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Heemans – Ambrosia

Cider Profile:

Name: Heemans – Ambrosia
Sampled June 2021

Brand: Heemans Cider
Type: Apple – Sweet
Location of Brewing: Thorndale, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link: heeman.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Heemans retail + online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent pale yellow
Carbonation: Large semi-streaming bubbles,
with a lot on the glass


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Bright, clean and rustic apple.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite from carbonation. A quick thick and sweet honey and apple that is slightly pulpy, but bright. Floral essences.
After Taste: Apple continues, becomes slightly less sweet. Some underlying bitter hints. Honey comes out strong here. Lingering finish that is mostly clean except for some coating honey.
On ice: Slightly thinner mouthfeel. No flavour change.

Additional Notes:  Heeman’s Ambrosia Cider is a sweeter than anticipated cider, but it’s not sugary, and it is very driven by the Carolinian Honey added – in terms of sweetness, flavour and mouthfeel. The apple base is soft and uplifting, complimenting the heavy honey presence (that is most noticeable in the finish). The cider has some floral and bitter hints, adding to its complexity. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4
Sour – 1.5
Crisp – 2
Dry – 2
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – 
More Sour – Coffin Ridge – Forbidden Dry Cider
More Dry – Grey & Gold – Heritage Dry
More Crisp – Thornbury – Honey Crisp Cider

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Slabtown – Ginger Spritz

Cider Profile:

Name: Slabtown – Ginger Spritz
Sampled June 2021

Brand:  Slabtown Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Ginger
Location of Brewing: Uxbridge, ON
ABV: 5.5%
Website Link: slabtowncider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Slabtown retail + online stores
Flavour: Ginger
Colour:  Translucent, light-yellow
Carbonation: Small, infrequent bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet ginger and hints of herby apple
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. A smooth apple base with a light, balanced and non-intrusive ginger. Somewhat sweet. Tonic and herb hints.
After Taste: Little change between initial taste and aftertaste.  Elements of apple reduce leaving a little bit of a smooth, ginger ale-like taste and mouthfeel.
On ice: Cuts carbonation and slightly less ginger.

Additional Notes:  Slabtown’s Ginger Spritz is exactly that, a light apple offering that has a slightly sweet apple base, with a smooth, ginger forward flavour.  It is quite close to a low-carbonation ginger-ale soda, but still has a light, bright-apple base noticeable. Easy to drink. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 1.5
Crisp – 3
Dry – 2.5
Fruity – 3

Next recommendations:
More Sweet –
More Sour – KW Craft – Thai Ginger
More Dry – Kings Mill – Ontario Mule
More Crisp – Archibalds – Hard Ginger Cider

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Carlisle Cider – Progreston Falls

Cider Profile:

Name: Carlisle Cider – Progreston Falls
Sampled June 2021

Brand: The Carlisle Cider Company
Type: Apple – Dry
Location of Brewing: Carlisle, ON
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link: carlisleciderco.com
Ingredients: Apples, sulfites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Carlisle retail + online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent light straw yellow
Carbonation: Fine streaming bubbles with large still on the glass


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Heavy fermentation notes. Punchy, semi-pungent apples.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Thick medley of apple flavours. Heavy fermentation notes. Carbonation adds tonic notes. A touch of funk.
After Taste: As fermentation notes clear out, it becomes slightly brighter and sweeter.  Tannins coat the mouth, also lingering with some flavour. Mild maple and earthy notes.
On ice: Becomes thinner, slightly reduced flavour and carbonation.

Additional Notes:  Carlisle’s Progreston Falls is a fermentation flavour driven cider, with a medley of apple flavours noticeable. The carbonation adds a lot of mouthfeel and some tonic flavour, but doesn’t last long. Once the fermentation notes clean out, the apples become brighter and sweeter. Throughout there are mild alternative flavour notes, including some funk and some earthiness. A decent amount of tannins in this one. A refreshing farm-cider option. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 2.5
Crisp – 3
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 3.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Hounds of Erie – Best in Show
More Sour – Steel Town – Session Cider
More Dry – West Avenue – Frequin Rouge
More Crisp – Thornbury – Honey Crisp Apple

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Country Cider – Legacy Series Rosé

Cider Profile:

Name: Country Cider – Legacy Series Rosé
Sampled May 2021

Brand: The County Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Rosé
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link: countycider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: 5g/l

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Country Cider retail and online store (2021)
Flavour: Rosé
Colour: Transparent rose gold
Carbonation: Infrequent, medium sized bubbles. 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Pulpy floral rosé wine and bitter sharp apples.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Bitter sharp apples with some acidity that’s balanced with baco-noir wine that’s slightly dry but still light.
After Taste: Apple dissipates and becomes more wine-like in nature. Finishes with a slight film but clean and dry.   A refreshing and bright finish that is long lasting.
On ice: Carbonation cut, but not much change.

Additional Notes:  The County Cider Company offers its Legacy Series Rosé for 2021.  Blended with baco-noir wine, it’s got a very traditional rosé taste.  Sharp and crisp apples blend well with the rosé elements, which smell more floral than it tastes.  Long lasting aftertaste helps with the rest of the full-bodied offering. Acidity driven and very wine-oriented in body.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 3
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 4
Fruity – 3

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Niagara Cider – Rose Gold
More Sour – Spirit Tree – Crabapple Rosé (2019)
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Lost Craft – Dry Rosé

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Loch Mór – Savvy Pomme

Cider Profile:

Name: Loch Mór – Savvy Pomme
Sampled June 2021

Brand: Loch Mór Cider Co
Type:  Apple – Single Varietal
Location of Brewing: Hillier, ON
ABV: 8.5%
Website Link: lochmorcider.ca
Ingredients: Apples, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 375ml (bottle)
Availability: Loch Mór Retail and online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Translucent, sunshine yellow
Carbonation: Mixed, lightly streaming bubbles.
Heavy carbonation when first opened.


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet pulpy and bright apple with hints of pineapple.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Sweet and smooth apple that’s creamy with some acidic notes. Bright pineapple-like notes. Rich fermentation flavours.
After Taste: Apple reduces and becomes a little more dry and acidic. Some long lasting tannic notes. 
On ice: Carbonation is slightly reduced. A little more acidic and less apple forward

Additional Notes:  Loch Mór’s Savvy Pomme is a uniquely smooth cider that is is off-dry yet still higher in tannic elements and acidity.  Even being as delicate as it appears, it’s much higher in alcohol than you would think at 8.5. Rich in fermentation notes and depth. It is easy to drink with a long lingering aftertaste.  Has a unique pineapple flavour to it, although it is a single varietal offering.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 3.5
Crisp – 3
Dry – 4
Fruity – 3.5 

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Slab Town – Pineapple Mimosa
More Sour – Steel Town – Salvaje (Pet Nat)
More Dry – Grey & Gold – Heritage Dry
More Crisp – Kings Mill – Russet Heritage

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Ernest – Rosé Cider Spritzer

Cider Profile:

Name: Ernest – Rosé Cider Spritzer
Sampled May 2021

Brand: Ernest Cider
Type: Flavoured – Mixed
Location of Brewing: Newmarket, ON
ABV: 4.0%
Website Link: errnestcider.com
Ingredients: Cider, water, juice
(Cranberry juice, tart cherry juice for colour),
wine, potassium sorbate, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 4g/l 

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: LCBO and Ernest online store
Flavour: Rosé 
Colour: Hazy, dark-rose
Carbonation: Large, streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. A floral perfume with candied cherry and slightly medicinal
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Smooth floral and rosé offering, with some candied notes. Cherry cough drop notes.
After Taste: Apple makes a sharp, sour appearance then dissipates quickly, leaving a dry, more floral perfume + bouquet like taste. Slight earthy finish.
On ice: Cuts carbonation and tonic elements. More wine-focused on ice.

