: Farnum Hill DOORYARD Batch 1206: Tasting Journal: Cider52

FHillDooryard1202ACider: FARNUM HILL DOORYARD BLEND 1206

Thoughts On A Bottle: Tasting Journal:

Review Note: Solo tasting. No team tasting pending as this batch of Dooryard cider is no longer available.

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.”

Visit the Farnum Hill website to get specific notes on your batch of Dooryard using this link.

One of the best parts of drinking Farnum Hill Dooryard Ciders is reading the cider makers notes:

Cider Maker: Nicole LeGrand Leibon.

Cider Makers Notes on FARNUM HILL DOORYARD BLEND 1206: 

This new Dooryard was blended from our new big batch base 1205, a tank-end of 1211, and a partial barrel of 1311, Wickson.

This cider doesn’t color too far out of our usual Farnum Hill Ciders lines, compared to some previous Dooryard batches.  The nose carries a fair bit of BSA, but has bright spots of sour cherry and pineapple. There is pear and a little whiskey* in the nose, too.  The taste starts with a burst of fruity sweetness, but the sweetness drops quickly behind the bright acid and the nice, woody, BSA bitter. Orange and tangerine join the fruits from the nose, with a tiny bit of red candy.  The fruits in this one jostle for prominence; they take turns popping.

The astringency is moderately low, the feel medium-full.  The finish carries all of the fruits from the nose and taste, as well as a nice broad but mild bitter.  The whiskey note remains. Dare I say this reminds me of a tropical drink made with whiskey? Cherry on top.

-Cheers, Nicole

* I know. There’s always a caveat with me, isn’t there? The whiskey thing can be attributed to the barrels we use, because whiskey is aged in barrels, blah blah blah. The thing is, the barrels we use are neutral. REALLY neutral. Sold to us nigh on 15 years ago because the winemaker on Long Island we got them from thought they were too neutral THEN.  So we actually think a lot of the “whiskey” notes we get are just as likely to come from the apples we use. In fact, it has shown up in cider that was fermented in stainless steel, with no oak contact. Totally weird, huh? That’s why we still think we are learning. And why this job stays so fascinating. Weird stuff. Mother Nature is cool. Cheers to her!

Tasting Notes: Thoughts On A Bottle: Tasting Journal: 

In The Glass: Bright, clear golden, hint of amber in the glass. Extremely clear, shines. Subtle bead, light mousse. Slight legs, gentle tears.

Aroma & Taste: Fresh apple, baked apple fruit, sugar, spice, caramel, tropical fruit, pineapple, sous bois, orchard, wet grass, confectionary, winey, bit of barnyard, green pepper, black pepper, ginger-spice, honey, toffee.

Overall Impressions: Another interesting Dooryard Cider experience. Soft tannins, “juicy” acidity, hints of sweetness, lightly effervescent. Drinks like a tannic white wine. Probably drinking too cold and not getting the full spectrum of flavors, missing some of the subtle whiskey and bitter notes.

Cider: FARNUM HILL DOORYARD BLEND 1206

Maker: Farnum Hill Cider & Poverty Lane Orchards   Origin:  Lebanon, New Hampshire

website: www.povertylaneorchards.com

Fruit: Apples.

ABV: 7.5%  Bottle: 750 ml, champagne cork

Note: Tastings are generally team efforts. Occasionally we will post solo tasting notes. This is a solo tasting.

If you have tasting notes to add please leave a comment.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Great Cider Starts With Great Fruit.

We Like Cider.

And you can’t really like cider without being fairly keen on apples.

To quote the esteemed makers at Farnum Hill Cider & Poverty Lane Orchards:

Anywhere, in any words, great cider starts with great fruit.”

We Like Apples.

Expect more about apples – orchards, pollinators, varietals, history, tastings, fruit expression.

We Are Apple Drinkers.*

LOC apple image

*A nice turn of phrase from the always interesting American Orchard.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Cider Review: Farnum Hill Cider DOORYARD Batch 1202A: Cider52

FHillDooryard1202ACider: FARNUM HILL CIDER DOORYARD BATCH 1202A

Maker: Farnum Hill Cider & Poverty Lane Orchards   Origin:  Lebanon, New Hampshire

website: www.povertylaneorchards.com

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.

Fruit: Apples.

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.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Tasting Lab: Recipe: Fromage Fort with Farnum Hill Extra Dry Cider

Fromage Fort, French “strong cheese” is usually made with bits of leftover cheese, the more variety the better, and moistened with dry white wine, chicken stock, or leek broth.

Tasting Lab: Our version of Fromage Fort is made with cider instead of dry white wine.

We selected Farnum Hill Extra Dry Cider*, collected the assorted cheese scraps we had on hand, chopped them into a fairly fine mince, smashed 3 small garlic cloves, filled our jar with the garlic and cheese, splashed in about 2/3 cup of Farnum Hill Extra Dry Cider, leaving more than enough cider enough to enjoy a glass or two. We skipped the salt and pepper as our blend contained many already flavorful cheeses, and figured we could add seasoning later if needed.

