Good day all. I feel like after some of my cider adventuring, it is time to come back home as it were and review a New York state cider, so I finally got to open up my bottle of Doc's Draft Gold Rush Cider. Also, if you've got any curiousity about cider competitions, after the view, I'll be posting a bit about the largest Cider and Perry competition in the world: GLINTCAP!
Here the website for Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery which not only talks about their cider but also their other beverages and all the happening at their tasting complex: http://www.wvwinery.com/
If you just want to read about cider, you can read about a few of their varieties here: http://www.wvwinery.com/cider/
I have actually reviewed six ciders by Doc's Draft before! They make a numver of specialty ciders and interesting fruit blends, and their releases always show up for sale in my area. In case you'd like to see the previous reviews, here's a the full list.
Hard Apple: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/01/cider-review-docs-draft-hard-apple-cider.html
Dry Hopped: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/07/cider-review-docs-draft-hopped-cider.html
Cranberry spice: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/05/cider-review-docs-draft-cranberry-spice.html
The Doc's Draft website does not list their Gold Rush Cider. The only information I was able to find came from the back of the bottle. That reads, "Crafted from 100% organic goldrush apples, Doc's Gold rush is fermented using the traditional keeving method which makes a sold cool fermentation over a 6 month period of time. The result is an aromatic flavor with a hint of residual sweetness."
Keeving might be a pretty unfamiliar term, even for some cider lovers. It basically means reducing the nutrients in juice to slow a fermentation down and leave some perceivable sweetness in the cider naturally even after a complete fermentation. If you want to read more about keeving as a fermenation process, I highly recommend checking this page out: http://www.cider.org.uk/keeving.html.
Enough background, time for Doc's Draft Gold Rush Cider!
Appearance: brilliant, plenty of visible bubbles,
The Gold Rush cider is a true brilliant light straw color that's great for showing off visible bubbles.
Aromas: green grapes, tart fresh apples, wine, and brown paper
The Gold Rush smells like green grapes, wine, tart fresh apples (thin,
high fruit acid plus low dusty russet), a hint of brown paper or leather
Huh, I expected more sweetness from a keeved cider. Perhaps I was wrong to expect that, but this cider is off dry in a way that I associate with many other fermentation methods.
Flavors and drinking experience: green fruit, high acid, lingering
At first, it's pleasant and maybe even a little sweet, then it
twists into a raw, vegetal, VERY high acid peak. Gold Rush lingers all through the mouth and throat, and the finish surprised me with hints of carrots! The cider is off dry with medium tannins. I got lots of zesty lime and green twig flavor. This plays off of hints of underripe apple and strawberry flavors
The Gold Rush is a summer cider for sure because its so refreshing and tart as to make me feel colder. Small sips give pleasant bright notes with active salivary response. The whole tasting experience takes about five full seconds
to proceed through its stages: a long rise and fall of puckering acidity.
Texturally, Bubbles are pleasant
and small. At 7.2% ABV it feels boozier than it tastes. Compared to other
ciders by Warwick Valley, this cider almost certainly uses a different yeast
strain. Perhaps its this perception that makes the different fermentation choices most clear. This reminds me that I want to learn more about keeving and keeved ciders for sure!
I'd recommend pairing the Gold Rush cider with something heavy, mild, creamy,and not sweet. I enjoyed mine with a tuna and corn chowder. Chowders and dry high acid ciders tend to work tremendously well together.
Now, let's talk about GLINTCAP!
That GLINTCAP acronym stands for Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition. I've judged for the past two years, and I'm thrilled to say that I'm signed up again to judge this year! The competition happens in Grand Rapids, Michigan on the weekend of April 22-24, 2016.
You can learn about the competition on its website: http://glintcap.org
Judges train and calibrate together, all tastings are served blind, and all ciders and perrys are judged according to specific style guidelines.
If you are interested in sending some of your ciders (either commercial or non-commercial) this is the page to read. http://glintcap.org/register/