Additional Notes:  The Rosé Cider Spritzer by Ernest Cider is a light offering at 4% and 4g/L of sugar.  Very floral and rosé forward, it has a quick hit of sour apple that is the base for the product.  A little thick but it doesn’t have too long of an aftertaste.  Some notes of cherry and cranberry which make the rosé elements pop along with some earthy elements. Note the wine mixture with some tonic elements and bitterness. Cherry is slightly medicinal tasting and candied in nature (like a cherry flavoured cough drop). 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2
Sour – 3
Crisp – 2
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 3.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Rosé Cider
More Sour – Crimson – Rose Cider 
More Dry – Clafeld – Rose Hip Cider
More Crisp – Lost Craft – Dry Rosé 

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Stock and Row – Lime Crush

Cider Profile:

Name: Stock and Row – Lime Crush
Sampled June 2021

Brand: Stock and Row Inc.
Type: Flavoured – Lime
Location of Brewing: Bloomfield, ON
ABV: 4.5%
Website Link: stockandrow.com
Ingredients: Apples, key lime juice concentrate,
sugar, sulphites

Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 355ml (can)
Availability: Stock and Row online store and
select licensees

Flavour: Lime
Colour: Hazy limeade hue
Carbonation: Medium streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. A tangy and punchy lime. Some mild dank, funky, fermentation notes
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation and acidity. Sharp tangy lime with other citrus hints. Some dessert apples are present, along with a little funk.  
After Taste: Apples and funky notes dissipate, leaving a simple lime juice finish with a hint of sweetness that smoothes out the lime punch.
On ice: Minimal change

Additional Notes:  Stock & Row offers their 3rd offering, the Lime Crush, which is a very lime juice forward offering with a light, crisp, dessert apple base.  Although slightly funky and with fermentation note to start, it finishes clean and almost like a limeade drink. Strong overall in flavour, enhanced by a lower (if any) filtration. Decently tangy/sour but should not be puckering for most. You have to like lime to enjoy this one.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 4
Crisp – 1.5
Dry – 3
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Brickworks – Lime Margarita
More Sour – 
More Dry – Kings Mill – Mojito
More Crisp – Slabtown – Mojito de Manzana

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Kings Mill – Arrested Development (Carbonated)

Cider Profile:

Name: Kings Mill – Arrested Development (carbonated)
Sampled June 2021

Brand:  King’s Mill Cider
Type: Apple – Off-dry
Location of Brewing: Stirling, ON
ABV: 10%
Website Link: kingsmillcider.ca
Ingredients: Ontario heritage apples, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Kings Mill retail + online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent semi-bright yellow
Carbonation:  Small, infrequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Mostly dry apples with hints of floral and must.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Quickly followed by a semi-sweet apple base that is slightly tangy and acidic. Mild honey and floral hints. Effervescent. 
After Taste:  Acidity and tanginess grow, lingers a long time.  Very clean finish, sweeter as time goes on but no grittiness.
On ice: Smoother on ice, less tangy, less crisp and thinner. 

Additional Notes:  Arrested Development by Kings Mill Cider is a  clean, crisp and slightly acidic cider.  Made with heritage apples, its mostly dry with a hint of sweetness, making it an off-dry selection.  A traditional, easy to drink cider, you would almost think it’s a “light cider offering, but it’s 10% and it will sneak up on you. It gets tangier as the bottle warms with a long lasting aftertaste. A very good traditional cider that refreshes.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 3
Crisp – 4
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 3.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Apple Cider
More Sour – Stock & Row – Slow & Low
More Dry – Loch Mor – Untamed (2019)
More Crisp – 

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Farmgate – Hyslop

Cider Profile:

Name: Farmgate – Hyslop
Sampled May 2021

Brand: Farmgate Cider
Type: Apple – Dry
Location of Brewing: Carp, ON
ABV: 9.5%
Website Link: farmgatecider.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 375ml (bottle)
Availability: Farmgate online store
+ select Ottawa farmers markets

Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Rusty orange
Carbonation: Large streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet apple, with vanilla hints. Unique pear smell.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Initially a very clean and bright bittersharp apple. Then it builds in acidity and tannic properties, with some sour crab apple-like notes emerging. Vanilla and pear hints.
After Taste: Becomes less clean, more apple peel focused. More dry and gritty. Some acidity that lingers.
On ice: Thinner mouthfeel. Weakened flavours. Less tannic.

Additional Notes:  The Hyslop by Farmgate will surprise you – it smells somewhat sweet but it is a very dry cider. Starting off very clean and bittersharp forward, it becomes acidic, tannic and gritty from the hyslop apples. But they are slightly countered with unique vanilla and pear like notes that emerge. Towards the end it becomes very peel oriented and even drier. Being very different in smell than taste and with a unique apple flavour we cannot recall tasting anywhere else, it is a unique journey worth taking. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 4
Crisp – 3
Dry – 4
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Waupoos Premium Cider
More Sour – Spirit Tree – Crabapple Rose (2019)
More Dry – Kings Mill – Scrumpy
More Crisp – Clafeld – Spy

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Chill Street – Squeeze The Day

Cider Profile:

Name: Chill Street – Squeeze The Day
Sampled March 2021

Brand:  Chill Street Brewing
Type: Flavoured – Guava
Location of Brewing: Elmsdale, NS
ABV: 5.9%
Website Link: chillstreetbrewing.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Chill St retail + online store
Flavour: Guava
Colour:  Transparent sunshine yellow
Carbonation: Medium streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Punchy and juicy sour guava with some sweet apple.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Semi-strong sour acidic guava with apple blend. Slightly tart and earthy.
After Taste: Becomes drier and more earthy.  Less apple and slightly reduced guava overall.  Finishes dry.
On ice: Reduced carbonation.

Additional Notes:  The Squeeze The Day by Chill Street is unique as the Guava really dominates, instead of the apple. It means it’s a surprising taste, as the guava has a lot of similar characteristics to a very dry and earthy apple.  One of the least sweet of the Chill Street offerings we’ve had. Slightly earthy and a little bit acidic and decently sour.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 3.5
Crisp – 2
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 3.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Brickworks – Pineapple Agave
More Sour – Steel Town – Guava AF
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Coffin Ridge – Tropical Hopped

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Duntroon – Empire Extra Dry

Cider Profile:

Name: Duntroon – Empire Extra Dry Cyder
Sampled May 2021

Brand: Duntroon Cyder House
Type: Apple – Single Varietal
Location of Brewing: Duntroon, ON
ABV: 5.5%
Website Link: duntrooncyderhouse.com
Ingredients: Apples
Gluten Free: yes
Sugar Content: 0g/L 

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: LCBO and Duntroon Cyder House
retail and online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Sunflower yellow
Carbonation: Large, semi-streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Sweet and pulpy apple with slight acidity
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Punchy bright apples that are semi-sweet (naturally so) and very crisp. Extra clean. Honey essences.
After Taste: Apple dissipates becoming drier but leaving most of the other elements the same.  Somewhat long lingering.
On ice: Reduced carbonation and some sharp elements.

Additional Notes: The Empire by Duntroon Cyder House is a strong example of an extra clean and crisp single varietal.  Very apple focused, it has a strong flavour and body from start to finish. Empire flavour is naturally semi-sweet and very bright but its a dry cider – with no added sugar. Not as sweet and juicy as it smells, but very crisp and refreshing with a bit of a kick from the apples. Lots of flavour and character for having just 1 type of apple and only apples as an ingredient. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2
Sour – 3
Crisp – 5
Dry – 4
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Original Apple Cider
More Sour – Duxbury – Heritage 1650
More Dry – Liberty Village – Extra Dry Cider
More Crisp – 

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Spirit Tree – Estate Reserve (2019)

Cider Profile:

Name: Spirit Tree – Estate Reserve (2019)
Sampled May 2021

Brand: Spirit Tree Cider Co. 
Type: Apple – Dry
Location of Brewing: Caledon, ON
ABV: 8.5%
Website Link: spirittreecider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Spirit Tree online + retail store
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent sunshine yellow
Carbonation: Small, semi-streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Bright apples amongst tannic, funky apple notes. Earthy hints.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite from carbonation and acidity. Bright, slightly acetic apples that are tannic and rustic. Some bitterness and a mild astringency. Medley of apple varieties. Effervescence.
After Taste: Apples remain the same but become slightly more funky in nature. Earthy notes with hints of oak. Mostly clean finish with some mild tannic residue. 
On ice:  Carbonation reduced. Harsher elements reduced, becomes slightly more smooth.

Additional Notes:  The 2019 Vintage of Spirit Tree’s Estate Cider is a milder than expected cider drinking experience that still has a lot of the expected estate cider elements. Tannic and mostly dry, there is a bright medley of apple varieties present here, but they present lighter than you many anticipate. Its a good starter cider into estate ciders that have tannic/heritage/estate varieties. Would pair well with food as it would not interrupt the flavours much. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 3.5
Crisp – 2.5
Dry – 4
Fruity – 3 

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Busl – Aurum Apple Cider
More Sour – West Avenue – Spontaneity
More Dry – FieldBird – 2018 Sur Lie Perry
More Crisp – Duxbury – Five Metre Scrum

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Steel Town – Guav AF

Cider Profile:

Name: Steel Town – Guav AF
Sampled May 2021

Brand:  Steel Town Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Guava
Location of Brewing: Hamilton, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link: steeltowncider.com
Ingredients: Pressed apples, guava, vanilla, milk sugar, yeast
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 355ml (can)
Availability: Steel Town online and retail store
Flavour: Guava
Colour:  Cloudy orange/peach
Carbonation: Fine, frequently streaming


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Funky and sour guava.  Some juicy and lactose bitterness is noticeable.  Not many apples.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from acidity and semi-soft carbonation.  Sour guava that is thick and funky – and somewhat punchy.  Some bitter-sharp and bright apples in the background. Creamy yet slightly bitter lactose.
After Taste: Intensity reduces overall as flavour mellows. Apple pulp makes a brief appearance.  Not overly long lasting and is less punchy, but some dry and earthy elements remain.
On Ice: Thinner, less punch.  Slightly more creamy. Cuts off aftertaste dramatically.


