Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cider Review: Citizen Cider bRosé

Apologies to everyone. I've been a terrible blogger this month. February is hard, what can I say? Trust me, I'm still thinking cider and drinking cider. Mea culpa! This is an older set of notes from a cider-tasting bonfire party back in the fall. It was the first real cold night of the season and wonderful fun to taste ciders with a group of dedicated folks.

Citizen Cider is a company I don't know well. They are a relatively young company out of Burlington, Vermont. They were also the group with the most visible showing at Cider Days in Massachusetts because so many of their employees were wearing genuintely cool matching Citizen Cider shirts. I found this on their website: "Citizen Cider was founded in 2011 by Justin Heilenbach, Bryan Holmes and Kris Nelson. Kris was working as a wine salesmen, Bryan as a chemist and Justin as a small farmer." So it sounds like they have a really inspiringly appropriate set of skills between them.You can find out more information at their own website here:

So, the bRosé has the less than helpful official description, "Cider + Blueberries + 3(bros) = bRose. An off-dry cider co-fermented with blueberries. (ABV 6.8%)" This is improved slightly when I hunt for more details and find that the apples and blueberries are all local Vermont grown: using local materials is something I admire in a cider.

Appearance: Brilliant, salmon, not many visible bubbles

Obviously this is a gorgeous cider. It looks lovely in the bottle and you can trust me that it looks even better in the glass. Absolutely brilliant clarity and a salmon pink color that .

Aromas: vinous, blueberry, baked goods

It smells both like wine and muffins. Hrm. Interesting.  I think the impression I get of muffins is because the bRose smells both fruity and yeasty, also a bit like a yogurt-y cheese. The vinous notes are the most noticeable, but the blueberry comes in second. I'm not smelling a ton of apples.

Sweetness: Sweet but well balanced

This cider does use sweetness to transmit flavor and it has plenty of fruit in the profile, but it does use enough acidity to remain crisp and sharp. Citizen Cider has done a nice job balancing a pleasant sweet cider.

Flavors and Drinking Experience: fine bubbles, subtle blueberry, plenty of acidity

The Brose tastes fairly acidic with low levels of tannins. The flavor is livened by lots of very fine bubbles. Blueberry is subtle in the bRose's aftertaste. Though it smells directly like blueberry the flavor is more like blueberry skins. That pleasantly bitter effect is reminiscent of stems as well; it improves the cider's balance. Overall, somehow it has a warm taste. My one caveat is that bigger drinks give me a moment of funny cereal funk.  Usually though this cider offers a clean finish with almost no aftertaste. 
This would be a great Valentine's Day cider for those inclined to celebrate the holiday. Or, since today is now Galentine's Day (look it up!) share this with your best friends. Those friendships deserve to be celebrated with delightful tastes, and this cider is an easy one even for not-yet-afficianados. Mind you, for all that good friend time you might need a few bottles! Enjoy.