Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Cider Review Descendant Cider Company's Succession and CiderCon!

I've been meaning to review Descendant Cider Company for as long as long as I've known about them. Founded in 2013 under New York's Farm Cidery License, Descendant is New York's first Urban Cidery. I encountered them at my first Gathering of the Farm Cideries in Albany (the next one is February 17: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nine-pin-cider-presents-the-4th-annual-gathering-of-the-farm-cideries-tickets-41710246470).

New York is the perfect place for an urban cidery in that they good access to a wide variety of orchards not far from the city, a wonderful network for fermentation education, hospitality industry knowledge, and a significant cider audience. Descendant has been slowly increasing their offerings and experimenting with different styles. The Succession is their first and flagship cider.

Find out all about the company on the website: http://www.descendantcider.com

Or connect with them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/descendantcider/

Here's the official Description: "Succession Sparkling Semi-Dry 5.5% ABV.
Our first commercial cider is "Succession". It's a crisp, off dry cider designed with session-ability in mind. It's a blend of 6 apple varieties fermented to dryness and then sweetened with a blend of fresh pressed apple juice to balance the acidity. This cider is a GLINTCAP silver medalist."

This isn't a very high ABV, and I don't see much about which apple varieties make up that blend of 6.

Appearance: brilliant, bright popcorn kernel, few bubbles

Though the cider is sparkling, I don't see many bubbles in the Succession. What I do see is a beautifully brilliant cider. It simply shines. 

Aromas: ripe apples, orange peel, spices

Strong lovely smell. It reminds me of good farmhouse bread but also crisp white wine. I get notes of ripe luscious juicy apples, green grapes, orange peel very distinctly, but there's more to it than just fruit. This cider smells intense somehow; its nearly ecclesiastical with it spice, smoke, wood and wax notes. I'm also getting a salivary response, so I'm anticipating some acid.

Sweetness/dryness: Semi-sweet

Though the acid is medium high, this cider definitely registers as semi-sweet to me. Its a very fruity sort of sweetness.

Flavors and drinking experience: tropical fruits, white chocolate, vanilla

The Successtion tastes like white chocolate, tropical fruit, and vanilla. I can tell that Descendant used dessert fruit for their apples. There's a hint of something malty. As I said, the cider offers up medium high acid, semi-sweetness, and low tannins. The acid lingers in a nice mouth-affecting way—it's got such a loooong finish. The mouthfeel is just a little sticky. In a small sip is pleasant and sweetly tame. Taking bigger sips doesn't add much, just a touch of warming booziness. After a few sips, one of my recurring thoughts: is it really only 5.5% ABV?

This is a perfect choice for their flagship cider. Its approachable, well-balanced, and fun. It strikes me as versatile for pairing. I had mine with a brown rice bowl covered in broccoli, bell peppers, with a hefty sprinkling of chopped peanuts. I could also imagine enjoying this cider with a wintery stew.

And I'd just like to end with a shout out that I am getting ridiculously excited for CiderCon in Baltimore! We'll be learning, teaching, tasting, and trading from January 30th through February 2nd.

Find out more about Cider Con 2018 here:

And one of the coolest parts is that when cider makers come to town, we bring the party. Concurrent with Cider Con, we're running Cider Week Baltimore! This means tastings, pairing dinners, tap takeovers and more!

Find out all about it on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/2044481322459905/