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County – Elderflower Sour

Cider Profile:

Name: County – Elderflower Sour
Sampled October 2020

Brand:  County Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Elderflower
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link: countycider.com
Ingredients: Cider and natural flavours. Sulphites
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottle)
Availability: Limited – County retail + online stores
Flavour: Elderflower
Colour:  Transparent light yellow
Carbonation: Large streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Earthy elderflower. Tart apple. Hop-like notes. Citrus.
Initial Taste: Medium bite. Quickly sour and tart. Pungent elements. Funky apple. Earthy floral notes. Acetic elements. Tastes dry-hopped.
After Taste: Floral aspects become slightly sweeter, becoming more elderflower defined. Sourness slowly weakens. Orange and citrusy undertones. 
On ice: Slightly smoother, no flavour change.

Additional Notes:  The County Elderflower Sour is not what we were expecting or remember having it on tap in 2019. A depth of sourness, its got some acetic and pungent aspects and is long lingering. The floral flavour is rather earthy and generic at least first, becoming more elderflower focused into the aftertaste. Funky apples, little sweetness to them. Decently dry, almost dank at moments and could be puckering for some. A very strong deviation from most of the County flavoured offerings. The flavour reminds us of some dry-hopped ciders. A good choice for sour beer fans.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Blueberry Elderflower Sour
More Sour – Steeltown – Northman Sour
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Grey & Gold – Wildflower Cider

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KW Craft – Chai Spiced Cider

Cider Profile:

Name: KW Craft – Chai Spiced Cider
Sampled October 2020

Brand:  KW Craft Cider
Type: Apple – Mulled
Location of Brewing: Kitchener-Waterloo, ON
ABV: 6.7%
Website Link: kwcraftcider.com
Ingredients: Freshly pressed Ontario apples, cane sugar, champagne yeast,
cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, allspice, sulphites

Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: 2020 Holiday Package @ LCBO + KW Craft Online Website
Flavour: Chai
Colour:  Transparent sunshine yellow
Carbonation: Large, streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Light, bittersharp apples. Roasted mulled chai spices.
Initial Taste: Light bite from spicing and carbonation. Clean, bright, crisp apples. Warming chai spices, in particular ginger and allspice.
After Taste: Apples start to dissipate and chai becomes more forward, and smoother. Light caramel hints. Spices linger awhile but is clean in the palate.
On ice: Carbonation reduced. Spices reduced + less ‘heat’.

Additional Notes:  KW Craft’s Chai Spiced is a delightfully clean, mulled cider featuring chai spices. A rather lighter bodied cider, the spices are warming and present throughout but not overpowering nor gritty. The apple base is crisp and slightly acidic and it works well in harmony with the spices. Great for cooler weather. Captures the unique chai spices well, defines itself against other mulled cider offerings as a result.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Spiced Apple
More Sour – County – Harvest Spice
More Dry – 401 – Apple Pie Cider
More Crisp – 

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Kings Mill – Raspberry (Carbonated)

Cider Profile:

Name: Kings Mill – Raspberry (Carbonated)
Sampled October 2020

Brand:  Kings Mill Cider Inc
Type: Flavoured – Raspberry
Location of Brewing: Stirling, ON
ABV: 9%
Website Link: kingsmillcider.com
Ingredients: Apples, raspberries
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Kings Mill Online and Retail Stores
Flavour: Raspberry
Colour:  Transparent, light peach
Carbonation: Medium, infrequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Fleshy, bitter-sharp apple with wild raspberry notes. Some earthy elements
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Semi-tart and fresh raspberries undertone with semi-sweet apple base
After Taste: Flavours slightly intensifies and becomes more pronounced. Some dryness and more earthy, elements present.  Finishes like a raspberry fruit wine.
On ice: Reduced carbonation and apple elements. Thinner body.

Additional Notes:  The award winning (2019 Craft Beer & Cider Awards at the Royal Winter Fair) Raspberry Cider (carbonated) by Kings Mill is a lighter cider offering – though its ABV 9% – with earthy and fresh natural raspberries.  Not overly juice forward, it is light, clean with some wine-like finishing elements. Tastes infused and not juiced. Becomes more defined as it warms, so feel free to let it get closer to room temperature. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Raspberry Apple
More Sour – 401 Cider – Raspberry
More Dry – Beaver Valley – Bumbleberry
More Crisp – 

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Spy Cider – Crimson Tide

Cider Profile

Name: Spy Cider – Crimson Tide
Sampled August 2020

Brand:  Spy Cider House and Distillery
Type: Flavoured – Black Currant
Location of Brewing: Clarksburg, ON
ABV: 5%
Website Link: spydistillary.com
Ingredients: Apples, black currants.
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Spy Cider House retail store + online store
Flavour: Black currant
Colour:  Transparent Ruby red
Carbonation: Medium streaming bubbles, some foam when poured. 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Tart apple with thick black currant reduction.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Semi-tart apples that are crisp and flavourful.  Some tart black currant elements. Strawberry notes.
After Taste: Apple reduces and black currant becomes much more present, tart with mild sweet aspects. Slightly thick and tingly mouthfeel. 
On ice: Reduced carbonation, more black currant focused.

Additional Notes:  The Crimson Tide by Spy Cider is a tale of two tastes. Apple forward and slightly tart to start, as time lingers it becomes much more black currant focused in the aftertaste (Enough so that you wonder where all the apple went).  Crisp to start and slightly muddled in the finish. Note: This is a remix of their original, Golden Eye same base with black currant added. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Duntroon Cyder – Raindance Rhubarb Cyder
More Sour – 401 Cider – Black Currant
More Dry – Beaver Valley – Bumbleberry
More Crisp – 

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Slabtown – Pineapple Mimosa

Cider Profile:

Name: Slabtown – Pineapple Mimosa
Sampled September 2020 (Updated January 2021)

Brand:  Slabtown Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Pineapple
Location of Brewing: Uxbridge, ON
ABV: 6.2%
Website Link:
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/ASize(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Slabtown Retail Store
Flavour: Pineapple
Colour:  Hazy blonde
Carbonation: Small, frequently streaming bubbles. Some foam. 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Fermented pineapple with black pepper hints. Some dessert apples.
Initial Taste: Mild bite from carbonation. Smooth, creamy pineapple. Pineapple fermentation notes are minimal. Clean green apple flavour without the sour notes. Some apple tannins.
After Taste: Pineapple continues, becomes sweeter. Vanilla hints. Ends creamy, off-dry. Mild spice notes.
On ice: Carbonation reduced. Pineapple punch is weakened. More apple notes come through.

Additional Notes:  Slabtown’s Pineapple Mimosa is a very pineapple focused offering, with mild apple notes, that remind us of green apple varieties. With a champagne yeast added, it adds a light sparkle and taste but its not heavy like a true sparkling wine. Ends quite creamy. Light body, easy drinking.  Of the two bottles we had, one was smooth (2021) the other had more pineapple fermentation notes which had some bitterness (2020).

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 3
Sour – 2.5
Crisp – 2
Dry – 3
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Blackberry Peach Cider
More Sour – Coffin Ridge – Tropical Hopped Cider
More Dry – Ernest – Speachless 
More Crisp – Pommies – Mimosa Cider

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Ernest – Speachless

Cider Profile:

Name: Ernest – Speachless
Sampled September 2020

Brand: Ernest Cider Company
Type: Flavoured – Peach
Location of Brewing: Bond Head, ON
ABV: 4%
Website Link: ernestcider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Ernest Online Store
Flavour: Peach and hops
Colour:  Cloudy Straw-yellow with slight peach hues
Carbonation: Small, streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Hops with citrus. Peach pit aroma with some sour apple.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Dry apple with some sour peach.  Infused hops give it a bit of a citrus note.
After Taste: Apple dissipates, so does sour part of the peach leaving a more natural peach. Smoother hops in the aftertaste. Some fermentation notes linger.
On ice: Slight reduction in carbonation and body.

Additional Notes:  The Speachless by Ernest Cider Co is a different offering for a peach cider. Peach elements come though much more sour than sweet, and more of a peach pit flavour than the flesh. Hops add a mild rugged bitterness. Apple notes are there, but not prominent. Some citrus-like notes from the hops and peach pit elements. Unfiltered but not gritty. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Peach Cider
More Sour – Coffin Ridge – Tropical Hopped
More Dry – 
More Crisp – 401 Cider – Peach Cider

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Coffin Ridge – Tropical Hopped

Cider Profile:

Name: Coffin Ridge – Tropical Hopped
Sampled August 2020

Brand:  Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery Inc.
Type: Flavoured – Mixed
Location of Brewing: Annan, ON
ABV: 6.0%
Website Link:
Ingredients: Cider, fruit juices (pineapple, mango, guava, passion fruit, orange, peach, kiwi), natural flavour, sulphite
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Limited – Coffin Ridge Winery
Flavour: Tropical Fruits
Colour:  Rusty orange
Carbonation: Medium, frequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Pineapple and citra hops forward. Medley of tropical fruits.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation and acidity. Hop sensation and taste quickly noticeable. Candied pineapple. Some bitter notes.
After Taste: Fruits become slightly sweeter. Some fruits like kiwi and orange become more prominent. Creamy and tangy finish that lingers.
On ice: Carbonation reduced dramatically. Flavours reduced but overall smoother as hops taste and sensation are also reduced.

