Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Cider Review: Stormalong Cider's Winesap

Leaves are appearing on trees, and I am surprised by new blooms with every walk outside. I’m so grateful for the momentum of Spring. It gets me outside and outside of my brain more regularly. That said, I feel forgetful and distracted so much lately. I might get lost in looking at clouds when I should be sending an email. Apologies if you’re waiting to hear from me. I’ll get there!

I’m glad to be returning to Stormalong Cider’s Rare Apple series today with the Winesap. Here’s the rundown of all of my previous Stormalong reviews.

Happy Holidays: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/11/cider-review-stormalong-ciders-happy.html

Esopus Spitzenburg: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/08/cider-review-ravens-moon-craft-ciders.html

Ashmead’s Kernel: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/07/cider-review-brannland-just-cider-and.html

Peariful: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/05/cider-review-left-foot-charleys-fortis.html

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

Kingston Black: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2019/08/cider-reviews-ninepin-light-cider.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

Boston Heirloom: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/01/cider-review-stormalong-ciders-boston.html

Stormalong’s website can be found here along with updates and new release information: http://stormalong.com/.

And here’s the description from Stormalong of the series and of this cider in particular. 

 This sampler consists of four distinct dry, orchard-based hard ciders that showcase the depth and complexity of cider-oriented, heirloom apples. The apples in these ciders were all grown in New England on small orchards and carefully fermented, aged and blended into the small batches canned for this tasty sampler. The mission of our 'Rare Apple Series' is to highlight the virtues of these extraordinary heirloom apples and their exquisite transformation into distinctive cider. This sampler will take your taste buds on a tour of some of cider's most cherished apples.


Tart, Fruit Forward, with Notes of Strawberry & Jammy Fruit


Made with 100% Stayman Winesap apples

ABV: 6.8%

On this page, there’s a graphic placing this cider’s sweetness/dryness at a midpoint between dry and medium dry. We’ll see what that means. 

I’ve had the pleasure of tasting Stormalong’s Winesap twice. Once on my own and once in the context of training tasting alongside some talented cider folks. 

Appearance: brilliant, few visible bubbles, medium intensity, warm straw

The color of this cider is a classic warm straw with a medium intensity. The Winesap has just a few scattered bubbles clinging to the glass all along it. THe clarity is brilliant and appealing.

Aromas: apple butter, cooked apples, grapes, 

Stormalong’s Winesap smells like apple butter. I love the focused sweetness and cooked apple smell, I’m getting from this cider. It blooms with grape notes too. The aromas are not overpowering, but I don’t have to dip my nose into my glass to get them either.

Sweetness/dryness Off dry

I agree with the graphic! It’s not bone dry, but its drier than semi-dry. The Winesap is a classic off dry cider. 

Flavors and drinking experience: sugared lemons, melon, flowers, ripe apple, white wine

Many of my favorite ciders are driven by acidity, and Stormalong’s Winesap has that going for it. The high acidity is pointed and zesty. It tightens and lightens the whole experience. The acidity reminds me of citrus like ever-so-slightly-sugared lemons.

There are many delightful summery notes to the Winesap like melon and white flowers. It feels approachable, summery, smooth, and crisp. I don’t get a strong tannic presence. The level of sparkle is enough to stay sharp from first sip to last, but it doesn’t drive the drinking experience. 

This is a fun cider to drink and a fun one to talk about. I recommend it for both.