Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Cider Review: Wayside Cider's Hunt the Fox


I don’t know what has changed, but my mind has turned to nesting. Maybe it's the darker golden evening light, the soft morning spider webs, or the impending school year. Something has made my homing instincts come out in full force. And to take advantage of this, I opened up a 750ml bottle of cider to share last night. This felt like a change from my frequent enjoyment of canned ciders. Perhaps this was just a moment of homebody feelings, but I sense cozy times with cider ahead.

That’s part of why I chose Wayside Cider's Hunt the Fox. The other reason is that folks from the company shared this for review with me months ago! 

I have one previous review of anything by Wayside Cider. Here’s the link to my review of the Underhill: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2021/03/cider-review-wayside-ciders-underhill.html

I recommend visiting Wayside Cider online here to learn more about the ciders and tap room:  http://www.waysidecider.com/.

Here’s how Wayside Cider describes Hunt the Fox.

A still, unfiltered, cider featuring a blend of Chisel Jersey, Golden Russett, and Dabinett amongst others from the Finger Lakes that was fermented using a Lithuanian Farmhouse yeast. With notes of citrus, spice and a long tannic finish, this is more akin to a wine than our typical ciders. 8.5% ABV.\

Appearance: intense color, warm harvest gold, transparent

This cider is lovely in the bottle and in a glass. The intense color reminds me of a bright harvest gold. (I may have Fall on the brain.) It’s transparent through most pours, but it gets a bit hazy near the end of the bottle.

Aromas: funky, lemon, orange peel, toasted bread crumbs

This cider smells citrusy and funky. I anticipate some Spanish-style cider vibes. The citrus notes remind me of lemon and orange peel. There are also plentiful notes of toasted bread crumbs and yeast.

Sweetness/Dryness: Dry

This is a bone dry cider. The Hunt the Fox has lots going on, but none of it is sweet.

Flavors and drinking experiences: almost petillant, tannic, funky, warming

I was surprised first by the mouthfeel of this cider. It’s barely still: almost petillant. I like sparkle in any amount. Then the cider’s extremely high astringence showed up. This is the main event. Hunt the Fox is very tannic; it almost seems like a barrel-aged cider with no barrel. 

Hunt the Fox is an austere and structured experience rather than a fruity one. It’s not a carefree cider to be quaffed quickly. Wayside Cider has created a thoughtful slow cider that fans of the style will want to ruminate over. I appreciate it’s almost petillance and the low in the mouth fullness. The cider is warming.  It reminded me of a large bell, tolling slowly.

I opened Wayside Cider’s Hunt the Fox with every intention of watching a scary movie, but it ended up being a cozy night of conversation instead. I wouldn’t change that for anything. As for pairing this cider, I’d go for a mushroom dish, perhaps risotto. Lean into a rich mouthfeel and lots of umami. I think this cider looks forward to Fall too.