Additional Notes:  The Tropical Hopped from Coffin Ridge is a remarkably well-balanced cider amongst all elements. It’s sweet and fruity and it still has some bitterness and grunt from the hops. While the pineapple is the most noticeable fruit, all fruits work in harmony with one another and they create a sweet, authentic fruit punch experience. Fruit flavours taste very fresh and juicy from start to finish. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 3.5
Sour – 3.5
Crisp – 3
Dry – 2
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Clafeld – Fruit Cocktail Cider
More Sour – Slabtown – Pineapple Mimosa Cider
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Pommies – Mimosa Cider

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Grey & Gold – Wildflower

Cider Profile:

Name: Grey & Gold – Wildflower
Sampled October 2020

Brand:  Grey & Gold Cider Company
Type: Flavoured – Floral
Location of Brewing: Clarksburg, ON
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link:
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottles)
Availability: Grey & Gold retail store
Flavour: Floral
Colour: Transparent sunshine yellow
Carbonation: Large bubbles that mostly stay on the side of the glass


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Lighter aroma. Acidic, earthy, funky elements. Minimal to no floral aspects.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation and acidity. Clean, juicy apple. Quick, delicate chamomile. Creamy vanilla.
After Taste: Apples weaken. Floral notes become stronger. Jasmine hints. Ends on light and bright flowers.
On ice: Mild carbonation reduction. Slightly smoother. No flavour change.

Additional Notes:  The Wildflower by Grey & Gold is a very delicate flower-forward cider that does not taste anything like it smells. With dreamy chamomile and other floral hints like jasmine, and a creamy vanilla, it’s a garden escape in the spring in a glass. Apple notes are incredibly clean, slightly acidic and juicy  but aren’t the focus here. The softest offering (in a very positive sense) we’ve had from Grey & Gold who many times go bold with pungent elements like spruce and fennel. Comforting and relaxing. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Coffin Ridge – Lavender Earl Grey
More Sour – County – Elderflower Sour
More Dry – Clafeld – Rose Hip Cider
More Crisp – 

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County – Harvest Spice

Cider Profile:

Name: County Cider – Harvest Spice
Sampled October 2020

Brand:  County Cider Co
Type: Flavoured – Mulled
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link: countycider.com
Ingredients: Cider and natural flavours. Sulphites
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottles)
Availability: Seasonal and limited – County Online + retail stores
Flavour: Mulled
Colour:  Transparent, golden yellow
Carbonation: Small, infrequently streaming


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Brown sugar, cinnamon and clove amongst bright, sweet apples.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Quickly brown sugar and spice forward, in particular clove and anise. Creamy dessert apples.
After Taste: Apple notes become more caramelized in nature. Brown sugar lingers while the cinnamon starts to shine. Slightly sweeter finish. Honey and nutty hints.
On ice: Less spice pungency. Slightly smoother.

Additional Notes:  The Harvest Spice by County Cider doesn’t skimp on the spicing and would appeal to most mulled drink fans, but still remains light and smooth to consume. Very clove, star anise and cinnamon focused, the spices are natural, even a touch pungent/earthy at times. The drink is not as sweet as one would expect it to be based on other Fall-spiced drinks. Brown sugar notes are present from start to finish to add a unique layer. Apple flavours are bright and delicate, having familiar County base cider notes. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 3.5
Sour – 1.5
Crisp – 2.5
Dry – 2.5
Fruity – 3

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Spiced Apple
More Sour – Ernest – Apple Strudel
More Dry – Heartwood – Wassail
More Crisp – 401 – Apple Pie Cider

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Banjo – Doppelgänger

Cider Profile:

Name: Banjo – Doppelgänger
Sampled October 2020

Brand: Banjo Handcrafted Cider
Type: Apple – Hopped
Location of Brewing: Uxbridge, ON
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link: banjocider.ca
Ingredients: N/A (Sulphites)
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Banjo Retail Store + Select Farmers Markets
Flavour: Hopped
Colour: Hazy, sunshine-yellow
Carbonation: Medium, streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Notes of lychee, mild apple, some other tropical elements
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Smooth creamy apples that have a slight hopped note to it. Lychee and starfruit elements present. Light citrus hints.
After Taste: Becomes drier, and more earthy. Hops more present, long lasting. Malty tasting undertone to finish.
On ice: Carbonation dramatically reduced. Similar elements but slightly lighter. 

Additional Notes:  The Banjo Cider Doppelgänger is an extra smooth hopped cider.  This offering is light and very fruit forward, with notes of lychee, citrus and starfruit are present, giving it tropical vibes.  A middle ground cider between sweet and dry. This was smoother and more balanced all around than most other hopped ciders we’ve had.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Pelee Island – Hopping Apple
More Sour – Coffin Ridge – Forbidden Hopped
More Dry – Kings Mill – Hopped 
More Crisp – Duxbury – Titled Barn 

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Slabtown – Legendary Cherry

Cider Profile:

Name: Slabtown – Legendary Cherry
Sampled October 2020

Brand: Slabtown Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Cherry
Location of Brewing: Uxbridge, ON
ABV: 5.8%
Website Link: slabtowncider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Slabtown Retail Store
Flavour: Cherry
Colour:  Translucent, ruby-red
Carbonation: Small, streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Dry and tart cherry. Some sour apple.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from acidity, strong tart Montmorency Cherry-like notes with some sweet apple.
After Taste: Apple reduces. Cherry becomes drier and more tart, somewhat syrupy. Extremely long lasting.
On ice: Reduced carbonation and slight flavour. Thinner mouth feel but overall still very strong. 

Additional Notes:  The Legendary Cherry by Slabtown is a bold, dry cherry offering. Very tart and thick, it has a stronger cherry flavour than many others in the Ontario market. More cherry juice than apple based, it is not a traditional cider. Major cherry jolly rancher vibes. Depth of some red wine varieties.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Bonnieheath – Folkin’ Hard Cherry Bomb
More Sour – 
More Dry – Banjo – Rouge Cider
More Crisp – West Ave – Cherriosity

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Ernest – Impeachmint

Cider Profile:

Name:   Ernest – Impeachmint
Sampled June 2020

Brand: Ernest Cider (Farris Farms)
Type:
Flavoured – Peach and mint
Location of Brewing: Bond Head, ON
ABV:
5.8%
Website Link:
ernestcider.com
Ingredients:  
Apples, peaches, honey, organic cane sugar, mint, natural flavours
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 31 g/L

Size(s) available: 473mL (can)
Availability:
LCBO and Ernest online store
Flavour:
Peach and mint
Colour:
Golden yellow
Carbonation:
Small, infrequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Peach juice forward. Mild tangy apple hints. Slight zippiness from mint.
Initial Taste: No bite. Quickly candied peach juice tasting. Some dessert red apples notes.
After Taste: Peach flavour continues and grows. Earthy, zippy mint to finish that is refreshing and semi-cooling.
On ice: Mint is almost entirely reduced. Almost just a peach juice.

Additional Notes: The Impeachmint by Ernest is made for easy drinking, with a strong peach flavour from start to finish, and a cooling mint to end the drinking experience. Candied and sweet, the peach is bold and forward – very juicy. Not a lot of apple, but what is there is a tangy, red dessert apple taste.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4
Sour – 3
Crisp – 2.5
Dry – 2
Fruity – 5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Peach Cider
More Sour – Brickworks – Mint and Basil Cider
More Dry – Slabtown – Cucumber Mint Cider
More Crisp – Shiny Cider – Peach

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Beaver Valley – Bumbleberry

Cider Profile

Name: Beaver Valley – Bumbleberry
Sampled September 2020

Brand:  Beaver Valley Winery Ltd.
Type: Flavoured – Mixed berry
Location of Brewing: Kimberely, ON
ABV: 7.5%
Website Link: bvcider.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Beaver Valley retail store (or by special online order)
Flavour: Mixed berry
Colour:  Deep ruby red
Carbonation: Fine, semi-streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Tangy black currant, sweet and tart rhubarb. Bittersharp apples.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from acidity and carbonation. Quick bittersharp apple. Bold rhubarb flavour. Pungent, earthy dark fruit notes. Some tartness and bitterness. Woody elements.
After Taste: Rhubarb remains the strongest flavour, with sweeter blackberry and raspberry notes becoming more obvious. Very dry, natural fruit/rose wine flavour finish.
On ice:  Reduced carbonation, flavour, body. Much smoother experience.

Additional Notes:  The Bumbleberry by Beaver Valley is a very dry mixed fruit cider that might surprise you for the depth and bold flavours it features. The rhubarb notes are very strong and add a natural bitterness and pungency to the sweeter fruits it is mixed with. A woody-flavour makes it feel like it a forged forest berry experience. Rather dry, as only a bit of natural sweetness and brightness comes from the berries. The cider is a bit tart but not puckering. Beaming with natural and intense fruit flavours.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Feral Cider
More Sour – Ernest – Bumbleberry Cider
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Thornbury – Raspberry Cider

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Revel – Ostara Lilac

Cider Profile

Name: Revel – Ostara Lilac
Sampled August 2020

Brand:  Revel Cider
Type: Flavoured – Plum and Lilac
Location of Brewing: Guelph, ON
ABV: 6.9%
Website Link: revelcider.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750mL (bottles)
Availability: Limited – Revel Retail Store + better beverage bars
Flavour: Plum + lilac
Colour:  Light violet with grey hues
Carbonation: Some foam when poured, but then few bubbles.


