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Kpiz

What cider are you drinking?

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Kpiz   
Kpiz

I thought it may be time for me to stop posting my cider notes in the beer thread and just create a new thread for cider. Hopefully some other folks here also drink cider occasionally and will post their notes as well. I found a previous cider thread, but since it was a few years old, so starting a new one seemed like a better call. Mods, obviously feel free to move or merge this as you see fit.

 

Tonight I had a Poire/perry (ok so not technically a cider) from Le Pere Jules. I thought I had tried this one before but am now realizing I've had their brut cider but not their Poire. This is very approachable - it has good pear flavor overall, some nice crisp pear notes with a bit of tang and some tannins to round it out. It is a bit too sweet for me, however, and the residual sugar explains why this is so low in alcohol (2.5% ABV, a little lower than other Poires I've had). It reminds me more of the pear flesh than the pear skin. Probably not something I'd drink regularly but it certainly is refreshing and with so few good Poires available in the states, I'll probably buy it once it a while. Overall a good one and a nice change of pace.

 

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Kpiz   
Kpiz

I've now tried the main three ciders from Golden State Cider. Normally I probably would have passed on them, given that most domestic ciders I've had have been pretty disappointing (though they seem to be improving), but I got these for 40% off when a local store was shutting down, so I figured they were worth a shot. I have yet to see the last two ciders they list on their website (Bay Brut and Radical Paradise) but I'll probably try them if I see them since these three were fairly good.

 

The Mighty Dry is not, in fact, mighty dry at all - I found it to be off dry, but balanced and had some tartness and apple flavor to go along with the mild sweetness (the website indicates there are 9g of residual sugar i the 16oz can, which is about 2tsp). One of the better American ciders I've had.

 

Mighty Hops was not in fact mightily hoppy (I'm noticing a trend) but it was also good. It essentially tasted like a dry-hopped version of the Mighty Dry, which I'm pretty sure it is. Good piney notes mix nicely with fruit on the nose, but on the palate the hops are very, very light. Pretty damn refreshing.

 

Gingergrass was a pretty weird one, and while I'm not sure I'd buy another, I appreciate the effort and impressed they made the ginger/lemongrass thing work as well as it does. This pretty much tastes like you'd think it would - some lemon and sharp ginger mingled with cider. At least it lives up to its name!

 

 

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tanstaafl2   
tanstaafl2

Sadly, I rarely see anything but the big brand ciders around here and usually they have some sort of insipid fruit flavoring in them. Then again I haven't gone looking in a while!

 

I was always fond of the Savanna Dry cider I had when traveling in southern Africa but it is not available here as far as I know. Not even sure it is still around at all.

 

More nostalgia perhaps than great quality. Most of the beer when traveling there was pretty bland lager but the cider was more refreshing in the hot weather of the veldt! Pretty basic stuff (and not really all that dry either) but I enjoyed it. I think I still have a few bottles left. Somewhere...

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Kpiz   
Kpiz
2 hours ago, tanstaafl2 said:

Sadly, I rarely see anything but the big brand ciders around here and usually they have some sort of insipid fruit flavoring in them. Then again I haven't gone looking in a while!

 

I was always fond of the Savanna Dry cider I had when traveling in southern Africa but it is not available here as far as I know. Not even sure it is still around at all.

 

More nostalgia perhaps than great quality. Most of the beer when traveling there was pretty bland lager but the cider was more refreshing in the hot weather of the veldt! Pretty basic stuff (and not really all that dry either) but I enjoyed it. I think I still have a few bottles left. Somewhere...

 

Time to hunt down those bottles! I would be interested in hearing your tasting notes. Although cider tends to have somewhat low ABV (relative to the craft beer I usually drink, anyways) it seems to have a pretty decent shelf life...probably because there are no hop oils to degrade and get bitter/skunky over time.

 

As you probably know, I'm partial to the French ciders (and poire), but I'm trying to expand my horizons and have had a couple interesting ones from Spain recently. Not sure the shipping cost would be worth it to you, but K&L and some other shops in my area stock a pretty good selection and I'm sure we could find a way to get you a few. I actually just picked up two different ciders and a poire from Daufresne, a domaine in Normandy that Charles Neal notes is one of his favorite cider makers. I have yet to try them but I'll add notes here when I do. Pacory (same domaine as the two calvados expressions K&L has imported) has a cider that shows up around here occasionally as well.