Additional Notes:  Steel Town’s Guav AF won a nod for one of our favourite ciders in 2017 at the Toronto Cider Festival and now it’s available in cans.  It’s a sour barrel-aged cider that could be puckering to some but too overly sour offering for us, with a lot of earthy and funky elements that are balanced to the semi-sharp apples. Thick but not gritty. Creamy and tart guava adds a unique dynamic to it. Lactose adds creaminess and some milk sugar bitterness. Very much fermentation forward, its a unique offering that fits very well into the Steel Town repertoire   Contains lactose = allergy alert.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 4
Crisp – 1
Dry – 4
Fruity – 3.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Coffin Ridge – Tropical Hopped
More Sour – Revel – Prosthetic Conscience
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Slabtown – Cucumber Mint

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Rosewood – Pomme D’or

Cider Profile:

Name: Rosewood – Pomme D’or
Sampled May 2021

Brand: Rosewood Winery Estates
Type: Cyser  – Apple Spirit
Location of Brewing: Beamsville, On
ABV: 20%
Website Link: rosewoodwine.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottle)
Availability: Rosewood online and retail
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Transparent rust
Carbonation: Still


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Caramelized sweet apples with a light astringency
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Sweet thick and syrupy caramelized apple with a slightly burnt honey note
After Taste: Elements from the barrels become more noticeable (woody and earthy) as the apples reduce. Lingers a while but with little apple elements.
On ice: Watered down and much less flavourful

Additional Notes:  The Pomme D’Or by Rosewood Estate Winery is a Cyser (apples with honey) that has been fortified into a dessert-style spirit at 20%.  It’s sweeter than many other apple spirit offerings yet still has a nice kick.  Honey provides a unique element, along with the barreling notes that are not overpowering.  

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2
Sour – 2
Crisp – 1
Dry – 4
Fruity – 3 

From Rosewood Winery: The cyser-Bochet (Cyser being honey wine made with apple and bochet being a honey wine made of burnt hone) is bone dry, all sugar was consumed during ferment or the forced caramelization of the honey prior to ferment. Wild fermented. It was aged for 1.5 years in French oak prior to 1.5 years in freshly emptied calvados barrels (French apple brandy barrels, very rare to get). It was bottled without filtration or fining. It’s a one of a kind production

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Kings Mill – Ice Cider
More Sour – Calvados Boulard – Pays ‘dauge
More Dry – Loch Mor – Pommeau
More Crisp – County Cider – Prince Edward County Ice Cider

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Clafeld – Spy

Cider Profile:

Name: Clafeld – Spy
Sampled May 2021

Brand:  Clafeld Cider House
Type: Apple – Single Varietal
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link: waupooswinery.com/cider-house
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 5g/L

Size(s) available: 500ml & 750ml (bottles)
Availability: Waupoos Winery Online Store
+ Clafeld retail store

Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent mustard yellow
Carbonation: Large infrequently bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet aroma of bright apples. Cotton candy notes. Mild acidity.
Initial Taste: Medium bite. Quick acidic and semi-dry apple. Naturally sweet, bright apple notes. Cotton candy elements. Extra crisp.
After Taste: Apple flavour continues with its acidity slowly dwindling. Clean finish. Semi-long lasting.
On ice: Less carbonation and less acidity. Flavour less prominent.

Additional Notes:  Clafeld’s single varietal Spy Cider is a very crisp cider that grasps the palate with natural acidity from the apple. A dry cider but with naturally sweet and bright apple flavours, its got a clean flavour but somewhat coating of the mouth. Unique cotton candy-esque flavour notes detected. Very apple forward with not too many alcohol fermentation flavours or other flavour notes present.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 3
Crisp – 5
Dry – 4
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Front Road – The Spy
More Sour – FieldBird – Northern Spy (2017)
More Dry – Windswept – Northern Spy (2018)
More Crisp – 

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Busl – Aurum

Cider Profile:

Name: Busl – Aurum
Sampled May 2021

Brand:  Busl Cider
Type: Apple – Crisp
Location of Brewing: Mallorytown, ON
ABV: 6.0%
Website Link: buslcider.com
Ingredients: Apple cider
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Busl online + retail stores
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Transparent, light yellow
Carbonation: Mixed, semi-frequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Smooth, sweet, pulpy apple.
Initial Taste: Light carbonation. Smooth and semi-creamy, slightly sweet apple that is light. Soft apple that dances with the carbonation for a bit.
After Taste: Sweet apple reduces and becomes slightly earthy and a touch musty. Long lingering aftertaste that is slightly thick.
On ice: Less bright apples and carbonation.

Additional Notes:  Busl Cider’s straight apple offering the Aurum, is an apple-forward, simple and sweeter apple cider that is bright and pulpy in nature. Aftertaste is pretty minimal, but slightly earthy/natural and musty with some elements that are somewhat herby and tonic-like.  A lot of classic apple juice elements in this soft but refreshing offering. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 3
Sour – 2.5
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 2.5
Fruity – 3

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Honeycrisp
More Sour – Duxbury – Five Metre Scrum
More Dry – Kings Mill – Scrumpy
More Crisp – Spy Ciderhouse – Golden Eye

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Kings Mill – Russet Heritage

Cider Profile:

Name: Kings Mill – Russet Heritage
Sampled April 2021

Brand:  Kings Mill Cider
Type: Apple – Single Varietal
Location of Brewing: Stirling, ON
ABV: 8.8%
Website Link: kingsmillcider.company.site
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Kings Mill retail + online
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent pale yellow
Carbonation: Large streaming bubble


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Thick, juicy golden russet. Some fermentation notes.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite from carbonation. Quickly juicy from bright golden russet apples. Heavy tannins and acidity add layers. Some earthy hints.
After Taste: Golden russet notes remain the same. Acidity weakens with some more fermentation notes appearing. Dry but bright finish.
On ice: Reduced carbonation, acidity and tannins. Slightly sweeter.

Additional Notes:   Kings Mill Russet Heritage is a wonderfully forceful offering that can satisfy everyone from longtime cider connoisseurs to new cider fans. Very juicy, it is tannic and acidic, delighting the taste buds with a lot to dissect, and yet somehow still very smooth to drink. The apple notes are bright and clear. A dry cider with a lot of heritage fruit grit. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 3
Crisp – 4
Dry – 4
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Two Blokes – Golden Mile
More Sour – Duntroon – Two Parish Perry
More Dry – FieldBird – Northern Spy (2017)
More Crisp – Hoity Toity – 283 Cider

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Niagara – Beekeeper’s Botanical

Cider Profile:

Name:  Niagara – Beekeeper’s Botanical
Sampled May 2021

Brand: Niagara Cider Company
Type: Flavoured – Botanical
Location of Brewing: Niagara Falls, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link: niagaracidercompany.com
Ingredients: Apples, botanicals, honey, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml Can
Availability: Niagara Cider Company Online Store
Flavour: Floral
Colour: Translucent, orange/yellow
Carbonation: Medium streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Slightly pulpy and spiced apples. Mild herbiness.
Initial Taste: Medium bite. Sweet and pulpy apples appear but quickly are overtaken by slightly tangy floral and herbal notes.  Nice acidity from the apples with some mild underlying bitterness.
After Taste: Apple returns at the end of the offering as the botanicals reduce.  Less clean, with some herby notes that linger a long while. Mild honey notes peak through.
On ice: Less carbonation and less flavour.

Additional Notes:  Niagara Cider Company’s Dry Beekeeper Botanical has a lot of elements – 7 different botanicals – but none specifically stand out and rather create a unique medley flavour together. A slightly thicker, more syrupy apple that becomes somewhat acidic in nature before returning to the pulpy apple finish.  Botanicals lean more herby and punchy with hints of floral notes.  

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 3.5
Sour – 3.5
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 3
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – East Street – Harvest Botanical
More Sour – Revel – Spirit of the Woods
More Dry – Grey & Gold – Jin & Juice
More Crisp – Brickworks – The Purple Road

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Chill St – It’s A Vibe

Cider Profile:

Name: Chill St – It’s A Vibe
Sampled May 2021

Brand: Chill Street Cider
Type: Flavoured – Pineapple and Wine
Location of Brewing: Elmsdale, NS
ABV: 7%
Website Link: chillstreetcraftbeverageco.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Chill St. Retail, Online Store and locally in Nova Scotia
Flavour: Pineapple + Pinot Grigio
Colour: Translucent, Dark yellow
Carbonation: Large, frequently streaming bubbles.  More on ice. 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Candied pineapple on top of a slightly astringent white wine.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. A sweet fruity pineapple with some creaminess. Candied and not a particularly natural pineapple flavour.
After Taste: Pineapple reduces and pinot notes surface, though remaining still very “fruit wine like” in nature.  Some floral elements, finishing soft.
On ice: Dramatically reduced flavour.