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Tart plum with light floral aspects. Acetic.
Initial Taste: Strong bite from acidity. Punchy tart plum. Pungent flower taste. Some acetic and bitter notes.
After Taste: Plum becomes smoother, more candied in nature. Lilac really starts to shine here, being light, floral and perfumy.
On ice: Less acetic so smoother and less punchy, but also a reduction in flavour and carbonation.

Additional Notes:  The Ostara: Lilac  from Revel is a very unique offering, starting with the unique purple/grey hue it glows. Its a journey cider, starting off punchy, pungent and strong, with it becoming much smoother and easier to consume near the finish. With a unique floral taste from the lilacs, it goes from pungent and earthy to light and perfumy near the finish. Plum flavour and tartness gets you upfront has similarities to the other plum Ostara offerings in that line – more floral than the other Ostara combinations however.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Coffin Ridge – Lavender Earl Grey
More Sour – Steeltown – Northman Sour
More Dry – Beaver Valley – Bumbleberry
More Crisp – Clafeld – Elderflower Cider

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Loch Mór – Hopped

Cider Review

Name: Loch Mór – Hopped
Sampled August 2020

Brand: Loch Mór Cider Company
Type: Apple – Hopped
Location of Brewing: Hillier, ON
ABV: 7.9%
Website Link: lochmorecider.com
Ingredients: Apples, hops, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottle)
Availability: From Loch Mór retail store and online
Flavour: Hopped
Colour: Hazy straw-yellow
Carbonation: Small, streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Sweet apple with floral hops that smell like elderflower
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Thick, creamy apples with smooth hops. Lots of delicate floral notes.
After Taste: Apples dissipate, leaving floral hops and some citrus notes. No bitterness like some hopped ciders have. Long lasting in the mouth, including some tannins.
On ice: Slightly thinner, but little change.

Additional Notes:  The Loch Mór Cider Hopped Cider is a smooth blend of semi-tannic apples with creamy hops that are not bitter at all.  Hops are floral in nature with a small amount of citrus notes.  On or off ice ice, does not affect the flavour that much.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Ardiel – Big John Hop Cider
More Sour – Howell Road – Hopping Cider
More Dry – Kings Mill – Hopped
More Crisp – Duxbury – Titled Barn

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Grey & Gold – Spruce of the Bruce

Cider Profile:

Name: Grey & Gold – Spruce of the Bruce
Sampled August 2020

Brand:  Grey & Gold Cider Company
Type: Flavoured – Flora
Location of Brewing: The Blue Mountains, ON
ABV: 7.2%
Website Link: greyandgoldcider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottles)
Availability: Via Grey & Gold Retail Store
Flavour: Spruce
Colour:  Pale, translucent yellow.
Carbonation: Large bubbles, frequently streaming



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Creamy apples with some mild pine notes. Some funk.
Initial Taste: Light bite from acidity. Creamy apples that are easy on the palate. Funky, dank aspects.
After Taste: Spruce becomes more noticeable and finishes with sharp and piney & spruce notes at the end… especially present once the apple notes dissipate. Woody notes.
On ice: Slightly more apple and less woody/earthy notes

Additional Notes: The Grey and Gold Spruce of the Bruce is a walk in a forrest conveniently in a bottle. An unfiltered cider which start stronger with creamy apple and finishes very spruce and woody focused. It appears heavily carbonated but in fact it’s not that impactful.  Not something you could sit down and have a few, it’s gourmet and sophisticated, maybe even a delicacy cider for certain palates. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 2.5
Crisp – 2
Dry – 4
Fruity – 2.5 

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Duxbury – Tilted Barn
More Sour – KW Craft – Thai Ginger
More Dry – Kings Mill – Scrumpy
More Crisp – 401 Cider – Sparkling Oaked Cider

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Ardiel – Big John Hop Cider

Cider Profile:

Name: Ardiel – Big John Hop Cider
Sampled September 2020

Brand:  Ardiel Cider House
Type: Apple – Hopped
Location of Brewing: The Blue Mountains, Ontario
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link: ardielciderhouse.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 473ml (Can)
Availability: Georgian Hills Winery
Flavour: Hopped
Colour: Transparent, straw yellow.
Carbonation: Medium streaming with a lot on the glass. 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Crisp apples with some lychee and citrus inspired notes from the hops.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Semi-sweet crisp dessert apples with some smooth citrus hops notes. Lemon hints.
After Taste: Remains sweeter, with some reduction in apple flavour.  More hops present but sweet and extra clean. Hops linger a bit and dries out. Tropical notes, predominantly lychee and peach.
On ice: Carbonation reduced, some less apple with a thinner body.

Additional Notes:  Big John Hop cider by Ardiel is a very clean, crisp and refreshing hopped cider.   Smoother than most hopped ciders, its light with some dessert apple notes but not sweet.  Becomes drier and more hopped with time. Does not have the same intensity in the elements that it smells like it would have. So refreshing and clean on its own, we don’t feel it needs ice to add those elements.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 3
Sour – 2
Crisp – 4
Dry – 3
Fruity – 2.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Pelee Island – Hopping Apple
More Sour – Coffin Ridge – Forbidden Hopped
More Dry – Kings Mill – Hopped
More Crisp – Duxbury – Titled Barn

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Kings Mill – Strawberry Rhubarb (Carbonated)

Cider Profile:

Name: Kings Mill – Strawberry Rhubarb (Carbonated)
Sampled September 2020

Brand:  Kings Mill Cider Company
Type: Flavoured – Strawberry and Rhubarb
Location of Brewing: Stirling, ON
ABV: 9%
Website Link: kingsmillcider.ca
Ingredients: Apples, strawberries, rhubarb
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Kings Mill Retail store and online
Flavour: Strawberry & rhubarb
Colour:  Transparent blush
Carbonation: Medium, frequently streaming bubbles. 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet, creamy strawberries. Some natural earthy notes with underlying rhubarb.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Rhubarb start, with noticeable fresh field strawberries.  Some dessert apple-like notes. Clean with some tangy and tart notes.
After Taste: Rhubarb dissipates a bit with slightly more strawberry notes coming in. Lingers a long time and becomes slightly drier to finish.
On ice: Carbonation reduced dramatically. Smoother, more apple forward with less overall flavour

Additional Notes:  The Strawberry Rhubarb by Kings Mill is a well balanced, flavourful, fun and light cider, even at 9%.  Extra clean, it starts slightly more rhubarb followed by fresh, creamy strawberries and a smooth apple base. Mild tartness from fruits.  A sweeter cider but not sugary or cloying. Sparkly but light mouthfeel makes for a whimsical experience. 

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

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

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Slabtown – Mint Cucumber

Cider Profile:

Name: Slabtown – Mint Cucumber
Sampled August 2020

Brand:  Slabtown Cider Co
Type: Flavoured – Mint and Cucumber
Location of Brewing: Uxbridge, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link:  Slabtowncider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Seasonal – Slabtown Retail Store
Flavour: Mint and Cucumber
Colour:  Transparent yellow/green hue
Carbonation: Large infrequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Very cucumber forward. Green apple-like notes. Hint of mint.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Quick green, tart apple notes. Bold authentic cucumber taste takes over very quickly.
After Taste: Cucumber remains the same with the mint finally emerging. Crisp, tangy spearmint lingers awhile. Becomes cooling, and is refreshing.
On ice: Some tang reduced but minimal flavour disruption.

Additional Notes:  The Mint Cucumber by Slabtown is a boldly flavoured cider that has a very accurate cucumber taste that doesn’t shy away from the vegetal or earthy aspects of the produce. The mint isn’t initially noticeable but it comes out strong near the end, a spearmint-like flavour, and is rather cooling for the palate. The apple base seems to have tart green apple notes in it. Not a sweet cider but not too dry either.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Ernest – Impeachmint
More Sour – Crimson Cider – Mint to Be
More Dry – Kings Mill – Ontario Mule
More Crisp – Brickworks – Mint and Basil

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McAdam – Dark Fruits

Cider Profile:

Name: McAdam – Dark Fruits
Sampled September 2020

Brand:  McAdam Cidre Urbain
Type: Flavoured – Mixed Berry
Location of Brewing: Montreal, QC
ABV: 4.7%
Website Link: Mcauslan.com
Ingredients: Apple juice, blackcurrant and blackberry juice, carbon dioxide, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Various locations around Quebec.
Flavour: Mixed berry
Colour:  Translucent deep red
Carbonation: Fine, streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Semi-tart apples with blackberry, tart blackcurrant and hints of raspberry
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Apple forward with semi-sweet, semi-tart apples. Punchy berry notes.
After Taste: Becomes sour and even more berry forward after a few seconds, with some earthy elements. Longer lingering with apple flavours returning with a thick mouthfeel. Almost has some black cherry notes.
On ice: Thinner on ice, less carbonation.

