Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Cider Review: Threadbare Dry Cider and Indian Ladder Farmstead Dry

I am thrilled to be sharing my thoughts on ciders from two cideries that I’ve never covered before: Threadbare Cider and Indian Ladder Farms Cidery and Brewery. I try all sorts of ciders: still, sweet, fruity, hopped, blended, infused, you name it. But the core of my cider love is dry cider from just apples, so I’m sticking to that this week. 

Threadbare Cider didn’t start with cider, but the business grew out of a distillery in Pennsylvania! The company is based out of Pittsburgh and still making both distilled spirits and ciders and the most magical elixirs that combine the two. From reading about Threadbare online, the company seems fascinated by both apples and history; that makes cider a perfect fit. I’ll just include a brief quote that I think gives voice to the very homey and curious aesthetic I see in Threadbare, “So here we are pumping out farmhouse, bottle conditioned, hopped, wild fermented, and barrel aged ciders. And we’re so glad you’ve joined us to explore a new American cider frontier.”

You can read much more on the Threadbare Cider website: https://threadbarecider.com/

I wanted to start with the Threadbare Dry Cider. This cider and a few of the others were shared with me at Cider Con for review. I’ll be spacing the reviews out over the coming months, so if this sounds good to you, track it down and keep watching for future reviews!

Appearance: pale gold, some sediment, hazy

The Dry looks pale and gold in the glass. The color looks even, and I’d call the transparency hazy. There’s some sediment that pours with each glass, increasing as we approach the end of the bottle.

Aromas: grain, lemon, bready, hint of volatile acidity

The Dry Cider smells like clean grain and lemon to me. I’m guessing that the dry description will be accurate. There’s something bready going on the aroma notes and maybe a little volatile acidity.

Dryness/sweetness: Dry

This cider is dry and quite tart. There’s a lot going on, but it all combines to reinforce the perception of dryness.

Flavors and drinking experience: tart, grapefruit, herbal, bitter

Golly! Not only is this cider dry, but it also has super high acid and medium tannins. The overall picture is significantly influenced by the cider’s dryness and moderate bitterness. What a very austere and grown up cider. I like it. 

All that structure doesn’t mean the Dry Cider doesn’t taste like fruit, but it tastes more like grapefruit and lemon than apple. Other notes include grains and corn. At the same time the cider is also greenly herbal leaning even towards celery. 

The cider offers up a super pleasant mouthfeel: the photo shows sediment in the liquid and it adds to the experience. The Dry Cider shows good change over the course of a sip: ending with a long mineral and tannin finish.

Indian Ladder Farmstead Dry  

I enjoyed the Indian Ladder Farmstead Dry in New York City at the Brooklyn Cider House taproom this past spring. If you’ve never visited them, it’s really a wonderful spot to linger and appreciate some great cider and food. Visit the Brooklyn Cider House online to see menus and hours: https://www.brooklynciderhouse.com/

You can learn about the farm and all of its projects on the website: http://www.ilfcb.com/

Indian Ladder Farmstead Dry

I picked this cider off the Cider House menu, so I’ve not seen its label. When looking up its official description, I wasn’t able to find very much info. But this is what I could find about the Dry, “Fresh pressed New York apples. Naturally gluten free. A dry, not overtly sweet flavor.”

Appearance: Straw, opaque, lemon curd

This cider goes beyond hazy into full on cloudiness. It looks shockingly like lemon curd in color, but part of that is also the intensity of its opacity. I can’t see any bubbles, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t present.

Aromas: dandelion, lemon, apple, white beans

This cider’s aroma is on the milder side, but the notes I smell are pretty interesting. The Farmstead Dry smells like dandelions, lemons and white beans. I think there’s a lot of fermentation and yeast influence on these aromas.

Sweetness/dryness: off dry

I found this cider off dry and just a little fruity.

Flavors and drinking experience: tart, grainy, little funky, lemon

This is another acid-driven cider with some fermenation based grain notes. I found the Farmstead Dry slightly funky, but approachably so. The grainy notes are more clean and  beer-like than barny.

There were plenty of fruity notes as well like crab-apple, lemon, and pineapple. This cider is petillant rather than strongly sparkling. This cider does remind me very much of a few Finger Lakes ciders. Our New York cider style is getting stronger all the time. We enjoyed this cider with poached salmon, fingerling potatoes, piles of thinly sliced cucumber and a beautifully deep green salad. It was an invigorating meal with beautiful pairings.