Tonight I'm reviewing a little bit of a mystery, West County Cider Cidermaker's Favorite. Unfortunately, I'm not finding out a lot of background information about this particular cider. I got it at a fundraising cider sell-off to raise money for Franklin Country Cider Days back in 2013. I finally opened up my bottle of cherished Cidermaker's Favorite on one of the first cold nights of the winter and shared it with visiting family.
I'll post a link to West County Cider's website, but I'll mention ahead of time that there is basic contact information on the page and nothing else. http://www.westcountycider.com/
The page is beautifully presented and formatted, but again mysterious. I tried for Facebook presence but alas, I found nothing.
I've tasted their ciders very rarely, but I quite like what I've tried. My only previous review is of their Reine de Pomme. You can read about my impressions of this unique cider right here and my post also has more background information on West County:
All of what I know about this cider comes from this classic yet minimalist label and tasting it.
The basic facts include that this cider has an ABV of 4.8% and is surely a blend of heritage local apples like all of what West County does.
Appearance: Polished Copper
The Cidermaker's Favorite looks totally brilliant. Not one hint of haze is visible. The color strikes me as more metallic and clear and clean than many; it is unusually intense and looks just like polished copper to me. I don't see many bubbles, so perhaps this will be a still cider?
I can barely get over how deep and richly this color comes across.
Aromas: applesauce, highly aromatic, dusty, minerally
Ooh! My mouth waters. Certain aromas give excellent hints about how a cider will taste, and this set of smells gives me all kinds of goodness to anticipate. Dusty smells imply tannins to me. Many fabulous bittersharp apples and heritage apples offer their gorgeous applesauce notes in a blend's aroma. My hopes have officially been raised.
Definitely dry but with fruit and tannin notes.
Flavors and drinking experience: Wow I did not anticipate how high the acid levels would be on this cider. It makes it very exciting! I did expect higher than average tannins, and I am not disappointed. Yay! The cider drinks with almost no sweetness. But still somehow dry, tannic, and acidic balance out beautifully. The low ABV of this cider really shows well. It makes a huge difference in how smooth and approachable it is while being this dry. The other element of this cider I must emphasize is how rich rich rich it tastes. Perfection. I love this complex and exciting balancing act. West County Cider has really pulled off something special with its Cidermaker's Favorite.
I had this both with dinner and after, so I can vouch enthusiastically for this cider as either a pairing beverage or something to focus on. My food was a baked pasta dish with a cream-based sauce, walnut, spring peas, and a swirl of pesto on top. Very rich and a nice accompaniment to such an utterly delightful cider.
If you see West County Cider anywhere, please do yourself a favor and try them. I cannot wait to have the chance again.