The fickle sweetness of spring is upon us in Ithaca. This means that the weather and the weather report change hourly. We can go from needing our scarves and winter boots to shedding layers and reaching for sunglasses and back in a day. I enjoy the aptness of Mark Twain's quote on the matter, "In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four-and-twenty hours." I think it makes this a perfect season to reach out for something just a bit more reliably pleasant than the weather.
Mark Twain serves as an excellent figure of particularly American wit and wildness. He fits right in with the image that Julian Hard Cider has created for itself for the past several years.
Even if you've looked at the Julian Hard Cider website before, check it out again. It has beautiful pictures and a nice easy to navigate layout. Very nice. http://www.julianhardcider.biz/
My first review of Julian's was for the Harvest Apple, and a relatively early cider review I wrote for this blog: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/05/cider-review-julian-hard-cider-harvest.html
I loved the Black and Blue http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/09/cider-review-julian-hard-ciders-black.html
But now, I'm taking a moment for something familiar and comforting: apple pie. Here's how Julian Hard Cider introduces this treat.
Apple Pie: Festive
100% fresh-pressed hard apple cider blended with the spices of Grandma’s secret pie recipe. No added sugar. 6.99% ABV.
Apple Pie’s cheery spice notes and lively effervescence accompany a harmony of tart and sweet apple deliciousness.
Pour yourself a slice!
Time to check out Julian's Apple Pie for myself.
Appearance: brilliant, few visible bubbles, medium warm gold
My lighting wasn't perfect, but the brilliance of this cider certainly is. Not a hint of haze to be seen. The color is a nicely rich and warm tone of gold. Almost no visible bubbles
Aromas: sweet, spicy, citrus
The cider smells sugary, with an edge of burning sweetness. bright; cinnamon, lemon and caramel. graham cracker. clove, allspice, a little ginger
Don't fight it. Its a sweet spiced cider that tastes like apple pie. There's no pretending here.
Flavors and drinking experience: Apple pie, for real, balanced, cola
The Apple Pie starts off with a strongly spicy ginger/cinnamon note—real in its bite that blends with the slightly yeasty note. It contributes nicely to a textured but not distracting mouthfeel. I get medium to med-low carbonation. There's also a slight sourness is somewhat separate from the apple flavor. I enjoy the somewhat mineral and cola-like note baseline.
Overall, the cider offers high acid, no tannin, and a well balanced spicy sweet apple pie flavor. The finish is pleasant while being sweet-and-tart lingering. My tasting companion found smaller sips better, saying that larger ones have a slightly clove-intensive flavor. I noted the dominance of clove in big drinks so, but I say bring it on! Clove is amazing and under appreciated.
Because of the intensity of flavor I'd recommend pairing it like actual apple pie. You can have it on its own, make it a la mode with a little vanilla ice cream, or be awesome and have it with a powerful cheddar. The choice is yours.