Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Perry Reviews: Haykin Family Cider's Harrow Pear and Le Pere Jules Poiré de Normandie

I know we just completed Very Perry May, but I had the unexpected good fortune to run into two deeply enjoyable perries in the last couple of weeks. I didn’t want to save these notes almost another year until May comes around again. So, I’m indulging myself with a double perry review. Perhaps I’m not the only one who can’t resist a special perry. And I love bringing two new producers into the blog in the same week!

I want to start with a perry I brought home from GLINTCAP. I got to share a meal with Talia and Daniel Haykin and run into them a few times in those busy days. This cidery and tasting room operates in Aurora, Colorado. We found our a few weeks later that Haykin Family Cider’s  Harrow Pear earned a Bronze in the Modern Perry category.

What I didn’t yet know when we met is that the Haykins and I share a love of bubbles! I was chuffed to see a more prominent mention of the importance of sparkle in their beverages. That’s not the only way I like my cider or perry, but I do love the fizzy ones!

Learn about all the fun stuff going on at Haykin Family Cider online: https://www.haykinfamilycider.com

Here’s the official description, “Harrow Pears are a Canadian variety that produce a lot of tannin when grown in Colorado. It ferments into a rich perry, with a lush and juice aroma, like a virtual bite of a ripe and melting pear on a warm day, like pear drop candy, lime and tonic water, offset by clay and minerality. Pears grown at Ela Family Farms.6.7% ABV”

Appearance: bubbly, warm straw color, brilliant 

Pours with a massive head, but the foam doesn’t stick around. Even so, it’s obvious how bubbly this cider is when you take a peek. It’s almost too bubbly to see that it’s brilliant, but I could tell after waiting a bit. The color is a warm straw.

Aromas: citrus, yogurt, stony, spicy

This perry smells exciting and dynamic. I can detect aroma notes including: yogurt, citrus, sharpness, and stones. The whole impression I get from this perry is a fun interplay of spicy, nutty ( particularly macadamia), and fruity.

Sweetness/Dryness: Sweet

This is a lovely sweet cider. The specific style of sweetness is burnt sugar, vanilla, and pear

Flavors and drinking experience: super bubbly, tart yet sweet, vanilla, tannic finish

The Harrow Pear tastes quite sweet with a soft vasilla first note, but that’s followed by plenty of tartness. The perry is just loaded with oodles and oodles of flavor!  I get some neat nutty/yogurty acids at the start and at last fascinating tannins coming only at the finish. As I hoped, the Harrow Pear is extremely bubbly.

After a few sips, I notice bits of burnt sugar blending with the spiciness. Drinking this perry is exceedingly interesting; it’s complex, thoughtful, and highly drinkable. My co-taster noticed that big sips are nice; just a little note of bitterness—this correlates with the dust and stony scents. What a charming perry; I’m so glad I got to try it!

And my other perry of the week is Le Pere Jules Poiré de Normandie Brut.

My introduction to perry included perries from Normandy right away; they have a reputation for reaching the apex of what’s deliciously possible for pears.

Le Pere Jules makes not only perry, but also cider and Calvados (apple brandy) and started doing so in 1919. It is still a family business, founded by Jules Desfrièches, now in its third generation with Thierry Desfrièches.

See the website in French or English here and learn more about Le Pere Jules: http://www.calvados-leperejules.com/

Here’s Poiré de Normandie’s Official description 

Our “Poiré”, or Pear Cider, is produced from three varieties of pears that come from multi centennial orchards.  It is known it’s the fresh and refined taste.  As with the cider, our Poiré is lightly filtered and  bottled to develop its fine natural gas.  It is excellent to drink with any sea food. 4%ABV”

Appearance: hazy, lemon curd, bubbly

This perry reminds me of homemade lemon curd in color. It’s hazy gentle gold just makes me think of citrus and cream. 

Aromas: farmyard, mineral, citrus

This perry’s aromas certainly remind me more of French and English perries than most American ones I’ve tastes. There’s some farmyard, citrus, and stony mineral smells going on (tiny hint of volatile acidity), but I expect it might taste fairly different from how it smells. 

Sweetness/dryness: off dry

This Brut Perry tastes off dry to semi-dry and very natural in its suggestions of sweetness. There’s far more to the whole experience than its level of sweetness.

Flavors and drinking experience: Bubbly, tart, pear skins

I love this perry’s beautiful bubbly texture. I was wowed by it immediately! There’s a high level of sharp and fruity tartness that wakes up the entire mouth. The Poiré de Normandie tastes minerally but somehow stays so fresh, floral, and fruity And I simply adore how the finish is warm pear skins. Perries sometimes do this magical thing where they allow me to taste what seems like the texture of a ripe yet firm pear. This perry allows me exactly that!