Additional Notes:  The “it’s a vibe” by Chill Street is a light, fruit wine inspired blend. With only a little bright apple, it’s much more of a cooler than a cider option. Pineapple is sweet but not sugary, balanced well with the Pinot Grigio. Easily crushable but still somewhat sweet. Quite watered-down when on-ice. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 3.5
Sour – 2
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 2
Fruity – 3.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – No Boats on Sunday – Peach
More Sour – Revel – Mithras
More Dry – Slabtown – Pineapple Mimosa
More Crisp – 7 Shores – Peach Vanilla

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Duxbury – Five Metre Scrum

Cider Profile:

Name: Duxbury – Five Metre Scrum
Sampled May 2021

Brand:  Duxbury Cider
Type: Apple – Oaked
Location of Brewing: Meaford, ON
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link: www.theduxburyciderco.ca
Ingredients: Ontario apples, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 10 g/L

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Duxbury online store
Flavour: Apple + oak
Colour:  Transparent light yellow
Carbonation: Large, infrequently streaming


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Bright, tannic apples.  Nutty and oak notes. Mild astringency.
Initial Taste: Light bite from acidity. Quick bright and tannic apples. Oak and wood notes. Crisp and tart.
After Taste: Apples become slightly drier. Mild astringency undertones come out. Clean, dry finish with lingering apple tannins that tickle the palate.
On ice: Reduced carbonation. Thinner mouthfeel and less tannins.

Additional Notes:  Duxbury’s Five Metre Scrum is a dry cider offering with a nice oak/wood note twist, being double oaked. Very crisp, acidic and tannic, this is a very satisfying traditional cider to consume. The apples are bright, but dry, and it has a mild astringency that is more prevalent near the finish. A rich but smooth cider with a lot of depth, and on par for Duxbury portfolio of offerings.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2
Sour – 3
Crisp – 4
Dry – 4
Fruity – 3.5 

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – East Street – Landmark Dry
More Sour – Steel Town – Salvaje (Pet Nat)
More Dry – West Avenue – Frequin Rouge
More Crisp – Hoity Toity Cellars – 283 Cider

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Heeman’s – Dry Empire

Cider Profile:

Name: Heeman’s – Dry Empire
Sampled May 2021

Brand:  Heeman’s Cider
Type: Apple – Single Varietal
Location of Brewing: Thorndale, ON
ABV: 7%
Website Link: heeman.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Heeman’s retail and online store
Flavour: Empire Apple
Colour:  Transparent pale-golden yellow
Carbonation: Large, infrequently streaming


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Bright and slightly dry apples with some tannic elements.
Initial Taste: Light bite followed by slightly tangy/tart and tannic apples that are bright and punchy. Balanced but tantalizing acidity.
After Taste: Becomes slightly drier and a little earthy in the long lasting aftertaste. Cleans out of the mouth well.
On ice: Slightly thinner, but no real flavour change.

Additional Notes:  Heeman’s Dry Empire is a single varietal that really captures how crisp and clean an Empire Apple can be. It’s bright and uplifting with some tannic elements. Clean all the way though with a somewhat long aftertaste. Not many fermentation notes here, as such it is very crushable. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 3
Crisp – 4.5
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Shale Ridge – Semi-Sweet
More Sour – Revel – Time and Place
More Dry – Kings Mill – Russet Heritage Cider
More Crisp – Thornbury – Honeycrisp Apple

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Shale Ridge – Pear Apple

Cider Profile:

Name: Shale Ridge – Pear Apple
Sampled May 2021

Brand:  Shale Ridge Hard Cider
Type: Flavoured – Pear
Location of Brewing: Thedford, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link: shaleridgeestatewinery.com
Ingredients: Cider, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Shale Ridge retail + online stores
Flavour: Pear
Colour:  Transparent soft golden yellow
Carbonation: Small, streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sugared, candied pear. Pulpy and fleshy apple notes.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Smooth, juicy and creamy candied pear flavour – Bartlett-like pear. Sweet dessert apples. Effervescent.
After Taste: Pear becomes slightly more dry but remains juicy. Honey hints. Clean finish that is long lingering. Some film.
On ice: Slightly less sweet.

Additional Notes:  Shale Ridge’s Pear Apple is a sweet and uplifting cider experience. Memories of Japanese pear-flavoured candies come about drinking this. Very candied and juicy, the pear is forward and undeniable, reminding us the most of a Bartlett/Asian pear blend. Apple notes are pulpy and fleshy. A long lingering cider that is clean and crisp. Very refreshing overall. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4
Sour – 2
Crisp – 4
Dry – 2
Fruity – 4.5 

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Pear Flavoured Cider
More Sour – Revel – Prosthetic Conscience
More Dry – Duntroon – Two Parish Perry
More Crisp – Ardiel – Victoria Pear

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Carlisle – Chapel on the Twelve

Cider Profile:

Name: Carlisle – Chapel on the Twelve
Sampled April 2021

Brand:  Carlisle Cider Company
Type: Apple – Dry
Location of Brewing: Carlisle, ON
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link: carlisleciderco.com
Ingredients: Apples, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Carlisle online + retail store
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent marigold
Carbonation: Medium streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Bright, baked apple. Molasses and brown sugar notes. Minerality.
Initial Taste: Medium bite. Quick earthiness and bitter notes. Unique mineral notes. Baked apple with peel notes. Grittiness. Spruce/foliage undertones.
After Taste: Apple becomes more peel and caramelized. Pepper and wood notes. Semi-sweet finish some molasses hints.
On ice: Slight reduction in carbonation and flavour but overall very similar to off ice.

Additional Notes:  Carlisle Cider Co’s Chapel on the Twelve is a unique cider that stands out in a large Ontario cider industry with different flavour notes that appear throughout the journey. You get a baked apple flavour that is somewhat caramelized in nature, with earthiness, wood/forest like notes and some soft pungency. There are also unique mineral notes that add depth and intrigue. A rustic, almost ‘backwoods’-tasting offering that is very rudimentary in taste and experience.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 3
Sour – 2.5
Crisp – 4
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 3.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Shiny – Apple Cider
More Sour – Revel – Time and Place
More Dry – Kings Mill – Russet Heritage
More Crisp – Hoity Toity Cellars – 283 Cider

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West Avenue – Honey Monster

Cider Profile:

Name: West Avenue – Honey Monster
Sampled April 2021

Brand:  West Avenue Cider House
Type: Apple – Cyser
Location of Brewing: Freelton, ON
ABV: 9.5%
Website Link: westavenue.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: West Avenue Retail + online store
Flavour: Apple + honey
Colour:  Transparent sunflower yellow
Carbonation: Large, infrequently streaming


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

 Smell: Strong aroma. Pungent honey and tannic apple. Some acidity and sourness.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Quick earthy, pungent honey that is rustic and aged. Barrel oak notes. Tannic but bright apples. Astringency.
After Taste: As harsher elements weaken, honey becomes smoother. Funk notes. Dry, dank finish.
On ice: Becomes thinner and harsher elements weakened. More apple forward.

Additional Notes:  West Avenue’s Honey Monster is a bold cider that doesn’t hold back on the natural flavours from fermenting honey and cider together. A very rustic and aged tasting offering, the cider really shines in the initial moments, with a pungent/earthy/natural honey taste that has notes of oak and barreling, with some harsher astringency. The honey becomes smoother in the aftertaste, being bright but also very dry overall. Apples are also bright but decently tannic. A large departure from other honey cysers/ciders available in Ontario. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2
Sour – 2.5
Crisp – 2
Dry – 4.5
Fruity – 2.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Niagara Cider – Beekeepers Botanical
More Sour – Slabtown – Honey Habanero 
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Ernest – Original Dry Cider

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Brickworks – Lime Margarita

Cider Profile:

Name: Brickworks – Lime Margarita Cider
Sampled April 2021

Brand: Brickworks Cider House
Type: Flavoured – Lime
Location of Brewing: Toronto, ON
ABV: 5.5%
Website Link: theciderhouse.ca
Ingredients: Cider, water, sugar, concentrated lime juice,
himalayan pink salt, mint, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Brickworks Summer Mix Pack (2021)
Flavour: Lime
Colour: Translucent straw-yellow
Carbonation: Large on glass, fine frequently streaming


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet lime with a hit of green apple. Saltiness.
Initial Taste: Medium bite. Mix of sweet dessert apples and sweet and tart lime.  Bright apples similar to other Brickworks options. Hint of mint that is slightly cooling.
After Taste: Apple reduces and almost becomes unnoticeable.  Lime becomes much stronger and sour. Some salt notes. Salt leaves the mouth feeling dry and thirsty. 
On ice: Reduced flavour overall, less carbonation.