There are more detailed recipes, but this is not one of them.

Our Strong Cheese with Cider is “maturing” the refrigerator. You can eat this right away as a mild spread on toasted bread or crackers, and a few moments in the oven or under the broiler to melt and brown the cheese is often recommended. Contemporary recipes suggest a whirl in the food processor, but we went traditional and chopped with a knife – giving us a better sense of the types of rind bits we were incorporating.

Note: Remove cloth or wax rinds – we left all other rinds intact, because we like cider and we also like cheese, and rinds are very important part of the cheese flavor experience. You of course, are welcome to trim your rinds, if that is to your taste. (If your cheese has odd bits of uncharacteristic mold – you should trim those off).

Traditionally you age the Fromage Fort, and most modern recipes suggest the mixture can mature for a week or two (if it lasts that long).

For an interesting read see  Turning Leftover Cheese Into a Classic from The 1989 New York Times series, The Purposeful Cook, by Jacques Pepin. If you are interested in foodways, Jacques Pepin’s style of storytelling, sharing personal food history, and teaching culinary methods while explaining a recipe, is enlightening.

Purposeful indeed – with a happy frugality, appreciating that abundance is not to be squandered, scraps are to be saved, transformed and savored.

And for a complete different take on ‘Strong Cheese’ read Fromage Fort: The Cheese That Tried To Kill Me by Francis Lam at Salon.

* we topped our mix off with a bit of Farnum Hill Semi-Dry Cider.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Inside Cider: Regarding Cider Apple Terminology

LOC apple image

More USEFUL TERMS regarding Cider Apples:

TANNINS: bitter, astringent substances found in some apples. They give bitterness & complex, earthly flavors, plus drying, tautening, & body in the “mouthfeel”.

ACIDS: sour-tasting, or ‘sharp’ substances found in apples. Acids give a refreshing sourness, bright flavor, & a keen, mouth-watering “feel’. To ferment cleanly, raw cider juice needs a strong acid content.

SUGARS: sweet-tasting substances found in apples. Yeast ferments natural fruit sugars into alcohol.

CIDER APPLES: apple varieties that produce superior juice for fermenting. Like wine grapes, cider apples often taste bad. They can be super-bitter, super-sour, sickly-sweet, dry soft or any combination of the above. When a good eating apple works well for cider, or vice-versa, it is prized by Farnum Hill Cider & Poverty Lane Orchard’s as a ‘cross over’.

BITTERSWEETS: a class of cider apple varieties valued for high tannin content & high sugar content.

SWEETS: apple varieties grown for high sugar alone.

BITTERSHARPS: a class of cider apple varieties valued for high tannin content & high acid content.

SHARPS: apple varieties grown for high acid alone.

Adapted from Farnum Hill Cider & Poverty Lane Orchards booklet Inside Cider: Fast Facts for Wholesalers, Retailers, and Aficionados from Farnum Hill Cider © copyright Poverty Lane Orchards 2011. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Inside Cider: Fast Facts for Wholesalers, Retailers, and Aficionados from Farnum Hill Cider

LOC apple image

A few terms as defined by Farnum Hill Cider & Poverty Lane Orchards in the booklet Inside Cider: Fast Facts for Wholesalers, Retailers, and Aficionados from Farnum Hill CIder © copyright Poverty Lane Orchards 2011. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Some USEFUL TERMS Up Front…

CIDER: An alcoholic beverage fermented from apples, as wine is an alcoholic beverage fermented from grapes. The cider-making & wine-making crafts have much in common. Prohibition devastated both in the U.S. but only cider lost its true name. In the U.S. ‘cider’ has only begun to reclaim its worldwide meaning.

APPLE JUICE: 1) a complex, perishable fluid pressed from raw apples. Once termed ‘sweet cider, it was re-dubbed in the U.S. during Prohibition. 2) a stabilized, clarified juice product sold year-round, usually made by diluting apple juice concentrate.

APPLE JUICE CONCENTRATE: a stable syrup reduced from raw juice. Heat & fans evaporate 90% of the water; filters remove suspended fruit solids. Concentrates used for cider may be generic (from any varieties available) select (made from specified apple varieties) or bitter-sweet (made from tannic cider apples).

HARD CIDER: 1) Our 20th-Century redub of ‘cider’, a word we grafted onto ‘apple juice’, previously called ‘sweet cider.’ Of course, ‘hard’ has long meant ‘alcoholic’.  2) HARD CIDER is also a Federal tax status that lets high-volume ciders under 7% abv. pay beer-tax rates. Above 7% abv, ciders pay wine excise tax.*

*Ed. Note: See CIDER Act press release post for information on proposed changes to current tax regulations.

 

Tagged , , ,
%d bloggers like this: