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Grey & Gold – Jin & Juice

Cider Profile:

Name: Grey & Gold – Jin & Juice
Sampled February 2021 

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

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottle)
Availability: Grey & Gold online + retail store
Flavour: Juniper, sumac, grape
Colour:  Cloudy rustic straw yellow
Carbonation: Medium infrequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Earthy juniper. Punchy herbal notes. Floral hints. Light mustard seed.
Initial Taste: Strong bite. Quick hit of earthy, herbal juniper. Dill weed and turmeric. Tannic wild apple flavours. Merlot notes. Dandelion punchiness. Sourness.
After Taste: Becomes more bitter. Is more herbal and raw tasting. Light sumac hints to finish. Long lingering flavour notes.
On ice: Reduced carbonation and overall flavour.

Additional Notes:  Grey & Gold’s Jin and Juice is a full flavoured experience, that may not be what you expect from the name. A very punchy, pungent cider, it has a lot of herbal, floral and spice notes that you really don’t find in any other ciders. Along with an earthy juniper, you get dill weed, turmeric, mustard and dandelion flavours that are bold and unapologetic. There are some tannic wild apple notes but the herbal, earthy elements are very dominant from start to finish. Not a standard gin botanical cider like others on the market or the name would suggest.To be honest, it’s not for beginners or those who hesitate to try new cider flavours – one of the furthest you will get away from commercially-based ciders.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Duntroon – Sumac
More Sour – Revel – Spirit of the Woods
More Dry – 
More Crisp – West Avenue – Genevieve 

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Duntroon – Sumac

Cider Profile:

Name: Duntroon – Sumac
Sampled January 2021

Brand: Duntroon Cyder House
Type: Flavoured – Floral
Location of Brewing: Duntroon, ON
ABV: 5.8%
Website Link: duntrooncyder.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Duntroon retail and online store
Flavour: Sumac
Colour: Transparent rose red
Carbonation: Very infrequent, medium bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Fleshy red apple with floral elements. Some lemon notes.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Semi-sour peppy sumac flavour that is authentic. Tannic red apple peel notes.  Once the apple is removed, it becomes more floral. Slight wood hints.
After Taste: Becomes much drier in the aftertaste with some earthy elements that blends with the floral notes. Some lemon and floral elements. Dry finish.
On ice: Watered down and smoother.

Additional Notes:  The Sumac by Duntroon Cyder House is the first cider we have come across of its kind, made with the sumac flower. Floral but woody – with some lemon elements and is somewhat close to a thick rose wine – the offering goes quickly from a burst of semi-sour apple to become very sumac & floral focused and drier. Not sweet by any means, like many other floral ciders are. Peppy, zippy, tingly mouthfeel. Bright and uplighting.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 3
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 4
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Rosé
More Sour – Revel – Prosthetic Conscience
More Dry – Beaver Valley – Cranberry
More Crisp – Reinharts – Strawberry Hibiscus

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Revel – All Day

Cider Profile:

Name: Revel – All Day
Sampled November 2020

Brand:  Revel Cider
Type: Flavoured – Mixed Fruit
Location of Brewing: Guelph, ON
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link: revelcider.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Revel Retail + Online Store
Flavour: Strawberry, lavender, plums
Colour:  Hazy rosy pink with orange hues
Carbonation: Small, infrequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Bold lavender. Tart strawberry. Pulpy apple.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from acidity and sourness. Quick and strong lavender. Strawberry is natural and tart, short-lived. Pungency/acetic aspects. Saison-like funk notes.
After Taste: Lavender continues strong, strawberry weakens. Remains sour. Ends on lingering floral lavender notes. Mild plum peaks through at the end. Becomes drier.
On ice: Weakened intensity for the acidity and sourness. Flavours remain the same.

Additional Notes:  The All Day by Revel Cider is a boldly flavoured cider, with lavender being the strongest element from start to finish. Quite sour, a lot of natural tartness comes from the plum and strawberry notes – a burst of strawberry flavour upfront, with plum more near the finish. Mild pulpy apple base carries the other elements. Very reminiscent of a Belgian golden sour beer in taste and intensity. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Reinharts – Strawberry Hibiscus
More Sour – 
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Crimson Cider – Lavender Buds

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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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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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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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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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Links to Cocktails
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Clafeld – Abracadabra

Cider Profile:

