Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Cider Reviews: Ninepin Light Cider Cucumber Lime and Stormalong Kingston Black

In thinking about cider in Summer, I feel like I’ve neglected a fairly obvious topic this year. I was reminded when I got to pick out cider for a company picnic. It was such a fun experiment to go to the local bottle (or in this case can) shop and look out for things I’ve not tried before. Cans were easy to portion out, easy to keep cold and I was able to bring more different ciders to the party than I would have been able to with 750ml bottles. I love treating cider like wine most of the time, but for a casual cookout in Summer can work amazingly well! I did get one of my sets of notes from this party, so thanks everybody! 

Ninepin Light Cider Cucumber Lime

Ninepin Ciderworks is based out of Albany, New York. This company has been making some really adventurous ciders, developing a great tasting room, growing the brand’s reach, and maintaining a super active calenar of events. I only wish I could make the trip up to Albany more regularly.  

Here are some of my previous reviews for Ninepin Ciderworks.

Gathering of the Farm Cideries (including the Cascara cider): https://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/02/gathering-of-new-york-farm-cideries.html

Peach Tea: https://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2017/06/pickcider-review-nine-pin-ciderworks.html

Blueberry: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/08/cider-review-nine-pin-cider-blueberry.html

Ginger: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2014/10/cider-review-nine-pin-cider-works-ginger.html

And the Signature cider: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2014/04/cider-review-nine-pin-cider-works-nine.html

Visit Nine Pin Ciderworks online to learn more about the ciders, the tasting room and the events: http://www.ninepincider.com

Here’s the official description of the Light Cider Cucumber Lime. 
Light cider, historically referred to as ciderkin, was produced in great quantities in New York during the colonial period. Unlike cider, its boozy counter-part, light cider was made by taking the leftover pommace from the apple press and soaking it in water. Nine Pin’s Cucumber Lime Light Cider is a modern take on this historical New York beverage. Crafted with fresh pressed NY apples, this light cider is refreshing and flavorful, yet surprisingly low in calories. 4.3% ABV.

Appearance: deep saffron yellow, brilliant, few visible bubbles 

This cider started with a surprise! It's a much deeper color than I expected! When I hear light, I don’t think of that saffron hue. The cider is brilliant with few visible bubbles.

Aromas: Appley, aquatic, cucumber

This cider smells appley and aquatic. I am reminded of lazy lakeside evenings. There’s a vegetable that includes cucumber but also with hints of sugar snap pea. I don’t really smell much lime but there’s a clean freshness that could go with either lime or cucumber really.

Sweetness/dryness: Semi-dry

This is a semi-dry cider that puts up a small but Immediate hit of sweetness, but then dries out over the course of each sip. What’s in the sweetness is clean and fruity.

Flavors and drinking experience: cucumber, apple, easy drinking, medium acidity

The Cucumber Lime has a nice medium level of bubble. The cider goes from tasting very much like apple to cucumber. The finish includes only the lightest hints of lime. Unlike so many ciders from New York this one has medium acidity. There’s no real tannins to speak of. The whole experience is totally pleasant with clean fermentation.  The cider is very easy drinking!

I had mine with a veggie dog, potato chips, and Peach Melba cake. It was pure summer enjoyment.

Stormalong Cider’s Kingston Black

I received this review sample of the Kingston Black cider from Stormalong Cider’s Rare Apples line. Stormalong Ciders is based in Sherburn, Massachusetts, and they now have a second production facility in Leominster. The company has been around since 2014. 

Here are my previous reviews of Stormalong’s ciders. 

Legendary Dry: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2016/12/cider-review-stormalongs-legendary-dry.html

Light of the Sun: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/08/cider-review-descendant-cider-company.html

Mass Appeal: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/12/cider-review-prospect-ciderworks.html

Here’s the cider’s official description 
THE KINGSTON BLACK apple has garnered much praise and admiration from cider makers on these shores and beyond.  Originating in the UK, and very sparsely grown here in the United States, these apples possess the 3 ingredients known to make a well balanced cider: tannins, acidity, & sugar.  The skin of these apples glow a deep red color, thus the “black” in their name.  Our experience with these apples have been happy ones.  The freshly pressed juice has a distinct ruby color tasting sharp with a dense fruitiness.  Musky tannins abound.  This balance leads to a remarkable fermented cider.  These apples are notoriously fussy to grow, but from our perspective the results are worth the effort. 7.9% ABV 
SILVER MEDAL – GLINTCAP 2016 – English Cider Category

Appearance: brilliant, harvest moon, no visible bubbles

This cider’s color reminds me of the harvest moon that’s coming. I didn’t see much in the way of bubbles from this ciders, but that doesn’t mean it’s still. It is perfectly brilliant.

Aromas: applesauce, caramel, hazelnuts, cinnamon

Oh golly! What a set of aromas. The Kingston Black cider smells so much like applesauce, caramel, hazelnuts. There are notes or  snickerdoodles and cinnamon. The aromas remind me of Fall.

Dryness/sweetness: off dry

This is an off dry cider. It maintains plenty of fruit notes, but it has almost no sweetness.

Flavors and drinking experience: Tannic, high acid, medium body, fruity

I love that the Kingston Black has tannins, but that isn’t the surprise of this cider. What surprises me is that this is a single-varietal that tastes well balanced. I usually prefer blends. This cider has medium high acidity and just a little bit of astringence. The fruit flavors are not green fresh fruit notes, but instead it tastes more mellow and fermented. 

The Kingston Black stays off dry from the first taste across the palate; and it ends with a lingering and gently aromatic finish. It combines overripe apple, sweet orange, and baking spice notes.  I find every note of it’s mature fruitiness tantalizing. The cider has good strong sparkle and medium body.

I had this cider with a simple popcorn snack and good company. This cider doesn’t need anything more. I love it.