Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Cider Reviews Colorado Cider Co's Pato Feo and Descendant Cider Company's Descendant Dry

So much for Fall in New York. Winter’s here! Our first large snow fell Thursday evening, all through the night and into Friday morning. Ten inches later, it feels like a whole new season, even before Thanksgiving. None the less, I’m getting ready for this food-filled holiday, and I’m still thinking about pairing my favorite Thanksgiving dishes with delicious ciders. That’s how I chose the two ciders to share this week. They each have a killer Thanksgiving pairing. 

Let’s start with Colorado Cider Co.’s Pato Feo. 

Colorado Cider Company volunteers the slogan, “Fresh Genuine Balanced” prominently on the website. This cider company was founded in 2011 in Denver, Colorado. There’s even a tasting room open year round for visits. 

Learn more online: https://www.coloradocider.com/

For full disclosure, this bottle was a sample sent to me for review. Here’s the official description, “This brettanomyces fermented sour cherry was aged in rum and wine barrels for over a year. After 3 months, we dubbed it the "ugly duck" but it ignored the taunts of the other ciders and proved us all wrong. Enjoy the beautiful Pato Feo!” 6.7% ABV

I did review a Colorado Cider Company cider earlier this year. I tried & enjoyed Block One: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/03/cider-review-colorado-cider-cos-block.html

Appearance: brilliant, still, brandied cherries

This lovely cider perplexed me with it’s color. I looked up swatches of ochre, umbre, brick, and tawny. It’s brilliant and still, but the color falls into a delicious in between place with hints of red, brown, and and orange. I’ve even seen a similar shade called russet, but in the cider world, that means quite definitely something else. It’s the color of brandied cherries or certain old book bindings.

Aromas: leather, ripe apple, cherries

The Pato Feo smells like leather, cherries, and apple. It’s a rich and enticing set of aromas. But that’s not all there is to it; I also smell some hints of funky tartness like sour citrus.

Sweetness/dryness: semi-dry

There’s a ton going out outside of sweetness/dryness, but I’d call this cider a semi-dry, but it will perceive as on the dry side of that.

Flavors and drinking experience: still, funky, fruity, barrely

The Pato Feo has some sour funk; do not mistake the promises on this bottle for exaggerations.

This cider surprised a few of my companions when it was still. I explained that many ciders this barrely are going to be still. This one certainly is barrely, dark and fruity, while being quite tannic.

The fact that the Pato Feo is semi-dry makes it easier to pair with foods, because it has some astringence. I think it makes a great choice for Thanksgiving because it tastes more sour and astringent with many sips, and that makes it an excellent palate cleanser for the heavy rich foods of the holiday. I love this cider a root veggie roast. It’s easy to cut and roast turnips, parsnips, carrots, onion, and Brussels Sprouts all together after a quick drizzle of olive oil and balsamic and a sprinkle of pepper and salt. This cider complements all those earthy flavors beautifully.

My second cider review for the week is Descendant Cider Company’s Dry.

I have previously tasted their Succession: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/01/cider-review-descendant-cider-companys.html

And the Dry by Descendant makes a brief appearance in my write up of this year’s Gathering of the Farm Cideries: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/02/gathering-of-new-york-farm-cideries.html

I reviewed the English Kills back in August: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/08/cider-review-descendant-cider-company.html

Read all about the Queens-based New York company on its website: http://www.descendantcider.com/

Here’s the official description of this limited edition Descendant Dry cider, “Dry has strong ripe apple aromas and bright acidity balanced with bittersweet tannin. It is medium body and bone dry. It also has bright appearance as a result of the aging process.” 6.9% ABV.

Appearance: Brilliant, popcorn, bubbly

This cider isn’t still! I can see a gathering of bubbles in my glass and it makes my mouth water to see them. The rich golden color reminds me of unpopped popcorn. The cider is brilliant in terms of clarity.

Aromas: ripe apple, parmesan, chalk

This cider smells like so many things that I associate with a crisp, acid-driven cider. The dry smells like ripe apple, chalk, and Parmesan.

Dryness/sweetness: Dry

This is a dry yet fruity cider. There’s a ton of flavor.

Flavors and drinking experience: bubbly, acidic, tropical, dry

This is such a fun yet serious cider! It’s absolutely perfect for the main event of the Thanksgiving meal, the Celebration roast! (Or Tofurkey or Qorn Roast) or whatever you put at the center of the table. It reminds me of overripe apples but without the sweetness.

The Dry offers up thrillingly high acid. This cider will curl your toes with how tart and zesty it is. I get pineapple and tropical fruit notes all over it, and I can taste peach as well. It’s just loaded with so much fruit presence for a dry cider.

In terms of texture the dry has lots of bubbles and a relatively light mouthfeel. It has some light tannins, but most of the excitement comes from the acidity. I love this for an entree, but it really is a flexible enough cider you could enjoy it with all the elements of a classic Thanksgiving feast.