Additional Notes: The Dark Fruit (Fruits Noirs) by McAdam Cidre Urban has a gorgeous red colour and a lot of fruits packed in it.  Starting apple forward, very punchy and fruit-heavy upfront – it quickly becomes berry focused. Thins out quickly – unbalanced berry notes comparing the start and finish. Dryness and tartness from blackcurrants noticeable, along with some other earthy and tannic notes.  

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet –
More Sour –
More Dry – 
More Crisp – 

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Stock & Row – Cold Tea

Cider Profile:

Name:   Stock & Row – Cold Tea
Sampled July 2020

Brand: Stock & Row Cider
Type:
Flavoured – Tea
Location of Brewing:
Bloomfield, ON
ABV:
4%
Website Link:
stockandrow.com
Ingredients:
Apples, black raspberry tea, stevia, sulphites
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 355ml (cans)
Availability: 
Select direct delivery and various bars in Ontario
Flavour: 
Black raspberry tea
Colour:
Hazy, sunflower yellow
Carbonation:
Medium, semi-streaming bubbles, larger and less on ice.



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Mild dessert apples with raspberry iced tea.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Blend of iced tea with raspberry and semi-sweet apples.
After Taste: Dissipates quickly with some apple notes left behind, along with a lingering black-tea finish, including some tannins from the tea.
On ice: Reduced carbonation and flavour. Less apple based.

Additional Notes:  Although the Stock & Row Cold Tea is most certainly a cider, it’s quite close in taste to a Canadian-style sweet raspberry tea with apple accents.  Made with black tea, it is refreshing and light at 4%, and it features a candied raspberry flavour. Not sugary and very crushable on a sunny afternoon.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Raspberry Apple
More Sour – 401 Cider – Raspberry
More Dry – Coffin Ridge – Forbidden Pink
More Crisp – Ernest – Blue Lagoon

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Coffin Ridge – Lavender Earl Grey

Cider Profile:

Name: Coffin Ridge – Lavender Earl Grey
Sampled August 2020

Brand:  Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery Inc
Type: Flavoured – Tea
Location of Brewing: Annan, ON
ABV: 5.5%
Website Link: coffinridge.ca
Ingredients: Pear juice, sugar, Earl Grey tea, lavender Essence, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Seasonal – Coffin Ridge retail and online stores
Flavour: Lavender and Tea
Colour:  Transparent light straw-yellow
Carbonation: Large, frequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet juicy, candied pear with some lavender.  Earl Grey presents mostly with vanilla notes.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation.  Smooth and juicy pear with some acidity. Some tangy lavender.
After Taste: Becomes more tea focused. Lavender becomes smoother and pear becomes a bit more dulled and acidic.  Finished drier with some tannins from black tea.  Some earthy elements.
On ice: Reduced carbonation and punchiness of pear. Other elements are also reduced.

Additional Notes:  The Lavender Earl Grey by Coffin Ridge has a sweet pear base with balanced elements of earl grey tea and lavender.  Vanilla from the tea lingers and lavender provides a bit of floral notes.  A lot going on, with a more pear flavour than traditionally found in other perries we’ve had.  Sweeter, but not sugary. A creamy offering overall, the Earl Grey makes it London-fog latte like.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – 401 Cider Brewery – Pear Cider
More Sour – Spirit Tree – Pear with Lavender
More Dry – Beaver Valley – Dry Pear
More Crisp – Ardiel – Victoria Pear

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401 Brewery – Pear Cider

Cider Profile:

Name:   401 Brewery – Pear Cider
Sampled September 2020

Brand: 401 Cider Brewery
Type:
Flavoured – Pear
Location of Brewing: Colborne, Ontario
ABV: 6%
Website Link: www.401cidercompany.com
Ingredients: Fermented apple juice, sugar, sulphites, natural pear flavour, caramel colour, potassium sorbate
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 341ml & 750mL (bottles)
Availability:
At 401 Retail Store (inside The Big Apple) and Online Store
Flavour:
Pear
Colour:
Translucent golden yellow
Carbonation:
Small, semi-streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet, juicy and acidic pear – with some apple. Honey notes and candied.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite from acidity. Juicy and sweet pear flavour quickly noticeable with some mild sour hints. Crisp taste and mouth feel with slight earthiness. A bit of tartness to the palate.
After Taste: Pear flavour continues the same. Some honey and agave flavour notes. Tonic flavour hints with a semi-dry finish. Mild minerality.
On ice: Carbonation slightly cut. Becomes drier but a touch less rich in flavour.

Additional Notes: This pear flavoured cider from 401 Brewery has a more prominent pear taste than some of its competitors. A crisp drink in taste and mouth feel, it is quite refreshing to consume. Quite juicy and maybe even a tad rustic.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County Cider – Pear
More Sour – Spirit Tree – Pear with Lavender
More Dry – Beaver Valley – Dry Pear
More Crisp – Ardiel – Victoria Pear

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Thornbury – Raspberry Apple

Cider Profile:

Name: Thornbury – Raspberry Apple Cider
Sampled August 2020

Brand: Thornbury Village Cider House
Type: Flavoured – Raspberry
Location of Brewing: Thornbury, ON
ABV: 5.2%
Website Link: Thornburycraft.com
Ingredients: Apple cider, fresh pressed Ontario apple juice, Canadian
raspberry juice, sugar, natural flavours, sulphites

Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available:  500ml (bottle)
Availability: Thornbury retail + online store, various grocery stores across Ontario
Flavour: Raspberry
Colour: Translucent ruby red
Carbonation: Medium, infrequent streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Sweet juicy raspberries, with a mild hit of natural bitterness. Some apple notes.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation, Sweet raspberry forward with some raspberry cordial notes and mouthfeel. Some semi-sour apple notes present. Thicker body.
After Taste: Moves from sweet raspberry to more fresh, traditional raspberry jam-type flavour. Flushes quickly from the mouth, with a short aftertaste and mostly clean finish.
On ice: Reduced carbonation, little other change.

Additional Notes:  The Raspberry Apple by Thornbury Craft Cider is a very raspberry-forward offering. Although some apples are present, it’s simply a canvas for smooth, juicy and fresh raspberries to showcase their taste. Very clean without any real elements of fermentation, it’s 5.2% alcohol and semi-sweet with some tart elements. Heavier, thicker body. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4
Sour – 3
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 2
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Coffin Ridge – Forbidden Pink
More Sour – County – Feral Cider
More Dry – Beaver Valley – Bumbleberry
More Crisp – 401- Raspberry Cider

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Pommies – Mimosa

Cider Profile:

Name:   Pommies Cider – Mimosa
Sampled June 2020

Brand: Pommies Cider Co. (Southern Cliff Brands)
Type:
Flavoured – Orange
Location of Brewing:
Caledon, ON
ABV:
5.5%
Website Link:
pommies.com
Ingredients:
Cider, sugar, (orange juice)
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: 35 g/L

Size(s) available: 473mL (can)
Availability: 
LCBO
Flavour:
Orange
Colour:
Hazy, sunflower yellow
Carbonation: Medium, very infrequent streaming bubbles (Lots of carbonation on pour)



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Mild aroma. Semi-sweet but natural orange juice with some tart apple notes
Initial Taste: Mild bite from carbonation. Some semi-tart apple notes followed by a light pulpy orange juice.
After Taste: Becomes more orange juice-like in mouth feel, with some filmy/pulpy aftertaste.  Apple becomes cleaner upon finish.
On ice: Carbonation and sweet apple flavour is reduced, almost no apple flavour on ice.

Additional Notes: Pommies’ Mimosa is an interesting cider – it’s similar in carbonation and depth of a mimosa but without the wine.  Less apple and lighter than usual for a cider, it is pretty orange forward, but a bit thinner than drinking straight orange juice. Really only apple and orange notes in this, so very straightforward – little fermentation or alcoholic taste, even at 5.5%.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 3.5
Sour – 3
Crisp – 2.5
Dry – 2
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Heritage Estate – Eden’s Apple
More Sour – Coffin Ridge – Tropical Hopped
More Dry – Clafeld – Disco Lemonade
More Crisp – Ernest – Impeachmint Cider

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Ernest – Blue Lagoon

Cider Profile:

Name: Ernest – Blue Lagoon
Sampled August 2020

Brand:  Ermest Cider Co Ltd.
Type: Flavoured – Blue Spirulina
Location of Brewing: Bond Head, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link: ernestcider.com
Ingredients: Apples, blue spirulina, pure lemon juice, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 2g/l

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Ernest Retail + Online Store
Flavour: Blue spirulina + Lemon
Colour:  Hazy turquoise
Carbonation: Large, sparse bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Light aroma. Dessert apples with a tangy lemon flavour.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Quickly tart and lemon forward. Mild gin botanical-like notes.
After Taste: Apple notes make a slight appearance. Blue gummy candy flavour. Flavour sharply finishes. Mild astringency and acidity in the end. Some earthy notes.
On ice: Basically no difference in taste or mouthfeel.

