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FieldBird – Sparkling Sur Lie Perry (2018)

Cider Profile:

Name: FieldBird – Sparkling Sur Lie Perry (2018)
Sampled March 2021

Brand: FieldBird Cider   
Type: Perry – Dry
Location of Brewing: Bloomfield, ON
ABV: 9.5%
Website Link: fieldbirdcider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: FieldBird Retail and Online Store
Flavour: Pear
Colour: Hazy straw-yellow
Carbonation: Small, streaming bubbles.  Trub noticeable


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Cellared, punchy fermentation with some astringency.  Mild sulphur notes.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation and acidity, Charred yet semi-creamy pear with smoke and earthy notes. Smooth with a heavier mouthfeel
After Taste: Becomes smokier and with some buttery notes. Astringency reduced as does earthy notes – leaving it slightly cleaner overall. 
On ice: Carbonation reduced, elements overall weakened.

Additional Notes:  The 2018 Sparkling Perry by FieldBird Cider is a Sur Lie offering (meaning kept in contact with the dead yeast cells and are not racked or otherwise filtered).  It’s thick, smoky and starts off astringent and acidic.  Those elements reduce leaving a buttery finish that is cleaner. Not a lot of pear, but a lot of fermentation characteristics. If you’re expecting traditional “fruit” flavours, you will be surprised with the focus being almost entirely on other elements instead.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County Cider – Pear Flavoured Cider
More Sour – Revel – Prosthetic Conscience
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Beaver Valley – Pear Cider

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Steel Town – Barrique

Cider Profile:

Name: Steel Town – Barrique
Sampled November 2020

Brand:  Steel Town Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Mixed
Location of Brewing: Hamilton, ON
ABV: 6.2%
Website Link: www.steeltowncider.com
Ingredients: Pressed apples, pear juice, peach, apricot, yeast
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 355ml (can)
Availability: Steel Town online and retail store
Flavour: Peach, apricot, pear, apple
Colour: Cloudy, sunflower yellow
Carbonation: Fine, streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Pungent, sour and acidic with some brandy and woody elements.
Initial Taste:  Medium bite from carbonation. Pulpy, acidic apples with some sour notes.  Stone fruit pit notes. Astringency. Punchy.
After Taste: Stone fruits appear more so as the apple and acidity dies down, becomes creamy in the finish. Finishes pretty clean for a barrel aged offering. Smoother brandy notes at the end.
On ice: Slightly watered down and cleaner mouthfeel.

Additional Notes:  The Barrique by Steel Town is a Peach and Apricot flavoured barrel-aged offering with both Bourbon and Brandy.  It starts off funky and pulpy with some of the punchy astringent notes you would expect from the barreling.  Turning more fruit flavoured, it’s more sour apricot than peach but still retains a nice, semi-sour apple taste. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Peach Cider
More Sour – Revel – Prosthetic Conscience
More Dry – Ernest – Speachless
More Crisp – Shale Ridge – Peach Cider

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Revel – Prosthetic Conscience

Cider Profile:

Name: Revel – Prosthetic Conscience
Sampled October 2020

Brand: Revel Cider Co.
Type: Perry – Flavoured
Location of Brewing: Guelph, ON
ABV: 5.5%
Website Link: revelcider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 355mL (can)
Availability: Revel online + retail stores
Flavour: Pear + hibiscus + brett
Colour: Cloudy grapefruit w/ darker sediment
Carbonation: Small, streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Very earthy and astringent with some sweet floral notes. Some hops-like notes. Brett pungency.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from acidity and some carbonation. Quick flavour of a pungent hibiscus with earthy and woody notes.  Brett flavour and sensation is forceful. Slightly bitter and mild tart.  Hoppy-esque flavours.
After Taste: Hibiscus becomes a bit more sweet with brett lingering. Pear flavour makes a decent appearance near the finish. Saline and funky aspects. Drier, creamier ending.
On ice: Carbonation is reduced. Less pungent, more smooth to consume.

Additional Notes: Revel’s hibiscus perry Prosthetic Conscience is a unique, funky creation that is heavy on the Brett but also on the other flavours. With more forceful elements in the front, it has smoother and creamier flavours to finish, with the pear and the hibiscus becoming sweeter. Brett elements would make this appeal to farmhouse beer drinkers, and we believe that is what makes it tastes hopped as well.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Pear Cider
More Sour – Sprit Tree – Pear with Lavender
More Dry – Clafeld – Rosehip Cider
More Crisp – Brickworks – The Purple Road

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West Avenue – Barrett Fuller’s Secret

Cider Profile:

Name: West Avenue – Barrett Fuller’s Secret
Sampled January 2021

Brand: West Avenue Cider House
Type: Apple – Barrel Aged
Location of Brewing: Flamborough, ON
ABV: 9%
Website Link: westavenue.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750mL (bottle)
Availability: West Ave Retail Store
Flavour: Apple + bourbon
Colour: Transparent golden yellow
Carbonation: Infrequently streaming bubbles 



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Heavy bourbon + astringency. Almond + pastry notes. Light bright apples.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation with some acidity. Heavy barrel-aging elements including wood/oak, astringency and a smooth but forceful bourbon. Mild heritage apples. 
After Taste: Becomes smoother as astringency weakens. Apples peak through more so. Ends very dry, with bourbon notes lingering. Earthy and wood hints remain.
On ice: Carbonation reduced, along with flavour and forcefulness. Smoother and cleaner.

Additional Notes: West Ave’s Barrett Fuller’s Secret is a force to be reckoned with – it has smooth but full bourbon barrel-aging flavour and presence. Heavy bourbon notes right from the start give you a punch of flavour and astringency that can seriously take the edge off. With mild to medium bright heritage apples, the apples act as a canvas for the spirit aging process elements to shine.  On ice, it makes a very large difference, being much less harsh but with also less flavour and initial intention. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 2.5
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 4.5
Fruity – 2.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Shiny – Hank’s Spiced Cider 
More Sour – Loch Mor – Bootlegger (Whisky)
More Dry – Hard Way – Whisky Rebellion
More Crisp – Twin Pines – Hammer Bent Organic Cider

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Ardiel – Victoria Pear Cider

Cider Profile:

Name:   Ardiel – Victoria Pear Cider
Sampled October 2019

Brand: Ardiel Cider House
Type:
Perry – Dry
Location of Brewing:
Blue Mountains, Ontario
ABV:
6%
Website Link:
ardielciderhouse.ca
Ingredients:
Fermented pear juice, pear juice, sugar, sulphites
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: 22 g/L

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability:
LCBO (Fall 2019)
Flavour:
Pear
Colour:  
Pale, translucent straw-yellow
Carbonation:
Medium, infrequently streaming bubbles.



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell:  Light aroma. Musty notes among fresh pear flavours.
Initial Taste: Light bite, some acidity. Natural pear flavour that is sweet but not surgery.
After Taste: Remains pear focused, becomes slightly bitter and astringent.  Lingers a long time with a dry, gritty finish.  Some woody and oak notes.
On ice: Less carbonation. Slightly less sweet and flavourful (minimal change)

Additional Notes:  This very traditional tasting Victoria Perry by Ardiel is a nice change from the sugary and candied commercially-available perrys.  It is not overly complex but offers some unique woody notes to a semi-crisp, semi-dry finish. Sweet but not sugary, very true to the fruit.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Strongbow – Dry Pear
More Sour – 401 – Pear Cider
More Dry – Lowrey Bros – Pear Cider
More Crisp – County – Pear Cider

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