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Union Libre – Aronia

Cider Profile:

Name: Union Libre – Aronia
Sampled November 2020

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

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



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

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

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

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

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

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Cidrerie Milton – Première Station

Cider Profile:

Name: Cidrerie Milton – Première Station (Série Exploration No 1)
Sampled November 2020

Brand: Cidrerie Milton
Type: Apple – Crisp
Location of Brewing: Sainte-Cecile-De-Milton, Quebec
ABV: 7%
Website Link: cidreriemilton.com
Ingredients: McIntosh, Golden Russet, Spartan, Empire, Honeycrisp, Courtland
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 375ml (bottle)
Availability: Quebec
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Cloudy, rich straw-yellow
Carbonation: Small, streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium, pulpy & fleshy apples. Tannic notes with some earthiness.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation and acidity. Some acetic notes mellow-out quite quickly.  A little bit of blended apple upfront.
After Taste: Finishes with melon-like notes, smoother and cleaner. Not overly long lingering. Fermentation notes dissipate.
On ice: Less carbonation, slightly reduced overall flavour.

Additional Notes:  The Première Station by Cidrerie Milton kick-off their special exploration series. In this offering, it’s a Quebec-inspired take on a traditional French cider. Cleaner than expected (especially after smelling what it could be), it’s much smoother and has less fermentation elements then you would think it would have. Not overly apple forward either, it cleans up towards the end and surprisingly has melon/floral/cirtus notes.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – McAdam – Cidre Urbain
More Sour – Fleuri – Hyslop
More Dry – Alma – Willie
More Crisp – Coteau Rougemont – Fizz Pomme

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Fleuri – Hyslop

Cider Profile:

Name: Fleuri – Hyslop 
Sampled September 2020

Brand:  Fleuri Cidres Biologiques
Type: Apple – Wild
Location of Brewing: Dunham, Québec
ABV: 6.6%
Website Link:
Ingredients: Liberty apples, honey crisp and hyslop crabapples
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Quebec bottle shops
Flavour: Dry
Colour:  Cloudy, rusty orange
Carbonation: Small, frequently streaming bubbles with some trub. 



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet and bright pulpy apples. Some floral notes.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Smooth but pulpy and creamy apples. Some astringency and early notes. Slightly acidic. Crab apple  notes mingle among caramelized apple flavours.
After Taste: Becomes less apple forward. More earthy and acidic.  Some more tannic and dry notes in the aftertaste. Slightly chalky from the yeast/trub.
On ice: Reduced carbonation and some other elements. 

Additional Notes:  The Hyslop by Fleuri is the Québec take on a France Normandy style-cider, but with more dry and wild elements.  It’s a little more tart and a slightly thinner mouthfeel but very close to the French offering. Creamy with a lot of extra trub which gives some yeast elements to it.  Fermented with Wild Yeast. Organic. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – McAdam – Cidre Urbain
More Sour – Alma – Willie
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Lacroix – Gabélianne

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Lacroix – Gabélianne

Cider Profile:

Name: Lacroix – Gabélianne
Sampled November 2020

Brand: Verger Lacroix Inc.
Type: Apple – Sparkling
Location of Brewing: Saint-Joseph-Du-Lac, Quebec
ABV: 7%
Website Link: vergerlacroix.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Lacroix retail + Québec bottle shops
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Translucent, light golden-yellow
Carbonation: Large, streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Sweet and juicy pulpy apple
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Some semi-sweet and slightly bitter apple notes (very Mackintosh like).
After Taste: Becomes more traditional apple forward in the aftertaste with strong apple flesh elements.  Slightly drier with a tiny bit of tanginess.
On ice: Very slight reduction in carbonation and flavour. Relatively the same

Additional Notes: The Gabélianne by Lacroix is a very light, effervescent sparkling apple cider.  It’s juicy and fresh, with little alcoholic notes even though it’s 7%.  We could call this the definition of a crisp cider, apple through and through, which is very clean.  This would be an extremely easy transition for a non-cider drinking into the industry if you were not a fan of alcoholic notes or elements. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – McAdam – Cidre Urbain
More Sour – Alma – Willie
More Dry – 
More Crisp – 

