Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Cider Review: Nine Pin Cider Works' Ginger
Pumpkin and pumpkin spice are frequently touted as the flavors of fall, followed closely by all things apple. But I'd like to propose another contender, ginger. Especially when paired with apple, as in this cider by Nine Pin Cider Works, the balance of spice, heat, fruit, and zing is extremely autumnal. The air feels crisp; the chilly nights inspire warm fires indoors or out, and everything is bright for one last hurrah before the winter. Ginger suits this perfectly. But can bright spicy ginger combine well with hard cider? (My only previous review of a ginger cider combination can be investigated here: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/07/cider-review-millstone-cellars-gingeroot.html)
This question informs my review of the new ginger cider by Albany's youngest cidery, Nine Pin Cider Works.
You can check out all of their new cider styles and their full schedule of cider happenings on their website: http://www.ninepincider.com/
It looks like they've really jumped in the cider scene enthusiastically since their relatively recent opening. Their only previous appearance in this blog comes from my review of their first cider, called their Signature Blend: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2014/04/cider-review-nine-pin-cider-works-nine.html
Alejandro del Peral, Nine Pin's cider maker has expanded their lineup quickly and now Nine Pin offers the Ginger, Belgian, and Hunny Pear as well.
Here's what Nine Pin says about their ginger cider, "Ginger – A spicy yet balanced cider created from a blend of dessert apples from Samascott Orchards and infused with ginger and orange peel."
I love that Ninepin is going for something spicy and also adding the orange notes. I'm so curious to taste how it will all work together.
Appearance: pale, brilliant
Somehow this color reminds me of a certain shade of sunrise when rose and gold combine with pale delicacy. Poetics of color aside, this is a beautiful brilliant cider without a hint of haze.
Aromas: fresh apple, some ginger, spices
When I lift my glass, I can immediately smell apple. It is a fresh clean apple scent rather than something more ripe or warm. In the background, ginger and spice both appear but remain very separate from the apple.
Though it is a bit more difficult to assess the sweetness or dryness of a flavored cider, at least for me, this one is doubtlessly a semi-dry. It has fruit and body as well as spice but these things always function in balance. The mouthfeel and finish contribute to the cider's functioning as a semi-dry. This makes it pleasantly approachable and enjoyable for folks with a wide array of preferences.
Flavors and drinking experience: genuine ginger flavor coordinated with orange zestiness
Wow! This cider has a very real ginger taste. It drinks just a touch spicy while staying nicely balanced. The ginger does not dominate the cider completely but it is a primary aspect of this cider. Rather than tasting like a flavored cider it drinks like apple, orange, and spicy ginger altogether. I am impressed by how tremendously well these flavors combine.
The Ginger offers a good level of carbonation for me, which means it is strongly sparkling. I enjoyed this cider before reading any descriptions or notes, but once I read about the infusion of orange peel it made all the sense in the world.
For reasons of practicality, I had this with a couple of non traditional pairings because my fridge was so filled with party leftovers. I could not in good conscious cook something new, so I asked the Ninepin Ginger to work with what I had. That means I tried it with tabbouleh salad, tortilla soup, and white chocolate tequila-soaked jalapenos. Trust me it worked.