This is my first review of a anything by Stem Ciders. They are based out of Denver, Colorado and have operated since the start of 2014. I first ran across their beverages at Cider Summit Chicago 2017. I was pleased to stay in touch and get a few review samples this month.
You can learn all about Stem Ciders on their website here: http://stemciders.com/
This is Stem Cider's Pear Apple Cider and it could have fit into my Very Perry May, but I'm glad to have a canned pear-apple blend for this #pickcider for the 4th of July series.
Made with Bartlett pears from Colorado's Western Slope. Rich golden hue, caramel and fresh fruit on the nose with a surprisingly tart finish 5.3% ABV Released April 2017. Suggested pairings include, “pork chops and apple sauce, spicy thai, lobster rolls” But we'll see if my sense of vegetable oriented pairings matches up.
Appearance: brilliant, few visible bubbles, deep roasty gold
This cider has a deep roasted quality to its goldenness. It reminds me of English or French ciders in color. I don't see many bubbles, but it is brilliant.
Aromas: cooked apple and pear, yeast, custard
The scents are rich, oxidized, and dusty. The cider smells sweet, warm, and rich. These aren't characteristics I associate very much with pear ciders, so I'm curious. The creamy custard smell is most intriguing.
This cider drinks sweetly but remains complex and dessert like. The fruitness and sweetness taste all natural to me.
Flavors and drinking experience: rich, fruity, high acid, bubbly
Richness and mouthfeel are a pair of interconnected qualities that can make or break a cider, and the Pear Apple by Stem Ciders offers up a delightful experience in those crucial characteristics. Mind you, part of what makes the richness so enjoyable is that it's balanced by high acid. The contrast is not artificially extreme, just dynamic and buoyed up with medium to high fine bubbles.
I found this cider deeply enjoyable.
Its fruity but not in a raw fruit salad way. Instead it reminds me of a fruit tart drizzled with caramel. This apple pear blend, just oozes dessert, while still being sharp in a spectacularly nice way.
My recommended pairings for this cider include summer thunderstorms, chilled grain salad with cheddar, corn, tomato, and avocado, Twin Peaks, or caramel shorbread cookies. I've not gotten to try it with lobster roll, but give me a chance and I will! What this list is attempting to demonstrate is a certain flexibility that I suspect this cider is capable of providing.