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Lately I've been getting in to cider. 2 stores by me carry Cidre Bouché Brut De Normandie and after wondering about it for so long I bought one and found that it was well worth the 9 or so dollars I spent. I love this stuff and think I prefer it to many beers I like. Sweet, like apple juice (obviously) but with some carbonation and some dryness in the flavor. The following week I bought another, it was an older one that they were selling for the same price (bottle said 2001) and it really wasn't that good. Kinda flat and very bitter. The 2005 and 2006 bottles I tried were quite the opposite though. I know that champagne and beer can sometimes age well in the bottle, is it the same, or at least should it be the same with cider as well? In the case of the 2001 I'd say no but who knows, maybe it was a bad bottle. (Come to think of it, anything bottle aged by this store I've purchased has never been good, not sure of I'll fall for that one again...)
I don't see a lot of Cider around but another I tried was J.K. Scrumpy's Farmhouse Organic Hard Cider. I didn't much care for this one. It tasted exactly like non-alcoholic cider, was kind of flat, and was completely lacking any kind of kick the 6% alcohol should have added. I was just wondering if there were any other cider drinkers here and if there were any recommendations that could be made. Like I said, I don't see very much of it around but I'll definitely be on the look out for others in my travels.
Ouch! spending so much for Normandiancider,somebody is really keeping those prices high!Over here it is a bulkproduct and even the better ones perhaps costing no more than $4.Local farms make the stuff too but Irish and English ciders are more populair here.A refreshing summersdrink that`s dangerous,you take too much and before you notice your get funny in the head:rolleyes: ,looney juice is a better name for it:grin: .
Yeah, I figured it would be significantly cheaper in Europe than over here. I looked for a couple of imports that I buy here in stores the last time I was in Amsterdam and the ones I was able to fine were all a lot cheaper, most 1/2 the price. It works both ways though, I also noticed Budweiser costs more tha Heineken over there (expected but amusing nonetheless).
It must be nice to be able to buy it made fresh from a local farm, most things I've had like that were a lot better than the same thing from a store but I've never seen hard cider for sale at any of these places. Someday I think I will try my hand at making my own, I did a little reading and it sounds pretty easy.
Here is an interesting article on why hard cider essentially disappeared in the U.S....a very odd situation....considering it was popular and apples plentiful.
There are a number of American hard ciders now.
"Perhaps the most popular today is Woodchuck Draft Cider® which makes five kinds of hard cider including, an Amber Cider, a Dark and Dry Cider, a Granny Smith Cider, a Pear Cider, and Raspberry Cider. Needless to say, they produce a cider for a wide market. Woodchuck is owned by a parent company Green Mountain Beverage that also owns several other cider labels including Strongbow®, Cider Jack®, and Woodpecker®"
An interesting article,but the alcohollevel in cider those days was significant lower,just as beer was in Europe in those days.Indeed water was unreliable,the water used for beer was at least boiled so quite safe but alcohollevels were very low,remakes of old recipes show that the alcohollevels were not higher as 0.7%.So don`t expect people were drunk the whole day.
Besides alcohol being lower, the residual sugar would've been minimal to non-existent. Many of the hard ciders on the market are little different than "alcopops" (a controversial term, I know): pasteurized low-flavor beverages with sugar and flavor added after fermentation.
The French hard ciders I've had have all been nicely acidic with a real apple flavor regardless of the level of sweetness.
I also make my own cider annually, usually 5-10 gallons. It does age well in the bottle, typically tasting best after 2 years or so (it's a bit austere and alcoholic at one year old, but the apple flavor and nose return after a second year in the bottle, along with more mouthfeel). So a 2005 should be fantastic right now.
I've never kept any for 7 years, so I can't speak to how universal your negative experience was.
Making your own is not too difficult. It just requires quality ingredients. I use fresh unpasteurized cider when I can get it. Otherwise, I use Whole Foods Gravenstein cider, which used to be easy to get year-round and now sells out within a couple of weeks of showing up on shelves in these parts.
I really enjoy both French and American style ciders. I also like the non-alcoholic ciders produced by some American wineries some of them are really fantastic!
Of domestic ciders, my favorites are Hornsby's Crisp Apple Cider and Woodchuck Dark & Dry. Woodchuck Amber is pretty good too - especially if you can find it on tap! Woodchuck Granny Smith (green label) is too cloying for me.
I have only tried 4 ciders and the two that were American were a lot sweeter than the French ciders I've had. The French stuff, both brands, has a tartness/bitterness to it that I really enjoy and there is something about the taste that makes me think of champagne. I haven't gotten this with any of the American ciders I've tried. On Friday I picked up a 6 pack of Woodchuck Premium Cider, I liked it a lot better than the other American cider I had, Scrumpy's, it wasn't as sweet and it wasn't flat either.
I've been keeping an eye out for the brands people have mentioned in this thread but so far it appears that my only local options are Normandie (in both it's regular and "organic" varieties) and Woodchuck in all it's varieties. I'm sure some others will turn up at some point though.
Give K Cider a try. It's a British cider that's on the dry side and when I was drinking it in the UK, it was over 8% alcohol. Here it's around 7%.
While I was over there, I tried some locally produced scrumpy in a pub in Great Tew that was the best, most powerful cider I've ever had. This is the place:
Most amazing pub.
Way back in the early-, mid-'70s, my brother and I were, consecutively, the chief 'orchard men' for Dendel's Orchards (http://agriculture.cyclopages.com/deciduous-tree-fruits-apple-orchards-farms/dendel-s-orchards-194443.html -- our address was 3284 127th Ave -- an Allegan, MI farm property, in the same neighborhood as our family farm. As such, we picked, hauled, sorted, bagged, and made cider from a variety of fruits in seaon at the time. Our dad was the chief picker, generally worth 40 bushels (two boxes -- one in the morning, one in the afternoon -- I often joined him in the p.m.) a day.
That experience leads me to prompt you to find a local orchard/apple producer and buy his locally-produced cider. It won't ever be fresher, or more personally representative, than the cider made by the orchard man himself.
The best cider I've ever had remains that which I helped make -- along the recipe of Jack Dendel -- in a small-town, chilled-storage facility in which I operated tractor, fork-lift and sorting/grader line.
Hell, we even drove the refrigerated truck to the local groceries! God, sometimes I miss the simple life!
I'd been thinking of checking out the one farm that sells on the road side not too far from my house. One of these days when I have time I'll take a ride over and see if they ever have any for sale in the fall. Hopefully there will be someone at the stand, there never is when I drive by it. I'm not sure that they have an orchard though. It's a shame, there was a really big farm also not too far from me that I'm quite certain did have an orchard but the rows of produce have been replaced by rows of houses. :/
It's strange, when I read your post the K cider sounded familiar but a look through wikipedia revealed a bottle that I know I've never seen before. Another one to keep my eye out for, sounds good!
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