Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Cider Review: Potter's Craft Cider Pippin Cuvee and Arsenal Cider House's Powder Monkey Bone Dry Peach, Plus Cider Week VA

Good morning, Cider Friends! I come to with my first post after coming back from Cider Days in Massachusetts and the return to Standard Time. (Cider Days was fantastic! Thank you for asking!) I’ve seen a lot of posts decrying the earlier evenings, but I’ve so appreciated having some light in the morning. The morning is when I need the extra boost. When I’m sitting down to supper and an evening glass of cider in these colder months, it can be dark. 

Speaking of evenings with cider, we are now only a week and a half away from Cider Week Virginia! I got to have a Virginia cider or two from Albemarle while I was at Cider Days, and I know several other excellent cider makers are participating.

Here’s the cider maker lineup:

Here’s the Facebook event where you can learn more:

Potter’s Craft Cider comes from Charlottesville, Virginia. It is the project of Tim Edmond and Dan Potter and the cider maker is Andy Hannas. The cider comes from Virginia apples and, for some of the lineup, interesting additions like ginger, passionfruit, raspberries or hops. This is my first review of anything by Potter’s Craft cider, but it feels long overdue. The company is opening it’s tasting room on November 16th! The grand opening shindig is from 1-9pm.

You can learn more about the company at the Homepage for Potter’s Craft Cider

The kind souls at Potter’s Craft Cider shared this upcoming release with me for review, so let’s get to it! 

The Pippin Cuvee’s official description reads, 

Pippin Cuvee 100% Virginia-grown Albemarle Pippin Barrel Fermented Bottle Conditioned Six Months Sur Lie Alc. 8.4% by Vol

Appearance: clear, creamy gouda glow, bubbly

This cider is not quite brilliant, but it's very clear for a sur lies aged cider. I'll call the color creamy gouda glow because something about that pale shade of warm yellow just reminds me of a creamy Gouda. I can see plenty of bubbles in this sparkler too!

Aromas: green, ripe apples, pear

The first impression I get from the Pippin Cuvee is a super fresh garden smell. I also get lots and lots of aromatics of ripe apples and pears

Dryness/sweetness: Dry

This is a dry and high acid cider!

Flavors and drinking experience: Zingy, bubbly, wild

Yowzers, the Pippin Cuvee has bite! This cider tastes crisp, bracingly tart and zingy. The pointed acidity drives the drinking experience. I love that the Pippin cuvee brings lots of bubble to the table. I can taste the gentle funk of a wild fermentation.

This cider comes across as lively, zesty, spiky and intense. I enjoyed it with a gorgeous selection of cheeses and good company. Try that yourself when this cider is released later this month!

Up next, Arsenal Cider's Powder Monkey Bone Dry Peach

Arsenal Cider is the first Pennsylvania cider I ever tried back in 2013. I visited the Pittsburgh tasting room and saw their hometown success and the Federal Allegheny Arsenal thematics. Since then, the company has grown in both popularity and cider making experience. The company has also branched out to other fruit wines and meads. 

I have two previous reviews of Arsenal Cider House libations. 

Cannoneer’s Bone Dry Cherry:

Fightin’ Elleck:

Plus it appeared in my top 10 in 2013!

I couldn’t find an official description for Arsenal Cider House’s Bone Dry Powder Monkey Peach, but it appears that many of the flavors come in and out of availability and different batches might have quite varied ABV. What I will share is that these notes were taken when I tried this peach back in 2015 on a trip to Pittsburgh. Arsenal made this entirely from peaches, but it hasn't been produced since 2015. My apologies then for sitting on these notes for way too long!

Here’s what else I can share. I didn’t know the term Powder Monkey when I encountered this cider, so I looked it up. Here’s what Wikipedia says about this naval term:

You can learn more about the cider house online:

Appearance: hazy, medium straw, no visible bubbles

I apologize for not having pictures of this poured. I had it while travelling and visiting Pittsburgh friends and was too social to remember a photo in the glass, but my notes tell me that the Powder Monkey Peach is just barely hazy with a medium straw color and not much in the way of visible bubbles.

Aromas: peach, orange, citric acid

The Peach smells like citric acid, peaches and oranges. The smells tell me to expect tartness but also I get notes that remind me of dust and stone.

Sweetness/dryness: dry

This is a dry drink! Arsenal is not exaggerating, but the flavors have a hint of bitter peach syrup.

Flavors and drinking experience: medium sparkle, yeast, citrus, leather, green pepper

This is a dry fruit wine with medium sparkle and high acidity. I taste wild and funky yeast notes and citrus. The fruits that I get are more lemon,  lime and orange rather than peach. The Powder Monkey brings high acid but no tannins. There are notes of leather, aftershave, and green pepper also. 

I definitely enjoyed some bitter fruit funk!