Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Cider Review: Farmhaus Crushable and Savanna Dry

After a few fluctuations, I think Fall has well and truly arrived here in the Finger Lakes. The Autumnal Equinox ushered in the season meteorologically on Saturday, and conditions outside match the official season. I’m ready. It’s time for all things crisp, bright, and autumnal. And this is a time when cider shines.

I’m also ready for Finger Lakes Cider Week which is coming up soon. Read all about the many exciting event happening from Sept 28th through October 8th here: https://ciderweekflx.com/flx/

I know I’m particularly excited about all of the orchard tours being offered this year! From the schedule it looks like we’ll get the chance to see Black Diamond’s orchard, Cornell Orchards, Kite and String Orchards (Good Life Orchards), Redbyrd Orchards and Eve’s Cidery Orchards. There’s also a cheese based pairing dinner with South Hill Ciders that I’m pretty thrilled to be attending.

Before all of that wonderful stuff begins though I have two more summery reviews I want to share before the season gets too thoroughly behind us.

Farmhaus Crushable 

Farmhaus cider comes from Michigan where the fifth generation of an orcharding family make cider and run a Cidergaarten. You can find the ciders all over western Michigan. 

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

I have one previous review of a Farmhaus Cider. I reviewed their Classic in June of this year: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/06/cider-cans-crush-it-aeppeltreow.html

This can was shared with me for review, but my opinions remain my own. 

The Crushable is a limited release. Here’s the official description.
Refreshing. Cucumber. Great Mixer.You know that amazing feeling when you jump in the water on a hot, sunny day? Well, we canned it for you to enjoy – whenever! Cool, crisp and refreshing, it’s like a poolside afternoon for your taste buds. Freshly picked cucumbers straight from our garden combined with all local apples create an easy-drinking cider that will quench your thirst and leave you craving that next sip. Enjoy it straight or use it as a mixer. Try and savor it if you can, but be warned: this cider is completely crushable.

Appearance: hazy, butter yellow, few visible bubbles
The cider poured with a bit of fizz, but that settled down quickly. I’d call Crushable’s color an easy butter yellow and it’s on the opaque or hazy side.

Aromas: cucumber, floral, bubble gum, fresh apple

I am astonished by how many smell make up the aroma for this cider. The Crushable smells like flowers, cucumber, wet raw apple, bubblegum, spearmint, hay, smoke, hops, and maybe a bit of volatile acidity. It’s fresh and spiky and exciting!

Sweetness/dryness: Semi-dry

This cider perceives as semi-dry. There’s a lot more going on though than just the level of sweetness. Keep reading.

Flavors and drinking experience: herbal, medium acidity, cool and hot, peppery

As exciting as the aromas were, it tastes even better than it smells. I wouldn't have noticed rosemary as an ingredient if I'd not read it. The cider’s cucumber comes out even more tasting than smell; it’s all very vegetal and herbal. 

The Crushable displays a much more intense sparkle than what I anticipated from how it poured. The cider has middling acidity, low tannins, and a reasonably full mouthfeel.  semi dry.  cleaner from the can than a glass.  I found it a curious blend of cool and hot—6.4%ABV, but a slightly peppery note. It’s very summery indeed, so I’m glad I tried it before Fall arrived.

This is a throwback to one of the ciders I found in Scotland on vacation this summer. I’d been seeing social media about Savanna Dry for years, but I’d not ever seen it for sale until I was in a Mexican restaurant in Scotland. The international connections continued when I found out that this South African cider brand produced my cider in Belgium.

You can see loads of pictures and learn about Savanna Dry online here: https://savannacider.com/welcome

I found some information about the cider, but not a tremendous amount. Here's the page about this cider on the Savanna website.
Savanna Dry Premium Cider Bottle
         1996 – The year we corrupted the apple!
We started making cider all those years ago from the juice of the tastiest apples around. 
But not that kind of cider that smacks of sweetness, we knew that
you were looking for something unique… something crisp, refreshing, balanced and most importantly something with a bit of edge. 
That's why we created Savanna Dry which is still crafted in the same way it was all the way back then. 
The cider equation: Apples + fermentation + micro-filtering + chill-filtering = Savanna Dry
Other sources online from a few years ago indicate that this cider is made with Granny Smith apples, but I don't want to count on secondary sources from a while back. Other parts of the Savanna website recommend serving the cider with a wedge of lemon in the bottle neck.

Appearance: Brilliant, deep straw, no bubble

I love the brilliance and deep straw color of this cider. The Savanna website mentioned two types of filtering, so clarity seems to be a priority for the cider brand. I couldn't see any bubbles in the bottle or glass. 

Aromas:  yogurt, raspberries, cheeries

These smells are fascinating! It's very fruity. The cider smells like yogurt, raspberries and cherries. 

Sweetness/dryness: sweet

This is a cider called dry that tastes sweet. 

Flavors and drinking experience: vanilla, raisins, green apple candy

This cider tastes very much of vanilla and raisins. I get some green apple candy as well. The flavors are more intense than the aromas were, but there's perhaps something a bit artificial in the mix. I do taste tremendous direct flavors of unfermented green apple, and waves of green apple candy. 

Secondarily I get notes of Watermelon, Pixie Stix, and malic acid. I had this cider with spicier than expected Mexican food. The spice did a lot to help cut the sweetness, but it was still notably  green apple candy flavors. The cider had medium high acidity and no tannins. The level of sparkle was moderate. The cider has an overall profile that would be familiar to many United States cider drinkers. It resembles many other sweet to semi-sweet relatively low ABV ciders sold in 12ounce bottles. For many people, this is their preferred style. 

 Enjoy the start of Fall, cider lovers!