Happy new decade everybody! I raised my glass on New Year’s Eve with friends, but I also toasted all of my cider buddies all over the world. I hope you wrapped 2019 up right, but that 2020 will be an even brighter year for all of us!
I thought I’d start the year off with a cider flight that I got to enjoy while visiting my folks in Kentucky. There aren’t a ton of local ciders in Kentucky. My dad made a point to take me to Pivot Brewing in Lexington where I could try a whole flight! He didn’ mind too much himself since he’s fond of ciders, especially places that are dog friendly like Pivot.
The cider company describes itself as working toward the goal of solving our shared environmental challenges, prioritizing creativity, fostering community, and making the small changes of direction that can lead to big changes in results down the line. The company does their own apple pressing on site, and always has a full slate of their own ciders and Kentucky beers on tap.
You can learn about all of the ciders here on the website: https://www.pivotbrewingcompany.com/
Here’s the rundown of what we tasted! When I can, I’ll include the official description in quotes.
“Crisp apple 6.0% ABV”
This started off my tasting with the smell of rock candy dust and malic acid. It’s a semi-dry cider with high acid, no tannins, a clean fermentation, and small bubbles. It would be very sessionable.
“Dry. Vinous. 7.1% ABV”
The Swanson cider has an unusual frosty white color! I wasn’t sure what to make of that. Even from the aroma, I could tell that this cider would have high acid. I thought this dry cider tasted a bit barrel aged, even though the description doesn’t mention that. It’s more astringent than the Vintage. I like that this one is tart and citrusy with notes of lemon..
“Cranberry 5.6% ABV”
The Hoopla offers aromas that remind me very specifically of drinking cranberry juice during my childhood. I think I’m getting notes of honey as well. This cider is semi-sweet. It doesn’t surprise me that this tastes like cider with cranberry juice. The two flavors sit together, but they do not meld. I enjoy the cranberry tannins. As I sip on this longer, a cherry finish and lingering sweetness become more pronounced.
“Boubon barrel, ginger, lime 8% ABV”
This is obviously a take on the Moscow Mule, but it reminds me of a dark and stormy as well. The cider smells pleasantly of ginger, but the taste comes across as more lime and less ginger. This one is less bubbly than the others. The cider is semi-dry, and full bodied but it doesn’t taste too boozy. I fear that 8% ABV could creep up on one quickly. I get a cream soda aftertaste. What’s best about this one is that the high kick of the ginger elides elegantly into the low boot of the barrel. I found the Kentucky Mule really well done.
“Bourbon Caramel 8.6% ABV”
The Barrel-Aged Fincastl has a massive aroma that’s all butterscotch, biscuits, and brown sugar. The smell also reminded us of sugared nuts. This cider is sweet and very full-bodied. I got the caramel that the description let me know to anticipate. This one had medium high acid. It was sweetly boozy and way too easy to drink! This was definitely my dad’s favorite.
This place is well worth a stop if you are in Lexington! Kentucky's cider scene is growing and getting stronger every year!