Monday, March 18, 2013

Cider Review Ace Cider Apple Honey

Ace Ciders come from California, and their website claims that they are America's best ciders. Quite a claim! The support for such a bold assertion gives is a bit more helpful specificity because they define their idea of best as ciders falling between very sweet mass-produced ciders and the more more challenging dry ciders that often carry hints of farmyard flavor. They are proud to be a company focused on producing easy drinking semi-sweet ciders. A much more reasonable claim to make.

My dear friend Rebecca found the Ace Apple Honey and shared it with me on a recent visit. The Apple Honey features Sonoma Wildflower Honey and uses all dessert apples. This choice of apples distinguishes it from many dry ciders that use specifically cider apples. It was originally introduced in 2010 as a fall seasonal.
Color and appearance: dark intense gold, visible bubbles,  no head

Aroma: honey, tangy

The aroma promises a wild sweet flavor. The tang certainly keeps in mind that the honey used to flavor this cider is wildflower honey and not a mild or smooth honey. An intriguing bit gaminess.

Sweet-dry scale: sweet!

The cider has a slightly overwhelming caramel dark sweetness. I suspect this will be the divisive factor for anyone who tastes the cider.

Drinking experience and flavors: honey and grapes

Too sweet for fast drinking. Plenty carbonated. The cider doesn’t really coalesce into one experience, but  gives several distinct impressions. It is easy to taste grapes, honey, and apples.

Finish: sweet and lingering

The best part of this cider is its version of a sweet finish.

Drinking Notes: This could be paired with spicy foods to reasonably good effect. I think that would balance out some of the sweetness nicely. If you are after experiencing the sweetness fully rather than neutralizing it, go crazy and eat this with fruit salad or french toast. The honey and fruitiness can handle it.

I think this Ace cider comes out far more on the sweet side than their promotional copy would suggest. For me this isn't a selling point, but I know that significant sweetness is a feature and a draw for many cider fans. I'll encourage them to try it, and for everyone to come to their own conclusions.