Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Cider Review: Bantam Cider's Americain and Slyboro Ciderhouse's La Sainte Terre

Alrighty! All of the students are moved into both of the local colleges. I’ve been to the New York State Fair(where I definitely saw people enjoying plenty of New York cider). Apples are starting come into season. Halloween stuff has started appearing in store around. All of these signs tell me that fall is coming. The temperature however has other plans. The weather often does. This time, we’re headed into a brief heat wave just as I’ve been thinking about how to say goodbye to summer. But on my way this week, I’ve enjoyed two forward thinking ciders. 

The first of these comes from Bantam Cider. I found this can when I was travelling and picked it up a few months ago. Bantam Cider hails from Massachusetts. I found this introductory paragraph on the website’s Mission Statement to be an excellent introduction, “We are committed to making creative and distinctive crafted cider using fresh pressed apples and high-quality, all-natural ingredients.”

A long while ago, I had the chance to review Bantam’s Wonderkin: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2014/01/cider-review-bantam-ciders-wonderkind.html

You can read more about this company and all Bantam ciders on the website: http://www.bantamcider.com/

Today, I’m reviewing the Americain. Here’s it’s official description.
Contrary to popular belief, The Americain was born in the spring, not the fall. It was first made to remind us of the rich and amazing flavors we experienced in our friend’s homemade batch of apple butter. Green Cardamom, Coriander, Clove, Cinnamon and Rose Petals create a rich and aromatic character that is luscious and deliciously edible. And why the French name? Well, anything said in French sound sexier, don’t you agree? And while this cider takes its name from the French, it’s cloudy like English Scrumpy and features traditional Persian spices, its taste is truly American; as American as apple pie.
The Americain is the perfect easy-drinking cider that's just as enjoyable during the dog days of summer as the chilly nights of Autumn. Cheers! 5.2% ABV.

Appearance: cloudy, citrine, no bubbles

This cider looks totally cloudy and very cheerful citrine color. I couldn’t see any bubbles in the glass

Aromas: spicy, ripe red apples, brown sugar, chai

The Americain smells spicy but not quite like apple pie. Instead the spices remind me of Middle Eastern cuisine. Though the palette includes cinnamon the overall effect is still almost savory. But spices aren’t the only part of the story; the cider smells of ripe red apple too. I definitely got a salivary reaction.

Sweetness/dryness: Semi-dry

The lusciousness of the aroma is met with a semi- dry level of sweetness; it’s not too sweet but not to tart either.

Flavors and drinking experience: spicy, caramel, medium high acid

What a fun cider and what a change of pace. I haven’t had anything with this realm of spices for months, and I feel ready for them. I can taste cinnamon, allspice, clove, and cardamom. But in addition to those spicy notes this semi-dry cider is caramelly even as it’s semi dry.

The cider has medium high acidity and lovely tiny bubbles. The whole experince is very balanced. The Americain tastes full of flavor; it’s juicy but mature. And it finishs with a quick lick of brown sugar. I paired it very simply with a movie (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) and popcorn. It made for a nice night.

Slyboro Sainte terre

In a lovely hamlet of New York near the Vermont border, Slyboro Ciderhouse makes its home in Hick’s Orchard. I’ve visited the cidery and tasted most of the ciders. Here’s how the website introduces Slyboro.
 Named for the centuries-old hamlet that is home to Hicks Orchard, Slyboro Ciderhouse re-introduces the lost craft of traditional American ciders. Just as grapes are transformed into wine, our ciders are fermented from our own orchard-grown apples; unlocking the full potential of the apple by creatively blending a a distinctive range of delicious, award-winning ciders. 
We at Slyboro Ciderhouse are dedicated to reclaiming cider - "true cider" - as America's favorite drink. We invite you to explore and discover the flavors and delights of Slyboro Ciders. In any season, for special occasions, or to enrich the moment, "consider cider."
Previous review include: 

Most recently, I reviewed the Hidden Star: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/04/cider-review-slyboro-cider-houses.html

Before that I tried the Kingston Black: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2017/10/cider-review-slyboro-hard-ciders.html

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

In 2016, I had the pleasure of visiting Hick’s orchard and the Slyboro tasting room: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-great-vermont-cider-tour-day-3.html

I tried the Black Currant as soon as I found it: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/07/cider-review-slyboros-black-currant.html

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

A late season saunter to a lost corner of the orchard leads to the chance discovery of pomological perfection. La Sainte Terre blends the crisp and floral notes of Golden Russet and MacIntosh with a hint of earthy bittersweet apples and a voluptuous dose of ice harvest ice cider.

La Sainte Terre celebrates our connection to the living world, the unhurried moment, the long 'path which we love to travel in the interior and ideal world,' as Thoreau once said. You must lose yourself before you find your way to La Saint Terre, the Sacred Earth." 8% ABV.

Appearance: dried apricot color, brilliant, no visible bubbles

I'm loving the rich color in this cider, even in a non-traditional glass. The cider is brilliant. I don't see many bubbles. 

Aromas: black pepper, fresh grapes, overripe apple

How very interesting. La Sainte Terre smalls astonishingly of black pepper and grapes. These aren’t notes I’m used to noticing, but I’m intrigued. These aromas are layered with wet cool overripe apple.

Sweetness/dryness: Semi sweet

This cider is unambiguously a semi-sweet cider. The concentration of sweetness of the ice cider used to give it sweetness comes across beautifully. 

Flavors and drinking experience: High acidity, raisins, watermelon

La Sainte Terre has a lot going on. I first noticed that the black pepper aromas were matched with black pepper flavors too. That savory is balanced by golden caramel brown sugar and high acidity and medium-low tannins. There’s some fruit notes as well, notably raisins, watermelon, and more ripe ripe apple. La Sainte Terr simultaneously offers up some fermentation almost barrel-like notes that run the gamut from wood to turpentine. This cider has a thick mouthfeel; its acid mellows out in the finish.

I enjoyed this cider with a feast! My dear friend had a garden party to celebrate the season and the fact that deer can no longer destroy her vegetables and flowers. The caprese salad was an especially nice pairing with this complex delicious cider.