Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cider Review: Stormalong's Legendary Dry

This cider has been waiting its turn for sampling for too long! The Legendary Dry by Stormalong was a gift from the cidermaker at CiderCon this past February. Stormalong Ciders come from Sherborn, Massachussetts. The cidery is inspired by the history of the town both in terms of professional cider making history before Prohibition and legends of the New England region including a Captain Stormalong after whom the cidery is named. Not only was he a famed Captain but also a fan of hard cider.

Find out more about the company on either their Facebook page or website.

Tonight, I'm trying the cider I was given: the Legendary Dry. Its a good place to start for me as its very apple-centric and dry. Here the official description:
A delicious blend of Redfield, Calville Blanc d’hiver, Ananas Reinette, Ashmead’s Kernel and Jonagold apples. In homage to America’s hard cider history and the larger-than-life Captain Stormalong, our flagship cider is name "Legendary Dry". This cider is a crisp, dry blend of heirloom and common apples with hints of oak and citrus implying a slight sweetness. A rich acidic backbone rounds out the flavor palate.

Further description on the website mentions partial malolactic fermentation and an alcohol by content of 6.9%.

One element I cannot resist sharing is the cheeky ingredients list. I'll quote it in its entirety:
ingredients: Ashton Bitter, Ashmead’s Kernel, Dabinett, Ellis Bitter, Esopus Spitzenburg, Northern Spy, Idared, Pinova, Golden Delicious, Wickson, Yarlington Mill, Redfield, Calville Blanc d'hiver, Ananas Reinette, Jonagold
That's their apple blend and nothing else. Please take note of all the really interesting heritage and cider apples in that list. This really increases my anticipation!

Appearance: intense gold color, brilliant, bubbly, head

The cider pours with a head, rather a lofty one at that, but it dissipates quickly. The color is highly saturated and intense yellow. I can see the bubbles so quick and nimble very clearly, marking this cider as brilliant.

Aromas: apple skin, lemon

The Legendary Dry smells tannic in a lasting way. I also get some of the home cooked apple notes that a lot of heritage fruit can add to aromas.

Sweetness/dryness: Dry

There's no mistaking this cider for anything but dry.

Flavors and drinking experience: tannic, high acid, touch of bitter

Let me re-iterate that I like a dry cider with lots of tannins and acid and this cider fits that description note for note.

Russety and spicy Further f
ruitwise, I taste lots of lemon, green apple, pineapple, and bitter grapefruit. Something about it feels cold and not just in a temperature way, somehow the flavors themselves feel cold. Apologies that I cannot articulate that part of the experience better. There's one small dairy note, like a clean young cheese: almost certainly from the malo-lactic fermentation.

I had this cider with the most amazing grilled cheese sandwich with scallion potato bread and smoked gouda. If you can do better than that for a pairing, I encourage you to try. Getting your hands on this cider will be a great first step for a lot of delicious pairings.