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Carlisle – Chapel on the Twelve

Cider Profile:

Name: Carlisle – Chapel on the Twelve
Sampled April 2021

Brand:  Carlisle Cider Company
Type: Apple – Dry
Location of Brewing: Carlisle, ON
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link: carlisleciderco.com
Ingredients: Apples, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Carlisle online + retail store
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent marigold
Carbonation: Medium streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Bright, baked apple. Molasses and brown sugar notes. Minerality.
Initial Taste: Medium bite. Quick earthiness and bitter notes. Unique mineral notes. Baked apple with peel notes. Grittiness. Spruce/foliage undertones.
After Taste: Apple becomes more peel and caramelized. Pepper and wood notes. Semi-sweet finish some molasses hints.
On ice: Slight reduction in carbonation and flavour but overall very similar to off ice.

Additional Notes:  Carlisle Cider Co’s Chapel on the Twelve is a unique cider that stands out in a large Ontario cider industry with different flavour notes that appear throughout the journey. You get a baked apple flavour that is somewhat caramelized in nature, with earthiness, wood/forest like notes and some soft pungency. There are also unique mineral notes that add depth and intrigue. A rustic, almost ‘backwoods’-tasting offering that is very rudimentary in taste and experience.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Shiny – Apple Cider
More Sour – Revel – Time and Place
More Dry – Kings Mill – Russet Heritage
More Crisp – Hoity Toity Cellars – 283 Cider

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Two Blokes – Lost Orchard (2019)

Cider Profile:

Name: Two Blokes – Lost Orchard (2019)
Sampled January 2021

Brand:  Two Blokes Cider Co.
Type: Apple – Crisp
Location of Brewing: Port Perry, ON
ABV: 6.7%
Website Link: twoblokes.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Two Blokes Online Store
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent golden yellow
Carbonation: Still



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Smooth, creamy pulpy and bright apple notes. Thick aroma. Sweet aspects.
Initial Taste: No bite. Crisp, tangy, caramelized apples that take a few moments to appear. Semi-sweet apples.
After Taste: Apples remain almost the same with some more natural and earthy tones appearing. Apple peel flavour and grit with mild vanilla/floral essences. Off-dry finish that is clean.
On ice: Mouthfeel reduced. Zip and elements weakened.

Additional Notes:  Two Blokes’ 2019 Lost Orchard still (not carbonated) cider is as straight-forward of an apple cider as you will come by. The journey is pure apple with no residual or off flavours, but rather just different apple aspects and tones. A zippy, tangy, crisp cider, it will refresh and awaken. Ice takes away a lot of the cider’s natural beauty so drink it straight. Medium dry, its sweetness is very natural and not coating. There are enough fermentation elements to know it’s not straight apple juice though. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Spirit Tree – Winter Bliss
More Sour – Hard Way – Renegade
More Dry – Grey & Gold – Heritage Dry
More Crisp – Thornbury – Honeycrisp Cider

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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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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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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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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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Cidre Le Costaud

Cider Profile:

Name: Cidre Le Costaud
Sampled July 2019

Brand: Domaine Pacory
Type:
Apple – French Cidre
Location of Brewing:
Mantilly, France
ABV:
5.9%
Website Link:
pacory.eu
Ingredients:
Apples
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/ASize(s) available: 750mL (glass)
Availability:
Special Import (Chalk, Slate, Gravel – Toronto)
Flavour: Apple
Colour:
Hazy rusty-orange
Carbonation:
Fine, frequently streaming. Mild foam.


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium-strong aroma. Sulphur notes and earthy apples with a syrupy essence.
Initial Taste: Light bite. Quickly smooth with sweet, caramelized apple flavours.  Crisp with minimal sour/tart/bitter notes.
After Taste: Remains sweet with some syrupy notes. Smooth and easy throughout. Calvados aging comes though at the completion of the flavour journey.
On ice: Carbonation removed almost completely, somewhat more metallic.

Additional Notes:  A rustic Normandy cider, the Cidre le Coutard is smoother than many other Normandy-styles we have tried.  It’s lighter, not as thick but still very smooth and within the Normandy classification.  Aged in Calvados barrels, it only picks up mild hints and means it’s easy to consume.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Kings Mill – Ice Cider
More Sour – Le Pere Jules – Cidre de Normandie
More Dry – Eric Bordelet – Sidre Brut Tendre
More Crisp – Dupont – Cidre Reserve

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Thornbury – Blood Orange

Cider Profile:

