Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cider Review: Naked Flock Draft Cider (also, Finger Lakes Cider Week is Coming!)

Back in May, I reviewed the first Naked Flock cider to come my way, the Original. Here's a link to that review along with its introduction and background for the brand, Naked Flock. You can read about Naked Flock on the Applewood Winery's page which has a section that serves as Naked Flock's Website. Their Facebook page is even more active and full of information: For example, that's how I learned that Naked Flock was just named the best Cider in the Hudson Valley by Hudson Valley Magazine.

This is what Naked Flock says about this particular cider, "Draft is a drier style fermented with Belgian Trappist Ale yeast and smoothed over with organic Maple syrup." We'll see how a cider can be dry but also use maple syrup as a sweetening agent, but I'm curious. I know one commenter on my previous Naked Flock review mentioned the noticeability of the ale yeast in the finished cider.

Appearance: Brilliant, intense goldenrod

The brilliant clarity of this cider shows lots of bubbles clining to the glass. Its intense yellow color reminds me of the goldenrod I see blooming everywhere. I was shocked by how bright the color looked in my, jar.

Aromas: cooked apples, hint of apple candy, pear syrup

Having heard that Naked Flock's Draft is drier and more beery than the original, I was surprised a second time when I smelled it. The apple smell is definitely more like a baked apple than a ripe or even overripe raw apple aroma that comes with many ciders. Still, aromas do not necessarily directly translate into tastes. But since the secondary aromas are more sweet things, candy and syrup, I know to expect a fairly sweet to very sweet cider.

Sweetness: Sweet

Not really a drier cider. The sweetness has some bright acidity along with the sweetness. I can definitely perceive the maple syrup in the cider's finish.

Flavors: apple, orange, ripe melon

Naked Flock's Draft Cider is very fruity and sweet. Its pleasant acidity almost veers into the too-much-for-me camp, but at the same time, this cider needs its acidity because otherwise the sweetness would be overwhelming. This is a tense balancing act, but one perhaps not yet quite perfected. It doesn't however fall into either of the duelling traps of extreme acidity or sweetness but it does flirt with both.

Drinking Experience: needs to be chilled, pair with food

Tastes best cold. Mind you, on these warm spells that periodically interrupt my happy progress towards fall, most things taste best cold. The Draft pairs with casual dinner fare. Definitely a cider that could pleasantly accompany many classic American dishes, but something more hearty and and less delicate than sushi or salad. Perhaps a veggie frittata with cheddar or a mushroom soup with wheat rolls. Activity wise, this is a fine after work beverage for relaxing. At least that's how I enjoyed mine.

On a totally different note, I'm really excited to be hearing about the cool cider events happening all over the country. The numbers and excitement are building in all kinds of places. What I'm curious about is will any readers be enjoying Finger Lakes Cider Week ( or NYC and Hudson Valley Cider Week (

Both series will be simply bursting with great opportunities to taste cider, meet folks, and learn about our favorite beverage. I'd love to meet fellow cider fans there. Let me know who you are and what you'll be doing. Let's drink cider together!