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Slabtown – Sweet Maple Heat

Cider Profile:

Name: Slabtown – Sweet Maple Heat
Sampled May 2021

Brand:  Slabtown Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Maple & Peppers
Location of Brewing: Uxbridge, ON
ABV: 6.2%
Website Link: slabtowncider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Seasonal – Slabtown online + retail store
Flavour: Maple + peppers
Colour:  Transparent canary yellow
Carbonation: Large infrequently streaming


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Bittersharp apples. Earthy maple. Hint of peppers.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Clean, bright apples that are off-dry. Sweet candied maple comes through.
After Taste: Maple becomes slightly more obvious. Hint of red pepper spiciness only at the end. Clean finish.
On ice: Carbonation reduced, along with flavours.

Additional Notes:  Slabtown’s Sweet Maple Heat is a very clean cider that has a smooth, candied maple to it, with a slight hint of pepper heat at the very finish (which builds as you drink the bottle). Despite the name, it’s a tame and mild cider so spicy-averse people need not worry. The maple is natural but on the sweeter cider. The apple base is very crisp, bright, and almost soft. A light offering that will satisfy most.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Farm Gate – Mulled
More Sour – Heartwood – Eve Goes Badass
More Dry – Kings Mill – Ontario Mule
More Crisp – Kings Mill –  Jalapeño

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Slabtown – Honey Habanero

Cider Profile:

Name: Slabtown – Honey Habanero
Sampled March 2021

Brand:  Slabtown Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Spiced
Location of Brewing: Uxbridge, ON
ABV: 6.2%
Website Link: slabtowncider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Slabtown retail + online store
Flavour: Honey + Habanero
Colour:  Translucent golden rod
Carbonation: Small, infrequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Mixed apple with habanero (with some spice that gets in the sinuses). Light, earthy honey.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from spice. Quick habanero pepper flavour. Spice builds for a few moments. Fleshy apple helps to balance the cider.
After Taste: Spice weakens, bright apple and honey come really through. Ends dry, with lingering natural honey that remains in the mouth.
On ice: Apple reduced. Slightly spicier as natural apple sweetness is reduced.

Additional Notes:  Slabtown’s Honey Haberno is a very unique creation that is not as spicy as you may anticipate when you hear habanero. The drink starts with some spice from the pepper and it does build for a bit, but is not overwhelming and not as many Scoville units as eating the pepper in a dish (by a lot!). You also get a lot of pepper flavour initially, but it turns more to a bright apple and a natural honey flavour into the finish. Surprisingly balanced for the sweet and spicy elements involved.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Chill Street – Heat of the Moment
More Sour – Heartwood – Eve Goes Badass
More Dry – Kings Mill – Jalapeño 
More Crisp – Ernest – Original Dry

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Links to Pairings
Links to Cocktails
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Kings Mill – Jalapeño

Cider Profile:

Name: Kings Mill – Jalapeño
Sampled April 2021

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

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


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

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

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

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

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

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KW Craft – Thai Ginger

Cider Profile:

Name: KW Craft – Thai Ginger
Sampled October 2020

Brand:  KW Craft Cider Inc.
Type: Flavoured – Pepper
Location of Brewing: Kitchener-Waterloo, ON
ABV: 6.7%
Website Link: kwcraftcider.com
Ingredients: Freshly pressed Ontario apples, champagne yeast, thai peppers,
ginger, cane sugar

Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: 2020 Holiday Mixpack at LCBO + Online Retail Store
Flavour: Peppers + ginger
Colour:  Pale yellow, slight haze
Carbonation: Large, infrequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Light aroma. Pulpy apple flesh, mild hints of ginger
Initial Taste: Strong bite and some heat from peppers. Quick earthy ginger. Fleshy apple notes
After Taste: Pepper heat reduces and its flavour grows stronger and more focused. Some spiciness travels to the throat. Lingers awhile. Dry finish with some ginger notes.
On ice: Spiciness is reduced. More ginger forward. Not as harsh overall.

Additional Notes:  KW Craft’s Thai Ginger is not a beginner cider but it is not too intense for those who can’t handle spicy foods generally. With a strong and forceful pepper heat, it does sting for a moment but isn’t too overpowering. The ginger is more noticeable near the end, with the spicy notes traveling and lingering in the throat for awhile. You also get more of the pepper flavour itself in the aftertaste after some of the heat dies down. Mild fleshy apple base helps to counteract some spiciness.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – East Street – Harvest Botanical
More Sour – Beaver Valley – Ginger
More Dry – Heartwood – Eve Goes Badass
More Crisp –  Archibalds – Hard Ginger

Links to Other Stories
Bar Review – KW Craft Hot Ginger Cider 
Links to Pairings
Links to Cocktails
Links to Comparisons