Revel Cider – Spirit of the Woods [Craft Beer Market Ottawa]
Bar Review: Revel Cider – Spirit of the Woods @ Craft Beer Market, Ottawa, ON
Sampled: May 2016
One of the newest restaurants and bars to the Ottawa scene is Craft Beer Market – an import from Western Canada, with the Ottawa location being the first Ontario restaurant to be opened outside of Alberta and BC. Located in the Lansdowne entertainment complex, it recently opened this May to much publicity and hype for it’s massive, two story concept. Promising ‘Canada’s largest selection of craft beer’, there are 132 different beverage taps available, including a few dedicated for cider. Featured as one of their ‘rotating taps’, Revel Cider’s award-winning cider ‘Spirit of the Woods’ was one we had to go try as soon as possible; especially as we were excited that we could finally enjoy a Revel Cider in Ottawa.
Spirit of the Woods is not your Grandfather’s cider – but we are very sure he would like it regardless. In collaboration with Dillon’s Distillery, this cider is brewed with gin botanicals to blend traditional and modern techniques and flavours together. The cider has very small carbonation bubbles, mild foam and is an orangy-yellow hue. The smell isn’t too over powering, with notes of apples and spices coming through; but the cider did become slightly more bitter and gin-smelling the closer it got to the bottom of the beverage. At a strong 6.9%, this cider packs a strong punch.
The initial taste is quite tart with the oak and wood flavours and aromas from the barreling process coming through. There are also bitter, ‘pine’ like notes that arise from the gin botanicals as well. The cider is slightly astringent tasting with grapefruit-like undertones to compliment. The aftertaste becomes a bit more ‘earthy’ in flavour, with more apple flavours emerging. Vanilla and light clove flavours smooth out some of the more bitter notes – with the flavours remaining a long time in the mouth.
This cider is quite crisp with some dry notes emerging in the aftertastes. As with the smell, we perceived the flavours becoming more strong and powerful the further into the drink you go. Even if you are not a fan of gin, this cider captures a lot of the wonderful floral and woody flavours found in gin without the strong bitterness of the spirit itself – that we feel most would enjoy to drink. This is a very sophisticated cider that we would not recommend eating with greasy fast-food; it would pair nicely with a juicy roast or a zesty pasta dish.
Try this cider at Craft Market Ottawa while it is still available as a rotating tap, or at various other cider-friendly bars in Southwest Ontario when its available. One sip and it is easy to understand why it took home gold last year at the Ontario Cider Awards.