Additional Notes:  Ernest’s Blue Lagoon cider is a very unique creation, both appearance and taste wise. The addition of blue spirulina does indeed make the cider a vivid hazy blue, just like a tropical waterway. The cider is not sweet, but more so leaning towards sour, but far from puckering. With a slightly tart lemon start, it makes way for a blue gummy taste in the finish. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Brickworks – Lemonade Radler
More Sour – Kings Mill – Ontario Mule
More Dry – Clafeld -Abrakadabra 
More Crisp – Thornbury – Blood Orange

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Domaine Cléroux – Nation Spiked (Medium Dry)

Cider Profile:

Name:   Domaine Cléroux Nation Spiked (Medium Dry)
Sampled June 2020

Brand: Domaine Cléroux
Type:
Apple – Crisp
Location of Brewing: Casselman, ON
ABV:
6.5%
Website Link:
domainecleroux.ca
Ingredients:
Apples, maple syrup, sulfites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500mL (bottle)
Availability:
At Domaine Cléroux, Retail Store, Cassel Brewery
Flavour:
Apple
Colour:
Transparent golden yellow
Carbonation:
Medium, infrequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Crisp, fresh and candied apple notes, including green apple. Smells almost hopped.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from acidity, mild bite from carbonation. Quickly fresh, fleshy dessert apple. Mild maple syrup hints that are semi-earthy.  Somewhat tangy.
After Taste: Apple flavour continues the same, is rather crisp. Ends semi-dry, with brown sugar notes.
On ice: Thinner mouthfeel. More alcohol and earthy notes emerge.

Additional Notes: A very country, rural inspired cider, this medium-dry maple syrup-infused cider from Domaine Cléroux is very juicy and apple forward, with a rustic edge to it. Rather clean and crisp, it refreshes and satisfies. Has a unique brown sugar finish, despite it not listing it as an ingredient.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Reinhart’s Red Apple – Strong
More Sour – Stock & Row – Slow & Low
More Dry – Pommies – Farmhouse
More Crisp – Duxbury Cider – Heritage 1650

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Fielding Craft – Cherry Rosé Cider

Cider Profile:

Name: Fielding Craft – Cherry Rosé Cider
Sampled August 2020

Brand:  Fielding Wines Limited
Type: Flavoured – Rosé
Location of Brewing: Beamsville, ON
ABV: 4.5%
Website Link: fieldingwines.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Fielding Retail Store + Online
Flavour: Rosé + Cherry
Colour:  Transparent, deep pink
Carbonation: Small, sparsely streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Maraschino cherry with tart apple. Mild astringency.
Initial Taste: Mild bite. Crisp apple notes forward. Slightly tart, mildly acidic. Mild cherry hints.
After Taste: Apple flavour remains but cherry flavour grows. Cherry notes are tangy and candied. Generic floral hints. Off-dry finish that is smooth. Some tonic elements.
On ice: Reduced carbonation. More crisp but less flavour and body overall.

Additional Notes:  The Cherry Rosé Cider by Fielding does distinguish itself from other rosé ciders on the market with its candied, slightly tart maraschino cherry flavour. It’s very apple in the front, with tart apple flavours dominating at the beginning. You don’t get the cherry and mild floral notes until near the finish. Very sessionable, both in terms of alcohol content (4.5%) and ease of consumption.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Rosé
More Sour – Bonnieheath – Folk’n Hard Cherry Bomb
More Dry – Hinterland – Cherry Cider
More Crisp – Pommies – Red Sangria Cider

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Slabtown – Watermelon Thyme

Cider Profile:

Name: Slabtown – Watermelon Thyme
Sampled August 2020

Brand:  Slabtown Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Watermelon and Thyme
Location of Brewing: Uxbridge, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link: slabtowncider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750mL (bottle)
Availability: Slabtown Retail Store
Flavour: Watermelon and Thyme
Colour:  Translucent pale pink + peach hues
Carbonation: Large, infrequently streaming



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Natural watermelon. Some mild earthy and herb notes.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Quick juicy watermelon taste. Punchy thyme + herb flavour.
After Taste: Watermelon flavour continues but becomes slightly sweeter/more candied. Tart, acidic apple comes through. Ends with a pleasant mixture of both fruits, with little thyme flavour remaining.
On ice: minimal difference.

Additional Notes:  Slabtown’s Watermelon Thyme Cider is exactly as promised flavour wise. We are amazed at the accuracy of the watermelon flavour as it is hard to capture due to the fruit’s natural high water content. The finish especially reminds us of those watermelon gummies but not sour, done very naturally so. Thyme adds an earthy/herby element upfront but doesn’t contribute much to the flavour near the end. Apple is more prominent in the finish. Accurate and authentic watermelon flavour from start to finish. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Niagara – Rose Gold
More Sour – Crimson Cider – Lavender Buds
More Dry – Busl – Haskap Cider
More Crisp – Duntroon Cyder – Raindance Rhubarb

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Lake City Cider – Strawberry Redhead

Cider Profile:

Name: Lake City – Strawberry Redhead
Sampled July 2020

Brand: Lake City Cider
Type:
Flavoured – Strawberry
Location of Brewing: Dartmouth, NS
ABV:
8.5%
Website Link:
lakecitycider.ca
Ingredients:  
100% Nova Scotia apples, cherry, strawberries, strawberry wine, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750mL (bottle)
Availability: Lake City Retail Store + Online Store (Canada-wide shipping)
Flavour: Strawberry
Colour: Transparent rose.
Carbonation: Medium bubbles, frequently streaming



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Sweet apple and fresh strawberry juice. Slight tart notes.
Initial Taste: Mild bite from light carbonation followed by sweet dessert apples and strawberry notes. Tingly on the tongue.
After Taste: Apple dissipates and strawberry becomes more noticeable. Some tart cherry notes.  Ends semi-dry and tangy.
On ice: Reduced carbonation quite dramatically. Slightly reduced flavour.

Additional Notes: An upbeat and fresh cider, the Strawberry Redhead by Lake City Cider is a very refreshing and flavourful cider.  Sweet dessert apples make way for fresh, juicy strawberries and almost a light cream finish as if you had a strawberry tart with whipped cream. A mild tartness to it overall.

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 – No Boats on Sunday – Dry Rosé 
More Sour – Annapolis – Sour Cherry Cider
More Dry – Bulkwark – Blush
More Crisp – 

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Crimson Cider – Lavender Buds

Cider Profile:

Name: Crimson Cider – Lavender Buds
Sampled August 2020

Brand:  Crimson Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Lavender
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV: 6.9%
Website Link: crimsoncidercompany.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Crimson Retail Store + Online Store
Flavour: Lavender
Colour:  Transparent pale yellow
Carbonation: Medium, infrequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Crisp apple and a floral lavender.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation and acidity. Quick and strong natural lavender flavour. Semi-sour yet bright dessert apple notes. Some tanginess and key lime-like notes.
After Taste: Lavender remains and lingers, longer than the apple. Some astringency comes in the dry finish. Earthy and saline notes.
On ice: Carbonation reduced, along with apple notes. More floral focused.

Additional Notes:  The Crimson Lavender Buds cider has a captivating natural lavender flavour that is bold and present from start to finish. Rather dry, the apple notes bring some brightness to the cider but they aren’t sweet at all. Astringency near the finish adds some artisan depth, along with some earthiness and saline notes. If you like lavender and floral flavoured items, this is most likely for you as it doesn’t shy away from those elements, but is not candied nor is it perfume-like. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Coffin Ridge – Lavender Pear Cider
More Sour – Revel – Ostara: Lilac
More Dry – Clafeld – Elderflower Cider
More Crisp – Spirit Tree – Pear with Lavender Cider

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Heartwood – Hoppity     

Cider Profile:

Name: Heartwood Cider – Hoppity
Sampled July 2020

Brand:  Heartwood Farm and Cider
Type:
Apple – Hopped
Location of Brewing:
Osprige, ON
ABV:
6.8%
Website Link:
heartwoodfarm.ca
Ingredients: 
N/A
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottle)
Availability: 
At Heartwood Retail Store + Select Farmers Markets
Flavour:
Hops
Colour:  
Sunshine golden yellow
Carbonation:
Small, frequently streaming bubbles.



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Candied sweet apple with some notes of lemon and floral (presumably from the hops).
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation and acidity. A clean apple base thats slightly tannic. Pine/wood notes. Some light citrus & hops flavours appear.
After Taste: Becomes a bit more tart and acidic. More hops, with some smoky and floral elements. Long-lingering aftertaste with a semi-dry finish.
On ice: Slightly smoother and thinner, but little difference overall.

Additional Notes: With an acidic apple base, the Hoppity from Heartwood is crisp and an inspired-by-the-land cider that has a medium balance of hopped notes. Pretty complex in elements, it is a long-lingering cider that is clean and natural tasting to consume. Hops have a substantive presence in the cider, particularly by adding citrus notes. Not a high bitterness cider and less bitter than many other hopped ciders.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Pelee Island – Hopping Apple
More Sour – Coffin Ridge – Forbidden Hopped
More Dry – Kings Mill – Hopped (Still)
More Crisp – Malus Ciderhouse – Hopped

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Clafeld – Fruit Cocktail

Cider Profile:

Name:   Clafeld – Fruit Cocktail
Sampled April 2020

Brand: Clafeld Fruit Winey & Cider House
Type:
Flavoured – Mixed Fruit
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV:
6.5%
Website Link:
waupooswinery.com
Ingredients:  
Fermented apple and pear juice, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, sugar, sulphites, potassium sorbate, maraschino cherry
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content:  N/A

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottle)
Availability:
Clafeld Retail Store + Online
Flavour: 
Fruit Punch
Colour:
Transparent, ruby-red with orange hues
Carbonation:
Small, infrequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:
Smell:
Strong aroma. Sweet, bold fruit punch – candied like the classic juice box favourite.
Initial Taste: Light bite. Crisp and clean.  Medley of assorted fruits but strawberry is dominate.  Mild candied cherry.
After Taste: As taste dissipates, strawberry and pear become even most present. A bit of grittiness from the pear.  Lingers an average length with some astringency and slightly acidic and funky.
On ice: Slightly less flavour and candied elements reduced.