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McAdam – Urban Cider

Cider Profile:

Name: McAdam – Urban Cider
Sampled November 2020

Brand: McAdam (La Brassirie McAuslan Brewing Inc)
Type: Apple – Crosp
Location of Brewing: Montreal, Quebec
ABV: 4.7%
Website Link: mcauslan.com
Ingredients: Apple juice, carbon dioxide, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Quebec 
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent, golden-yellow
Carbonation: Medium, streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Concentrated juicy apple with some ale notes.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Juicy, fleshy medley of apples.  Strong presence of semi-sweet apples, some dessert elements. Clean and heavy mouthfeel.
After Taste: As the apple dissipates, a small film is left.  What started bright becomes a little muddled. Slightly drier and remains on the tongue for a while.
On ice: Less carbonation. Thinner body.

Additional Notes:  The Urban Cider by McAdam is a very apple forward, juicy and concentrated cider. It’s clean, heavy on mouth feel and pretty mainstream-oriented.  It could easily be mistaken for a soft cider, with a lot of apple presence.  Would appeal to most cider drinkers, but probably best described as a pub cider for its ale like elements. Memories of commercial Irish-brand ciders here.

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

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

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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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Fizz – Pomme

Cider Profile:

Name:  Fizz – Pomme
Sampled April 2020

Brand: Fizz (Coteau Rougemont – Ferme C.M.J.I Robert inc.)
Type:
Apple
Location of Brewing:
Rougemont, PQ
ABV:
5%
Website Link:
coteaurougemont.ca
Ingredients:  
N/A
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: 28 g/L

Size(s) available: 355ml (cans)
Availability:
SAQ
Flavour: Apple
Colour:
Daffodil, a semi-transparent yellow
Carbonation:
Medium, infrequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Semi-sweet, slightly sulphuric with some tart notes
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Smooth dessert apples with some tangy notes. Crisp.
After Taste: Tanginess lingers as apple dissipates. Remains crisp and sharp with some bitter notes that arrive at the end.
On ice: Carbonation slightly reduced. Some apple flavours reduced but not overly noticeable.

Additional Notes:  The Pomme by Fizz is a standard, traditional commercially-focused apple cider from La Belle Province.  Large carbonation bubbles and a strong Macintosh apple means its crisp and very apple forward. With some bitter notes at the end, this is a strong example of a pub style, easy drinking cider.

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

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

Links to Other Stories
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Links to Cocktails
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Domaine De Lavoie- Cidre Fortifié

Cider Profile:

Name: Domaine De Lavoie- Cidre Fortifié
Sampled June 2020

Brand:  Domaine De Lavoie
Type:
 Apple – Aperitif (Fortified)
Location of Brewing:
Rougemont, QC
ABV:
19%
Website Link:
de-lavoie.com
Ingredients:
McIntosh, Royal Gala, Sulphites
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: 170g/L

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottle)
Availability:
SAQ – Quebec
Flavour:
Apple
Colour:
Rustic orange
Carbonation:
Still



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Very sweet and syrupy astringent apples. Some caramel notes. 
Initial Taste:
No bite. Smooth and sweet, pulpy and caramelized apples.  Some astringent notes but less than it smells.
After Taste: Long lingering, astringency migrates and grows at the back of the throat. Some film notes.  Retains caramelized elements, and actually grows in strength.
On ice: Lighter with 1/3rd less flavour overall.

Additional Notes:  A before dinner drink (Aperitif), the Fortified Cider by Domaine De Lavoie is thick, sweet and caramelized.  To help get you hungry, it cleanses the palate with an easy and smooth 19% shot/slow sipper.  Watch the sugar content with these high alcohol spirit-like ciders.

