Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Cider Review Black Diamond's Geneva Tremlett's and Farmhaus Cider's Sweater Weather

Everyone hates on Daylight Savings Time, unless they are hating on Standard Time. I try to avoid the internet on the day after the switch just because I am so tired of seeing the same thing every year. Personally, I’m a fan. I love looking out my windows to see sunset after 7pm, and I know that soon enough the mornings will be bright again. But, I’m here to talk about cider and not just pick fights about things beyond my control.

Black Diamond remains a absolute favorite cidery in home region. And I don’t think the competition for the title of regional favorite gets much more competitive than it is in the Finger Lakes area of New York. For a touch of background, Ian and Jackie Merwin, started as long-term home cidermakers, orchardists, and farmers. Dr. Ian Merwin is a Professor Emeritus at Cornell University in Pomology, specializing in cider. He and Jackie founded their own fruit orchard in the finger lakes, near Trumansburg, New York. They founded Black Diamond in 2014 and use primarily the apples they’ve been growing for years. 

You can read much more about the Merwins and their ciders on Black Diamond Cider's Website: http://blackdiamondcider.com

I’ve reviewed several Black Diamond Ciders before.
Most recently, I checked out the Slatestone: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/11/cider-reviews-big-hill-ciderworks.html

Black Diamond’s award-winning Pommeau made an appearance at the Locavore Birthday pairing dinner in 2017: https://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2017/09/finger-lakes-cider-week-and-birthday.html

I reviewed The Solstice; this cider was my second favorite cider of 2017! http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2017/08/cider-review-black-diamonds-solstice.html

My first review of a Black Diamond cider is the Rabblerouser: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/09/cider-review-black-diamonds.html

I did receive my bottle of Geneva Tremletts for review just after its release. Full disclosure, many  ciders I review are shared with me for that purpose. I do not promise a review for every cider received, and I certainly do not allow the origin of a bottle to sway my thoughts on it. 

Here’s the background information on the Geneva Tremletts' as provided by Black Diamond Cider. 
Our version of a sour cider  
The identity and origin of Geneva Tremlett’s Bitter is unknown. It was imported from England for the Geneva, NY apple collection in the 1960s, thought to be the English cider apple Tremlett’s Bitter. Whatever its true name may be, Geneva Tremletts has established itself as one of the few bittersharp cider apples that can stand on its own in the bottle. This single variety cider is cold fermented and then bottled conditioned using both wild and cultured yeasts.  
Tasting Notes: Complex and austere with robust tannins and aromas of citrus and spice with a lingering finish. 
Predominant Apples: Geneva Tremletts (80%), Mixed Sharps (20%)

Appearance: warm straw, transparent, bubbly

This looks like a bubbly heritage cider. I see plenty of color in it’s warm straw hue and bubbles in my glass. I’d not call it brilliant, but it is transparent. I apologize for no good picture of the poured cider. Sometimes my photos just don’t turn out, so here’s the cake I paired the cider with.

Aromas: very aromatic, cooked apple, pear

Here’s exactly what I love about Black Diamond ciders. They smells luscious, rich, and intense. The Geneva Tremlett’s smells of apple, particularly cooked apple, pears and baking spices. 

Dryness/sweetness: off dry

I think this cider is an off dry, but I’m fairly confidently it would be perceived as dry by many drinkers. It has both high acidity and high tannins, without a lot of sweetness, pulling it towards a semblance of dryness.

Flavors and drinking experiences: high acid, high tannins, pointed tartness

The pointed tartness of the Geneva Tremlett’s is the most notable feature. Yes, the cider has tannins and some fruit notes. I love some of the mellow fermented flavors. What keeps sparking to the front of my mind though is that tartness on the very of being sour. 

I’m glad this cider isn’t fully dry. The sweetness that’s there does bring out the cider’s fruit notes, namely in a tart tropical fruit direction. The sweetness also helps bring it some heft (though it’s still lithe), just enough to pair with a chocolate spice pound cake. It’s a complex cider; one well worth trying if you ever see a bottle! 

Next up something spiced by Farmhaus Ciders!

Because I knew the spring is coming, I didn’t want to wait any long to enjoy  Farmhaus Ciders’ Sweater Weather. Even so, I’m read to trade in my tights and sweaters for sundresses and sandals!

Farmhaus cider comes from the fifth generation of a Michigan farm family. The ciderywas founded in 2015 in Hudsonville, Michigan. Not far from Grand Rapids you can try Farmhaus Ciders in the tasting room and a cidergarten I met the founders Megan and John at GLINTCAP years ago; it’s been fun to watch their progress. This is a sample shared with me for review. 

Find out all about the company on the website: http://farmhauscider.com/

I’ve reviewed a cider or two by Farmhaus Cider before. 

Last year, I tried the Crushable a canned cider with cucumber: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/09/cider-review-farmhaus-crushable-and.html

My first Farmhaus review is of The Classic: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/06/cider-cans-crush-it-aeppeltreow.html

Here's the official description of Sweater Weather.
Chai. Spice. Cozy.
Throw on your favorite sweater, it’s about to get cozy in here!  Snuggle up and sip on this delicious chai cider.  Unlike anything you’ve tried before,  cardamom, cloves, allspice, cinnamon and ginger meet their soulmate in a blend of sharp and sweet apples.  Not too sweet and not too dry, this is the cider for you.  So settle in, get comfortable and most importantly bundle up – because it’s sweater weather time!

Appearance: morning sunshine, brilliant, mildly bubbly

This cider just shines in the glass! It's color is like a wintry morning sunshine, it's bright but not too warm. I don't expect a strong sparkle based on how it poured out of the can, but I can see some bubbles. 

Aromas: cinnamon, clove, vanilla, nutmeg

Sweater Weather smells just exactly how I want a spiced cider to smell. I get notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and vanilla. I’m hoping for a cider that’s going to balance sweet with spicy and a hint of tartness.

Sweetness/dryness: Sweet
This is a sweet, spicy cider. It doesn’t want to be anything else, and I’m glad for that.

Flavors and drinking experience: full bodied, mildly spicy, acid, sweet

Yes, there’s a lot going on in this cider. Sweater Weather feel full bodied with rich maple heaviness. It’s Mildly spicy and mildly sparkling. Something about this cider reminds me of Chocolate and tea berry gum that I haven’t tasted since high school. What a wave of nostalgia! 

All of the spices that I smells are still present in the flavors of the cider. Sweater Weather brings medium high acidity and some savory and fruity notes as well. I feel most surprised to taste little hints of cherry, concord grapes, black tea and not at all surprised to taste ripe sweet apples in the mix. This cider is just a little bit funky, but not enough to be distracting from the spices.