Name:   Thornbury – Blood Orange
Sampled October 2019

Brand: Thornbury Cider Co.
Type:
Flavoured  – Blood Orange
Location of Brewing:
Thornbury, ON
ABV:
5.1%
Website Link:
thornburycraft.com
Ingredients:
Apple cider, fresh pressed apple juice, orange zest, blood orange juice, sucrose, natural flavour, sulfites
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500mL (bottle)
Availability:
Thornbury Retail Store, select Metro stores
Flavour:
Blood Orange
Colour:  
Peachy-orange, semi-hazy
Carbonation:
Infrequent bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium-strong aroma. Candied orange. Sweet with some apple notes.
Initial Taste: Some bite from carbonation acidity.  Initially some semi-sweet, woody apple notes that quickly change to sweet orange dominant.
After Taste:  Remains and grows in specifically blood orange flavour, leaving the taste but not the texture of an orange juice.  Long lasting aftertaste in the back of the mouth.
On ice: Carbonation cut, slightly smoother.

Additional Notes:  Different than other ciders, the Blood Orange by Thornbury is a sweet but not sugary offering.  After the first sip, you would be surprised to find you were not drinking an Italian soda.  With a cider base, it’s sweet but not overpowering.  Smooth, easy to drink and a nice flavour you don’t see too often used.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Blood Orange
More Sour – Clafeld – Disco Lemonade
More Dry – Heritage Estate – Eden’s Apple Strawberry
More Crisp – Brickworks – Stadium Island Peach

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Duntroon – Raindance Rhubarb Apple Cyder

Cider Profile:

Name:   Duntroon Raindance Rhubarb Apple Cyder
Sampled August 2019

Brand: Duntroon Cyder House
Type:
Flavoured – Rhubarb
Location of Brewing:
Duntroon, ON
ABV:
4.3%
Website Link:
duntrooncyderhouse.com
Ingredients:
Cider, rhubarb
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: 16g/L

Size(s) available: 473mL (can)
Availability:
LCBO
Flavour:
Rhubarb
Colour:
Slightly hazy sunshine yellow
Carbonation:
Medium streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Light mild aroma of dessert apples – with crisp rhubarb. Semi-sweet smelling.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from acidity and carbonation. Slightly astringent from the rhubarb and some musty apples.  Semi-sweet.
After Taste: Apple presence dwindles a little, rhubarb remains the same for a long period. Mouthfeel is smooth but it does have a bit of texture. Some mulled notes from the rhubarb. Ends semi-dry. Some mild vanilla notes.
On ice: Carbonation is reduced; flavour as well.

Additional Notes: The Raindance Rhubarb Cyder from Duntroon is a semi-sweet, slightly acidic and creamy apple with a medium rhubarb taste.  Semi-dry in nature, it’s easy to drink and not overly bitter.  A classic apple first, rhubarb second cider. Has a unique spiced/mulled profile from the rhubarb that made it pie-like (and give it a mild vanilla undertones).

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Ernest – Winter’s Blush
More Sour – Thornbury – Cranberry Apple
More Dry – 401 Cider – Black Currant 
More Crisp – Coffin Ridge – Forbidden Hopped Cider

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Annapolis Cider – Earl Blue

Cider Profile:

Name:  Annapolis Cider – Earl Blue
Sampled July 2018

Brand: Annapolis Cider Company
Type:
Flavoured – Tea
Location of Brewing:
Wolfville, NS
ABV:
7.1%
Website Link:
drinkannapolis.ca
Ingredients:
Cider, Earl Grey Tea, Nova Scotia Wild Blueberry juice, sulphites
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/ASize(s) available: 750mL (bottle)
Availability:
Nova Scotia Liquor Stores
Flavour:
Earl Grey Tea + Wild Blueberries
Colour:
Rusty ruby-red, brown hues
Carbonation:
Large, mostly still bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium-to-strong aroma. Medium heritage apple aroma. Strong earl grey tea smell.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Semi-sweet and dry medley of apple tastes. Blueberry juice is a quick tart and tangy‘ kicker’ to the senses. Black tea undertones.
After Taste: Tea flavour becomes stronger and largely over takes the other elements. Apple flavours become more dry and aged tasting. Mild blueberry flavour lingers. Lemon notes. Dry, black-tea finish that leaves a bit of a gritty tea residue in the mouth.
On ice: Becomes thinner. Cuts the black tea taste and ‘edge’.

Additional Notes: Annapolis Cider Company’s Earl Blue is very tea driven, ending strongly on that flavour – to the point you ask yourself if you just had an iced tea with a splash of apple juice. The blueberry is a secondary flavour but it blends a nice fruity aspect to it. It is very full-bodied with a lot of different aspects to evaluate for the senses.  Cider and tea together, isn’t that just every British person’s dream?

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Ernest Wild Blueberry
More Sour – 401 Cider – Orchard Blend
More Dry – York County Like an Academic (Blueberry Cider)
More Crisp – Bulwark – Blush Cider

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