Friday, April 10, 2015

Cidering, Part Five

Anthem Cider

Anthem Cider
3 out of 5

This one is very wine-like which is a bit unusual because, instead of the not uncommon white wine notes in many ciders, this one both smells and tastes of red wine. It's sweet and wet (versus a dry red wine), but yeah, it makes me strongly think 'merlot' when I sip.

There is some slight tartness on the front end, but it's nicely balanced and pretty smooth. It's quite nice. There is a tiny bit of an apple note on the back end but still. Wine.

I think this one would be really good if I were looking for a wine replacement. But since I'm looking for a beer replacement...
Woodchuck Barrel Select Hard Cider

Woodchuck Barrel Select
3 out of 5

The smell of this cider is a mix of sugary candy and spices. The taste is very bourbon (as proven by a sniff test of Dan's bourbons). The front end is tart apple and the back is kind of fruity-cigar-smoke (in a good way).

Honestly, it's pretty nicely balanced and really interesting, but the bourbon of this makes it very rich and heavy. And that heaviness makes me feel like I should sip this slowly in a wood paneled room.

I respect this for what it is - I think the balance is good and it is a nice bourbon-aged cider. But apparently I don't want a bourbon aged cider.
Finn River Black Currant Cider

Finn River Black Currant Cider
4 out of 5

Yay for purple cider! I was going to be disappointed it this one wasn't purple.

It has a sweet red-wine-like smell (which is apparently popping up everywhere now), but with an added note of dark berry sweetness on the end. The taste is purple-grape-juice-meets-natural-flavored-SweeTart-candy. It has a grape juice/dessert red wine flavor on the front and a tart, pucker-your-lips taste on the back. As someone whose favorite candies were Spree and SweeTarts, I quite like that pucker.

This one is definitely not a beer replacement, but I really like it.
Smith & Forge Hard Cider

Smith & Forge Hard Cider
3.5 out of 5

It smells like apple juice with a hint of the menthol-feel/coolness of alcohol evaporation. And it kinda tastes like apple juice, too. I like apple juice.

It's sweet and wet with not much carbonation. There's a heavier, darker flavor from the fermentation - sort of tingly and herb-y. It's not bad but it's a bit overbalanced to the heavy/sweet/cloying side so I think this would be one to cook with, not one to sip by the pool.

That being said, I'd really like to cook some sausage in this one.


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