Cornish Orchards – Gold Cider [Sir. John A Pub]
Bar Review: Cornish Orchards Gold @ Sir. John A Pub (Ottawa, Ontario)
Sampled: February 2016
One of the best places in Ottawa to grab a drink, especially if you are one of the cities politicos – is Sir John A Pub, located on Elgin Street by MacLaren Street. Known for hosting gatherings for political parties, and for generally being packed by locals most evenings. For us cider fans however, it is the only place we’ve been able to find English-import cider, Cornish Orchards, being served anywhere in Ontario so far, and it is not available for sale at the LCBO. The only Cornish Orchards offering available on the menu here was the Gold Cider blend, but there were a few other ciders, including one Ontario Craft Cider, Waupoos Premium Cider, from Picton, Ontario.
Lucky enough to get a table on a Saturday night, we ordered two pints of the Corish Orchards Gold Cider – as well as a pint of St. Ambroise Apricot Ale beer (we’ll explain in a minute). The cider comes in a large and quite beautiful branded pint glass, with a lively apple tree (with various sized apples) covering a large portion of the glass. The cider was served over ice and was a very dark golden ale colour, with some carbonation and foam on top. We discovered that there was not much of a smell to the cider, only a very faint tart apple smell when you got quite close to the cider.
The initial taste you get from drinking this cider is very different than the after taste that emerges. At first, it is very sweet – almost bitterly sweet. There is a bit of a kick from the carbonation, but it becomes smooth very quickly. After a few moments, the flavour turns quite tart and sour in the mouth, with strong Granny Smith Apple flavours emerging. We felt this cider was reminiscent of the way an apple peel tastes and feels in the mouth, with subtle hints of honey as well. It is a very dry cider, with a sticky feel, and very fruity. The waitress described it as being like champagne, but we felt it was more like a beer in taste and feel. We felt that this cider was most comparable with another UK counterpart cider, Strongbow British Gold. As mentioned before, we got a St. Ambroise Apricot Ale, and we tried combining equal parts of the beer and cider to see if it would create a wonderful new concoction; but it did not, combining these two items just largely canceled out the flavours of one another, and tasted pretty watery unfortunately.
Overall, we really enjoyed Cornish Orchards Gold Cider, as it was a well-composed traditional blend, which took us on a flavour journey from sweet to sour. It was very refreshing – with the right amount of carbonation and flavour – to enjoy casually on a cold Saturday evening in Ottawa.