Additional Notes: The Lime Margarita Cider from Brickworks Cider House is a departure from their more traditional bright and sweet offerings.  It starts apple forward, and finishes very lime-aid like with salt notes. Its sour but not puckering. A great summer treat but might make you continue to drink from the salt. A light interpretation of a margarita cider.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2
Sour – 3.5
Crisp – 2
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 3.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Crimson Cider – Mint to Be
More Sour – Steel Town – Vay Kay
More Dry – Kings Mill – Mojito
More Crisp – Slabtown – Mint Basil

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Collective Arts – Blood Orange & Cranberry

Cider Profile:

Name: Collective Arts – Blood Orange & Cranberry 
Originally sampled April 2021
Updated June 2021 (w/ LCBO version)

Brand: Collective Arts Cider
Type: Flavoured – Cranberry and Blood Orange
Location of Brewing: Hamilton, ON
ABV: 5.8%
Website Link: collectiveartsontario.com
Ingredients: Apples, blood orange concentrate, cranberry juice
concentrate, orange flavour, yeast, orange oil, sulphites

Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 7g/L

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Collective Arts Online & Retail Store, LCBO (2021)
Flavour: Blood Orange and Cranberry
Colour: Transparent peachy orange
Carbonation: Medium, frequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Creamy citrus with some cranberry tartness. Slight dry apple
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Semi-strong blood orange and citrus notes. Some cranberry tartness. Mild creaminess a mild apple base.
After Taste: Blood orange becomes stronger, with cranberry hanging on but weakening. Clean finish that is slightly sharp with lingering citrus notes.
On ice: Slightly reduced flavour and carbonation but little difference.

Additional Notes: The Blood Orange & Cranberry Cider by Collective Arts is a citrus -forward offering that has some slightly funky and dry apple notes.  Sour and blended citrus to start, the blood orange elements become more defined in the aftertaste. Cranberry is very mild and seems to only add a slight tartness. The LCBO version is obviously filtered, as its cleaner and not cloudy like the brewery original version. Not that much traditional apple. Blood orange + citrus are the defining elements in this cider – may not know its a cider if you were not told.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 4
Crisp – 2
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 3.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Pommies – Mimosa
More Sour – Steel Town – Vay Kay
More Dry – Rice Lake – Cranberry
More Crisp – Thornbury – Blood Orange

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Revel – Mithras

Cider Profile:

Name: Revel – Mithras
Sampled April 2021

Brand: Revel Cider
Type: Flavoured – Mixed
Location of Brewing: Guelph
ABV: 6.7%
Website Link: revelcider.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 335ml (can)
Availability: Revel retail store and online
Flavour: Nectarine
Colour:  Hazy, straw yellow
Carbonation: Mixed streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sour and funky with nectarine and semi-tart apple
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation, followed by a semi-sour and tart nectarine. Funky, but minimal apple flavour. Mild sassafrass undertones.
After Taste: Funk and sourness cleans out, leaving a more standard juicy nectarine that is not sweet at all. Some apple peel notes become present. Not long-lingering.
On ice: Heavily reduced flavour and reduction in carbonation. Cleaner

Additional Notes:  The Mithras by Revel (2021 Edition) is a tart and funky nectarine-driven cider.  With only some peel notes, it’s mostly stone-fruit forward.  It is slightly less sweet from earlier versions as it does not have peach.  A very smooth offering from Revel Cider, but it still has their trademark funk/wild notes to it. A light body makes for an easy drinking experience. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2
Sour – 4
Crisp – 2
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 3

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Shale Ridge – Peach Apple
More Sour – Steel Town – Barrique
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Niagara Cider – Peach Chardonnay

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Niagara – Peach Chardonnay

Cider Profile:

Name:  Niagara – Peach Chardonnay
Sampled April 2021

Brand: Niagara Cider Company
Type: Flavoured – Peach
Location of Brewing: Niagara, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link: niagaracidercompany.com
Ingredients: Apples, peaches, chardonnay, cane sugar, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Niagara Cider Company Online Store
Flavour: Peach
Colour: Transparent straw-yellow
Carbonation: Small, frequently streaming bubbles, 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Bright semi-sour apples with light peach and chardonnay astringency.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Bright and slightly tannic apples with some white wine notes. Some acidity.
After Taste: Apple dissipates quickly leaving a light peach and some astringency notes from the chardonnay.  Slightly drier.
On ice: Slightly less chardonnay on ice.

Additional Notes:  The Peach Chardonnay by Niagara Cider Company is a light, mixed offering  of wine, cider and peaches. It’s bright, not sweet by any means and starts apple forward finishing chardonnay and mild peach in the end. Easy to drink with a light mouthfeel. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2
Sour – 3
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 3

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Peach Cider
More Sour – Steel Town – Barrique
More Dry – Ernest – Speachless
More Crisp – Chill Street – Afternoon Delight

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Chill Street – Afternoon Delight

Cider Profile:

Name: Chill Street – Afternoon Delight
Sampled February 2021

Brand:  Chill Street Craft Beverage Co.
Type: Apple – Wine-Infused
Location of Brewing: Elmdale, NS
ABV: 7.2%
Website Link: chillstreetcraftbeverageco.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Chill Street retail + online store
Flavour: Peach
Colour: Transparent yellow
Carbonation: Mixed size bubbles, frequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium bright aroma. A candied peach with some astringent notes. White grape and slight sweet dessert apple.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Smooth, juicy and sweet peach, some light white grape notes and a touch of dessert apples.
After Taste: Apple dissipates, leaving a bright, white grape/peach fruit wine element (minimal traditional riesling notes, even though it is a blend of that).  Non-apple elements linger. Slightly astringent but mild compared to a typical riesling aftertaste. 
On ice: Very little, if any change.

Additional Notes:  Chill Street’s Afternoon Delight is a blended cider/wine drink.  Smooth and more fruit-like than a typical riesling, its got some white grape notes, smooth and juicy peach along with a touch of sweet, dessert apples.   Blended so it remains soft and does not pick up any strong distinct notes from the wine or cider.  Easily could be confused for a Peach fruit wine. Light and easy to drink.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 3.5
Sour – 2.5
Crisp – 4
Dry – 2
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Peach
More Sour – Brickworks – Stadium Island Peach
More Dry – Ernest – Impeachmint
More Crisp – 

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Kings Mill – Jalapeño

Cider Profile:

Name: Kings Mill – Jalapeño
Sampled April 2021

Brand: Kings Mill Cider
Type: Flavoured – Pepper
Location of Brewing: Stirling, ON
ABV: 9%
Website Link: kingsmillcider.ca
Ingredients: Apples, jalapeño, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 355ml (can)
Availability: Kings Mill retail and online store
Flavour: Jalapeño
Colour: Transparent straw yellow
Carbonation: Large streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Heavy jalapeño, intense nose penetration.  Slight bright apple.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Quick jalapeño flesh flavour, with then a building spice from the pepper. Pulpy, crisp apple base.
After Taste: Earthy pepper flavour becomes more obvious as spiciness starts to clear out. Pepper flavour lingers into the finish, along with a medium apple peel note.
On ice: Thinner mouthfeel and less carbonation. Weaker spice and pepper flavour.

Additional Notes:  Kings Mill’s Jalapeño cider is a bold offering that doesn’t shy away from accurately portraying the pepper’s flavour – but a lot with less heat than eating it straight. You get some spiciness in the middle with the start and finish being more focused on the jalapeño pepper flavour itself. A juicy, apple-peel base is noticeable to the palate throughout. If too strong for you, do drink on ice as it weakens the intensity. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 2.5
Crisp – 2.5
Dry – 4
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Slabtown – Honey Habanero
More Sour – KW Craft – Thai Ginger
More Dry – Heartwood – Eve Goes Badass
More Crisp – Grey & Gold – Spruce of the Bruce

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Windswept – Northern Spy (2018)

Cider Profile:

Name: Windswept Orchard Cider – Northern Spy (2018)
Sampled April 2021

Brand: Windswept Orchard Cider
Type: Apple – Single Varietal
Location of Brewing: Meaford, ON
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link: windsweptcider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Windswept retail and online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Transparent rustic orange
Carbonation: Large, frequently streaming with some foam.
Heavily carbonated. 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Sweet pulpy and thick apples (ice cider-like aspects).
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation, Sweet, pulpy and thick apples that have some rustic and slightly earthy elements. Caramelized and bright apple.
After Taste: Somewhat clean finish, slightly less bright and sweet.  Finishes drier with a lot of peel notes. Some trub in the bottom.
On ice: Less sweet and bright, similar carbonation levels. More fermentation notes.

Additional Notes: The Northern Spy (2018) by Windswept Orchard Cider is a thick, caramelized apple-focused wild pet-nat cider.  Slightly rustic, with a lot of flavour – has a bunch of ice-cider elements without the astringency.  A lot of carbonation and tingle.  For us, this one gets better at time as it ages in the bottle (bottle conditioned as well).  A bit of trub, but be mindful of shaking it before opening as there is a chance of a foam-over.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 3.5
Sour – 3
Crisp – 2.5
Dry – 3
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Original Apple Cider
More Sour – West Avenue – Legend of the Fall
More Dry – FieldBird – Northern Spy (2017)
More Crisp – Farmgate – North Road

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Pierre Huet – Cidre Bouché Brut

Cider Profile:

Name: Pierre Huet – Cidre Bouché Brut
Sampled March 2021

Brand:  Calvados Pierre Huet
Type: Apple – French Cidre
Location of Brewing: Cambremier, France
ABV: 4.5%
Website Link: calvados-huet.com/gb
Ingredients: Apples, yeast, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: LCBO Vintages + LCBO online store
(Chalk, Slate Gravel import)

Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent, rustic orange
Carbonation: Small, streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Sweet, caramelized, pulpy bittersweet apples. Cellar/musty notes.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite, but quickly thick. Heavy and rich bittersweet apples that are caramelized. Underlying astringency that is dull. Syrupy golden apples with some mild tart notes.
After Taste: Apple remains similar, becomes slightly more dry. Cellar/aged/musty notes come through. Long lingering elements.
On ice: Much thinner. Reduced flavour. Less sweet.

