Thursday, June 22, 2017

#PickCider Review: Austin Eastciders' Blood Orange

Bonus review this week just to help us count down to July 4th! I want to highlight as many summer ciders as possible, so we can all #pickcider for the upcoming holiday.

Here are my previous special Summer #PickCider reviews.

Gumption's Citrus Freak:'s review is Austin Eastciders' Blood Orange. 

This review marks my first taste of Austin Eastciders
, and my first experience of cider with orange included, so I'm pretty excited to taste something doubly new. Again, an aside, This was shared with me as a review sample. This doesn't ever change how I interpret a cider.

The official description reads, "We blended blood oranges from Italy with bittersweet heirloom apples to create a cider with a zesty twist. With just the right amount of sweet and citrus flavors, our Blood Orange Cider is sure to brighten your day." 5% ABV

The other fascinating feature on the page about this cider is a simple mixed drink recipe designed to use this exact cider. It's called The Bigger Better Cider and its worth a trip to the website just to check this out. 

I took a can of this cider to a casual wedding reception, just so I could get in a review with some awesome summer party food pairings. Congrats again Sarah and Mara! The beautiful table decorations were a bonus.

Appearance: Cloudy, sunny orange, ring of small bubbles

This is one of the more cloudy ciders I've seen from the United States. As the photo shows, the color is a fun sunny orange and the only visible bubbles ring the glass at the cider's surface.

Aromas: champagne, mimosa, orange, wood

The Blood Orange smells like apple, orange, wood. Not like orange juice, but instead with a slightly champagne-esque note. Pleasant.

Sweetness/dryness: sweet but after an initial zing of bitter

I love the action in this sweetness curve. The Blood Orange pops with a gentle hit of citrusy bitter that soon mellows into easy honeyed sweetness.

Flavors and drinking experience: sweet, peppery, lots of orange, fruity

The first note is bitter and black peppery, and that quickly gives way to sweetness that lingers pleasantly. High acid but the acid is citric, not malic. My tongue puckers a bit. A long aftertastes that reminds me of Orangina.No tannins, despite the bitterness. Manages to be both crisp and warm in its taste. 

This cider is only mildly bubbly. I'm starting to think this is a feature of ciders in cans. Can other canned cider drinkers weigh in on this? 

Overall,  my impressions centered around this cider as sweet, very blood orange and pleasantly complicated by the hint of  bitter and peppery spice.

For pairings, I had this with so many good foods! I had pesto pasta, fresh green salad with pomegranate seeds, Thai-style summer rolls, brie and watermelon. And then cinnamon sugar popcorn and wedding cake. There were so many amazing summer party foods at this wedding potluck! Of those, I really liked the Blood Orange with the summer roll and peanut dipping sauce. Something about sweet citrus plus rice paper, tofu and veggies was out of this world!

As an aside, I feel like I have to share a funny video inspired by my friend Jonathan Honefinger. He makes sommeliers try Malort and captures their reactions. At this reception, I spied a bottle of Malort. Curiousity won the day. Or perhaps the Malort did.

Watch and see...