Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cider Review: Albemarle Ragged Mountain

Reaching back to notes I took in August, I wanted to post another review of a cider by Albemarle Ciderworks. This is the third of their ciders to be reviewed on Along Came a Cider.

The first covers their Royal Pippin and appears here:

and the second concerns my surprising enjoyment of their sweet Pomme Mary:

As always, my first review has the most background information on the brand.

What I'd like to add though that their website is full of special events listings and neat stuff. In just a couple of weekends Albemarle Ciderwords will host the Vintage Virginia Apples Annual Harvest Festival November 2nd from 10am-5pm. It sounds awesome, and I wish I could go. That's occurring at the same time at Franklin County Cider Days in Massachusetts where I'll be. Read about it here: We are so lucky in the cider world right now to have more awesome events than we can possibly attend. If you do have some time or live in or near Virginia, check out their calendar. 

Again, I have to praise Albemarle Ciderworks for having helpful and extensive notes on each of their ciders online. This is just some of what they have to say about their Ragged Mountain, "With a touch of sweetness, Ragged Mountain is perhaps our most traditional cider. It is an off-dry blend made from Albemarle Pippin, Goldrush, Pink Lady, and Virginia Gold among others. With a simple, fruity nose, this cider has a Champagne feel and a short, crisp finish. Ragged Mountain pairs well with salad courses, cheese plates, spicy and ethnic foods or is easily enjoyed on its own." This cider has a fairly hefty alcohol content at  8.2% ABV, so enjoy these mountains carefully so as not to end up more ragged than you intended.

Appearance: glowy, hazy, bubbly

The Ragged Mountain pours with a tiny bit of a head that dissipates quickly. It has this lovely moon-glow color like some other Albermarle ciders. It isn't super clear, more hazy which influences the color as I see it.

Aromas: sweet, fruity, yet funky

This cider is very aromatic. The notes alternate between sharp fruits and goat cheese with a little funk. The wildness is gentle though and not astringent or unfresh.

Sweetness: Semi-sweet/Semi-dry

Though this cider isn't sweet like their Pomme Mary, Ragged Mountain does have some pleasant fruit sweetness to it. It isn't a very heavy feeling cider.

Flavors and Drinking Experience: tannic, a bit rough, minerally

When drinking the Ragged Mountain, I can instantly tell why they chose to pair this name and this cider. It is not smooth, not balanced, but it is exciting.The taste is tannic while not overly acidic. I talk minerals; I'd include all of these in my list of notes copper, tangy, metallic. As I sip it more, I can also taste sharp cheese and blueberries. This is a tremendously dynamic cider with good crispness.

When I had this, I was enjoying August warmth and beach time. Reading what I said about it, I think the Ragged Mountain is a cider that would still taste fantastic in the fall. Now instead of light nibbles and salad, I'd try Albemarle Ciderworks' Ragged Mountain with a spicy chili to keep the evening cold at bay.