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Kpiz   
Kpiz

I found these two ciders today at a wine shop. I didn't think Cyril Zangs ciders were available in the US so of course I was very surprised and excited to come across them...especially since the wine monger described them as being "super funky"! This particular cider maker has a strong reputation and is regarded as producing some of the best, if not the best, ciders in France.

I'm drinking the "Ciderman" now. It certainly smells funky - has that saison barnyard element to it. The first thing I notice when I take a sip is that it has a nice feel to it, almost heavy. It has some good funk to it, along with good apple flavor, then some tartness and the tannins hit on the finish which leaves my mouth somewhat dry and yearning for another sip. A second or two later a slightly bitter apple skin flavor emerges and lasts for a while. Carbonation is strong but more like a highly carbonated beer than Champagne.

Well, my first taste of Cyril Zangs lives up the the hype. This was an excellent cider and reminds me of the better ciders we drank while cruising around Normandy last summer. Also, like most French ciders, it was better as it warmed up a bit. While I should know better than to drink them straight out of the fridge, I rarely have the patience to hold off drinking until the cider warms up a little. Most of the French cider bottles recommend serving "frais", which I think means chilled, and they do seem to yield a lot more flavor that way.

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tanstaafl2   
tanstaafl2

There are probably a few here. One of my favorite bars likes to use French and Spanish cider in some of their lighter sparkling cocktails so I suppose I should look.

 

I am guessing I am not going to find any Cyril Zangs though! Maybe in Paris...

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Kpiz   
Kpiz
7 hours ago, tanstaafl2 said:

There are probably a few here. One of my favorite bars likes to use French and Spanish cider in some of their lighter sparkling cocktails so I suppose I should look.

 

I am guessing I am not going to find any Cyril Zangs though! Maybe in Paris...

 

A good cider seems like it would play well in a sparkling cocktail. I'd be interested in which cider(s) they tend to use.

 

I hope you have more luck tracking down Cyril Zangs in Paris than I did! I didn't go to any cider-centric bars, which I probably should have, but I was surprised to find that few if any of the restaurants we ate at even carried a single cider. I also stopped into several wine stores looking for ciders, but each one had maybe one or two to choose from. Parisians seem pretty content to just drink wine (a generalization for sure).

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tanstaafl2   
tanstaafl2

Yeah, probably more of a regional thing. Which is unfortunate.

 

The cider's used by one of my favorite local watering holes include a Spanish cider called Pomarina Brut and a French cider called Clos de Fontaine Hugo Brut. I don't that much about either of them. They have a light drink called "What Cheer" with white port. lime and pineapple juice (I think), sorghum syrup and the Spanish Cider. Not bad for a light summer cocktail.

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Kpiz   
Kpiz

Regional indeed. The apple products seemed to vanish as soon as we exited Normandy. Creperies may be a good bet for finding cider, since I think crepes (or at least, galettes) have some sort of historical roots in Brittany and Normandy.

 

I haven't heard of those two ciders, but it looks like K&L used to carry the Clos de Fontaine Hugo. That cocktail sounds very refreshing! I might have to play around with cider cocktails the next time a heat wave hits SF.

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tanstaafl2   
tanstaafl2
1 hour ago, Kpiz said:

Regional indeed. The apple products seemed to vanish as soon as we exited Normandy. Creperies may be a good bet for finding cider, since I think crepes (or at least, galettes) have some sort of historical roots in Brittany and Normandy.

 

I haven't heard of those two ciders, but it looks like K&L used to carry the Clos de Fontaine Hugo. That cocktail sounds very refreshing! I might have to play around with cider cocktails the next time a heat wave hits SF.

 

Their must be a Normandy focused bar/restaurant somewhere in Paris. I will see what I can find.

 

I can probably get you details of that recipe if you want it. I may pop by the bar tonight to ride out the current monsoon in Atlanta.

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Kpiz   
Kpiz
58 minutes ago, tanstaafl2 said:

 

Their must be a Normandy focused bar/restaurant somewhere in Paris. I will see what I can find.

 

I can probably get you details of that recipe if you want it. I may pop by the bar tonight to ride out the current monsoon in Atlanta.

 

Yes please! It would be nice to have that recipe in my back pocket for a future BBQ or another similar event.

 

I can't believe there's rain in the forecast out there. It's been hot and dry here.

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Kpiz   
Kpiz

I opened up the other Cyril Zangs cider tonight, the "Cidre 2013". Drinking this makes me wish I had done a SBS with the other CZ cider but I usually limit myself to a single bottle, as more than that tends to make my stomach do weird things.

