Good morning and happy 2018! I hope this year brings us all hope, happiness, and many tasty ciders. I write many days into a weather pattern called an “artic regime” by a local weather writer. I think he's right. This cold is more consistent and committed than dramatic, but it is cold. That guided my choice of cider for this week's review. I needed something warming and exciting.
Today is also my first review of anything by Carr's Ciderhouse. This small cidery operates in Hadley, Massachusetts. Their apples include many heritage varieties from a historic Massachusetts orchard. Here's how they describe themselves, “The results are elegant hard ciders–influenced by our choice of apples and how we blend the finished fermentations–that pair well with a variety of foods.”
You can read more about Carr's Ciderhouse on the website: http://www.carrsciderhouse.com
My wonderful sister-in-law brought this cider over during the holidays, so we could try it together. Thanks so much, Karen! I don't see Carr's ciders around here, so I was very excited to try something new and try to warm up the day with something gingery. We were totally stoked to try the Gingered Hard Cider.
Here's the official description:
Gingered Hard Cider - Spicy, dry, and perfect for cider cocktails and pouring over a few big ice cubes. It is like a dry ginger beer for grown-ups and our customers are crazy about it. Made with eco-grown "Fortune" apples. 6.5%ABV.
Appearance: warm applesauce, hazy, few bubbles
This has a slight haze that increased with each glass poured from the bottle. The first was nearly perfectly transparent, but the haze was increasingly noticeable for the second, third, and fourth glass. I'd call the color reminiscent of warm applesauce. I couldn't see many bubbles, but there were a few.
Aromas: gingery, tart, acid
Whoa! This smells tart and a bit like acetic acid. It also smells gingery. For fans of sour or extremely tart ciders, this aroma would be very exciting. It could even be described as having a touch of volatile acidity.
This cider doesn't really place neatly of the sweetness dryness spectrum both because of its spice and its tartness, but I'd call it a semi-dry cider.
Flavors and drinking experience: Candied lemon peel, ginger, semi dry
Ooh spicy! I taste so much ginger and candied lemon peel in the Gingered Dry Cider. Its really exciting. I love how pronounced the ginger presence remains from first note to final finish. Lovers of spice and ginger like myself will absolutely fall for this cider because it manages to be both appley and spicy with just the right intense ginger kick.
I think you can taste the cider syrup used for backsweetening, and I'm guessing that was a very necessary step for a cider this tart and spicy. I'd actually call this cider more tart than dry.
It offers up interesting fermentation notes, not a spartanly clean or transparent one but a very approachable gentle hint of funk.
All in all, this cider has some big tastes to it. The bubbles are medium and the body is very sharp and light. There's enough apple flavor to balance the ginger, but the ginger speaks up clearly throughout.
I hoped this woud be warm and exciting, and it certainly was. I had mine with a cold day and a house filled with family, but I could also see this cider with a creamy soup and some fun hibernation reading.