Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Cider Review: Stormalong's Bittersweet Symphonie

I need something cozy, cider friends! It’s time for veggie chili, warm blankets, scary movies and rich satisfying cider. This shift to dark chilly mornings still feels very new to me, but I know it’s time to settle in for a long season or two of blustery weather. That’s why I knew it was time to break out a can of Stormalong Cider’s Bittersweet Symphonie.

Stormalong Cider was kind enough to share this cider with me as a review sample. As always, review samples are much appreciated but do not sway my opinion of a cider or necessarily guarantee a review. I do try to review as much as I can though. Stormalong is based in Massachusetts, where this company has been making cider since 2014. I’ve reviewed almost as many of Stormalong’s ciders as I’ve tasted. The cidery’s range of styles is impressive as is the consistent quality. I think of Stormalong as a reliable favorite, and I look forward to new releases.

Check out Stormalong Cider online and see new releases and info on all things Stormalong: http://stormalong.com/.

Here’s the rundown of my Stormalong reviews.

Wicked Little Wickson: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2021/08/cider-review-stormalongs-wicked-little.html

Winesap: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2021/04/cider-review-stormalong-ciders-winesap.html

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

I knew to be excited about this cider because it won big at GLINTCAP. Bittersweet Symphonie got 3rd place Best in Class 2021 in Traditional Dry and took a Gold medal. That’s a great category and a high honor, so I’m hoping for something wonderful.  

Here’s Stormalong’s official description for the Bittersweet Symphonie:

This cider is made with a blend of British bittersweet cider apples that are high in tannin and low in acid. This batch is finished in the French style where some cider is left unfermented retaining residual sweetness.

FLAVOR: Rich, Complex Tannins, Finishing with a Hint of Sweet Apple Flavor

APPLES: Ashton Bitter, Ellis Bitter, Dabinett, Yarlington Mill, Chisel Jersey

The website shows the cider clocking in with a sweetness level between dry and medium dry. 

Appearance: bright caramel, brilliant, intense color, few visible bubbles

This cider looks like a brilliant bright caramel. The Bittersweet Symphonie brings intense color but few bubbles to the pour. I recommend pouring it into a glass rather than drinking it from the can. This cider is too pretty to hide!

Aromas: apple sauce, spices, caramel

This smells like mellow homemade applesauce gentle spiced with baking spices. I get notes of caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Sweetness/dryness: semi-dry

The Bittersweet Symphonie  is almost semi-sweet, but I think it comes out semi-dry in the end. 

Flavors and drinking experience: cooked apples,  custard, vanilla, tannic

What a lovely and gentle ride. This cider is mellow yet tannic. It has enough acid to keep from going floppy, but it’s never pointed. I love how the Bittersweet Symphonie is balanced yet dynamic. The experience changes and rolls across my palate, but it’s not jarring.

I can taste so much of what I smelled: applesauce, baking spices and caramel. The extra dimension is very much one of rich and full mouthfeel. I’m completely into this! The finish is long and lovely. The bubbles lift up the layers of flavor, but they don’t ever dominate the experience. 

I paired my cider with the last session of my online legend tripping class. A complex cider like this does go well with thoughtful camaraderie, curiosity, and expanding one’s worldview! It could also go beautifully with a tray of roasted veggies, sharp cheddar, and hearty bread. It’s a winner either way!