Name:   Clafeld – Abracadabra
Sampled April 2020

Brand:  Clafeld Fruit Wine and Cider House
Type: 
Flavoured – Butterfly Pea Flower
Location of Brewing:
Picton, ON
ABV:
5.5 %
Website Link:
waupooswinery.com
Ingredients:
Fermented apple juice, dried butterfly pea powder, sugar, sulphates, potassium sorbate
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473 mL (Can)
Availability:
Clafeld Retail Store + Waupoos Winery Online Store
Flavour:
Butterfly Pea Flower
Colour: 
Medium-dark semi-translucent royal purple. Some blue hues
Carbonation:
Small, streaming bubbles




Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Semi-strong aroma of astringent apple – with hints of lavender, floral and blueberry. Some earthiness.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation and acidity. Quickly semi-sour. Astringent apples with some funky floral notes. Some earthiness and must.
After Taste: Apple dissipates quickly, leaving an acidic, citrus/lemon-like notes with some berry flavours.  Pretty tonic in nature.
On ice:  Similar, a little less carbonation and smoother.

Additional Notes:  An Instagramable vivid purple, the Abracadabra by Clafeld is a mix between astringent apples and a unique, tonic-like citrus kicker.  It is harsh, not sweet as one might guess from the colour, and different than most other ciders available on the market.  Mild floral taste from the butterfly pea flower powder, and not very apple forward.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 3.5
Crisp – 3
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 2

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County Cider – Blackberry Peach
More Sour – Thornbury – Blueberry Elderflower
More Dry – Spirit Tree – Pear with Lavender 
More Crisp – Brickworks – Rosé Cider

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Graft – Field and Flowers

Cider Profile:

Name:   Graft – Fields & Flowers
Sampled October 2019

Brand: Graft Cider
Type:
Apple – Sour
Location of Brewing: Newburgh, NY
ABV:
6.9%
Website Link:
graftcidery.com
Ingredients:  
Rose hips, hibiscus, rooibos, sea salt
Gluten Free:  Yes
Sugar Content:  N/A

Size(s) available: 12 oz
Availability:
New York Stores
Flavour:
Rosé
Colour: Cloudy, murky brown/yellow
Carbonation:
Infrequent, small streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Very salty with medium floral notes. Some creamy, sour and semi-sweet apple notes.
Initial Taste: Mild bite from acidity and carbonation. Quickly salty and rough on the tongue. Creamy dessert and heritage apple notes.
After Taste: Saltiness continues and lingers, being slightly brine-like. Rose and general floral flavours come through. Some passion fruit and lime flavours. Ends semi-dry with a film from the salt.
On ice: Reduced carbonation – including bite. Becomes watered down, much less salty.

Additional Notes: Graft’s Gose Rosé cider does not lie about being a salty, funky cider that delivers on the sour and the fruit notes as promised on the can. Full-bodied, it may not be for those who don’t like gose beers and/or margaritas. With a creamy apple base, it has many intricate layers of herbal, floral and fruit flavours. Not your standard infused cider by most definitions.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Somersby – Rosé

More Sour – 
More Dry – Strongbow – Rosé Apple
More Crisp – Angry Orchard – Rosé

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Clafeld – Rose Hip

Cider Profile:

Name:   Clafeld – Rose Hip
Sampled June 2018

Brand: Clafeld Fruit Winery and Cider House
Type:
Flavoured – Rose Hip
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV: 8%
Website Link: clafeldciderhouse.com
Ingredients: Fermented apple, grape and cranberry juice, sugar, dried rosehips, dried rose petals, sulphites, potassium sorbate.
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473mL (cans)
Availability:
Retail store and online store
Flavour:
Rose Hip
Colour:
Rosé pink/red.
Carbonation:
Large, non-streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet, dry apple with hints of rosé wine. Also floral in nature.
Initial Taste: Light bite from acidity. Slightly puckering sour with strong floral flavours. Dry apple notes.
After Taste: Remains slightly sour and is astringent. Rose flavour becomes more defined and stronger. Dry finish with many rosé wine features.
On ice: Carbonation and acidity slightly reduced. Rose flavour remains the same.

Additional Notes: Clafeld’s Rosehip Cider is a good rosé wine alternative. This cider features a strong bouquet of floral flavours – with rose notes being very forward and full-bodied. A quite dry cider, it is a mature offering that would also appeal to wine drinkers.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Brickworks – Rosé Cider
More Sour – Pommies Cranberry Cider
More Dry – Spirit Tree – Pear with Lavender Cider
More Crisp – Collective Arts – Local Press

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