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

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

Links to Other Stories
Links to Pairings
Links to Cocktails
Links to Comparisons

 

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 – 

Links to Other Stories
Links to Pairings
Links to Cocktails
Links to Comparisons

 

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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Links to Cocktails
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Fizz – Framboise

Cider Profile:

Name: Fizz – Framboise (Raspberry)
Sampled October 2019

Brand: Fizz (Coteau Rougemont – Ferme C.M.J.I Robert inc.)
Type:
Flavoured – Raspberry
Location of Brewing:
Rougemont, PQ
ABV:
5%
Website Link:
coteaurougemont.ca
Ingredients:  
N/A
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: 28 g/L

Size(s) available: 355ml Cans
Availability:
SAQ (2019)
Flavour: Raspberry
Colour:
Vivid, semi-transparent red
Carbonation:
Some infrequent bubbles from the side of the glass.



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma of sweet candied raspberry with some sour apple
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Some semi-tart apple notes followed by a quick showing of candied raspberry
After Taste: Raspberry somewhat dissipates and becomes more traditional semi-sour apple found in most Quebec ciders.  Does not linger overly long.  Some film at the conclusion.
On ice:  Carbonation and acidity is reduced.  More pop-like.

Additional Notes:  The Raspberry Fizz is a light-hearted take at a candied, sweet but not sugary flavoured Quebec cider.  It holds the base of a traditional Quebec cider (almost a green apple taste), with a medium raspberry appearance.  Quite crisp but it finished somewhat filmy. Not complex – more like a cooler in nature. Tastes very close to a Swedish Berry!

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – No Boats on Sunday – Cranberry Rosé
More Sour – Annapolis Cider Company – Sour Cherry
More Dry – Still Raspberry – Coteau Rougemont
More Crisp – Bulwark – Blush Cider

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CID – Rose Sparkling

Cider Profile:

Name: CID Rose Carbonated Sparkling Cider | CID Cidre mousseux gazéifié
Sampled on: March 2016

Brand: Les vergers de la colline
Type: Apple – Dry
Location of Brewing: Sainte-Cécile de Milton, Quebec
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link: lesvergersdelacolline.com
Ingredients: n/a
Gluten Free: n/a
Sugar Content: n/aSize(s) available: 355ml Glass Bottle (4Pack)
Availability: Le Marché des Brasseurs d’Ici and other Quebec Bottle Shops, Pubs and Restaurants
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Pale/Rose pink
Carbonation: Tiny bubbles that constantly stream.

 



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell:  Light apple smell, slightly musky. Tannin’s provide a smell that is astringent and like a wine.
Initial Taste:  Bitter and sour floral tastes. Musty and earthy, with slight hints of raspberry.
Aftertaste: Turns more tart than sour. Dry flavour with apple flavours emerging. Hints of malt flavours.
On Ice: Adds some carbonation, bigger bubbles. Big difference for flavour, ice weakens the bitterness and is less sour. Becomes sweeter with more fruity flavours.

Additional Notes: A more upscale wine-type of cider that would pair well with a romantic meal. You can tell it has been aged for a long period, because of the earthy, musty flavour. Floral, pretty sour and dry.

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

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

London Calling – Pear & Apple

Cider Profile:

Name: London Calling Apple + Pear | London Calling Pomme + Poire
Sampled December 2015

Brand: London Calling
Type: Apple & Pear
Location of Brewing: Laval, Quebec
ABV: 5%
Website Link: londoncallingcidre.com
Ingredients: Cider, sugar and/or glucose-fructose, natural flavour, malic acid, sodium benzoate, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 341mL (glass bottles)
Availability: Grocery stores in Quebec
Flavour: Apple and Pear
Colour: Light yellow
Carbonation: Mild carbonation

 LondonCalling200x400w

 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell:  Faint sweet apple smell
Initial Taste: Mild and smooth light apple flavour, semi-sweet.
After Taste: more pear-focused flavour develops. A very weird, malty and almost metallic flavour develops and lingers develops after the pear flavour emerges.
On ice: Carbonation and taste weaken on ice. Becomes less sweet and flavourful. Pear taste is more prevalent.

Additional Notes: An artificial, lower-grade cider that seems to have been designed to appeal to younger people. Has a very bizarre aftertaste that develops that is hard to describe beyond it being malty.

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

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

Links to Other Stories
Links to Pairings
Links to Cocktails
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