I first have to note the color - it has a beautiful pink hue that I've never seen in an all-apple cider before. Perhaps a testament to the small size of the apples (and therefore a higher skin-to-pulp ratio) or maybe indicative of specific apple varieties being used. This has a somewhat muted nose, but some sweet apple and a certain cider stankyness emerge with some time and a swirl of the glass. Initial taste is sweet delicious apple, but that fades quickly and it then feels less concentrated than some other ciders. A very slight tartness emerges and then a good amount of tannins round it out. There is a medium amount of barnyard funkiness underlying the whole thing, a bit of which lingers after swallowing.

Overall this is a great cider and one of the best French ciders I've had stateside. It seems similar to the Ciderman, but just turned down a notch (and perhaps a touch sweeter), and therefore easier to drink. Given a choice between the two, I'd probably choose the Ciderman, but they're both excellent.

I took a couple sips of a CZ 00 eau-de-vie sample afterwards supplied by a generous SBer (as if it was anyone except Bruce) and while I can't note specific similarities between the cider and the edv, I was surprised and impressed that it tasted so much like apple even after drinking the cider. I would have thought that the apple nuance would have been drowned out by the cider.84903b7478afd4e10a9c0dc13288ee3b.jpg

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Kpiz   
Kpiz

Decided to pop the Cidrerie Daufresne Brut cider tonight. And pop it did! The cork hit the ceiling before I even twisted the metal guard all the way off. I figured that was a good sign it'd be extra carbonated, and that turned out to be true. Unfortunately the high carbonation was one of my favorite things about this cider. It was decent overall, just lacking in apple flavor and character. Sweetness upfront faded quickly into a pretty dry cider with just a little bit of funk and a tannic finish. One of the more straightforward Norman ciders I've had. I'd certainly drink it again but probably wouldn't seek it out. Hopefully the other Daufresne cider and Poire I bought will be more to my liking.
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Kpiz   
Kpiz

Another day, another cider. This time around I'm having the Cidre Bouche Brut de Normandie from Comte Louis de Lauriston.

Little bit of barnyard funk on the nose. Palate is medium carbonation (for a cider), semi-dry, some ham-like meatiness (probably from the slight smoke mixed with the sweetness), finishes a little sweet but also earthy with medium amount of tannins. Not as good as the L'Hermitiere and a couple others available in the states, but a solid cider and one I'd buy again.
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Kpiz   
Kpiz

Went out to the suburbs today to get some sun and we drank a delicious Christian Drouin cider while grilling chicken.

Notes:
Smells funky! Has a little of the astringency I get from champagne in the nose, combined with overripe apple. A sign of good things to come.

The palate closely resembles the nose. A big wave of funkiness hits first, then overripe apple and it finishes on a slightly sweet, almost honey-like apple note with light tannins at the very end. Very carbonated. Semi-dry.

I really like this stuff. It has the funkiness I always want in a French cider and good accompanying flavor. I would like it to be a bit more tannic, and it could use a little more tartness to balance out the sweet, but those are small critiques. I bought the last bottle K&L has. Hopefully they get more in stock.

Also, always nice to see "No sugar added - No yeast added - No additives" on a cider.60e90eee37726ed2363d94627121d579.jpgd8bcfd08421af3d622c59ddcd9d7481b.jpg

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HoustonNit   
HoustonNit

Hi Kpiz I'll be in France in the Picardie/Normandy region week after next. Is there one or two Ciders from that region that you recommend that are somewhat easy to find there but not really available in the US?

I'm not much of a cider fan but have had some nice dry dry decent ABV ciders in France almost comparable to a decent champagne.

Also thanks for stating this thread I enjoy your thoughts on a beverage I don't typically consume.

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tanstaafl2   
tanstaafl2
On ‎8‎/‎13‎/‎2017 at 0:45 AM, HoustonNit said:

Hi Kpiz I'll be in France in the Picardie/Normandy region week after next. Is there one or two Ciders from that region that you recommend that are somewhat easy to find there but not really available in the US?

I'm not much of a cider fan but have had some nice dry dry decent ABV ciders in France almost comparable to a decent champagne.

Also thanks for stating this thread I enjoy your thoughts on a beverage I don't typically consume.

 

Kyle can give you a lot more detail but if you are in the Normandy region then you should probably find interesting Calvados as well as cider to try!

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Kpiz   
Kpiz
On 8/12/2017 at 9:45 PM, HoustonNit said:

Hi Kpiz I'll be in France in the Picardie/Normandy region week after next. Is there one or two Ciders from that region that you recommend that are somewhat easy to find there but not really available in the US?