Additional Notes: This fun cider from Clafeld brings you back to your youth… think juice boxes!  It’s a bit of a journey, starts clean and crisp and as the medley of fruits dissipates, it becomes more strawberry and pear focused (though it takes a while to figure that out). Ends a bit gritty however from the sugars. A lot of flavour, but not a lot of alcohol-tasting elements – bold but semi-light to consume (so be sure to keep away from children as it would appeal to them). The artwork is very clever and smells amazing. We compared it to the non-alcoholic juice – it’s not as sweet and much tangier, but a very close interpretation. Good luck getting the cherry out though!

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4
Sour – 2
Crisp – 3
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Feral 
More Sour – Coffin Ridge – Forbidden Pink
More Dry – Crimson Cider – Berry Cute
More Crisp – Pommies – Red Sangria Cider

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No Boats on Sunday – Dry Rosé

Cider Profile:

Name:   No Boats on Sunday – Dry Rosé Cider
Sampled May 2020

Brand: No Boats on Sunday
Type:
Apple – Rosé
Location of Brewing: Grimsby, ON
ABV:
5%
Website Link:
noboatscider.com
Ingredients:  
Apple cider, water, wine, glucose-fructose, malic acid, potassium sorbate, potassium metabisulphite, natural flavour (hops)
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500mL (bottle)
Availability:
The Wine Shop (Ontario)
Flavour:
Rosé
Colour:
Bright rose gold pink
Carbonation:
Large, very infrequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:
Smell:
Medium aroma. Candied strawberry and floral. Watermelon notes. Some light wine aspects.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Quick sweet apples, with mild sour apple notes that emerge.
After Taste: Candied fruit flavours really begin to pop that include strawberry and watermelon. Slight astringency from wine. Floral bouquet bits. Sweet finish, dry mouth-feel with slight filmy coat.
On ice: Thinner, less gritty mouth-feel. Mild flavour reduction.

Additional Notes: The Dry Rosé from No Boats on Sunday is an Instagram-worthy vivid rose gold pink, with a strong flavour to match. With a bright candied flavour, it features unique strawberry and watermelon notes, among the standard mixed-berries and floral notes you might expect from a rosé cider/wine. Probably not for traditional cider fans but it does pair well with summer and brunch.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4.5
Sour – 3
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 2
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Somersby – Rosé
More Sour – Strongbow – Rosé Apple
More Dry – Clafeld – Rose Hip
More Crisp – Brickworks – Rosé Cider

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Beaupré – Cidre Honblonné

Cider Profile:

Name:  Beaupré – Cidre Honblonné
Sampled March 2020

Brand: Geloso Group of Companies
Type:
Apple – Hopped
Location of Brewing:
Laval, QC
ABV:
5.6%
Website Link:
cidrebeaupre.com
Ingredients: 
N/A
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available:  1L (bottle)
Availability:
SAQ (Quebec)
Flavour:
Apple
Colour:  
Dark golden-yellow
Carbonation:
Minimal small bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Semi-strong aroma. A very clean and crisp juicy apple. Hint of cloves.
Initial Taste: No bite. Extra smooth, crisp clean Macintosh apple with no alcoholic notes – with some natural fruit acidity.  Some spice notes (cloves) that play along with a lightly hopped flavour. Citra hops add make for an orange-y flavour.
After Taste: Does not linger long.  More hops in the aftertaste but remains very clean throughout.
On ice: Even smoother and cleaner. Tastes more so like an alcoholic cider.

Additional Notes:  The Beaupré – Cidre Honblonné is a lightly hopped cider that has a very clean and fresh taste to it. The Macintosh apples make it undeniably a product from Quebec. Its base is dessert apples, without any real alcohol tasting notes, and a smooth, minimal combination of Citra and Cascade hops, it’s easy to mistake this as non-alcoholic. Sweet but not sugary overall. The hops work to elevate the cider and are less harsh than other hopped ciders.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet –
More Sour – 
More Dry –
More Crisp – 

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D’ont Poke the Bear – Berry

Cider Profile:

Name: D’ont Poke the Bear – Berry
Sampled August 2020

Brand: Generations Wine Company Ltd.
Type:
Flavoured – Berry
Location of Brewing:
Toronto, ON
ABV:
5.8%
Website Link:
dontpokethebear.com
Ingredients:
Cider, sugar (glucose), black currant, concentrate, natural flavours, potassium metabisulphite, sulphites.
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: 35 g/L

Size(s) available: 473mL (can)
Availability:
LCBO
Flavour:
Apple
Colour:
Transparent peachy-pink
Carbonation:
Medium, semi-streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Berry and floral notes with sweet apples.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Slightly tart black currant and generic berry flavours mixed with a semi-sweet apple base.
After Taste: Black current notes make way for more raspberry and strawberry-esque flavours.  Becomes slightly filmy and a little bit of a dry mouthfeel.  Long-lingering flavour.
On ice: Cuts carbonation and apple flavour. Thinner mouth feel.

Additional Notes: D’ont Poke the Bear Berry is a sweeter cider that is quite fruit-focused. It has a thicker body that is a bit gritty to consume and lingers awhile. Raspberry and strawberry notes really drive the cider at the finish.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – No Boats on Sunday – Cranberry Rosé
More Sour – Thornbury – Raspberry
More Dry – 401 Cider – Black Currant
More Crisp – Niagara Cider – Rose Gold 

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Rootstock Ciderworks – Rosé Hard Cider (2017)

Cider Profile:

Name: Rootstock Ciderworks – Rose Hard Cider (2017)
Sampled October 2019

Brand: Rootstock Ciderwork (Celk Distilling) & Leonard Oakes Estate Winery
Type:
Apple – Rosé
Location of Brewing:
Williamson, NY
ABV:
7.9%
Website Link:
rootstockciderworks.com
Ingredients:
Blend of Heritage Cider form Rootstock and Rose wine from Leonard Oakes Estate Winery (Rhode Island Greening and Courland Apples, Blaufrankisch Grapes)
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: 1.5% RS

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability:
From Rootstock retail store
Flavour:
Rosé
Colour:  
Deep rose
Carbonation:
Almost still, light bubbles.



Cider Crate Tasting Notes

Smell: Medium aroma. Slightly astringent. Candied berries and floral hints
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Semi acidic with a dry, tart apple.
After Taste: Becomes even drier and tarter, and rather wine-like in the finish. Berry focused with a light, floral tingle at the end.
On ice: Thinner mouthfeel and reduction in flavour, but still remains more flavourful then most rosé ciders.

Additional Notes:  A heavier than most rosé, the Rootstock Ciderworks’ collaboration with Leonard Oakes Estate Winery’s Blaufrankisch is full bodied and a bit tarter than most rosés we’ve had.  It packs a punch at 7.9%, but tastes like it’s a little higher.  Filled with heritage apples, this makes a lot of sense as many other rose’s we have come across are made with solely dessert apples. High in tannins, it’s more wine-like than many commercially-oriented options.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Angry Orchard – Rosé Cider
More Sour – Graft – Fields and Flowers
More Dry – 
More Crisp – 1911 – Tropical Cider

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Reinhart’s – Strawberry Hibiscus  

Cider Profile:

Name: Reinhart’s – Strawberry Hibiscus
Sampled June 2020

Brand:  Reinhart’s Foods Ltd
Type:
Flavoured – Strawberry and Hibiscus
Location of Brewing:
Stayner, ON
ABV:
5%
Website Link:
reinhartscider.ca
Ingredients
: Fresh pressed apple juice, strawberry concentrate, natural flavours, hibiscus, sulphites
Gluten Free
: N/A
Sugar Content: 18g/L

Size(s) available: 473ml (Can)
Availability:
LCBO 
Flavour:
Strawberry
Colour:  
Transparent, dark ruby-red
Carbonation:
Medium, very infrequently streaming bubbles



 

Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Sweet dessert apples blended evenly with muddled strawberries.
Initial Taste: Slight bite from acidity, rather smooth and creamy apple with some tangy and acetic strawberry.  Has some floral hibiscus notes but not overpowering.
After Taste: Apple flavour reduces and becomes more of a fresh and creamy strawberry. Become drier, and does not linger too long on the palate.
On ice: Reduced carbonation, tanginess and less juicy.

