Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Cider Review: AmDam Cider Brut and Ploughman Farm Cidery: Lummox Cider with Citra Hops

I’ve watched with admiration and a few pangs of envy as other cider folks I know have traveled to warmer climes this winter, especially for CiderCon. But now I’m preparing for my turn! Very soon, I’ll take my own little jaunt to the sunshine state. As I’m planning and packing, I did fit in two cider reviews that are helping me mentally prepare for warm beaches. 

Let’s start with AmDam Cider Brut! Alex brought this back from his writing trip to the Netherlands back in the fall. The company has a really cute intro that also makes the sourcing of the apples transparent, “Ever seen an apple tree in Amsterdam? Neither have we.”

From what the company makes clear online, they get cider made by Celliers de l’Odet from french cider apples. The company grew out of an import store for cider called Appels & Peren in 2015.

You can learn more about this young cidery here: 

Here’s the English language description of this cider, “Brut,the yellow one. It's softly sparkling and a bit more sophisticated. It has that unique cider ‘funk’ flavor.Try it and you are sold.” I saw more info in dutch on the website, but not on the translated page, so I don’t know if it has additional facts.

Appearance: brilliant, bubbly, harvest orange- yellow 

The Brut pours with a foamy head that had most vanished by the time I was able to take a picture. It’s there and then gone! The color is a warm harvest orange yellow with brilliant clarity.

Aromas: overripe apples, leathery, oranges

The Brut smells leathery, like overripe apples with hints of orange. These aromas remind me of English or French ciders right away.

Sweetness/dryness: Sweet

This cider is sweet, which is a bit of a surprise since it’s labelled Brut. Often though french ciders use that term differently than other regions or beverages. A cidre brut is not as dry as a brut champagne for example. The sweetness is very natural and fruity.

Flavors and drinking experience: Tannic, medium acidity, citrus, apples, caramel

I love that this cider is decidedly tannic with medium acidity! I don’t usually get ciders that have these two characteristics, particularly not when appearing with some sweetness. The Brut’s flavor notes were very similar to what I got from it’s aromas: overripe apple, oranges, but I also tasted some wheaty and caramelly elements. 

The Brut stretches the tasting experience out with a lovely long finish with lots of apple character. I’d describe it as mostly a french-style cider that shows some english influence. I appreciate the Brut’s full body and intense bubbles! This is such a fun and friendly cider. 

I totally didn’t expect something so approachable, balanced, and appealing! Were this available more widely, I’d definitely drink it again and recommend it! 

Next up Ploughman Farm Cidery’s Lummox Cider with Citra Hops!

When travelling for the PA farm show in December, I picked up some cider treats for the future and I was so excited to get this particular one from Ploughman Farm Cider because I’d failed to get one of these home safely from GLINTCAP earlier in 2019.

Ploughman Cider is based out of Adams County in Pennsylvania; that’s definitely an unofficial cider capital of the state. Fruit for Ploughman Cidery beverages comes from Three Springs Fruit Farm.

Here’s a link to the Ploughman Cider website where you can read about all the ciders:

Here are my previous Ploughman Cidery reviews.


Pinot N’arlet:

Appearance: transparent, warm straw, no visible bubbles

This cider looks more transparent than most hopped ciders. It doesn’t have a haze to it, but instead I can see the warm straw color clearly. I don’t see much in the way of visible bubbles.  

Aromas:  herbal, aquatic, vegetal, citrus

The Lummox smells herbal and darkly aquatic. I also detect some mouthwatering citrus notes, but there’s still more going on. I can smell ripe apples, but they aren’t as strong as the other notes that associate with hops for me. There’s also something just a bit creamy and almondy. Dancing in the far background I also get a sense of green tea.

Sweetness/dryness: Semi-dry

This semi-dry cider has lots of flavor going on that dominate far more than the sweetness. I think many drinkers who often tend towards semi-dry ciders might call this dry because of the bitterness and acidity, but more on that soon.

Flavors and drinking experience: high acid, grapefruit pith, bitterness, medium tannins

My first impression on tasting the Lummon is that this is a hopped cider than most beer lovers will enjoy! It brings zesty high acid, but the first note is grapefruit pith. I get strong fruity bitterness in this semi-dry cider. The flavors also make me wonder if it was fermented with beer yeast. The Lummox also packs some tannins. This is a complex cider! After having it from the can and in a glass, I think it reveals its strengths best cold and straight from the can.  

I think it could taste cooling and refreshing (in a bracing way!) in the summer. It’s more of a beer drinker's cider than a wine lover’s cider.