I'm not much of a cider fan but have had some nice dry dry decent ABV ciders in France almost comparable to a decent champagne.

Also thanks for stating this thread I enjoy your thoughts on a beverage I don't typically consume.

 

Sorry for the delay, didn't see your post at first! Below I put a list of some of the ciders I tried while in Normandy. This isn't an exhaustive list, because we probably tried 30 or more ciders if you include tastings at specific properties and such, it's just the bottles we ended up purchasing and consuming. I posted a similar note in the French spirits thread, but the products don't always seem to have that wide of a distribution, so it may be hard to find these if you're not in the immediate area.

 

If you like dry ciders, go with their Brut offering if there is one (that may be obvious). Although, we found the sweetness levels of ciders to be pretty inconsistent, with the brut cider from one producer being similar sweetness-wise to a demi-sec from another. So if all they have is demi-sec, it may still be pretty darn dry. Also, since it sounds as though you enjoy the champagne-like qualities of cider, definitely try any poire (perry) you find! They tend to remind me of Champagne even more than the ciders do but are more difficult to find since fewer properties grow pears than apples.

 

Cider producers to look for:

  • Toutain
  • Sicera Florentin
  • Fermier de Romilly
  • Ferme de la 5 Saisons
  • Ferme de la Hermitiere
  • La Ferme de Billy
  • Domaine Fourmond-Lemorton
  • Vincent Leroyer

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HoustonNit   
HoustonNit

Awesome thanks for the list I'll be sure to pick up something. I likely won't be going to any producers but will shop around.

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Kpiz   
Kpiz
49 minutes ago, HoustonNit said:

Awesome thanks for the list I'll be sure to pick up something. I likely won't be going to any producers but will shop around.

 

Happy to help! I hope you have a great trip. If you have any questions while you're over there, post it here or over in the French Spirits forum and we'll try to respond ASAP. Or feel free to shoot me a PM.

 

A couple more producers you may see there that are very good (technically they're available in the US but pretty hard to find):

  • Pacory (makes mostly poire)
  • Cyril Zangs

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HoustonNit   
HoustonNit
 
Happy to help! I hope you have a great trip. If you have any questions while you're over there, post it here or over in the French Spirits forum and we'll try to respond ASAP. Or feel free to shoot me a PM.
 
A couple more producers you may see there that are very good (technically they're available in the US but pretty hard to find):
  • Pacory (makes mostly poire)
  • Cyril Zangs


Thanks, Cyril Zangs seems very familiar.

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HoustonNit   
HoustonNit

Slim pickings so far on the cider offerings. Picked up the following which had that interesting farmhouse saison type taste to it but otherwise nothing really great. I want some strong meaty type funk.

 

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Picked these up as well hope to try it today.

 

From a local producer.

 

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Kpiz   
Kpiz
8 hours ago, HoustonNit said:

Slim pickings so far on the cider offerings. Picked up the following which had that interesting farmhouse saison type taste to it but otherwise nothing really great. I want some strong meaty type funk.

I don't know, looks like you're finding some interesting stuff! I've never heard of any of those producers which is probably a good sign. The funkyness in ciders really seems to come out at warmer temperatures, much like with beer, so it's fun to taste how the bottle evolves as you sit there drinking through it. I remember going to a couple small producers and they didn't have any cider refrigerated, so they'd just grab one that was sitting on the shelf and pop it open for us to try. Warm cider isn't exactly thirst-quenching, but it sure is full of flavor!

 

Let us know how the Duclos Fougeray ciders are once you have a chance to open them.

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HoustonNit   
HoustonNit

My experience in cider has been limited to the terrible mass produced sweet stuff we mostly find in the States and some sips of the really cheap stuff they use in France for cooking.

I had the bottle of extra-brut Duclos. Its amazing how different this is to any cider I've had back home. A lot of that farmhouse funk and no sweetness at all, arguably too dry. I like dry Champagne and wines but I'm thinking to get a less dry variation from this producer if I buy again.

I don't think I'd replace cider with beer as a regular drinker but it's nice for variation and I look forward to trying more types here and when I get back to Texas.

I still have one more bottle from this producer which is actually a poire that I plan to open tomorrow.

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HoustonNit   
HoustonNit

Maybe not too surprising this bottle of Poire was the best of the three I purchased so far. Some funk but not as much as the others but nice. Overall a little to subtle, I want something that really kicks me in the face. I'm definitely going to pick up another bottle of cider from this producer and might possibly make a trip to check them out as they are only about 30 minutes away.

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