Friday, February 15, 2013

Cider Review: Newtown Pippin


This is my first review of a cider by Original Sin; they are a New York cider maker that has been around since 1997. Here's their website. They are more known for their Garden of Eden inspired style (including some beautiful nearly-naughty posters) and six pack ciders than special offerings.  I must say their premium cider is readily available, quite drinkable (I promise I’ll review it before too long), and regularly the winner of cider awards. This only makes me more excited to try their more adventurous attempts.

Tonight I want to drink and talk about their Newtown Pippin. Like almost every cider, it is gluten free. The Newtown Pippin is named after its apple. Apple singular, meaning that we have a single-apple varietal cider on our hands! Not just any tasty apple, the Newtown Pippin is one with a long history as both a dessert apple and a cider apple. You can read more about it here.

Color and appearance: lightest yellow green topaz

This cider is greenish yellow and on the pale side. No visible bubbles. Totally clear

Aroma: apple, citrus, zing

Not a very strong smell. A bit winey.

Sweet-dry scale: Semi-semi-dry

Newtown Pippin falls slightly more on the tart and raw side. I found it very hard to decide if this is sweet or dry. I’d rather call it semi-semi than anything else really.

Drinking experience and flavors: loads of tart green apple and lemon flavor

The flavor is not quite sour, but definitely on the acidic side. It almost reminds me of crab apples in terms of pucker, which again makes sense when reading about the apple used. When drinking this cider, I noticed how carbonated it is. I like that quality because it forces a leisurely pace on the cider drinker. With some ciders it is too easily to enjoy them all too quickly and a hearty amount of sparkle can help.

Finish: bright and a bit rough

My husband said, “You can taste it all the way down.” That’s fairly apt because the finish isn’t super smooth. I think this is another distinct aspect of a single varietal cider.

Drinking Notes: goes well with beans and potatoes

Tastes better and more balanced with food than solo. I enjoyed it twice and the heartier bean and potato dish suited it better. The flavors also come out much more beautifully when it isn’t straight out of the fridge and closer to room temperature. As far as occasions, I’d actually make this part of a cider tasting night because it showcases some interesting differences from most ciders.

I’m very glad I’ve gotten to experience a single varietal cider. I enjoyed it. The cider is tasty, good, and interesting. Very appley. What it is not, and I suspect what most single apple ciders cannot be is balanced or smooth. If for no other reason, and there are other reasons, I’d suggest trying this for palate education and development.