County Cider – Coffee [Elgin Beer Project – Ottawa]
Sampled August 2017
We’ve become semi-frequent visitors at the Elgin Beer Project – part we love being on a patio during the very short summer, part they have a great rotating tap list that features tasty drinks, and part because they keep featuring new experimental County Cider Company flavours. With County Cider having a large presence in Ottawa, by far one of the most dependable places to find a generous pint of County Cider is at Elgin Beer Project.
We had heard in passing prior that County had created a coffee cider, so when we saw it was on the menu at Elgin Beer Project, we didn’t waste a moment to head back there. Now trust us, we probably had similar reactions to hearing about coffee being added to cider – as the flavours seem at odds with one another. But we had to try and we were happy we did.
County’s Coffee Cider looks somewhat similar to other ciders – with a rustic orange hue, it is not the brownish we expected from the coffee infusion but it definitely had an influence. The cider is 6.1% (similar to the ABV in other County Ciders), and has a mix of fine to large bubble – with some foam. The smell is a strong coffee aroma – with apples coming secondary. With hints of vanilla, it is like no other cider we’ve ever smelt.
With a medium bite, the cider is surprisingly apple flavours first. However, coffee flavours quickly make a strong appearance, with a creamy taste and feel – and some light hints of vanilla. The cider goes 360 degrees however, coming back to the apple flavours again and with some toffee flavours detectable. The coffee flavours do linger throughout tho, becoming a touch more bitter near the finish and being semi-dry overall to end.
Overall, County’s Coffee Cider is unlike any cider you’ve probably ever had. It has a rich and smooth coffee flavour that is comparable to a high-quality espresso in taste and feel – with it almost being latte-like when it is initially creamy in expression. Regardless of the coffee elements however, it is a cider first. With strong starting and finishing flavours of apples, the coffee never overpowers this element – it is always balanced and blended well. This is a well crafted cider that is truly unique and very well executed overall… we just don’t recommend drinking too many of these before bed!