Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Cider Review: Lockhorn Hard Cider's Gallatin Grapefruit Mint

I am not ready for a season filled with holidays. I know it’s coming soon, but I don’t want all of my days from October first through the end of the year to be continual slalom from preparation to festivity over and over again. Not that I mind celebration; I love it, but I just need calm and variety between my holidays. So this week, I’m not getting ready for anything. I just chose a casual and creative cider to pair with veggie tacos. 

Through a friend I was able to get my hands on my first Lockhorn Hard Cider, so I’ve been curious to try the Gallatin Grapefruit Mint. This is my first cider by this cidery!

The Lockhorn cider slogan is, “The Apple's Instinct Untamed” is a fun one! I’m not entirely sure how that translates to cider making choices other than perhaps wild fermentations and minimal intervention ciders. The website describes Lockhorn as a small family-run cidery in Montana.  

You can visit Lockhorn Hard Cider online here:

Here’s how Lockhorn Hard Cider describes the Gallatin Grapefruit Mint.

Grapefruit Mint cider is a fan favorite! With fresh, cold steeped mint leaves infused with grapefruit juice, this cider is, by far, the most refreshing. A semi-sweet cider that fills all your senses, you are bound to love it! On tap and in 16 oz cans. 6.9% ABV.

Appearance: hazy, bubbly, goldenrod

The color reminds me of afternoon sunlight and goldenrods. The cider has just a hint of haze but not enough to obscure the bubbles I can see. 

Aromas: Smells minty, apple, hint of grapefruit

I can smell all of the elements promised in the description of this cider distinctly. There are clear notes of mint, apple, and grapefruit, but the mint and apple predominate.

Sweetness/dryness: Semi-sweet

I thought this cider would be fairly sweet not only because the official description calls out semi-sweetness, but because I think both grapefruit and mint are best brought into balance with some sweetness or a very different dry and austere profile. This took the semi-sweet route.

Flavors and drinking experience: strong mint flavor, mild grapefruit, medium high acid

When drinking this cider, I wanted to pay attention to each of the three ingredients to see how they communicate. The mint is strongly present throughout but especially in the in finish. The grapefruit element melds with apple, making them more of a fruity presence but mint stands out. This cider has medium high acidity but no tannins. 

I appreciate the bubbles and full body in the the Gallatin Gallatin Grapefruit Mint. Somehow my brain keeps looking for hops and hop related flavors. I've had minty and citrusy hopped ciders before, but this is totally hop free. But I keep forgetting that every sip or two and looking for the tart, citrus hop notes or bitter hop edge.

This cider provoked a mixed reaction in my household. It has a lot going on and a fair bit of sweetness. I think for many drinkers those will be delightful features, whereas some might find the cider too experimental or the experience too much. 

Pairing this cider with veggie black bean tacos was fun. You could also take these in a whole different direction, focusing on the sweetness and pair them with a citrus glazed pound cake. I think there are a lot of pairing possibilities for the Gallatin Grapefruit Mint by the Lockhorn Hard Cider. 

And just for fun, one of my co-tasters and Peewee.