Thursday, October 3, 2013

Finger Lakes Cider Week Cider Review: Eve's Cidery's Beckhorn Hollow Dry

To get ready for Ithaca's Apple Harvest Festival and Finger Lakes Cider Week, I'm highlighting some excellent regional ciders from where I live, the Finger Lakes region of New York. To start, Eve's Cidery has been running in Van Etten, New York since 2002. You can read all about the people and the ciders on Eve's Cidery website here: It's got a lot of good info, even if a few sections appear to no longer have content. I reviewed their Autumn's Gold cider a few months ago in this post: 

The Beckhorn Hollow Dry cider has an ABV of 8%, which is a bit higher than average. I didn't see an official description or promotional copy for the Beckhorn Hollow Dry on their website, but I contacted them through Facebook and asked. I got an excellent description in reply, "Made from a diverse blend of apple varieties including crabs, heirlooms and desserts, this cider is naturally sparkling and bone dry. Tropical fruits and vanilla on the nose give way to a refreshing wild-apple finish. Makes a delightful compliment to Indian curries, chicken pot pie or gourmet farmstead grilled cheese on rustic sourdough." Such an intriguing list of food pairings.

Appearance: brilliant, palest green gold

Pours with lots of activity and bubbles that settle quickly into a brilliant cider. I see the color as the perfect meld of pale green and pale gold.  Apologies for the imperfect capturing of color in this  nighttime photo. I wish I could always be drinking my ciders and photographing them during the golden hour, but that option isn't available frequently enough.

Aroma:  fresh apples, tart green grapes, underripe bananas

I could smell All kind of sappy green fruits like lime and green grapes. Extreme crispness comes to mind when I smell all the tart zingy freshness of the apple in the aromas. I'm defnitely anticipating some bittersharp and dry notes based on the smells.

Sweetness: Dry

This is a lovely lovely dry cider that still has full aromas and flavors. The rawness I smelled comes across more maturely in the woody dryness. This doesn't have high enough levels of tannins to dry out the mouth though, which means it can still be enjoyed casually.

Flavors and Drinking Experience: Woodsy, very fine bubbles, citrus

I get some ethanol bittersweet on the attack, like lemon pith or even a citrus zest, but it smooths out to apple and wood notes quickly. Overall the acidity level isn't particularly high, even lower than the medium tannins. The Beckhorn Hollow Dry shares its sweetest moment in the finish which is a soothing and excellent encouragement.

I'm not sure I'd follow the official recommendation and try it with any curries, but I'd certainly recommend enjoying the Beckhorn Hollow Dry with delicious buttery cooked greens or a rich vegetable au gratin. The dryness could lighten up a rich heavy meal beautifully. For an activity, I'd love to have this cider on hand while doing some of my own cooking and baking. The dryness would be delightfully refreshing in that context.

If you'll be anywhere in the finger lakes region during our Cider Week (October 4-13), come out and see ciders like this one from Eve's Cidery being sampled, paired, mixed, or taught. Eve's Cidery makes some beautiful ciders, and they aren't the only ones in the area.

Also, please come out at see me and the fine folks at The Cellar D'Or next Friday evening October 11th between 5 and 8pm. We'll be pairing all sorts of ciders and cheeses, both regional and international selections.