Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Cider Review: Rootstock Ciderworks' Ruby Mac

Spring is turning into Summer! I know that the season doesn’t officially shift for almost another month, but I feel like Summer is here already. Perhaps it was two 90 degree plus days in a row that did it, but now the season for watermelon, grilling, and bare feet has arrived! That totally changes my food habits, which in turn affect my cider habits. Welcome to warm weather cider picks!

I’m so excited to share my review of Rootstock Ciderwork’s Ruby Mac. Rootstock Ciderworks is a Rochester-area upstate New York Cidery that’s been around for a little while.  The cidery was kind enough to share a few 2020 specialty releases with me. Today I’m offering my experience with the Ruby Mac. Here’s what Luke had to say about the Ruby Mac, “we produced a single-varietal Ruby Mac, which was a whole-fruit fermentation, and all the residual sugar is from arrested fermentation.”

These facts make this cider extra interesting because the makers doubled-down on doing the more unusual, difficult, and risky thing. Any singe-varietal is risky if you ask me; most apples don't have all of the characteristics necessary to create a fully balanced cider. And arresting fermentation is a wonderfully bold choice. Keeping the naturally occurring sugars means maintaining some amazing fresh fruit flavor notes and delicious sweetness that I prefer to nearly any added sweetness, but it also risks the cider refermenting in the bottle. Anyhow, everything I know about this cider makes me extra excited to try it!

Here are my earlier Rootstock Ciderwork’s reviews.

Legend Barrel Aged: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2019/01/cider-review-eden-specialty-ciders.html

Rose: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/07/cider-review-shacksbury-dorset-and.html

Belgium: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/06/cider-cans-crush-it-rootstock.html

Hopped: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2016/10/cider-review-rootstock-ciderworks.html

Now to share the official description from Rootstock, “This single-varietal cider was made entirely from Ruby MacIntosh apples. It is unique from many of our ciders in that it was partially fermented on the mash, pressed, and then arrested with high levels of residual sugar. ABV 5.1%”

Visit Rootstock Ciderworks online to learn about all of the ciders and goings on in the tasting room! https://www.rootstockciderworks.com/

Now for my experience with the Ruby Mac.

Appearance: Brilliant, warm straw, no visible bubbles

This cider looks very much like a white wine in the glass. The clarity is brilliant and I don’t see any bubbles. That doesn’t mean the cider won’t sparkle; I just don’t see it yet. The color reminds me of warm straw on a sunny day.

Aromas: Cooked apple, powdered sugar, sweet orange

The Ruby Mac smells so intensely of apple that it reminds me of cooked apple more than raw apple. I also get strong vibes of powdered sugar and sweet orange. These are luscious sweet smells, so the mention of arrested fermentation makes sense. This is likely to be a sweet cider.

Sweetness/dryness: Sweet

This cider is sweet, and the sweetness is special! It tastes like super-intense ripe apple with perfect balancing acidity. The notes of sweetness remind me of pear juice and honey as well. 

Flavors and drinking experience: full bodied, strong sparkle, super fruity, sweet

Rootstock has succeeded in the risks because the Ruby Mac is tasty! The cider is full-bodied with a strong level of bubble. The cider’s electric acidity balances out the sweetness. All of the pear, overripe apple, honey and powdered sugar notes from the aroma come through when I taste this cider. It’s a celebration!

This isn’t a profile I’d pick up every day or for every meal, but I loved it. I paired the Ruby Mac with a spicy taco salad after a trip to a local plant sale. It was fun, tasty, and satisfying.