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

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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.

 

Cider Review: West County REINE de POMME: Cider52

tumblr_mlmwdeuXBU1s240hto1_500Cider: WEST COUNTY REINE DE POMME

Maker: West County Cider Origin: Colrain, Massachusetts

website: www.westcountycider.com

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.

Fruit: Apple.

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.

Cider Review: Cider52: West County Cider Redfield

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Cider: WEST COUNTRY CIDER REDFIELD

Maker: West County Cider

Origin: Colrain, Massachusetts website: www.westcountycider.com

ABV: 5.9 % Bottle: 750 ml. clear bottle, champagne cork

Style Notes: Small batch varietal hard cider, made with Redfield apples and Golden Delicious apples.

Fruit: Apple

Makers Fruit Notes: Bottle Notes: The Redfield is a rare, red-fleshed American apple, both tart and tannic. It makes a cider of vibrant color and fruit. Mid-dry. 2011 harvest 350 cases. From fresh pressed apples, contains sulfites. 75% Redfield, Apex Orchards, Shelburne, Mass. 25% Golden Delicious, Wheelview Orchard, Shelburne, MA.

About the Apple: From Vintage Virginia Apples “REDFIELD is a highly unusual cross between Wolf River and Niedzwetzskayana Red Crab. The fruit is medium to large, waxy-pink to red. The deep-red flesh is slightly dry, making it a superb baking apple that also produces an exceptional jelly, blood red cider, or vinegar. It is high in pectin, but is not for fresh eating, and has a short storage life. Extremely hardy tree is disease and pest free. Heavy annual bearer. Highly ornamental with bronze leaves and red blossoms. Ripens in October. Zones 3-4. Developed at the New York Station, 1938″.

Tasting Notes – In The Glass: Clear bright lively shine. Pale rose – light copper in (clear) bottle and glass. Light mousse ring, slight legs/tears. Aroma of red fruit, berries, hints of licorice, confectionary, culinary apple, sugar, honey, fresh apple fruit, red apple skins, hint of balsa wood, grass, anise. Winey and full of tannins.

Our Pairings – The Tasting Lab: This cider drinks well on it’s own but we wouldn’t hesitate to serve it alongside Lamb, Duck, or any citrus or berry based desserts.

Cheesemonger’s Notes: Aged cheeses with a hint of sweetness and intensity will compliment the fruit and anise notes of the cider. Try Midnight Moon (aged goats milk Gouda) or Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (by Jasper Hill).

Overall Impressions: Oh so pretty in the glass, if there were beauty contests for cider Redfield would be a top contender! It’s not lacking in personality either- pleasing acidity, crisp, slightly tannic, yet juicy. Semi dry with a very fleeting sweetness and a tad bit of salinity. Drinks like a wine- the Pinot of cider.

Note: Here is a cider that uses 25% Golden Delicious apples to great effect.

Cider52: West County, Harvest Moon, Farnum Hill, Foggy Ridge

Cider52: A Cider A Week. The plan: 52 weeks, 52 cider tastings, pairings, reviews, and postings.

More American craft ciders in February 2013:

Farnum Hill Dooryard Batch 1206

Farnum Hill Dooryard Batch 1202A

Farnum Hill Semi Dry

Harvest Moon Cidery Overton

Harvest Moon Cidery Heritage Hops Hard Cider

West County Redfield

West County Reine de Pomme

and more Foggy Ridge First Fruit 

Tasting notes and pairings to follow.

Cider52: Breezy Hill, Farnum Hill, Foggy Ridge, West County, and Duche de Longueville Muscadet de Dieppe Cidre Bouche

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Cider52: A Cider A Week. The plan: 52 weeks, 52 cider tastings, pairings and postings.

For a current list of ciders reviewed so far, and links to reviews see: List of Cider Reviews 2013: Cider 52

February 2013 ciders to be reviewed:

Breezy Hill Orchard’s Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider

Farnum Hill Kingston Black Cider Reserve

Foggy Ridge Cider Serious Cider

Foggy Ridge Cider First Fruit

West County Cider Reine De Pomme

Duché de Longueville, Cidre Bouche de Cru, Muscadet de Dieppe, Normandie

Tasting notes and pairings to follow.