Monday, November 7, 2022

Cider Review: Milk & Honey Ciders' Fauna

I write with my eyes full of sunset tonight. It’s coming earlier, but I’m glad to pay that price in order to have a few more weeks of mornings with even just the barest hint of light. I need it to get up and feel like there is a universe outside of my bed. Other folks feel the evening’s loss more keenly, I know it. I’ll take the gratitude though. In any case, I like plenty of quiet dark evenings at home with good food and good cider. This review is from just such a night; I’m trying Fauna by Milk and Honey Ciders.

This week’s cider is my first from Milk & Honey Ciders. This is a cidery out of St. Joseph, Minnesota. I’m so excited to try the Fauna. This cider was shared with me in a trade, so many thanks to everyone in my cider trading communities! You know who you are.

I recommend visiting the cidery online:

Here’s how Milk and Honey describe the Fauna:

Inside you will find an elite group of apples capable of a truly great cider. Tannic apples for depth and body. Sharps for bright fruity-vinous character. Interesting Heirlooms for aromatics. Every year the apples may change depending upon the whims of the orchard, but they will always impress. Let the apples shine.

Alcohol 6.90%

Appearance: hazy, warm straw, bubbly

The Fauna seems like a tremendously active cider. I can see tiny bubbles racing for the surface through the mild haze and warm straw color. It pours with a little bubble, but the mousse dissipates quickly.

Aromas: Malic acid, minerality, rock candy, fresh apple

This cider is brimming over with interesting scents! The first smell I notice is rock candy & malic acid in the attack, followed by something funky and more deeply minerally. Overall, it’s an austere set of smells that concludes with a sense of cold, sharpened apple.

Sweetness/dryness: Dry

This is a nice dry cider. It’s neither harsh nor deceptively fruit forward.  

Flavors and drinking experience: high acid, pineapple, mild tannins, bitterness on the finish

The Fauna taste well-balanced and admirably restrained. Yes, the cider has high acid, but it’s balanced by also being very mildly tannic with a low, bitter finish. I appreciate the fruity acids that remind me of pineapple. The flavors are light and immediate for the most part. I do insist that the cider be poured from its serving container. Drinking from the bottle robs the experience of its best parts, so use a glass. I also love the Fauna’s small but pervasive bubbles. They enliven the experience in a big way.

I enjoyed my cider while I was perusing a game book before playing some table-top role play awesomeness with faraway friends. I'm sure no one is surprised by that level of nerdiness, but I have to own up. I think it would also go well with a hearty minestrone soup and good bread.