Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Cider review: Rootstock Ciderworks' 2020 Heritage Hard Cider

I can’t believe that the Summer Solstice has come and gone! I want to celebrate the day, because it's the official start to summer. The longest span of sunlight in the year feels like something to celebrate! To be honest, I find it an anxious day. I never feel ready by the solstice for the days to start getting shorter. Ask me again around August first, then I’ll feel ready for Solstice. But it just arrives too soon! That said, I was happy to celebrate with cider and a chat with Dan Pucci, Craig Cavallo, and Steve Selin (among others) about orcharding and cider. Nothing could have been more appropriate!

For today, I’m sharing a review of Rootstock Ciderworks' 2020 Heritage Hard Cider. 

Rootstock Ciderworks comes out of a fifth generation family farm just outside of Rochester, New York in Williamson. The DeFishers know apples well and only use them and yeast to make a wide range of ciders. Today, I’m reviewing the 2020 incarnation of Heritage, but if you want to learn more about Rootstock I recommend going back to some cidery info in prior reviews.

My Rootstock Ciderwork’s reviews are all listed below.

Ruby Mac: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2021/05/cider-review-rootstock-ciderworks-ruby.html

Legend Barrel Aged: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2019/01/cider-review-eden-specialty-ciders.html

Rose: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/07/cider-review-shacksbury-dorset-and.html

Belgium: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/06/cider-cans-crush-it-rootstock.html

Hopped: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2016/10/cider-review-rootstock-ciderworks.html

You can check out all of Rootstock’s offerings at the website: https://www.rootstockciderworks.com/

Here’s how Rootstock describes the 2020 Heritage Hard Cider.

Made from heritage apples harvested in the 2020 growing season, this cider is a dual varietal cider consisting of Rhode Island Greening and Cortland Apples. This cider has notes of fresh peach, apricot, and rose petals with flavors of ripe pear and citrus fruit.

Alcohol 6.00%

I received this bottle of Heritage as a review sample from Luke at Rootstock! Thanks so much! I’m grateful for review bottles, but the gift does not sway my opinion about a cider nor guarantee coverage on the blog.  

Appearance: intense butter yellow, brilliant, bubbly

This cider looks like the essence of summertime to me! It's perfectly brilliant, dotted with shining small bubbles. The color looks like the most intense version of yellow butter. It's cheerful, sunny, and welcoming!

Aromas: Green apple, peach, nectarine, apple peelings, and pineapple 

What a basket of fruit I find in these aromas! I can smell green apples, which I associate with anticipating high levels of Malic acid. There’s also a strong presence of peach, nectarine, and pineapple. This will be a tart cider; I have no doubt. Thinking more about the green apple scent, it reminds me of peeling green apples for baking.

Dryness/sweetness: Semi-dry

This is straightforwardly a semi-dry cider! There’s tons of flavor and just a little burst of sweetness.

Flavors and Drinking experience: Green apple, cherry, nuttiness, high acidity

As I hoped and expected, Heritage brings lots of acid to the drinking experience. It’s not austere or punishingly sharp; the acidity is fruit and crisp! I love how lively the Heritage tastes.

This cider is nutty and fruity with pineapple and cherry notes. The Heritage lifts up the layers of flavor with strong bubbles. I’d describe the mouthfeel as medium light but very zesty. Each sip wraps up with a long perfumed finish.

I enjoyed this cider with friends and homemade pretzels on a long summer evening, and I’d heartily recommend exactly this pairing!