Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Cider Review: Kite and String's King of the North Reserve

Writing this hours before any election returns start, I’m nervous. I feel like this year has been an exercise in dealing with uncertainty and unpleasant certainties. I’ll choose measured hope and plenty of actions beyond voting. But while we wait, there’s cider. Today, I’m sharing my notes on a local treat: Kite and String's King of the North Reserve.

Looking back in the blog’s history, I’ve reviewed quite a few Kite and String Ciders before. Kite and String is the home cider at Finger Lakes Cider House. The company won the first New York State Cider Competition (I participated as a judge). I’ll give a caveat that If you read back through earlier coverage, please don’t get confused if you see a few different names or phrases. This cidery has a former name as well as being affiliated with Good Life Farm and the Finger Lakes Cider House. 

Rose ‘17: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2019/10/cider-review-kite-and-strings-rose-17.html

Barrel Rye: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/12/cider-review-good-life-ciders-barrel-rye.html

Cazenovia: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/09/cider-review-good-life-ciders-cazenovia.html

King of Hector: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/07/cider-review-kite-and-string-ciders.html

The Hickok has appeared at a few special dinners including:

Thanksgiving 2016: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2016/11/happy-to-pickcider-for-thanksgiving.html

And Finger Lakes Locavore Birthday Dinner:  


Read about both the Finger Lakes Cider House and Kite and String Cider on the website: http://www.fingerlakesciderhouse.com

Unfortunately, I couldn't find an official description of King of the North Reserve, and my photos didn’t include the back of the bottle. I do know that I picked this cider up for myself the last time I visited the Cider House in person. I tasted it and choose it because I quite liked it. This is going to be a super bubbly cider as it’s a “traditional method” cider, using a 2nd in the bottle fermentation to give it natural sparkle.

Appearance: bubbly, brilliant, rich saffron

The cider looks like a champagne. It’s brilliant, bubbly, and wonderfully enticing. The color reminds me of saffron threads.

Aromas: honey, overripe apples, minerals 

I knew this cider would be something special from the first note of aroma. The King of the North Reserve smells like honey and overripe apples. There’s a backbone of steely minerality present as well.

Dryness/Sweetness: Dry!

This is a dry cider that still manages to have so many fruit notes! 

Flavors and drinking experience: intense sparkle, high tannins, high acid, oranges, yeast

Ah yes! This has to be why I bought this cider for myself. It’s just so bubbly! Everyone who reads the blog knows how much I love dry bubbly ciders. They are my weakness. And the King of the North Reserve is a great one in that style! 

I get notes of apple seeds, woodiness, yeast, oranges, and ripe apples. This super bubbly cider has sharply pleasant high acid and high tannins. It feels like every good feature is turned up to maximum. I love the notes of oranges.

I had this cider with a veggie filled pasta bake, and it was good for the season and good for this tense moment.