Monday, August 19, 2013

Perry Review: Fox Barrel Blackberry Pear

To start with full disclosure, this was another sample perry gifted to me by the kind folks at Crispin, Fox Barrel's parent company. This is one of the last ciders I got to photograph and taste in New York City before moving to Ithaca. You can check out their really nicely developed website that has tons of photos, info, and extras at: I have reviewed one of their perries before here:  I timed my tasting for maximum fruit relaxation during our massive July heatwave.

I couldn't get the Fox Barrel website to work for me, so here's what they say that I could find on a different review site "Naturally fermented using 100% pear juice, not from pear juice concentrate,or flavored hard apple cider. Filtered cold for extra purity and infused with natural blackberry juice. With no added colorants, sugar, sorbate or benzoate preservatives. No added malt, spirit, grape or apple alcohols. Naturally elegant, refreshingly adult with an authentic blackberry dark-fruit taste and a sweet-sharp fresh tang. Mouthwatering juicy complexity. Luscious pear-berry bouquet."There are a lot of claims and descriptions in there, but we'll see how it tastes.

Color and Appearance: blood orange, no visible bubbles, brilliant

This is a beautiful beverage.  It appears intensely colorful and completely still. The clarity is such that you could easily read text through it in good light, so brilliant.

Aromas: blackberry, punch

This doesn't have much in the way of pear aroma, but I can easily smell blackberry and a sweet fruity punch sort of melange. I'm tiny bit worried about how sweet it will be, based on the aromas.

Sweetness: sweet, fruity, tart, but a clean finish

The Blackberry Pear tastes sweet, but its acidity makes the sweet balance well with its tartness. It is refreshing and clean on the finish. No syrupy issues here, as I've had with some ciders blended with fruits or fruit flavors. Using only real ingredients makes a definite difference, so congratulations to Fox Barrel there.

Flavors: not very pear, more blackberry with zing

This is a lot more than just a sweet fruity blackberry drink, though it starts there. The Blackberry pear offers warmth with a yeasty nutty loveliness. Definitely enjoyable even on hot hot night.

Drinking Experience: tremendously easy drinking

My worries were for naught. Fox Barrel has blended blackberry tartness with pear sweetness in a lovely and totally easy to enjoy way. It isn't a beverage I'll add to my regular rotation, because when push comes to shove even a very nice perry just doesn't compare to cider, but I like it. Put most simply: not a cider, but tasty.

The Blackberry Pear would be a fantastic party perry that would pair well with sushi or light desserts like sponge cakes, gelato, or sorbet. One could easily play up either the sweet or tart side of this beverage or even just slip in a fresh sprig of mint and put it in a pretty glass to offer to guests.