Now wait wait wait….I know what you’re thinking. ”What the heck man? A freaken cider? I thought this was a blog for reviewing beers!?!?” Well it is….and it is more than that at the same time. Allow me to explain. Keep in mind that one of my primary goals for starting and maintaining this blog is to introduce readers to a variety of craft beers and viable alternatives to drinking colorless, tasteless beer. Not everyone who reads this blog is an enormous fan of beer, which I am perfectly OK with. I’ve talked with a few people that only drink beer when they have to, but for the most part do not enjoy it all that much. After that they usually get discouraged with beer, turn to mixed drinks or worse….malternatives (think smirnoff ice, bacardi flavored beverages, ie.).
While a cider is technically not beer, it is not as far away from it as you might think. They are both made with natural ingredients, both undergo a fermentation period induced by yeast, are natually carbonated and conditioned (or in a cider’s case sometimes are not carbonated) and have similar flavor characteristics. I would liken a cider to be a cousin of beer, along with sake as well. And while it doesn’t happen often, I can admit that sometimes I just don’t feel like having a beer. At times like that, it’s nice to have options.
I will not make it a habit of reviewing non-beer styles but for today, here we go.
Crispin Natural Hard Apple Cider Original
This beer, er, cider is produced by the Crispin Cider Company out of Minneapolis, MN. Their line of ciders very recently began distribution into north Texas as of this summer. They also claim that their cider is best served over ice, and while I’m not entirely certain about how that positively affects the flavor, I know that ice masks aromas and flavors. So perhaps there are some things they are trying to cover up? I will review this without ice to see what I can discover.
As with all fruit based beers/ciders, they are properly served out of a flute glass. I have just the one too.
You can see from the picture how clear this is. It has an appearance of apple juice that is very clear and quite fizzy. I poured the cider with a lot of agitation to get some head formation out of it, and it was very fizzy, like a sprite or some other form of carbonated soda. The white, fizzy head disappeared just as quickly as it showed up; literally it was gone in a mere few seconds. Small bubbles continue to rise from the bottom of the glass though.
Lots of fruit in the aroma. I mainly pick up apple scents with perhaps a bit of dry pear. The aroma is really pretty dry through and through, similar to how a white wine would present. Some light tartness is also apparent on the nose, but nothing so far as to label “distasteful”. So the ice is not to cover up any negative aromas. Let’s see about the taste.
The taste is apple sweet right from the start. Lots of natural fruit sugars hit the tongue and stay there for awhile. A bit of tartness begins to creep in near the finish, and dries out on the aftertaste. It really is like eating a green or yellow apple. It’s not too tart, but has just enough to be interesting and refreshing. I’m not sure what the deal is with ice as it’s obviously not to hide anything. My guess is to be different/gimmicky.
Sometimes you need something different, and at 5% alcohol, this cider could easily provide it.