Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Cider Review: Slyboro Hard Cider's Kingston Black

I'm sitting in my attic listening to the wind howl tonight. I love the swoops and marches of noise against my windows. I usually think of the comforts of fall, but this is its un-tamed side, weather racing across the region under cover of night. 

Slyboro Cider comes from the Hicks family orchard in Granville, NY.  Hicks Farm has been a public U-pick farm since 1905. Dan has been adding bittersweet and bittersharp varietals from England and France steadily. You can visit to try cider and on some nights also enjoy pizza, music, painting nights and other events.

Find out more about this company at the website: http://www.slyboro.com/

Previously, I've reviewed a few of their ciders. 

My first Slyboro was their Old Sin: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/06/cider-review-slyboro-ciders-old-sin.html

When travelling last year, I got to visit the orchard and tasting room: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-great-vermont-cider-tour-day-3.html

More recently I tried the Black Currant: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/07/cider-review-slyboros-black-currant.html

I also used their Ice Cider in my Thanksgiving lineup last year: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2016/11/happy-to-pickcider-for-thanksgiving.html

Today, I'm sharing my thoughts on their single varietal Kingston Black Cider. I remember trying it at the cidery, and I was impressed. Full disclosure, this bottle was shared with me for review.  I know this is what I said about it before, "The Kingston Black is one of the best single-varietals and one of the best still ciders I've had, period. Its notes are almost steak-like." Its been a while, so I'm curious how this will taste when I get to focus on it alone.

Appearance: Warm straw, brilliant, no bubbles

The Kingston Black is a still cider, so I'm not surprised not to see any bubbles. I'd describe the color as warm straw. The cider is perfectly brilliant in clarity.

Aromas: overripe apples, tropical fruit, green twigs

I noticed notes of under-ripe bananas, clean brine, pineapple, overripe apples, and something herbal and twiggy and green. There are a lot of aromas wafting from my glass here. 

Sweetness/dryness: dry

Yes, this is a dry cider, but its so much more than just a dry cider. 

Flavors and drinking experience: green, tropical, zesty, funky

The Kingston Black tastes oaky and green but still fruity. I was surprised that its a bit on the funky side, but I like that in a cider. Its lingeringly tannic with a long finish. Its acidity is light and zingy. The tartness is necessary with this big structural tannins. 

This cider is completely still. The Kingston Black feels like a serious cider for those already well versed in the cider world. I found drinking this one slowly and thoughtfully best allowed it to shine. Drink this with a mushroom dish or some music you want to enjoy in a focused way. I had it with Takoyaki (altered to include sweet corn, cream cheese, scallions, shrimp, and sushi ginger rather than octopus. It was a a wonderful contrast to this light, crisp food.

More tasting just lead to more admiration of this complex and gripping cider.