Cliffton Dry Premium Cider comes from New York state and New York state apples. The cider has an abv of 5.5%. Their website unfortunately appears to be in flux and currently unable to give much additional information. One interesting note gleaned from their Facebook page is that the company claims to use the same fermentation process for their cider as for their wines.
Color and appearance: very very pale almost green
The bottle is clear, something rare in ciders, and its shows off the Cliffton Dry’s unusual lack of color. In the glass, it looks even more translucent, if such a thing is possible. The bubbles rise slowly in columns to the top rather like a sleepy champagne.
Aroma: winelike, acidic, red currants
The smell reminds me more of grapes and wine rather than cider. This could be because of the fruity and acidic notes in the aromas. Even mild spring beans with their green fresh qualities come to mind.
Sweet-dry scale: a true semi-dry
This has some aspects of sweetness and others of dryness. I could certainly call this cider vinous, which might be the fermentation process showing. It isn’t too drying but nearly so. Semi-dry is an apt description.
Drinking experience and flavors: tart, nippy, green
The Cliffton Dry has a raw quality to it. The cider should definitely be paired with foods. Because of the tartness, it drinks slowly. Lots of carbonation further slows the cider down. This compromises its enjoyability, because it isn’t very satisfying little sip after little sip.
Finish: lingering and citrusy
This cider is particularly fresh tasting at the finish. Though it is undeniably sour, that could be refreshing under the right circumstances. It reminds me of spring days and mown grass.
Drinking Notes: Pasta salad, potatoes, or other starchy foods
This is a picnic cider. It is very Summer friendly. The cider and I didn’t get along perfectly, but I blame the circumstances rather than personal failings from either of us.
In conclusion, I’d suggest that fans of lighter but not sweeter ciders consider trying it. It is available in New York City Whole Foods locations at approximately five dollars for a small bottle. I might give it another while come June, but for winter, it simply isn’t the cider for me.