Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Cider Review: Eve's Cidery Northern Spy and Stormalong Cider Red Skies at Night

The season has finally turned here in Upstate New York. It felt like spring over the weekend; I can’t count the signs of spring as they arrive anymore. They are too numerous. Plus, I always feel so grateful and energetic after recovering from illness, so I’m still thrilled to feel good.

Today, let’s begin with Eve’s Cidery Northern Spy.

Eve’s Cidery operates in Van Etten, New York and has since 2002. The cider apple orchard the founders planted has to be one of the most mature in the country at this point.

I’ve reviewed several ciders by Eve’s cidery before, stretching all the way back to 2013.

I started with Autumn’s Gold: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/06/cider-review-eves-ciderys-autumns-gold.html

Beckhorn Hollow Dry:http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/10/cider-review-eves-ciderys-beckhorn.html

Albee Hill Still and Dry: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/12/cider-review-eves-cidery-albee-hill.html

I got to try the Perry Pear with a Murray’s cheese board:

Autumn of Eve’s led a group of us cider nerds on an Orchard Tour and picnic back in Fall 2016:

This past November, I served the Darling Creek at my Thanksgiving meal and then it made my top 10 of the year:

You can read all about Eve’s Cidery on the website: https://www.evescidery.com.

Here’s the official description for this particular batch of Northern Spy: “Aromas of apple pie with buttered crust, savory herbs, summer plum and sun dried linen. On the palate, soft sumac flavors hang on a frame of grippy tannin. The finish juicy and persistent with wet stone, sea salt.” ABV 7.1%.

Appearance: unpopped popcorn, brilliant, so very bubbly

This cider looks just as bubbly as I’ve ever seen a cider! Every photo i took shows a blur of bubbles racing to the surface of the cider. The color looks deep in a way that leads me to anticipate rich flavors and tannins. The color reminds me of unpopped popcorn kernels. It’s brilliant which shows off the color and the bubbles even more.

Aromas: caramelized lemon, overripe apples, spices

Remembering how this cider smells makes my mouth water all over again. I love The Northern Spy’s overipe apple smell. It also had sweet citrus that reminded me of caramelized lemon or even blacked lemon peel. I also got oodles of baking spice.

Dryness/sweet: off dry

This is a gorgeous off dry cider. It has enough sweetness to unfold all the flavors within but not one hair more.

Flavors and drinking experience: super bubbly, Golden raisins, tart, lemon

I love super bubbly ciders! It’s a weakness of mine, and the Northern Spy suits it absolutely.  Gosh, I’m grateful. I got some wonderfully rich flavors as well, including golden raisins, citrus tartness, lemons and honey. It’s just a little bit funky, but only enough to give the experience some tooth.

I enjoy this dry, very tart, fermented, cider with a lemon finish. I’m not always the biggest fan of a single variety cider because they can suffer from lack of balance, but I just adore this. I paired with a springy asparagus and potato bake. It was delicious!

Let's move to Stormalong Cider's Red Skies at Night. This sample was shared with me by the kind folks of this Massachusetts cidery.

I started with the Legendary Dry:

I also tried The Light of the Sun:

Visit the website to learn more about the cidery and Stormalong’s other offerings: http://stormalong.com/

Red Skies at Night

Official Description, “A delectable cider made with passionfruit and hibiscus.  Tart and juicy, tropical, and satisfying.” 5.8% ABV. Apple varieties used include Idared and Golden Delicious.

Appearance: Persimmon, brilliant, and bubbly

This cider is too pretty to come in a can! I hope everyone who cracks one open pours this rich orange red cider into a glass, so as to appreciate that gorgeous color. I’ll call it persimmon but it lives right on that hazy sunset area of red and orange. What a color! It’s also bubbly and brilliant.

Aromas: Passion fruit, coconut, guava, hibiscus, and apple

Red Skies at night smells so tropical! This cider smells like what it entails: passionfruit, hibiscus, and apple, but I also get other tropical notes that remind me of guava and coconut. I am so happy that the apple still comes through in this vibrant mix.

Dryness/sweetness: Semi dry

From the aromas, I expected a sweeter cider, but this was a nice surprise.

Flavors and drinking experience: zingy, red fruit, herbal

This is such a satisfying cider!  I love that Red Skies at night tastes so zingy; it causes a pronounced salivary reaction. What starts of dry and tart does develop into a sweet finish. The overall experience is one of  apple plus red fruit. This cider tastes herbal but simultaneously fruity. The Red Skies at Night consistently offers up lots of acid, making it very refreshing!