Sunday, May 22, 2011

Finishing the Crispin Ciders

When I first received samples from Crispin Ciders I was very excited. There were 8 styles and breaking it down into a series would give me tasting enjoyment for some time. That time has come, and the end of the road has been reached. And this is made sadder because Crispin doesn’t yet have distribution in New England so I will have to travel to get more when I want it.

Honey Crisp with Organic Cider

This is the last of the large format bottles from their Artisanal Reserve line. I enjoyed these styles the most because they really broadened my understanding of the range for cider. This particular version is made from Honey Crisp apples, a variety we know well from several of the orchards we frequent both in VT and at home in NH.

The nose on this one really grabbed my attention. I picked up pear and watermelon. It pours cloudy (says so on the label for those not paying attention) with a light straw color. It is tart with a healthy bite of acidity and considerable carbonation. I did pick up sweet apple and honey flavors in the finish. I would definitely get this again and could see throwing it at some BBQ chicken & potato salad in the backyard on a hot summer day.

Extra Dry

Almost no aroma was found after the pour. It is almost clear, almost like green tea (thanks Mom!) It is dry and very carbonated. This is definitely more English in style than some of the others with a much drier mouthfeel and some sour in the finish. Flavors of under-ripe pear were most noticeable in the finish.

Light – Bright Over Ice

Light straw in color, dry, tart and heavily carbonated. It is indeed light, very light in fact, but crisp and refreshing with citrus in the finish.

The last two are too light and dry for my tastes, but knowing how my friends have preferences within the range of ciders (dry-sweet-flavored) I make at home I am sure these would be a real pleasers for many others.

Ancient Fire 2009 Dry Cider

I had a bottle of my own dry style cider from 2009 on hand and opened it to contrast the taste and texture to that of the other two reviewed above. The aromas are light and solidly of apple juice. As I have mentioned in the past I make mine still most of the time and that is true for this selection as well. It is dry and tart with savory apple and spice flavors. The finish is pretty short with tart citrus cleaning up during the quick exit. This is not my very best cider from 2009, but it is the simple dry style I was shooting for when I made it. After one full year in the bottle I have not experienced any re-fermentation or any drying which I have seen in the past. I can’t wait to make cider in again this fall and try some of the twists Crispin offers in my homemade product.



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Brian Samuels Photography said...

I've never been one for ciders but this sounds phenomenal! Thanks for sharing!

Jason Phelps said...

@Brian, they are hoping to get them into New England stores soon, but so far no luck. I'm not sure the issue, but I expect they will do pretty well when they get it resolved. The artisinal style with different yeasts and ingredients really were fun to try.


Pam @ Sticks Forks Fingers said...

Your descriptions of these are delightful. I don't have much experience with ciders, but this makes me want to try more.

I've been quiet lately... long story, but very very involved with work, so no time to play, but things are lighening up a bit. We are still looking forward to your trip, and have more things to show you than there will be time. Ninkasi Brewery, here we come!!!

My best, Pam

chrisfream said...

Usually the hold up with getting into new markets is on the side of distributors. There are a lot of contracts and all that fun legal stuff to get through. Crispin plans on being in New England(Boston) area by next year. They should be nationwide (except CO) within the next few months/years. Not sure what the hold up with CO is though.