Monday, September 12, 2022

Cider Review: Snow Capped Cider Ashmead's Kernel

I picked up my first apple CSA share of the season this past weekend. For me, this is the real start of fall. I’m ready! In the coming weeks the other signs will appear: colorful leaves, pumpkins, early evening shadows and eventually frosted mornings. I’m not in a rush to traverse it; this short season begs to be savored. One of my savorings this weekend was a quiet birthday celebration with a long-time friend, her family, my family, many snacks and Snow Capped Cider’s Ashmead’s Kernel. 

Snow Capped Cider comes to us from a multiple generation family farm in Colorado. I’ve had a few of their ciders and seen the cidery name come up as a frequent award winner. Here are all of my previous reviews of Snow Capped Cider.

Blanc Mollet:

Gold Rush:

Harrison Reserve (My #5 favorite cider of 2021):

You can visit Snow Capped Cider online and learn about everything this cidery is up to:

I love how Snow Capped introduces the Ashmead’s Kernel with background and description for the apple that makes up this single-varietal cider. 

First discovered in Gloucester England around 1700 then throughout North America, Ashmead has remained popular in both cider making and eating for two centuries despite its faded color and dull outer appearance. Ashmead’s Kernel boasts incredible flavor creating a truly remarkable sensory experience. We have returned to its old world roots with a long ripening period and slow farm style fermentation method. A pétillant finish further enhances the fresh fruity aroma delivering the remarkable strong flavor combined with natural, delicate tannin and balanced sweetness. A unique enchanting cider with nearly elusive richness that leaves you questing for more. 100% Ashmead’s Kernel apples grown in our Colorado Orchards.

Alcohol 8.10%

Here are my thoughts on the Ashmead's Kernel by Snow Capped Ciders.

Appearance: mousse, medium intense amber tea color, 

This cider pours amber shading into tea with a lovely head of bubbles. The color is medium intensity. It’s a brilliant cider with no hint of opacity.

Aromas: Orange, minerals, autumn, overripe apples  

The Ashmead’s Kernel smells wonderful and enticing, What I notice first is orange and overripe apples. Secondarily I get aquatic and mineral notes. Overall the impression I get is one of maturity, full bloom, and autumnal forest floor.

Dryness/sweetness: Dry

This is a dry cider. It doesn’t use sweetness to guide you through the experience. 

Flavors and drinking experience: tannic, mid-low acid, pepper, baking spice

What a treat! Everyone gathered was wowed by this cider’s profile. It is substantially different than what we taste a lot here in upstate New York. The Ashmead’s Kernel is super tannic, but that feels very surprisingly different when paired with medium-low acidity. It’s smoother and less spiky. I taste bits of sweet red pepper and fruity sweetness. 

The cider is refreshing; something about it feels not only velvety but also lush with baking spice notes. I love the plentiful bubbles! I always love plentiful bubbles. The cider’s smooth finish makes it easy to reach for a second sip. It wears its relatively high ABV well.

We had divine caprese salad, pesto bean dip, focaccia bread, peppers, cheeses and Marcona almonds with the cider. We loved trying this along side different parts of this beautiful range of treats. I think my favorite pairings were the Ashmead’s Kernel with blue cheese and with truffle dusted Marcona almonds. 

What a way to celebrate a friend and welcome Fall.