Additional Notes:  The Strawberry Hibiscus by Reinhart’s is an interesting blend of dessert apples with some acetic and muddled Strawberries to start.  It finishes cleaner than it starts, and has almost a strawberry tart element to it.  Fresh but not over-ripe strawberries with minimal hibiscus, it has a lot of forward flavour.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 3.5
Sour – 3
Crisp – 2
Dry – 2.5
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Eden Grove – Hibiscus Blossom
More Sour – Brickworks – Spritz Hibiscus Lime
More Dry – Clafeld – Rose Hip Cider
More Crisp – Heritage Estates – Eden’s Apple Strawberry

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Hard Way – Ramboozle

Cider Profile:

Name:   Hard Way – Ramboozle w/ Raspberries
First sampled April 2020. Updated August 2020

Brand: Hard Way Cider Co
Type:
Flavoured – Raspberry
Location of Brewing: Bath, ON
ABV:
7%
Website Link:
hardwaycider.com
Ingredients:  
Apples, raspberries, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content:  N/A

Size(s) available: 500mL (bottle) + 355mL (cans)
Availability:
Hard Way Cider Retail Store + Online Store
Flavour:
Raspberries and Rum
Colour:
Semi-translucent, deep rose gold
Carbonation:
Small, very frequently streaming



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Medium rum smell and strong tart raspberries
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation, medium astringency. Quick tart raspberries with some deep golden rum flavour.  Mild crisp apples. Some oak notes.
After Taste: Raspberries dissipate but rum slighty increases and lingers. Crisp apple notes also increase.
On ice: Carbonation slightly reduced. Rum flavour and astringency reduced. More raspberry focused.

Additional Notes: The raspberry Ramboozle from Hard Way Cider Co. is medium on the rum punch and strong on the tart, crisp raspberry flavours, with apple being a third flavour noticed.  With a golden rum flavour detected, it has a considerable astringency but not too strong to distract. Some oak notes are obvious throughout from the barreling process as well. The sweet and tart raspberry flavours compliment the rum flavours well.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Feral Cider
More Sour – 401 Cider – Raspberry Apple
More Dry – Loch Mor Cider – Bootlegger (Rum)
More Crisp – Busl Cider – Haskap

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Crimson Cider – Mint To Be

Cider Profile:

Name:   Crimson Cider – Mint To Be
Sampled June 2020

Brand:  Crimson Cider Co.
Type:
Flavoured – Cucumber and Mint
Location of Brewing:
Picton, ON
ABV:
5.9%
Website Link:
crimsoncidercompay.com
Ingredients
: N/A
Gluten Free
: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability:
Crimson Cider retail and online stores
Flavour:
Mint & Cucumber
Colour:
Pale yellow with a slight green hue
Carbonation:
Small, frequently streaming bubbles.


 

Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Cucumber forward with some natural mint and light dessert apples.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. First moment is a tart, crisp apple, but it very quickly changes to a strong, fresh and juicy cucumber. Cucumber is muddled in nature and slightly earthy.
After Taste: As the flavour dissipates, mint becomes more noticeable.  Apple returns at the end of the after taste.
On ice: Slightly less apple and more cucumber.

Additional Notes:  A very unique cider, the Mint to Be by Crimson Cider Co. is very cucumber forward, with some fresh mint and dessert apples.  Slightly earthy with some muddled notes. It has a lovely, intense aroma which matches the strong flavour.  It almost has vodka undertone, though Crimson suggests having a shot of Gin with it.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Ernest – Impeachmint
More Sour – Hard Way – Loco Blanco (“dos”)
More Dry – Kings Mill – Ontario Mule
More Crisp – Ardiel – Victoria Pear

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Rood Apples – Sour Cherry Smaak 

Cider Profile:

Name: Rood Apples – Sour Cherry Smaak
Sampled April 2020

Brand: Creekside Estate Winery Inc.
Type:
Flavoured – Cherry
Location of Brewing:
Jordon, ON
ABV:
6%
Website Link:
roodaples.ca
Ingredients:
Apple juice, concentrated tart cherry juice, sugar, malic acid, sulphites, potassium sorbate
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (glass)
Availability:
Creekside Estate Winery
Flavour:
Cherry
Colour:
Bright red
Carbonation:
Medium size bubbles, heavily streaming. Some foam.



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet apple with hints of tart cherry.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Mix of semi-tart cherry and semi-sweet apples. Tart cherry becomes more powerful, then dissipates.
After Taste: Apple becomes more present in the aftertaste. Becomes drier with a somewhat more gritty mouth feel in the finish – with some tart elements (both apple and cherry).
On ice: Slightly more watered down with less flavour, but not a huge difference.

Additional Notes:  Semi-tart, candied and clean, the Tart Cherry Smaak by Rood Apples reminds us of a cherry jolly rancher (but not as sugary).  Balanced between the apple and the cherry, it’s not overpowering and easy to drink.  Carbonation is pretty strong, which helps the flavours pop.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Clafeld – Fruit Cocktail Cider
More Sour – Bonnieheath – Cherry Bomb Folkin’ Hard Cider
More Dry – West Avenue – Cherriosity
More Crisp – Pommies – Red Sangria

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Pelee Island – Hopping Apple

Cider Profile:

Name:   Pelee Island – Hopping Apple
Sampled June 2020
Updated: May 2021

Brand – Pelee Island Winery
Type:
Apple – Hopped
Location of Brewing: Kingsville, ON
ABV:
7%
Website Link:
peleeisland.com
Ingredients:  
Apple juice, hops, yeast
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 375mL (bottle)
Availability:
Pelee Island Retail and Online Stores
Flavour:
Apples + Hops
Colour:
Pale yellow
Carbonation:
Medium, semi-streaming



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Light aroma. Apple flesh with hops. Hints of bubble-gum and lychee.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Mild acidity. Filtered, clean apple flavour. Tangy elements are slightly behind the  sweetness.
After Taste: Apple flavour remains the same with sweet hops flavour appearing that provide bubble gum and lychee notes. Crisp, acidic finish.
On ice: Less carbonation. Less tangy and flavour ‘pop’.

Additional Notes: The Hopping Apple Cider from Pelee Island is a very light and breezy offering, providing for a very pleasant hopped experience that is not bitter or harsh at all. With bubble gum and lychee notes prevalent from the hopping, it has a light tart and acidic apple body that has some white wine influences in it. Wonderful for picnic drinking.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Malus Ciderhouse – Hopped Cider
More Sour – Spirit Tree – Dry Hopped
More Dry – Duxbury – Tilted Barn Hopped Cider
More Crisp – Howell Road – Hops Cider

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Clafeld – Cranberry Apple

Cider Profile:

Name:   Clafeld – Cranberry Apple
Sampled April 2020

Brand: Clafeld Fruit Winey & Cider House
Type:
Flavoured – Cranberry
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV:
6.5%
Website Link:
waupooswinery.com/cider-house
Ingredients:  
Fermented apple juice, fermented cranberry juice, sugar, sorbate, sulfites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content:  N/A

Size(s) available: 355mL (Can)
Availability:
Clafeld Retail Store + Online
Flavour:
Cranberry
Colour:
Pale, translucent peach
Carbonation:
Medium and Large infrequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium, tart cranberry. Some musty notes and a crisp apple secondary aroma.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Semi-strong crisp apple that is rather dry to taste.
After Taste: Becomes more cranberry focused as the tartness takes over – also somewhat dry on the palate. Some apple notes at the end. Some film to finish
On ice: Carbonation slightly reduced, flavours a little cleaner with less bubbles.

Additional Notes: The Cranberry by Clafeld is unique, as it starts out apple and quickly becomes cranberry (tart and dry) focused.  Not very sweet, it has a true, fresh cranberry flavour and characteristics. Less intense than a lot of other cranberries ciders, it’s more wine-like than traditional cider that is infused with the fruit.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Ernest – Rubee
More Sour – Muskoka – Cliff Jump Cranberry
More Dry – Great Cider – Cranberry
More Crisp – Thornbury – Cranberry Apple

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Duxbury – Tilted Barn

Cider Profile:

Name:   Duxbury – Tilted Barn
Sampled April 2020

Brand: Duxbury Cider Co.
Type:
Apple – Hopped
Location of Brewing: Meaford, ON
ABV:
6.5%
Website Link:
theduxburyciderco.ca
Ingredients:  
Ontario apples, organic Ontario hops, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473mL (Can)
Availability: 
Duxbury Online Store + Better Beverage Bars
Flavour:
Apple
Colour:
Translucent, sunflower yellow.
Carbonation:
Semi-frequently medium streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:



Smell:
Medium aroma. Sweet but sharp apple, with some bubble-gum like hops.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation and acidity. Smooth, sweet and crisp apple.  Clean with full flavoured smooth hops.  Significant tannin presence but doesn’t make it gritty.
After Taste: Apple dissipates and hops become more present. Smoothness reduces and more classic hops flavours are left with some acidity. Pretty long lingering.
On ice: Slightly less carbonation, the rest remains the same.

Additional Notes: This hopped offering the “Tilted Barn” by Duxbury is a nice balance of clean and smooth apple and hop flavours.  Easy to drink, almost identical on or off ice.  Aftertaste remains and becomes ‘hoppier’ as you get though the can.  Full bodied, naturally sweet but still some acidity and sourness.  A lot going on in one balanced glass. Everything you’d desire from a well put together cider.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Malus Ciderhouse – Hopped Cider
More Sour – Forbidden – Hopped Cider
More Dry – Kings Mill – Hopped (Still)
More Crisp – Sprit Tree – Dry Hopped

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Eden Grove – Hibiscus Blossom

Cider Profile:

Name:   Eden Grove – Hibiscus Blossom
Sampled May 2020

Brand: Eden Grove
Type:
Flavoured – Floral
Location of Brewing: 
Toronto, ON
ABV:
5.5%
Website Link:
Edengrovecider.com
Ingredients:
Apple juice, hibiscus flower, sulphites
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: 36g/L

Size(s) available: 473ml (Can)
Availability:
LCBO
Flavour:
Hibiscus
Colour:  
Bright pale-yellow
Carbonation:
Appears still with the odd large bubble on side of glass


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:


Smell:
Light aroma. Floral perfume with mild light tangy apples.
Initial Taste: Slight bite from carbonation. Some sweet apples notes. Floral notes with more of a base pear-like flavour than apple cider with some tangy notes. Mild ginger hints.
After Taste: Becomes more metallic and perfume-flavoured. Ends sweet with little apple flavour and more generic floral notes as you finish the drink.
On ice: Flavour slightly reduced.

