Happy snowy morning to everyone who’s celebrating! And good luck to those who don’t feel ready for it yet. We’ve been a little bit snowy here since just a few days before Thanksgiving, so it’s feeling tremendously appropriate. Tis the season to get cosy. I’m starting to think about creating my yearly Favorite 10 ciders of the year list. If you want to see what that’s all about, here’s last year’s:
It's too soon to know what will make the cut this year, but I do like to guarantee that it will be a difficult decision by pulling out some extra special things in November and December. That was my thinking when I reached for Eden Cider’s Oliver’s Twist.
Eden Cider comes to us from northern Vermont. I’ve reviewed many things by Eden Ciders and much more background on this apple-centric cidery appears in earlier reviews. Here’s the full list.
Imperial 11 Degree Rose: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-january-2017-cidrbox-and-edens.html
The Sparkling Dry supported my Thanksgiving & Birthday celebrations in 2016:
You can also visit Eden Cidery online to learn about the current lineup for harvest ciders, aperitifs, and ice ciders: https://www.edenciders.com/
I chose Oliver’s Twist as part of my Thanksgiving holiday. I have a lot of hope that the tannins and acidity that I anticipate will work wonders for a rich and salty feast.
Here’s how the cider is described on the bottle.
On a visit to Herefordshire, Tom Oliver treated us to a mind-blowing taste from a five year-old barrel of cider made from Foxwhelp apples. A classic bittersharp variety, the power of its acidity after years of adversity testified to its strength of character and sunny personality. Our single variety cider is made from 100% Foxwhelp apples grown at Poverty Lane Orchards. Bright and drinkable now, we suggest putting a few bottles in your cellar. Over time it may become as mellow and friendly as Tom himself. 7.5% ABV Batch: 2018
Appearance: warm apricot, hazy, only slightly bubbly
Consider me intrigued. Oliver’s Twist looks hazy and warm. The color reminds me of dried apricots. I can see just a handful of bubbles when I look closely.
Aromas: minerals, citrus, ripe apple
This cider smells like lemons, ripe apples, and crushed rocks. I’m definitely anticipating both acidity and tannins based on these aromas.
This is a dry cider that delivers in every facet. If you expect sweetness, you won’t find it. You will find everything else.
Flavors and drinking experience: sharply tart, tannic, funky, and tropical
I love a tart cider that’s practically bouncing with sharp yet not abrasive acid. Oliver’s Twist fits that description perfectly. This cider is awesomely acidic and terrifically tannic. I love that the cider can work both of those angles with intensity.
Oliver’s Twist helps keep that balance by bringing lots of bubbles and citrus zing. I love how very lemony the cider tastes. It is mildly funky but not dirty. The wildness reminds me of savory herbs. The most surprising element in the whole experience is how Oliver’s Twist leaves my palate with a tropical fruit finish. It was citrus, tannins, and bubbles up until the very end and then the pineapple and star fruit arrived!
I saved this bottle for a special meal: cranberry and hazelnut veggie roast, balsamic Brussels sprouts, cider dressing, mashed potatoes, spicy Delicata squash, cranberry relish, rolls and gravy. I needed a cider exactly like this: exciting, zesty, dry, bubbly and super flavorful. My meal was rich, salty, spicy, sweet, with just a little bit of tart. I needed to bring sour but not solely sour to the table. Oliver’s Twist managed to have body, bubbles, complexity and plenty of sour tartness to enliven each aspect of the meal. It was a treat, and I’m glad I opened it when I did.
What delightful ciders have you been saving in your cellar? Now would be a great time to re-acquaint yourself with them!