Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Cider review: Critz Farms Double Vision and Angry Orchard and EZ Orchard's Understood in Motion 2

It's a mouthful this week with two cider reviews that cumulatively represent 3 different cideries! I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve shown New York much love, so I’d like to include two different New York ciders this week. 

 Let’s start with Critz Farms’ Double Vision. I’m seeing double because I used to know Critz Farms cider’s under a previous name (formerly Harvest Moon Cidery). This farm cidery now also brews beer! The folks behind this cider started making cider commercially in 2011, though the family farm has been functioning for far longer!

I can’t believe I’ve not reviewed any of the ciders since 2013, but that’s what it looks like. Here’s my review of the Heritage Hops:

Learn about the cider here and you can easily find your own way to the beer:

Here's how Critz Farms introduces the Double Vision. 
DOUBLE VISIONALCOHOL (ABV): 5.5%RESIDUAL SUGARS: 4.5% TASTING NOTES:Aged hard cider blended with fresh pressed sweet cider. A double dose of apple gives this cider a true flavor of the fall season. Lightly carbonated. 
Double Vision Hard Cider is our unique blend of aged hard cider and fresh pressed sweet cider. We take the fermented cider from last year’s apple crop, age it for 6 to 12 months, then blend it with the fresh pressed sweet cider from this season’s apple harvest. Available primarily from September through November, this lightly carbonated cider offers a double dose of apple goodness and a true flavor of the fall season.

Appearance: pale, gently hazy, bubbly

This is a very pale cider. It has only the barest hint of yellow. The cider shows just a bit of haze and a fair number of visible bubbles. 

Aromas: Spring flowers, creamy, yogurt, sweet, fresh apples

This cider smells appley and sweet and very creamy. More specifically I gather notes of a rich vanilla yogurt, fresh apples and spring flowers.

Sweetness/dryness: Sweet!

I served this cider last at a tasting party and it was a fine finish to some cider exploration because it was sweet enough to still stand out even to un-fresh palates. Fans of sweet ciders will like how natural and appley this tastes.

Flavors and drinking experience: full mouthfeel, medium high acid, very bubbly

This cider came across as exceedingly fresh and zesty while also being sweet and full bodied. It isn’t a cider for everyone, its flavors come very much from fresh unfermented juice rather than tasting like wine or champagne. It’s sweet and fun and bubbly. 

 I paired this with a pile of great friends, lots of cheese, and a strawberry ginger icebox cake. I can recommend it with all of them! 

Now It’s time to share my notes on a collaboration, this time between Angry Orchard and E. Z. Orchard: the Understood in Motion 02. This is a cider that was shared with me when I visited the Innovation Center for Angry Orchard in Walden, New York. 

Here’s what I wrote about that visit for Cider Culture:

You can also visit Angry Orchard online:

Here’s a link to E. Z. Orchard’s website:

Here's a quick list of some of my most relevant previous Angry Orchard reviews (this is not all of them!)

Understood in Motion 3: this collaboration with Tom Oliver of Oliver’s Cider (this was my #6 cider of 2018):

Wooden Sleeper:

Spiced Apple:





And here are my E. Z. Orchard reviews: 



Here's the official description for Understood in Motion 02.
East Coast meets west coast with Understood in Motion 02, a collaboration between Angry Orchard and E.Z. Orchards Cidre. The cider is homage to style, tradition, and a shared respect for the integrity of the fruit. Apples used are Bittersweet Muscadet de Lense and Marie Menard from Oregon, and heirloom, acid-forward Gold Rush and Northern Spy from New York. The fruit was naturally fermented in a process that requires very little intervention but lots of careful attention. ABV 7.2%.

Appearance: Hazy, peach, tiny visible bubbles 

This color reminds me of a tiki drink: something with peach, pineapple, or apricot juice! Hazy ciders have been really making a splash lately, and this picks up on that fresh fruit juice or craft beer hazy look. 

Aromas: pineapple juice, apricot, citrus

This cider is bursting with mouthwatering smells including: apricot, pineapple, citrus, and fresh apple.

Dryness/Sweetness: Semi-dry

This is a semi-dry cider which definitely seems like a comfort zone for both E. Z. Orchards and Angry Orchard. All of the sweetness that is here feels very natural and like a product of the fermentation style. 

Flavors and drinking experience: high acid, tropical, petillant 

This semi-dry cider is just as tropical to taste as it was to smell! The Understood in Motion 02 brings medium tannins and high acidity to a very fruity overall flavor profile. The sweetness in this cider helps contribute to its creamy full body. 

What surprised me most when drinking this cider was it’s short clean finish. After being so flavorful and aromatic, it leaves the palate as quickly as it had arrived.

I paired this with a hearty yet simple winter dinner of sun-dried tomato veggie sausage and sauteed peppers over brown rice. The salty, spicy, and umami paired beautifully with the ciders acidity and hint of sweetness. I enjoyed the pairing very much!