Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Cider Review Waupoos Premium Cider and Melick’s Semi Dry Traditional

This summer I traveled with Alex to the Thousand Islands for a mini-vacation. We had a wonderful time and really enjoyed our AirBnB and hosts. They were kind enough to share a Canadian cider that I’d never heard of with me, and it’s been waiting all the months since. This week, I was finally ready to crack up that memory of Summer and see what Waupoos Premium Cider is all about. 

The company that makes Waupoos Cider is County Cider out of Ontario, Canada. The company has been producing cider since the mid 1990s, and for the cider scene that’s significant cred! The focus as the company describes it is on growing apples and producing quality cider with only local fruit. 

Visit the company online here: https://www.countycider.com/

Here’s my post from my other cider experience on that trip. I got to taste through the Kaneb’s Orchard Cider lineup: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2019/07/cider-review-kaneb-orchards-hard-cider.html

Here’s what Country Cider says about Waupoos Premium Cider.

Our top selling draft product for over 20 years. Exemplifies the crisp, fresh fruit qualities of our orchard-ripened apples with subtle undertones of bittersweet cider apples, giving an overall impression of freshness with the complexity of tannins and acidity. Seriously quaffable. 
A sessionable cider. 
Tasting Notes Off-dry, with zesty acidity and tangy apple fruit flavours; crisp lingering finish with underlying tannic qualities. Wonderful fresh apple aromas tantalizing the nose with the taste to come.
Think of chicken wings and wood fired pizza. 

Appearance: pale straw, brilliant, few bubbles

This cider looks like many ciders I’ve seen with it’s brilliant shine and pale shade of straw. I don’t see many bubbles but that doesn’t mean the cider isn’t strongly sparkling

Aromas: overripe apples, cherries, melon and powdered sugar

This cider smells of overripe apples, cherries, powdered sugar, and melon. My co-taster emphasized that he smelled lots of melon.  I also get hints of soft worn leather. It actually reminds me very much of a cider I’ve tasted years back; this is very reminiscent of Doc's Draft. This is a pleasant set of aromas. As it warms, there's a green apple rock candy note that comes out.  There are enough good smells that the bottle with it’s narrow limits them too much!

Sweetness/dryness: semi-sweet

This cider tastes semi-sweet to me. The sweetness reminds me of pears, green apples, and rock candy. The sweetness fades fast after each sip though, and that’s intriguing.

Flavors and drinking experience: pear, grain, gentle funk

Waupoos Premium Cider offers up a nicely immediate bright taste, but the acidity fades quickly. My overall impression of the acidity is of that interesting appearances and disappearance. It isn’t a fully sweet cider, but I’m habituated to a higher level of acidity such that sweetness stands out at this level. The mid-palate of this cider reminds me of pears and perry; the body is especially perry like.

I get an aftertaste of grain and peanuts from this cider. Though I can taste those gently funky notes for a while, the fullness and sweetness from the cider do not extend overlong. The cider shares just a little bit of English funk in its leatheriness. I like the very ripe fruit notes. What is different between the Waupoos cider and the English ciders it reminds me of in some ways, is that this cider does not leverage tannins. 

I'm really curious about one of County Cider Company’s other ciders: Tortured Path.  Pairs well with strong flavors.  Had it with casual Mexican lunch and it was good.

And now for Melick’s Semi Dry Traditional!

Melick’s is one of the only New Jersey cideries that I know of. This wouldn’t surprise many people until look at the fact that in the 1900s, New Jersey probably producted more hard cider than any state in the country. Melick’s is a farm-based producer that makes cider and wine. The company is based in Oldwick. 

You can learn more online about Melick’s Cider: https://www.melickstownfarm.com/HardCider

I reviewed the George’s Tart Cherry earlier this year: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2019/07/cider-reviews-portland-cider-cos.html

Here’s how the company introduces the Semi Dry Traditional
Our new Semi-Dry hard cider uses champagne yeast to produce a crisp, refreshing, hard cider, that is light on the palette with no added cane sugar. Enjoy chilled with your favorite meal! 6% by Volume 500 ML

Appearance: very bubbly, cool straw, brilliant

This cider bubbles enthusiastically! Melick’s Semi-Dry Traditional is alive with bubbles; they even formed a mousse for a moment before fizzing away. I’ll call the color cool straw and the transparency brilliant. 

Aromas: aquatic, green apple, grain 

The Traditional smells like green apples white flowers, and grain. I can also detect something aquatic and mild going on that reminds me of cucumbers. 

Dryness/sweetness: semi-dry

As promised, this cider is semi-dry! What sweetness I detect is very green apple and fresh fruit.

Flavors and drinking experience: tart, yeasty, fresh apples, bubbly

This cider brings plenty of tartness to my tastebuds! The Semi Dry Traditional smelled good, but tastes even better. The cider is balanced with plenty of ripe apple character but even more notes that strike me as the result of a good clean fermentation. My co-taster also noticed some pleasantly austere flavors that made them think of yeast artifacts and even like a refreshing lager.  My largest is impression is simultaneously of green apples and toasted grain. 

This cider has a medium body made lighter with lots and lots of bubbles. We had this with popcorn and a scary movie, but that’s how I’ve been pairing lots of my ciders this month. I think the Semi Dry Traditional could go with a plethora of foods because it’s well-balanced and approachable. Next time, I’d pair it with fish tacos or a vegetarian chili.