I’ve gone from needing sweatshirts in the evening once the sun goes down to hiding from the heat in less than a week. Thankfully, the ninety degree days will be over for a bit by the time this post goes live. I hate to complain about the weather, but I find how I feel about the world outside shapes my days as much as anything else. And the weather certainly helps me choose my ciders.
Ironbound Hard Cider’s Original called to me for a warm evening this weekend. The cider promised crispness and looked quite sessionable at just over 5% ABV, so I thought it would be perfect for a cool evening rewatching Death Becomes Her for the first time in 20 years with the tall one.
Here’s what I found on the website that describes Ironbound Hard Cider, the farm, and the priorities of the company.
Ironbound Farm — home of Ironbound Hard Cider and New Ark Farms - was founded on the belief that businesses must take responsibility for the impact they have on the social, economic, and ecological well-being of their communities. To that end, we fully embrace the beauty, abundance, and diversity of the Garden State through our regenerative farming practices and hard cider production. In doing so, we’ve created a unique business model that fosters resiliency and viability for our network of growers, food producers, and customers.
I also want to quote this answer to a question, on the FAQ page just because it's so fascinating!
You may have noticed from time to time that the Ironbound you are enjoying today doesn’t taste exactly the same as the Ironbound you had last week. That is because our ciders are made from 100% fresh-pressed local apples, which vary in flavor from harvest to harvest and farm to farm— making each batch of our cider unique. So, if your Ironbound tastes slightly drier, a little funkier, or more complex, take this as our freshness guarantee! And, because we use absolutely ZERO preservatives, we recommend enjoying Ironbound cider by the “best before” date on the bottom of each package.
Visit Ironbound Hard Cider online and learn more: https://www.ironboundhardcider.com/
This is what the cidery says about the Original.
FRESH. BALANCED. CRISP.
A sessional dry cider made from a blend of bittersweet and sweet, local fresh-pressed apples.
Appearance: brilliant, bright dandelion yellow, lots of tiny bubbles clinging to the glass
This cider is lovely to see. It’s got gorgeous clarity. A smattering of the finest bubbles lined the glass. The color reminds me of all the dandelions in my yard.
Aromas: Grape, powdered sugar, sour green apple
The Original smells instantly of green grape, powdered sugar, with a bit of sour green apple and a tickle to the nose. I get the slightly funky vibe, but not more than a small suggestion of funk.
I think the cider comes across just a touch drier than it might be by the numbers because it has multiple registers of acid and tartness activated, but it tastes off-dry.
Flavors and Drinking Experience: strong fizz, low tannins, grape skin, sessionable
My first impression of the Original is one of dessert apples and grapes. There’s something low, bassy, and wet about the cider. It offers strong bubble, medium acidity, and low but present tannins. I do want to mention that the acid doesn’t feel sharp and one dimensional. There’s a whole play of tart, crisp, and acid notes going on here.
I appreciate how the cider tastes off dry; the tannins of the grape skin notes play interestingly with how wet and full the mouthfeel is. The Original finishes cleanly but with a whiff of freshly ground cornmeal. The very mild funk on the nose does not come through in the flavor, which is clean, balanced, and sessionable. The whole cider experience feels refreshing. It was perfect for a warm evening and a campy movie!
And now I want to share links to this year’s GLINTCAP results. I only wish I could have been there to help judge this year. It sounds like a wonderful time was had!
This link will take you to the full results right on the front page: https://glintcap.org/