Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Cider Review: Treasury Cider Homestead Semi-Dry Orchard Cider and Eastman's Forgotten Ciders Windmill Watcher

I guess I’m starting to accept that Thanksgiving is coming (and my birthday!). 

I’ve not yet chosen the ciders that I’m bringing to my sister-in-law’s house, but I will be picking three: one lighter super dry cider for cooking time and getting started, a more full bodied cider with some tannins and just a hint of sweetness, and something rich and super fruity with dessert. What will you be drinking and eating?

This week though, I treated myself to a cider shared with me at cider the Gathering of the Farm Cideries in Albany. I brought Treasury Cider Homestead Semi-Dry Cider to a birthday party for a dear friend. She wanted low-key fun, so we watched Clue and put together puzzles. To be fair, I may have done more snacking, chatting, and movie watching than actual puzzle participation. 

There’s a ton of good information online about this cider on Treasury’s website: 
Homestead Semi-Dry 
Varieties: Old Growth Golden Delicious/ Cortland/McIntosh/Jonamac/Goldrush/Idared/New-Growth Roxbury Russet/ Ashmead’s Kernel 
Our classic sparkling semi-dry cider. Medium-light bodied and slightly sweet with ripe red apple, pear and apple pie aromas.
ABV 7.8%    Vintage: 2017

I think the coolest part is the orchard info that you can see when hovering over the cider label on the cider page. I’ll just link it, because you should see how Treasury presents it. Just don’t forget to hover your cursor over the cider label to make the orchard info appear.

You can visit Treasury Cider online and learn more about all of the ciders:

Here’s what we thought of Treasury Cider’s Homestead Semi-Dry Cider.

Appearance: hazy, bubbly, winter sun

The color of this cider reminds me of that often wished-for winter sunlight. It’s the kind that can trick you into going outside before checking the temperature. It’s important and welcome, but so dangerous! The cider looked slightly hazy and very bubbly in the glass. 

Aromas: pears, citrus, spice, toast, and flowers

The Homestead smells strongly of pears! I secondarily smell ripe apples, citrus, spice, and white flowers. One of my co-tasters got hints of toast in the aroma. 

Sweetness/Dryness: Dry!

This is a very dry take on a semi-dry cider. It isn’t bone dry, but I’d not call it any sweeter than off dry.

Flavors and drinking experience: mellow, pear, high acid, bubbly

The Homestead Cider comes across as mellow, firm cider—lots of acid,  but somehow it doesn’t feel sharp or pointed. It’s well balanced and brings a wonderfully pear-filled finish with each sip. I get some pie cherry notes, even though this cider tastes fairly dry to me. I find it notably dryer than the smell suggests. 

This cider balances it’s high acidity with medium tannins that somehow reminded another co-taster of apple seeds.  I find that the cider has lots of yeast character (as opposed to unfermented apple flavors). You can taste the fermentation, and it’s clean. I appreciate how very bubbly it is! Everyone agreed that this cider was an ideal birthday celebration cider. It’s just so  good! 

Next up, I’m finally sharing an older set of tasting notes for a Michigan cider that I drank quite a while ago. It was a review sample shared with me at GLINTCAP.  Here’s my long over due review of Eastman's Forgotten Ciders Windmill Watcher. 

I’ve previously reviewed a couple of cider by Eastman’s Forgotten Ciders:

The Red Queen:

The Mad Russian:


The company doesn’t have a traditional web site, but you can check the Facebook page to learn more about this Wheeler, Michigan cidery and orchard:

Here’s the description for this cider, “This mellow sipper gets its name from your desire to sit on the porch and watch the windmills across from our property while enjoying a taste of cider. It is made with over 50 varieties of our apples, is semi-dry, and slightly carbonated.” 6.9% ABV

Appearance: popcorn kernel, brilliant

This cider has such depth of color. I think of un-popped kernels of popcorn when I look at it. The clarity is unambiguously brilliant. 

Aromas: Apricot, herbs, applesauce, pineapple 

This cider smells so much like pineapple and apricot! Wow! I am just blown away by the fruity and applesauce-y aromas!

Sweetness/Dryness: Semi-dry

This is very much what I think of when a cider is called semi-dry. It has some sweetness and fruit, but sweetness doesn’t dominate my experience with the cider. 

Flavors and drinking experience: woody, tropical fruit, high high acid

This cider could also be called Windmill Watcher for the exciting round and round it does to my palate! The Windmill Watcher is tart and acidic; makes my salivary glands go into overdrive! Behind all this acid there’s a moderate amount of sparkle and a hefty dose of fruit. I get the pineapple and apricot from the cider’s aromas, but more tropical fruit and even some grassy notes. Then, for the finish I get a gentle glide of vanilla! 

I like the soft woodiness of the Windmill Watcher along with all of the many flavors in its journey. I shared this cider with good friends and excellent cheeses

This is my last post before turning 38! When next I write, I may have more wisdom, experience, and gravitas. Or maybe not!?