Additional Notes:  Pierre Huet’s Cidre Bouché Brut is a rustic, aged beauty that can mentally transport you to an old world cellar. Very rich, it’s got a thick mouthfeel that is syrupy and leaves a film. Heavy bittersweet apples define this with caramelized notes, amongst some mild crab apple hints. Tastes very aged, with sharp cellar notes that taste like damp wood but trust us, if you’re a fan like us, its very delicious. Dry mouthfeel that is gritty and long lingering.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4
Sour – 2.5
Crisp – 1.5
Dry – 3
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Kupela -Bizia Semi-Dry
More Sour – Spirit Tree – Crabapple Rose 2019
More Dry – Duntroon – Bittersweet Symphony 
More Crisp – Heemans – New Traditions

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Clafeld – Russet Cider

Cider Profile:

Name: Clafeld – Russet
Sampled March 2021

Brand: Clafeld Cider House 
Type: Apple – Single Varietal
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV: 8.5%
Website Link: waupooswinery.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 5g/L

Size(s) available: 500ml & 750ml (bottles)
Availability: Clafeld Retail or Waupoos Winery
Online Store

Flavour: Apple
Colour: Transparent light golden yellow
Carbonation: Medium, infrequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Bright and clean apple. Semi sweet smelling with some smokiness.  Juicy.
Initial Taste: Light bite. Bitter sharp and bright Russet apple. Clean to start but gets smokier. A lot of alcoholic and tannic peel notes. 
After Taste: Becomes less apple focused in the aftertaste.  Slightly drier. Semi-clean finish.
On ice: Reduced carbonation, less apple.

Additional Notes:  Part of the single varietal series put out by Clafeld Cider House, the Russet is a bright, bitter sharp offering that has a slight smokiness to it (as is somewhat common with single varietals from the Russet).  Grippingly tannic (slightly sour with peel elements), it’s still a little smoother and easier to consume than other russet offerings we’ve enjoyed. Balanced and apple forward, though it still tastes rather alcoholic at 8.5%.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2
Sour – 3
Crisp – 4
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Windswept – Crimson Crisp (2017)
More Sour – Farmgate – Wild Child
More Dry – Loch Mor – Golden Russet
More Crisp – Thornbury – Honeycrisp Cider

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Duntroon – Shaker Hill Blush

Cider Profile:

Name: Duntroon – Shaker Hill Blush
Sampled March 2021

Brand:  Duntroon Cyder House
Type: Apple – Rosé
Location of Brewing: Duntroon, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link: duntrooncyderhouse.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Duntroon retail and online stores
Flavour: Rosé
Colour:  Translucent orange-rust
Carbonation: Fine, streaming bubbles. 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Pulpy apples. Slightly sulphuric elements.  Some rose notes.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from acidity and some carbonation.  Strong, puckering sour tannic apples that have dry and peel elements. Some lemon elements.
After Taste: Once carbonation reduces, becomes more gritty and drier.  Has lots of red apple peel notes. Slightly woody in the aftertaste.
On ice: Thinner, less carbonation.  

Additional Notes:  The Shaker Hill Blush by Duntroon Cyder House is a smooth but sour experience.  Dry with a lot of tannic notes, its sour, earthy and very red apple peel focused.  A lot of red apple and lemon elements make this puckering but not overwhelming.  Mild rosé notes that have a strawberry lemonade vibe.  Quite a similar sustained sour throughout the flavour journey. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 4.5
Crisp – 2
Dry – 4
Fruity – 4 

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Heemans – Berry Blush
More Sour – Spirit Tree – Crabapple Rose (2019)
More Dry – Revel – Whimsy (2020)
More Crisp – East Street – Harvest Botanical 

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Spirit Tree – Crabapple Rose (2019)

Cider Profile:

Name: Spirit Tree – Crabapple Rose 2019
Sampled March 2021

Brand:  Spirit Tree Estate Cidery
Type: Apple – Crabapple
Location of Brewing: Caledon, ON
ABV: 7.5%
Website Link: spirittreecider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Spirit Tree Retail and Online Stores
Flavour: Crabapple
Colour:  Transparent rust
Carbonation: Small, frequently-streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Syrupy notes, with tart crab apple and lots of maple.
Initial Taste: Medium bite. Starts with a blend of bittersweet apple, with some acidic notes and sour elements. Thick, syrupy mouthfeel and flavour.
After Taste: Sour intensity builds and builds and becomes puckering + wincing.  Any sweetness is removed by this point. Long lingering.  The sour elements are dry and tannic. Rosé elements are more present in the finish. Gritty mouthfeel.
On ice: Waters it down.

Additional Notes:  The Spirit Tree Crabapple Rose is an intense cider.  It starts semi-sweet and builds to extremely sour, tannic and dry.  This offering has both sour and rosé elements, being very apple forward.  On-ice helps to cut some of the intensity, but still very strong.  Red peel notes are very dominant. Very puckering and sour, it builds in intensity for a long time, every sip. However, you do become accustomed to the sourness, but absolutely one of – if not the most – sour cider we’ve had.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2
Sour – 5
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 4.5
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Shiny – Rosé Cider
More Sour – 
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Heeman’s – Berry Blush

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Two Blokes – Golden Mile

Cider Profile:

Name: Two Blokes Cider – Golden Mile (Golden Russet)
Sampled March 2021

Brand: Two Blokes Cider
Type: Apple – Single Varietal
Location of Brewing: Port Perry, ON
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link: twoblokes.ca
Ingredients: Cider, honey, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottle)
Availability: Two Blokes Online and Retail Shop
Flavour: Golden Russet
Colour:  Transparent, light-golden yellow.
Carbonation: Small, infrequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Pulpy, semi-acidic and tart apples.
Initial Taste: Light bite. Gritty, semi-sweet, pulpy apples with some bitter notes.  Very crisp with some nutty, honey and pear hints. A forward but balanced acidity.
After Taste: Becomes slightly drier as time passes with a long lingering aftertaste. More peel notes in the aftertaste. Honey additives become more obvious.
On ice: Watered down and less sweet.

Additional Notes: The Golden Mile by Two Blokes Cider Is an unfiltered single-varietal Golden Russet offering. It is dry, nutty and very crisp.  With a lot of peel notes, it’s got some pear-like elements and is long lasting.  A lot of flavour overall, though watered-down on ice.  

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4
Sour – 2.5
Crisp – 4
Dry – 2
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Shale Ridge – Semi-Sweet
More Sour – West Avenue –Spontaneity
More Dry – Windswept – Cyser
More Crisp – East Street – Landmark Dry

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Grey & Gold – Highlander

Cider Profile:

Name: Grey & Gold – Highlander
Sampled February 2021

Brand:  Grey & Gold Cider Company
Type: Apple – Hopped
Location of Brewing: Clarksberg, ON
ABV: 6.8%
Website Link: greyandgoldcider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottle)
Availability: Grey & Gold online + retail stores
Flavour: Hops
Colour:  Transparent sunshine yellow
Carbonation: Large, infrequently streaming 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Juicy hops with bright, heritage apples. Some funk.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from acidity. Strong funk notes. Bright apples. Juicy citra hop notes that are lemony and sharp.
After Taste: Apple base slowly dwindles. Woody, earthy and acetic. Unique nuttiness. Ends dry with lingering wild notes.
On ice: Reduced flavours except it is slightly more hopped forward. Less sour.

Additional Notes:  The Highlander by Grey & Gold is a hopped cider but with a wild twist. Starting off with some strong funk notes, it makes way for some citra hopped notes that quickly come and dissipate. There is a bright apple base that remains the same the entire journey. Near the finish, the funkiness accelerates with woody and nutty notes appearing that linger awhile into and past the finish. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 3.5
Crisp – 2.5
Dry – 4
Fruity – 3.5 

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Pelee Island – Hopping Apple
More Sour – Revel – Prosthetic Conscience
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Ardiel – Big John Hopped

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West Avenue – Frequin Rouge

Cider Profile:

Name: West Avenue – Frequin Rouge
Sampled January 2021

Brand: West Avenue Cider House
Type: Apple – Dry
Location of Brewing: Flamborough, ON
ABV: 5.8%
Website Link: westavenue.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 355ml (can)
Availability: West Ave Online and retail store
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Cloudy pumpkin orange/brown.
Carbonation: Small streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Cellar notes with earthy and metallic hints. Crab apple-like notes forward.
Initial Taste: Medium sensation from acidity. Sour crabapple notes. Strong musty, cellared notes. Apricot hints.
After Taste: Acidity dwindles. Becomes slightly smoother and slightly sweeter. Very dry finish. Gritty and heavy mouth feel. Tart rhubarb-like hints.
On ice: Ice waters down the flavour and mouth feel. Crisper and smoother.

