Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Very Perry May Pt 2 : Woodchuck, Dunkertons, and Misson Trail

Welcome to Very Perry May Pt 2! 

Today, I am pretty excited to further develop my understanding of perry and share my thoughts on three more fermented beverages based (at least partially) from pear juice! Two of the brands I'm talking about today have not yet been featured on the blog, so all kinds of repertoire expansion are afoot!

(In case you didn't catch last week, I introduced the series which will be lasting the whole month- https://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2017/05/very-perry-may-pt-1-aeppeltreow.html)

Dunkerton's Organic Perry

Read about this small cider and perry operation in Herefordshire on the importer's webpage: http://www.winesellersltd.com/wine-brand/Dunkertons.html 

Or their site: https://www.dunkertonscider.co.uk/

Official description: 
A delicious sparkling Perry made from organically grown Perry pears. Though relatively uncommon, the trees are easily identified in Herefordshire’s orchard landscape by their great height and cascading white blossoms; some are over 300 years old. It pours golden and slightly hazy with very gentle bubbles. The nose has over-ripe pear evanescence. A creamy mouthfeel with a good balance between initial sweetness and the dryness of the finish.

Appearance: hazy, warm applesauce color, no visible bubbles

I'm noticing that more perries are hazy than most of the ciders I see on the market. This one decidedly so.

Aromas: overripe fruit, fermenation smells, hint of vinegar

From the aromas, I anticipate that this is going to be wild! Aromas are all about overripe fruit a
s much like fermented apples as pears. The smells include a little acetic acid but in a proper English perry way—actually kinda fun. I also can scent stone, dust, and cool well water, all hints that tannins will be present.

Sweetness dryness: semi-sweet

This is a balanced perry. The start is more dry and bitter but the end is more sweet, but neither is extreme.

Flavors and drinking experience: tannic, fruity, funky, cleary English, approachable

This sparkling perry is quite fruity and a little funky with an unobtrusive vinegar note. I'd call it balanced and clearly english in style. These perry pears have tannic presence and a long finish that has a bit of figgy, acrid sweetness to it—the sorbitol is there. There are loads of ripe fruit qualities as well, including notes of plum and papaya for sure. I like this!

Woodchuck's Summer Time Pear Ginger Cider

Find out about all of Woodchuck's ciders online: http://www.woodchuck.com

Official Description: 
Summer is here, bringing warm, carefree days and fun, festive nights. Woodchuck® Summer Time delivers a crisp pear cider bursting with fresh ginger for a taste that refreshes like a cool jump in your favorite swimming hole. Enjoy the brand that started the American cider revolution. 5%ABV
This strikes me as a little light on content, but luckily, my samples came with a press release with more helpful information, "Summer Time infuses both pear juice and fresh ginger into the cidery’s small batch hard cider." Later in the press release, it is described as a semi-sweet. 

Appearance: brilliant, bright gold, plenty of bubbles

I'm noticing lots of color for a perry; its a bright gold. Its also brilliant.

Aromas: pear, ginger, cherries

This pear cider smells fresh and clean, with lots of tropical fruit, cherries, and ginger.

Sweetness/dryness: sweet

Unambiguously sweet. Very fruity. 

Flavors and drinking experience: gingery, lots of cherry flavor, pear

Summer Time Pear Ginger tastes like an intense ginger cherry soda. There is a  background of pear but it stays in the background. My fabulous co-taster and husband says like a hopped cider without the hops." I think he means it is a driven by a bright pop of acid and some sweetness. 

It isn't much like other perries I've tried. The most comparable would by the Wyder's Perry, which will show up next week in Very Perry May Pt 3.

Mission Trail Perry

You can learn about the cidery on their website: http://www.missiontrailcider.com/

Official Description: 
California's only 100% Perry. Pure pear, no apple in this one. This is unlike any other. Exquisite and fruity, this remains peerless in it's flavor, balance, color, and artisinal quality. Soft and round, with pear bursting through, this drink has been crafted to remind you what a freshly picked pear tastes like. This is your uncommon perry. We never use concentrate, add flavoring, or add artificial ingredients, nor do we ever blend with apple cider. This is a pure California 100% Perry, made exclusively from high elevation, mountain pears. 6.0% ABV

Appearance: transparent, light green gold, some bubble

This is a very pretty cider in the glass! It shows a nice springy col. or, brilliant, poured with a lacy mousse that faded quickly.

Aromas: freshly cut pears

Wow! I can scarcely believe how much this smells like unfermented fruit.

Sweetness/dryness: semi-sweet to sweet

This is described on the label as being back-sweetened with fresh pear juice and that shows. It is sweet and juicy.

Flavors and drinking experience: clean, juicy, very very pear like

This tastes like half a dozen fresh fruits: pear, grapefruit, white grapes, pineapple, and honey dew melon. It does not taste like fermented fruit though. The sparkle is pronounced and pleasant. Acidity keeps this lively. There are no tannins and not much yeast character. This does not make me think of perry so much as semi-dry Riesling.  The fermentation is spotlessly clean and unobtrusive.  I can imagine this being tremendously popular for warm weather. 

My second set of perries was as varied as my first. My journey continues next week.