Additional Notes:  A light offering, the Hibiscus Blossom by Eden Grove is more like a fruit and floral perfume infused water.  It’s got some generic floral notes- not particularly hibiscus in nature – and although apple based, doesn’t feature much apple juice flavour. Has some characteristics of the Perry offering by Eden Grove.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Reinharts – Hibiscus Strawberry Cider
More Sour – Brickworks – Hibiscus Lime Spritz
More Dry – Clafeld – Rosehip Cider
More Crisp – Duntroon – Raindance Rhubarb

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Farmgate – Bee Squared

Cider Profile:

Name:  Farmgate – Bee Squared
Sampled May 2020

Brand:  Farmgate Cider Company
Type:
Apple – Honey Infused
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 and select Ottawa area Farmers Markets
Flavour:  
Apple & Honey
Colour:  
Translucent, golden honey.
Carbonation:
A few small, spare bubbles.



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Semi-strong aroma. Sweet pulpy fresh apples with a hint of honey.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Some pulpy dessert apples with a bit of wood-like notes.
After Taste: As apple dissipates it becomes less sweet and earthier in nature.  Honey is natural and light.
On ice: Flavour and carbonation reduced.  Honey is lighter tasting/feeling and overall is more crisp.

Additional Notes:  The Bee Squared from Farmgate is light and easy to consume, even at 7%. The honey is smooth and well balanced, and not heavy like meads can be. Initial taste is simpler, with the aftertaste becoming more complex and rudimentary, and overall more natural tasting. Becomes more sour/tart as it warms.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Ernest – Dry Cider
More Sour – Clafeld – Oh Beehave
More Dry – Loch Mor Cider – Untamed
More Crisp – Flying Canoe – Hard Cider

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401 Cider Company – Raspberry

Cider Profile:

Name: 401 Cider Co – Raspberry Cider
Sampled March 2020

Brand: 401 Cider Brewery
Type:
Flavoured – Raspberry
Location of Brewing:
Colborne, ON
ABV:
6.5%
Website Link:
401cidercompany.com
Ingredients:
Fermented apple and cranberry juice, sugar, sulphites, natural flavour, potassium sorbate
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 341mL (cans)
Availability:
At retail store and online
Flavour:
Raspberry and Apple
Colour:
Pale rose-gold/red
Carbonation:
Mix of small to medium bubbles, infrequently streaming



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium candied raspberry. Tart apple and cranberry.
Initial Taste: Mild bite from acidity. Quick, sweet candied raspberry. Some sourness from the cranberry juice.
After Taste: Raspberry flavour diminished from the primary taste, but cranberry remains strong. Some mild sour apple flavours peak through. Sugary/sweet residue that lingers in the mouth. Dry finish.
On ice: Becomes thinner and less sweet on ice. Less tart but more alcohol flavour.

Additional Notes: This raspberry cider offering from 401 Cider Co is a semi-sweet, candied, somewhat more commercially appealing offering from the company. It starts out with sour raspberries and transitions into a dry, cranberry finish. As a slightly sour but mostly sweet cider, we recommend consuming this on ice to thin the cider out.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet –
Brickworks – Rosé Cider
More Sour – Hard Way – Ramboozle
More Dry – Forbidden – Raspberry
More Crisp – Ernest Cider – Rubee

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Kings Mill – Ontario Mule

Cider Profile:

Name: Kings Mill – Ontario Mule
Sampled April 2020

Brand:  Kings Mill Cider
Type:
Apple – Herbed
Location of Brewing:
Stirling, ON
ABV:
9%
Website Link:
kingsmillcider.ca
Ingredients:
Ontario apples, ginger, lemon balm, hops
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750mL (bottle)
Availability:
Kings Mill Retail Store + Online Store
Flavour:
Mojito
Colour:  
Cannery yellow, translucent
Carbonation:
Small, Infrequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Lemon and ginger (that is similar to lime combined), with some clean, crisp apples.
Initial Taste: Light bite. An even blend of apple, lemon and some ginger to start that isn’t overly aggressive. Slight earthy notes.
After Taste:  Becomes more full-bodied as time goes on. First lemon, then ginger takes over as the final predominant flavour. Smooth and sweet, earthy ginger remains on the pallet a long time (and builds as you drink the bottle). Mild hops also noticeable at the finish.
On ice: smoother (Reduced carbonation) and lemon.

Additional Notes: Using a blend of ingredients, Kings Mill’s Ontario Mule does a fantastic job of mimicking the flavours of a traditional Moscow Mule recipe, but in cider form.  You would be understandably mistaken if you thought it had lime as a key ingredient, but the blend of lemon balm citrus elements with a smooth ginger (along with some heritage apples) could fool you.  It’s easy to drink, not too sweet or sour and balanced very well overall.  Throw in a small lime if you feel like it and be mindful of the 9% alcohol. Hops flavour is mild but we believe it helps to enhance the other flavours.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Ernest – Impeachmint
More Sour – Clafeld – Disco Lemonade
More Dry – Spirit Tree – Pear with Lavender 
More Crisp – Niagara Cider Company – No. 1 Dry

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Coteau Rougemont – Framboise de Glace

Cider Profile:

Name:   Coteau Rougemont – Framboise de Glace
Sampled January 2020

Brand: Coteau Rougemont
Type:
Ice Cider – Flavoured
Location of Brewing: Rougemont, QC
ABV:
8.5%
Website Link:
coteaurougemont.com
Ingredients:
N/A
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 200mL (bottle)
Availability:
SAQs across Quebec
Flavour:
Raspberry
Colour:
Maroon red/purple mix
Carbonation:
Still



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium sweet raspberry aroma. Smells concentrated with a hint of astringency
Initial Taste: No bite, smooth transition to a quick, sweet raspberry with slight tang. Mild astringency.  Slight fruit earthiness. Mild wild raspberry notes. Rather thick to consume.
After Taste: Continues to be a strong raspberry flavour. Slight sour, green apple flavours. Some notable astringency. End sweet and smooth and lingers long.
On ice: More crisp and thin. Becomes a more fruitier, traditional raspberry flavour.

Additional Notes:  This raspberry ice cider is a true delight, providing for a very raspberry forward drink that is smooth and sweet from start to finish. With mild green, sour apple flavours, it has a slight tang amongst the sweet notes. Could be cloyingly sweet to some. On ice, this cider has an even more fruit forward raspberry flavour, and it is much smoother to consume. At 200ml, the bottle goes quick so enjoy slowly.  Seems to age well as we’ve had it for a couple years now.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Couteau Rougemont – Fizz Framboise
More Sour – No Boats on Sunday – Cranberry Rosé
More Dry –
More Crisp – 

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Ernest – Bumbleberry

Cider Profile:

Name: Ernest – Bumbleberry
Sampled May 2020

Brand: Ernest Cider Co.
Type:
Flavoured – mixed berries
Location of Brewing:
Newmarket, ON
ABV:
6%
Website Link:
ernestcider.com
Ingredients:
Apples, organic cane sugar, blackberry juice, cranberry juice, raspberry juice, blueberry juice, strawberry juice, purple carrot juice (for colour) natural flavours, potassium sorbate, malic acid, Sulphites.
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: 25 g/L

Size(s) available: 473mL (Can)
Availability: 
LCBO and Ernest Online Store
Flavour:
Mixed berries
Colour:
Dark Ruby-Red
Carbonation:
Small, frequently streaming bubbles.



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma of sweet, dark fruit/berry blend. Cordial-like notes.
Initial Taste: Mild bite from acidity and carbonation.  Starts off very slowly and light, building from a slightly sweet apple base to become more berry focused, especially blackberries and strawberries.
After Taste: Mixed berries become very prevalent, bursting with flavour, dominating the palate. Becomes thicker and sweeter as time grows.  Leaves a thick mouthfeel. Lingers awhile, ends on sweet dark fruit notes.
On ice: Carbonation is cut and it’s slightly thinner.

Additional Notes: A different type of cider, The Bumbleberry by Ernest is a blend of Blackberry, Cranberry, Raspberry, Blueberry and Strawberry. It starts light but it gets incredibly full-bodied and thick. More juice-like than apple cider in our opinions, the berries taste unfiltered and undiluted. Sweet and coating in the mouth, its not very sessionable – probably one at a time for dessert is ideal.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Heritage Estate – Eden’s Apple Strawberry
More Sour – Muskoka Lakes – Cliff Jump Cranberry
More Dry – Heartwood – Currant Affair
More Crisp – Pommies – Red Sangria

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