Monday, September 23, 2013

Cider Review: Albemarle Ciderworks Pomme Mary

Today I'm sharing my review of Pomme Mary by Albermarle Ciderworks. This was another one of my vacation ciders. As I'm seeing my second frost warning of the season and the start of fall foliage, it is lovely to revisit my experience with this cider, enjoyed at the peak of summer. My first Albemarle Ciderworks review can be read here: I write more in that review, introducing the company and their website in that post, but for a quick refresher, their website can be found at My last quick addendum is that my reviews are all of 2010 ciders; folks purchasing at Albemarle's tasting room will be getting more recent ciders.

When reading about this cider on Albemarle Ciderworks' website, this is what I found about the Pomme Mary: "This fruity cider is made from vintage American cider apples and is enhanced by a bit of sweetness. We named it to honor our mother, Mary Margaret, who prefers a less dry profile. It sports mellow notes of tropical fruits – mango, pineapple, or kiwi. This cider is very palate friendly and is enjoyed with lighter spicy foods, fried chicken dinners or on its own." I'm not often a big fan of sweet ciders, but since I even more rarely get the chance to try Virginia ciders, I didn't want to judge this one before tasting it.

Taking a moment to share a picture highlighting the label on the Pomme Mary (and gorgeous Outer Banks summer sun). I enjoy how it balances the rustic old-fashioned notes that many cider makers want to highlight, while maintaining a sense of sophistication. Nice job.

Appearance: brilliant, visible bubbles, white gold

I noticed how pale the shade of this cider is immediately when I poured it. The Pomme Mary is unmistakably a white gold color with brilliant clarity. In terms of visual signs of fizz, I could see some clinging bubbles but the cider did not form any head or mousse in the glass.

Aromas: Overripe apples, yeasty, fruit dust
Smelling the Pomme Mary is an experience in and of itself! I loved how appley and yeasty and dusty it smelled. It made me think of steaking up to an attic somewhere with some warm fresh apples and warm homemade bread. This doesn't let me forget that some sweetness is coming, but we'll see what sort soon enough.

Sweetness: sweet
This cider is full of sweet fruits! Copy on the bottle mentions notes of mango, pineapple, and kiwi. To my palate the mango is clear, but I also tasted as much peach, cherry, and pear as kiwi and pineapple.  Despite the sweetness thsi cider is pleasantly crisp. I'd go so far as to say this is a fantastic sweet cider.

Flavors and Drinking Experience: ideal sweet cider

My description of the fruits really gives a good overview of the flavors of this cider. It is fruit forward indeed! I enjoyed Albemarle's Pomme Mary without any food accompaniment and found that a lovely experience. For a devotee of dry ciders, the Pomme Mary is worthy of making an exception. The finish is clean and the mouthfeel never gets sticky. Such a rare treat for a sweet cider.

My recommendation would be to try this one no matter your usual taste in ciders. Bring it to someone who isn't very familiar with ciders and share it with some good conversation or with some of the last of the summer vegetables. I think this would taste just stellar with summer squash, corn, and tomatoes.