Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My 10 Favorite Ciders of 2016

Alrighty. We are almost through with the super terrible, very no good, rather awful year that was 2016. Personally, it was the hardest and saddest of my adult life, therefore, I'm pretty excited to observe its demise. My favorite cider list has become an important part of wrapping up a year and getting ready for the next. I've never been good at New Year's Eve, but I do love lists.

For context, here are the previous years' lists: 

2015 list: 

2014 list: 

2013 list

As in earlier years, I have two rules: I'm not listing more than one cider from any company and I am going to limit myself to ciders that have coverage in the blog. Beyond that, my only caveat is that these are my personal favorites that I wrote about in 2016. These may or may not be your favorites, but I encourage you to taste them and make up your own mind. 

I'll end with a confession. This list has turned out quite revealing of my own tastes and predilections. Oops?

10. Woodchuck's June and Juice: 

I can sense the scoffing, but I won't apologize. This is a tasty cider and one that surprised me. The herbal elements play well together and don't totally dominate the apple.

9. Shacksbury Classic 

Here's where I started to feel some pain. This cider could be at the top of a lot of lists, because its very good. Then again, all of these ciders have been favorites. But, if you see this one, try it.

I mentioned that the list might be revealing, and this counts. I do love herbal infusions in cider when balanced well. This is a great example. I only wish I had the chance to buy this cider regularly. 

7. Left Foot Charley Henry's Pippin:

This cider was going to be good, so I waited for just the right moment for it. Zesty acidity and clean flavors sold me on this cider instantly.

6. Cornish Orchards Vintage 2013: 

Here's another cider that checks all of my boxes in specific. I love the high tannin, rich qualities of many English ciders and that's precisely what the Cornish Orchards Vintage 2013 delivers.

5. Good Life Cider Hickok:

This cider changed my mind! Often still ciders don't strike me as very exciting, but this is a total showstopper. Its complex, dry, and fruity in the perfect combination. I adore it.

4. Number 12 Ciderhouse Sparkling Dry:

Startling! I really didn't know what to expect from this cider and it wowed everyone who tasted it with me! Really great tannic structure.

3.Black Diamond Hickster:

Something about the fermentation methods and and the apple varieties Black Diamond uses sets their ciders apart in terms of mouth-watering richness. Everything they make is special.

2. Foggy Ridge Serious Cider:

Here's a classic that has deserved a spot on my favorites list for years. I so enjoy Foggy Ridge ciders. I had this one with my mid-winter holiday feast and I know I'll have it again as soon as I have the chance.

And, my number 1 favourite cider of 2016...

1. South Hill Cider Stone Fence Farm

South Hill makes some spectacular ciders; there's no denying that, but this one is really something. This single farm cider sings with its perfect blend of high tannins and high acidity.

What a wonderful cider to be ending my top ten with. I cannot say very much positive about 2016, but I've had amazing cider experiences and I count myself so lucky to know the friends I have within the cider world. And we'll get to join up in Chicago soon for Cider Con! I cannot wait.

Amazing people bowl me over with their knowledge, generousity, warmth and humor again and again. Thank you for letting me join in. Cheers.