Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Thanksgiving Ciders: Eve's Cidery's Darling Creek and Blake's Beard Bender Plus a Cider Event in Vermont!

Cider for Thanksgiving! Yes, it’s obvious but it’s just so good. There’s no way I’m going to celebrate the foodiest of all holidays without cider! This year, my mom came up to celebrate with us. And she stuck around for my birthday morning! The food and good times were simply marvelous, even with record-breaking cold temperatures. We hit -5 degrees overnight! Here’s how we incorporated cider into the Holiday!

We did cook with cider. We used a can of Blake’s Cider’s Beard Bender to add some cider notes to the vegetarian dressing, to the cooking liquid to our Celebration Roast, and into the mushroom gravy!

I use a dry yet fruit cider for cooking for most purposes. I do want to bring some acidity an apple to the finished dish. Plus cooking with cider usually enhances the compatibility for pairing with cider. I chose the Beard Bender because it is purely about the apple and neither too dry nor too sweet. It’s tart, zesty, and has some acid and tannin presence. And the Beard Bender came through for me. It improved each dish it touched markedly.

Visit the Blake’s Hard Cider website to learn about all of the ciders Blake’s makes: http://www.blakeshardcider.com/

I have reviewed several Blake’s ciders, most recently the Apple Lantern: https://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/10/cider-reviews-blakes-hard-ciders-apple.html

On the table itself, I wanted something dry, bubbly, acid-driven and sophisticated. I knew that I would get all of that and more with a bottle from Eve’s Cidery!

Eve’s Cidery is a local orchard-based cidery in Van Etten, New York. The company has been around since 2001. The cider makers planted an orchard, focusing on heritage apple varieties and cider-specific apple varieties. 

You can visit the website and learn much much  more at: http://evescidery.com

I have reviewed several Eve’s Cidery ciders before.

In 2013, I reviewed Autumn’s Gold back when the blog was first running: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/06/cider-review-eves-ciderys-autumns-gold.html

And later that year the Beckhorn Hollow Dry: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/10/cider-review-eves-ciderys-beckhorn.html

I reviewed the Albee Hill in 2015: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/12/cider-review-eves-cidery-albee-hill.html

And in 2017, Eve’s Perry was part of Very Perry May: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2017/05/very-perry-may-pt3-eves-cidery-wyders.html

Eve’s Cidery made in into both posts about Cider Con 2018

This has a mini-review of a previous year’s Darling Creek: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/02/cider-con-2018-pt-1-eden-specialty.html

And part 2 has a more recent year’s vintage of Autumn’s Gold: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/02/cidercon-part-2-including-heritage.html

And perhaps my most in-depth educational experience with Eve’s Cidery was the Twilight Walk, Talk, and Picnic Dinner with cidermaker and own Autumn Shostek back in 2016: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2016/11/cider-event-twilight-walk-talk-and.html

Now for my thoughts on Eve's Cidery's Darling Creek Batch 2017. Here’s the short description: 
Deeply layered, complex, off-dry bittersweet cider.
Evolving aromas of powdered sugar, cloves, and espresso mingle with suede leather, cowboy sweat and a bit of glamour which hang off an angular frame. The mid-palate is hefty, with a hint of refreshing bitterness which dissipates into a tropical finish of ripe, sweet-sour pineapple.
And you can read more about this particular cider’s history here: https://www.evescidery.com/ourcider/2017-darling-creek/

Appearance: antique gold, bubbly, brilliant

This brilliant cider’s color is a beautiful antique yellow gold.  As the pictures show it’s brilliant, showing off a generous helping of bubbles

Aromas: Woody, Autumnal apples, funky, savory

The Darling Creek smells woody and beautiful. This drying smell activates my salivary glands immediately. Something about it reminds me of both Oak and autumnal apples in a clean and earthy root cellar. These aromas are both funky and savory.

Dryness/sweetness: Dry

Wow! This is so interesting. I’ve tasted previous years of Darling Creek and found them to be pleasantly off dry, but this year’s batch perceives to me as much drier. The website still lists it as off dry, but I think the increased use of bittersweet and bittersharp apples makes it taste drier than it might be chemically.

Flavors and drinking experience: funky, dry, bubbly, tart

The Darling Creek tastes dry, tannic, funky, and astringent. And this lovely cider is oh so very very bubbly! That thrills me so! Some note in the flavor reminds me of dried leaves. The whole experience is like drinking late fall. Obviously that made it perfect for a harvest meal like Thanksgiving.

The Darling Creek has a wonderfully full mouthfeel and tons of nuanced sophisticated flavor. It’s best appreciate in small sips. That pointed acidity is zingy! I love how complicated and thoughtful this cider is. The flavors are bright with high acid and high tannin. The cider is herbal, savory, with notes of pine and white pepper. 

And with our meal, the whole experience was decadently lovely.

And I am thrilled to announce that I'll be leading a guided tasting in Winooski, Vermont at Eden's Boutique Taproom and Cheese Bar! I'm visiting on December 19th to talk about cider styles and how we can get the most out of the information on a cider's label. This should be a fantastic time! If you're anywhere near the Burlington/Winooski area, please come up!

Learn more about the event here: