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Can we Discuss Cider here?

Hi,

I guess this is more of a beer than spirit....

I've had Strongbow and I like it more on tap than from the can. I've had Orignal Sin Hard cider--from NY--on tap. Of course there's the usual suspects Woodchuck, and the one with the Rhino on the label. The other day at Trader Joes I picked up a sixer of 'Newtons Folly', which was fairly appley and barely bubbly.

Are there anymore out there? Any recommendations?

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  1. I love cider and I think that it is incredibly underrepresented. I'd love to see cider gastropubs similar to the ones specializing in Belgian Beers.... with a menu that complements cider and apples). Maybe with a selection of high-end ham (Iberico, etc.), etc. Anyway...

    I too love Strongbow from the tap (especially the "Extra Cold" variety) and I drink it whenever I am at my favorite neighborhood haunt (which ironically specializes in Belgian Beer - they have over two dozen types). I like Strongbow because of its super dry and super clean finish. Very refreshing. It is, however, a very "manufactured" drink - using added sugars, apple concentrate and even artificial sweetener.

    Look for local cideries near where you live (a quick Google revealed a number in NY state). My recommendations will be local...here in British Columbia we have a small number of cideries. Notably: Merridale (sweeter, "traditional" cider) and Sea Cider who specialize in blending heritage apples.

    http://www.seacider.ca/
    http://www.merridalecider.com/

    I also like Ross hard apple cider from East Kelowna Cidery
    http://eastkelownacidercompany.com/ap...

    For something a little different - I also like "ice cider" made in a similar fashion to ice wine. Domaine Pinnacle from Quebec makes a good one:

    http://www.domainepinnacle.com/en/ind...

    The English are the masters of this drink and you should look for both cider and "scrumpy" at your specialty liquor store.

    Good luck with your quest.

    1. I like Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouché Brut de Normandie (see label below)

       
      4 Replies
      1. re: Chinon00

        Huge second to this rec. This stuff is amazingly good, particularly the unfiltered, unpasteurized variety. It tastes like cheese and apples. Astounding.

        1. re: Josh

          Sometimes, God forbid, I'm in the mood for something other than a beer.
          I've tried the varieties from Woodchuck, and the one in the black bottle with just a letter. Not a lot of variety here.
          Is this widely available? Would it be with the beer, or the wine?
          Never mind, I'm capable of asking. Your description has me hugely intriqued.

          1. re: Bobfrmia

            I've seen it typically stored with beer, at places like Whole Foods or specialty liquor stores in my area.

            1. re: Bobfrmia

              You can search for a local retailer at http://www.bunitedint.com/services/ac..., and if you don't see anything, the importer gives contact information on the site.

        2. you should try magner's, its an irish cider, fruity but not too sweet. it's great on tap, i've never had it by the bottle, i've been scared away by the 11 or 12 dollar price tag for a six pack.

          4 Replies
          1. re: switters

            Magners is my cider of choice. Try a "Black Velvet" half Magners half Guinness. Really refreshing.

            1. re: HungryRubia

              I second the Magners recommendation. I'm in CA & have recently been on the hunt for hard cider. I'm a bit isolated geographically as far as cider on draft, but I have tried all the bottled cider I could get my hands on, short of ordering over the internet. This may be next resort...just not from overseas :(.

              Strongbow is a close second. Fox Barrel, Blackthorn, Ace and many others taste waay too much like Chardonnay to me. I understand this is their dryness, but to my taste, if I wanted Chardonnay...well I would've bought it outright. I like Magners as it tastes "just right" to me, not sweet nor Chardonnay-like. Forget the stuff at the Safeway, Hornsbys & the like are ridiculously sweet and march down the same road wine coolers did in the 80's, followed closely by flavored malts...it is a pity that the U.S. limits the alcohol content on this type of product/import.

              1. re: DinoTheOriginal

                "Forget the stuff at the Safeway, Hornsbys & the like are ridiculously sweet and march down the same road wine coolers did in the 80's, followed closely by flavored malts...it is a pity that the U.S. limits the alcohol content on this type of product/import."

                I'm not sure I understand that last part, about limiting alcohol content. Do you refer to ciders or flavored malt bevs? I know that cider mustn't be too strong lest it become a 'wine' and pay the appropriate tax, and I know that CA might start taxing FMBs as hard liquor.

                1. re: Jim Dorsch

                  wow, sorry for the late late reply...job/life taking over...

                  Yes, I'm referring to cider re: ABV content & yep, it probably speaks to the "line" b/t wine/cider/taxes, I just can't find the @# site where I saw this disappointing info. Thank you for the well-put clarification.

          2. The Newton's Folly line at Trader Joe's is simply private-label Woodchuck, BTW.

            1 Reply
            1. re: braineater

              I am partial to Blackthorn Cider from England. Not sweet- a bit tart- but soo refreshing.

            2. If you can find it, Fox Barrel made in the CA Sierra foot hills is a very good example of a drier style.

              1. Have you tried Ace Perry Cider? It has pear juice added. It's delicious, not too heavy or sweet!

                1. I am a fan of the original (Amber) Woodchuck, but not some of the later incarnations like the raspberry or pear. I think it is light and refreshing. I have tried a couple of other brands like Hornsbys but I like the balance of Woodchuck.

                  Never seen hard cider on draft.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: al b. darned

                    forgot to mention...

                    although I would prefer local/independent merchants above all else, I have to admit that the BevMo across the Carquinez in Pinole is relatively well stocked with ciders. ditto to the branch in Daly City.

                    http://www.bevmo.com/Shop/ProductList...

                    here's to hoping a local store in Vallejo starts stocking Magners...!

                    1. re: al b. darned

                      I love hard cider, but I find most of the American ones too sweet...unfortunately these days, a lot of farmstand fresh cider is also too sweet, a reflection of the not always better changes in apple varieties being grown. Good cider should be on the tart side, and the authentically drier hard ciders especially benefit from this.
                      In years past, the Old Bay in New Brunswick NJ (once upon a time a mecca for great draft beers, and a real pioneer in the concept of multi tap specialty and micro products) would frequently have English ciders on draft...a real treat. These days Old Bay is far less bold with their draft offerings, and there has not been a cider on the taps for quite some time.