Additional Notes:  Frequin Rouge is indeed a very old world style cider as the can promises, with strong mustiness and cellar tastes, amongst the sour apples we believe are at least partially crab apples. This cider is very dry, not only in sugar content/sweetness but in the way it leaves your mouth, feeling very thick, gritty and heavy. Kind of a Normandy cidre meets Basque sidra flavour profile wise. Has a unique rhubarb note to finish. Not terribly apple forward, more fermentation element oriented.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 4
Crisp – 1.5
Dry – 4.5
Fruity – 2.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Duxbury – Sideroad
More Sour – Revel – Whimsy (2020)
More Dry – Spirit Tree – Crabapple Rose
More Crisp – Two Blokes – Lost Orchard (2019)

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No Boats on Sunday – Mixed Berry

Cider Profile:

Name: No Boats on Sunday – Mixed Berry
Sampled March 2021

Brand: No Boats on Sunday
Type:
Flavoured – Mixed berry
Location of Brewing:
Grimsby, ON
ABV:
5.0%
Website Link:
noboatscider.com
Ingredients:
Apple cider, water, sugar, malic acid, natural flavour, potassium sorbate, potassium metabisulphate, colour
Gluten Free: 
N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottle)
Availability:
The Wine Shop (Ontario)
Flavour:
Mixed berry
Colour:
Translucent fuchsia
Carbonation:
Small, infrequent bubbles.  Appears almost still.



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Fresh, crushed berries with some wine and sweet apples.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Light mixed berries (strawberry, raspberry, and some blueberry) with a smooth, dessert apple. Slight alcoholic taste that balances with sweet notes. Very sweet.
After Taste:  Dissipates very quick. Reduction in berry flavours and finishes with a light, sweet, juicy apple flavour that is slightly sweet with a little film in the mouth.
On ice:  Carbonation is cut. Less alcoholic taste.

Additional Notes:  The Mixed Berry by No Boats On Sunday – although not listing berries in the ingredients – is a balance between the apple and berry aspects but not balanced when it comes to the sweet factor, it’s pretty high.  Dessert apple forward, it’s sweet and clean with some red fruit flavours.  A mild alcohol taste but it’s easy to drink for the average consumer.  Sweeter than the rest of the product line with less apple flavour.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4
Sour – 2
Crisp – 3
Dry – 2
Fruity – 3

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Chill Street – Berry Naughty
More Sour – Ernest – Bumbleberry Cider
More Dry – Bulwark – Blush
More Crisp – Heeman’s – Berry Blush

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Heeman’s – Berry Blush

Cider Profile:

Name: Heeman’s – Berry Blush
Sampled March 2021

Brand: Heeman’s Hard Apple Cider
Type: Flavoured – Mixed berry
Location of Brewing: Thorndale, ON
ABV: 5.0%
Website Link: heeman.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottle)
Availability: Heeman retail and online store
Flavour: Mixed Berry
Colour: Transparent vivid-red
Carbonation: Infrequent large streaming bubbles.  


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell:  Mild aroma. Juicy mixed berry with strawberry and semi-tart raspberry.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Strong, juicy strawberry and soft, smooth dessert apple – with creamy raspberry.
After Taste: Raspberry dissipates and apples slightly reduced. Strawberry becomes more predominant and lingers a long time. 
On ice: Strawberry reduced a lot for a more balanced flavour profile.  A lot weaker overall.

Additional Notes:   The Berry Blush Hard Apple Cider by Heeman’s is a light but flavourful offering. It’s strawberry forward, with lots of juicy and creamy strawberry elements.  Softer, pulpy dessert apples make a flavourful base that’s accompanied by some tart raspberries that leave it balanced and not overly sweet.  A lot of flavour that lasts a long time. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4
Sour – 3
Crisp – 4
Dry – 2
Fruity – 5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Heritage Estates – Eden’s Apple Strawberry
More Sour – Spy Cider – Crimson Tide
More Dry – Kings Mill – Strawberry Rhubarb
More Crisp – Reinhart’s – Strawberry Hibiscus

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Hoity Toity – 283 Cider

Cider Profile:

Name: Hoity Toity Cellars – 283 Cider
Sampled March 2021

Brand: Hoity Toity Cellars
Type: Apple – Crisp
Location of Brewing: Mildmay, ON
ABV: 6.0%
Website Link: www.hoitytoitycellars.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Retail store only
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Sunshine yellow
Carbonation: Large bubbles on glass


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Bright crisp apples that are sweet and juicy. Hint of fermentation notes.
Initial Taste: Light bite. Smooth, sweet juicy apples, bright and clean.  
After Taste: Become slightly more sour/tart and less sweet, fermentation notes become present.  Finished somewhat more dry and clean. Lingers a long time.
On ice: A little thinner.

Additional Notes:  The 283 by Hoity Toity cellars is a bright, clean and juicy cider that is on the sweeter side of things.  It’s naturally sweet and crisp – with some mild sour/tart notes at the end.  A blend of dessert apples (green, red and yellow notes we could taste) with a bit of fermentation elements at the end.  It has some memories of a white wine, which Hoity Toity also produces. Lots of flavour and body in this one.  Very classic, clean traditional cider. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4
Sour – 3
Crisp – 4.5
Dry – 2.5
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – 
More Sour – Spirit Tree – Draught Cider
More Dry – Grey & Gold – Heritage Dry
More Crisp – Shale Ridge – Semi-Sweet

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Farmgate – North Road

Cider Profile:

Name: Farmgate – North Road
Sampled February 2021

Brand: Farmgate Cider Co.
Type: Apple – Crisp
Location of Brewing: Arnprior, ON
ABV: 6.3%
Website Link: farmgatecider.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 375ml (bottle)
Availability: Farmgate online store, local farmers markets
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Pale bright-yellow
Carbonation: Medium, frequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Pulpy sweet apples. Some fermentation notes.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Smooth, bright apples.  Slight tanginess but light mouthfeel, with some acidity. Hints of beeswax.
After Taste: Becomes a little less clean in the aftertaste with some funky elements.  Remains dry. Slight film. 
On ice: Elements slightly reduced and thinner. 

Additional Notes:  The North Road by Farmgate Cider Co. is a bright offering with some funkiness in the aftertaste.  It’s pulpy and fresh, quite crisp and a pretty flavourful apple offering.  A smoother cider than most of the other offerings from Farmgate, but still has a common taste with its brethren. Approachable, a good introduction cider for new Farmgate drinkers.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 2.5
Crisp – 4
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 3

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Brickworks – Batch 1904 Cider
More Sour – Steel Town Cider – Salvaje (Pet Nat)
More Dry – Loch Mor – Untamed (2019)
More Crisp –

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Crimson Cider – Perfect Matcha

Cider Profile:

Name: Crimson Cider – Perfect Matcha
Sampled March 2021

Brand:  Crimson Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Tea
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV: 5.5%
Website Link: crimsoncidercompany.com 
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Crimson online + retail store
Flavour: Matcha green tea
Colour:  Translucent fluorescent green
Carbonation: Large semi-streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Crisp, acidity, fleshy apples. Hint of earthy green tea.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Quick acidic and crisp apples that are semi-bright. Lime notes.
After Taste: Apples become cleaner, slightly juicier. Some natural and earthy matcha flavour notes come out to finish. Slight film.
On ice: Slightly thinner mouthfeel.

Additional Notes:  Crimson Cider’s Perfect Matcha is a light profile cider that is easy to consume. With a more mild matcha profile than anticipated, it’s not too overpowering but as a result it may not satisfy tea connoisseurs looking for more of a matcha experience. Being a mostly apple driven cider, it’s crisp, acidic and smooth with bright fleshy apple notes throughout.  The tea flavour does become a slight bit stronger near the finish due to the natural settling of the powdered tea. The green colouring is hypnotizing. Remember to gently shake before consumption.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 3.5
Crisp – 4
Dry – 3.5
Fruity –  3

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Clafeld – London Fog
More Sour – County – Elderflower Sour
More Dry – Steeltown – Daga Carmesi
More Crisp – 

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Busl – Cerasus

Cider Profile:

Name: Busl – Cerasus
Sampled March 2021

Brand:  Busl Cider
Type: Flavoured – Cherry
Location of Brewing: Mallorytown, ON
ABV: 4.5%
Website Link: buslcider.com
Ingredients: Cider, cherry juice, sugar cane, honey.
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Busl online + retail stores
Flavour: Cherry
Colour: Translucent ruby red
Carbonation: Small, frequently streaming

 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Light aroma. Sweet and semi-tart cherry. Some bright apple notes.
Initial Taste: Light bite. Bright dessert apples emerge quickly, with some cherry notes. Semi-dry but not sweet. Semi-thick mouthfeel.
After Taste: Apple dissipates and leaves a stronger cherry element. Cherry notes become a bit medicinal in nature but smooth. Lingers a long time.
On ice: Dramatic drop in cherry flavour.

