Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cider Review: Left Field Cider Company's Big Dry

Apologies for the brief absence. Somehow my birthday and Thanksgiving snuck up on me this year, and all of a sudden I was in the mountains of Vermont with internet or phone signal. But, now I'm well fed and back in town with some exciting new ciders to try over the next several months.

But that's not the real story today. Canada is the story for today. Specifically, I am thrilled to have found a cider from British Columbia! I took myself to The Cellar D'Or for my birthday shopping, and I found so many things I'd not seen before. Among them a cider with a moose on its label, which had to be a sign as I'd be spending Thanksgiving at Wandering Moose Ridge. It's by Left Field Cider Co. out of British Columbia.

Left Field Cider was founded in British Columbia in 2011. Their tasting room this time of year is by appointment but hold regular hours in summer.

The website talks about how the cidermakers Kate, Gord, and Theresa all learned to make cider and places them in a specific lineage. This matters because the lineage is such a stellar one: Peter Mitchell's cider making course for all three and then an apprenticeship for Kate in England with Mike Johnson from Ross-On-Wye. These folks are superstars in the cider world, so it is a big deal to have trained with them. Left Field Cider Company is making a smart choice to highlight this, if you ask me. 

My source for this information and for what's below, is the Left Field Cider Company's website:

The site has great photography and a simple layout that is not overly stylized.

Their section called "Real Cider 101" makes a basic and unvarnished statement on an ongoing discussion in the cider world. Is there such a thing as real or fake cider and if so, what is real cider? Here's what Left Field Cider Company says:

With a young market there is a huge opportunity to educate consumers about ‘real cider’ and what makes it so special. There are many definitions of what makes a ‘real cider’ but for us at Left Field Cider Co. it’s all about the apples.

If it’s made out of fermented apples, it’s "real cider," if it’s made with artificial flavours, fruit juice concentrate and who knows what else, it simply is not "real cider."

Good to know!
Today I'm reviewing Left Field Cider Company's driest offering, the Big Dry. This is how Left Field cider describes their Big Dry, "Dry Sparkling Cider 500 ml — 7.2% alc. Our driest cider will attract those looking for a more traditional style cider. The blend is dominated by bittersweet cider apples whose rich tannins are balanced by the fruity aromatics of Okanagan dessert apples."

Appearance: light greenish gold, high clarity, plenty of bubble action

In the glass, this cider looks very light and almost greenish. It reminds me of the first shoots of green plant life in spring with that brightness of white and yellow alongside the green. As the photo shows, lots of bubbles appear to play in the cider.

Aromas: lemon, dust, apple 

This cider shows a medium intensity of aroma. Left Field Cider's Big Dry gives off notes of lemon, apple, dust, and a hint of grainy yeast aroma. The most specific smell reminded me of
apple slices rubbed with lemon. 

Flavors and drinking experience: peppery, lemon, very light mouthfeel

The Big Dry brings a lot of lemon flavor, but its not too sour. It tastes pleasantly peppery, with some mineral water flavor. This is strongly sparkling, definitely as a result of forced carbonation. The cider has high acid, but remains surprisingly smooth. The flavors round out nicely in a clean clean finish with a little apple "goodbye."  There is one odd grainy note in the breathe just before the first sip: someplace between smelling and tasting, but it isn't too distracting. Overall, I find this cider pleasantly dry with a very light body but not more than a little bitterness.

My husband and I shared our 500ml bottle while eating our last plate of Thanksgiving leftovers: my own vegetarian dressing, Gardein Beefless Tips, and some green bean casserole (don't judge me) followed by the best pumpkin cake ever created.

These dishes would have been a little on the heavy and salty side, expect that this cider not only complemented it, the cider improved the overall meal substantially!