Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Cider Review: Citizen Cider's Wood and Kurant Spice

Greetings from Scotland! Hello, cider lovers. I’m writing from Scotland today, because that’s where I’m travelling right now. These ciders however are not Scottish, and all notes were taken before my trip began. Not to worry. I plan to write about some Scottish ciders in the coming weeks hopefully over at Cider Culture.

Let’s start today with my impression of a specialty from The Citizen Cellar, the experimental wing of Citizen Ciders. Citizen Ciders are based out of Burlington, Vermont but are growing in availability all over the eastern portion of the United States. This company has a fantastic local focus even as it grows! Today, it’s Citizen Cellar’s Wood.

As always, you can learn about Citizen Cider on the website: https://www.citizencider.com/

I have several previous reviews of Citizen Ciders. 

Wit’s Up: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2017/04/cider-review-citizen-ciders-wits-up.htm

Tulsi: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/03/cider-review-fable-farms-greensboro-and.html

Companion: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2017/06/pickcider-review-citizen-ciders.html

Brose: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2014/02/cider-review-citizen-cider-brose.html

Barrel-Aged: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2017/02/cider-review-citizen-ciders-barrel-aged.html

And I had a fantastic time when I visited them: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-great-vermont-cider-tour-day-2.html

The Citizen Cider Wood’s official description reads, “A dry and bubbly cider made using two unique apples: Esopus Spitzenburg and the bittersweet Dabinett, from our friend Steve Wood at Poverty Lane Orchard in Lebanon, New Hampshire.”

Appearance: slightly hazy, golden topaz, no visible bubble

This cider looks distinct from most of what I’ve seen from Citizen. The usual clarity is replaced in this cider by a gentle haze. The color can easily be described as golden topaz.

Aromas: over-ripe apples, gasoline, dust
The Wood smells like mostly like overripe apples. There’s a warmth and softness to the aroma that’s very appealing. I get some hints of dust and gasoline as well. This is going to be super different from the company’s usual style.

Dyrness/sweetness: Dry

Though the Wood is fruity, this cider is dry.

Flavors and drinking experience: fine bubbles, yeasty, funky 

I love the super fine bubbles in the Wood. The gasoline aroma notes are still present as flavors but they remain muted. This cider offers up a lot of yeast character and tons of acid. It’s dry and fruity as well. This cider is all about the features brought by using bittersweet apples.

I enjoyed this cider at a friend’s house with dinner. We had homemade pasta and red sauce from local tomatoes. I found the cider seemed almost barrel aged because of the gentle funkiness and the bittersweet apple qualities. Very very nice.


Kurant is from Pennsylvania, so I don’t ordinarily get any access to these ciders. I did get to judge the PA Farm Show competition last year, and I was able to get some cans on that trip. I know the Spice might not seem super seasonal, but I’ve been wanting to share my notes on a cider by Kurant for some time.

The company describes their inspiration as coming from, “traditional French, English, and Spanish ciders.” The company makes small batch ciders and operates a tasting room and taproom (with food!) in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. The ciders are made in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. The company was founded in 2015, as best as my online sleuthing can tell.

Read all about the cidery on the website: http://www.kurantcider.com/

Today’s review is of the Spice. The cider’s official description reads,
Hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice blend perfectly reminding you of your favorite cold weather treats. A touch of brown sugar in the finish adds just a tiny bit of sweetness for balance with notes of molasses and raisins. We let the apples shine as the highlight of Spice by keeping the seasonal additions light but noticeable and not overpowering. Spice is available through the end of the winter season.

PAIRINGS: Roasted Turkey, Graham Cracker Ice Cream ABV: 5.8% SWEETNESS: Off Dry / Semi Sweet

Appearance: hazy, bubbly, dried apricot

The color of this cider reminds me of dried apricots. It’s a warm tone somewhere between orange and gold. The cider looks bubbly and just a bit hazy.

Aromas: spices, homemade apple sauce, cloves,

Purrrr. This particular blend is full of deep dark spicing and warm cooked apples. It doesn’t really smell summery but on this quiet evening, it sure smells nice.

Sweetness/dryness: semi-dry

This is a bright semi-dry. It has plenty of acid and less sweetness than I expect in a spiced cider. And that’s a very good thing in my view.

Flavors and drinking experience: clove, apple pie

The spices of apple pie do come out as I sip the Spice. I get notes of baking spices, especially cloves when tasting this cider. I do like how this is less sweet than you might expect. The sweetness that I can taste here reminds me of very much of raisins. I do get the spice notes more in aromas than in flavors. The spice brings plenty of acidity but no tannins.

The most unexpected feature is that the Spice ends with a very cola-esque finish. I find that totally unexpected but good. I had this cider paired with a “clean out all the vegetables from the fridge” salad, and it was an excellent experience.