Additional Notes:  Busl Cider’s Cerasus is a cherry infused cider that is on the thicker side!   It does start out primarily apple forward as it transitions to pretty much all cherry in the end. The cherry flavours are a bit dynamic, starting off more dry and tart and becoming more candied and medicinal tasting in the finish that lingers awhile. Don’t add ice to this one, you will miss a lot of the flavour. Enhanced cherry in the 2020 version compared to previous years.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 3.5
Sour – 2.5
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 3
Fruity – 3.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Shale Ridge – Cherry Apple
More Sour – County – Feral
More Dry – Slabtown – Legendary Cherry
More Crisp – KW Craft – Wild Cherry

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Spirit Tree – 10th Anniversary Estate Reserve

Cider Profile:

Name: Spirit Tree – 10th Anniversary Estate Reserve 
Sampled February 2021

Brand:  Spirit Tree Estate Cider
Type: Apple – Dry
Location of Brewing: Caledon, On
ABV: 8%
Website Link:
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) Available:750ml (bottle)
Availability: Limited – Spirit Tree Estate retail and online 
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Translucent, golden apple
Carbonation: Infrequent, mixed-size streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Bright apples with crab and bittersweet notes
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Bright, semi-sweet apples with some tannic elements. Slightly sour/tart but very clean. Tannins and crab apple flavours.
After Taste: Apple dissipates and is slightly sweeter, but also has some pulp elements.  Lingers a long time, with a bit of film.
On ice: Slightly more astringent. A touch less flavour.

Additional Notes:  Celebrating a decade of operations, Spirit Tree Estate Cider – 10th Anniversary Estate Reserve Cider is a bright cider with bitter sharp elements, that is slightly sweeter than we thought it would be.  Decently clean for the style, this tannic and apple forward offering has a long lingering aftertaste. Apples are very rustic, bittersweet and gripping on the palate. Some crab and bittersharp hints in there too. We applaud Spirit Tree Estate as one of the original cider makers in Ontario, and their experience really shows in this soon to be classic. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 3
Sour – 3
Crisp – 4
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Waupoos Original Premium
More Sour – Revel – Time and Place
More Dry – Beaver Valley – Flagship Apple
More Crisp – Shale Ridge – Crisp Apple

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Shale Ridge – Crisp Apple

Cider Profile:

Name: Shale Ridge – Crisp Apple
Sampled November 2020

Brand: Shale Ridge Estate Winery
Type: Apple
Location of Brewing: Thedford, ON
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link: shaleridgewinery.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free:  Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Via Shale Ridge retail and online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Translucent Yellow
Carbonation: Medium, infrequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Fresh juicy, bittersharp apples
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Medium apple with some bitter-sharp notes. Crisp and slightly tangy.
After Taste: Carbonation exits rapidly. Some stone fruit elements in aftertaste.  Becomes more dry, but cleans out somewhat quickly. Some banana-ester-like notes.
On ice: Less carbonation. Little other change.

Additional Notes:  The Crisp Apple by Shale Ridge, is very crisp and pleasantly simple. Very clean, and mostly bittersharp-apple focused (not too sweet, slightly tangy) with some acidic notes, the offering is a great example of a very refreshing cider. A fizzy pour but a lighter mouthfeel overall.  

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 3
Crisp – 4.5
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Brickworks – Queen Street 501
More Sour – Pommies – Farmhouse Cider
More Dry – Twin Pines – Hammer Bent Organic Cider
More Crisp – Thornbury – Honeycrisp

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Rice Lake – Cranberry Dry Cider

Cider Profile:

Name: Rice Lake – Cranberry Dry Cider
Sampled February 2021

Brand:  Rice Lake Hard Cider
Type: Flavoured – Cranberry
Location of Brewing: Baltimore, ON
ABV: 6.2%
Website Link:
Ingredients: Fresh pressed sweet apple cider, pure cranberry juice,
natural cane sugar, malic acid, sulphites

Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 355ml (can)
Availability: Rice Lake Retail + Online Store
Flavour: Cranberry
Colour: Hazy rosy red
Carbonation: Small, frequently streaming


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Tart cranberry. Earthy, musty hints.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite from carbonation that is slightly tingly. Infused tart, dry and natural cranberry. Fleshy and bitter-sharp apple flavours. Some musty and earthy apple elements.
After Taste: Cranberry becomes drier while apple weakens. Cranberry lingers awhile, becomes cleaner.
On ice: Reduced mouthfeel, carbonation and flavour.

Additional Notes:  Rice Lake’s Cranberry Dry cider delivers on its title, being a dry and natural cranberry experience. It tastes very infused and blended, and not like the gritty juice you drink on its own. The bitter-sharp apple base has a lot of elements, including being fleshy, musty and slightly crisp. A mild tartness but far from puckering. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2
Sour – 3
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 4
Fruity – 3

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Cranberry Apple
More Sour – Muskoka Lakes – Cliff Jump Cranberry
More Dry – Beaver Valley – Cranberry
More Crisp – Ernest – Rubee

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Chill St – Berry Naughty

Cider Profile:

Name: Chill St – Berry Naughty
Sampled February 2021

Brand: Chill Street Cider
Type: Flavoured – Strawberry and lime
Location of Brewing: Elmsdale, NS
ABV: 5.2%
Website Link: chillstreetcraftbeverageco.com
Ingredients: N/A 
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Chill St. retail and online store
Flavour: Strawberry lime
Colour: Transparent, light orange/peach
Carbonation: Small, streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Sweet strawberry and candied dessert apple.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Light mouthfeel with sweet candied strawberry and supporting dessert apples.
After Taste: Apple dissipates with a slight film. Strawberry remains awhile. Some sweet lime present in the aftertaste.  Somewhat long lingering.
On ice: Reduced carbonation

Additional Notes:  The Berry Naughty by Chill Street Ciders is a light and sweet offering that is very strawberry forward with candied notes.  It’s bright, lightly carbonated and lingers a while in the mouth.  Comparable to some international brands like Rekorderlig & Kopparberg Strawberry Lime ciders.  

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4.5
Sour – 2
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 1.5
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet –
More Sour – Annapolis Cider – Sour Cherry
More Dry – Bulwark – Blush
More Crisp – No Boats on Sunday – Dry Rosé

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Union Libre – Aronia

Cider Profile:

Name: Union Libre – Aronia
Sampled November 2020

Brand: Union Libre Cidre & Vin Inc
Type: Flavoured – Aronia Berries
Location of Brewing: Dunham, Quebec
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link: unionlibre.com
Ingredients: Cider, aronia berries, sugar, yeast
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 355ml (bottle)
Availability: Quebec
Flavour: Aronia berries
Colour: Cloudy ruby grapefruit
Carbonation: Frequent, small streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Tart berry with pulpy, cellared apple, that is slightly acidic.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Dank and gritty berry taste, slightly acidic apple that rather muddled. Dry and earthy with some grapefruit notes.
After Taste: Becomes more earthy and dank.  Drier as time goes on, all apple elements removed.  Cleans out quickly except for the earthy notes.  
On ice: Reduces carbonation a lot, other elements pop more as a result.

Additional Notes:  The Aronia by Union Libre is a very dank and gritty flavoured offering made with the lesser known naturally tart aronia berries.  Earthy with very little apple, the aronia berries are present and unique in this unfiltered offering. Carbonation is fizzy and hides a lot of the elements, which are more present when on ice.  Very little apple in this unique offering. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2
Sour – 3
Crisp – 1
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 2

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Coteau Rougemont – Fizz Framboise (Raspberry)
More Sour – Alma Cidre – Rosie
More Dry – 
More Crisp – McAdam – Cidre Urbain Dark Fruits

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Farmgate – Wild Child

Cider Profile:

Name: Farmgate – Wild Child
Sampled February 2021

Brand: Farmgate Cider
Type: Apple – Wild Ferment
Location of Brewing: Arnprior, ON
ABV: 7%
Website Link: farmgatecider.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 375ml (bottle)
Availability: Farmgate Online Store
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Translucent straw-yellow
Carbonation: Mixed, frequently streaming.  .



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Funky and earthy notes. Some bright apple elements.
Initial Taste: Light bite. Funk, farmhouse and fermentation notes mixed in amongst the bright apple base. Dessert apple notes, alongside some heritage/wild apple aspects.
After Taste: Apple cleans out pretty quick, leaving some lingering funky wild elements, including crab-apple-like notes. Some sulphuric and woody notes. 
On ice: Carbonation reduced, little difference.

Additional Notes:  The Wild Child by Farmgate Cider is a contrasting cider – a light, bright apple base with more intense funky elements.  Earthy with some wild crab apple flavours, it has some sulphuric hints and is quite heavy with fermentation notes. However, the apple base is light and more dessert focused. Raw yet still with bright apples, it still tastes a lot lighter than 7%.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2
Sour – 3
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 2.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Original Apple Cider
More Sour – Revel – Time and Place
More Dry – Kings Mill – Premium Dry
More Crisp – Flying Canoe – Hard Cider

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