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Steel Town – Planet of the Pies

Cider Profile:

Name: Steel Town – Planet of the Pies
Sampled June 2021

Brand: Steel Town Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Strawberry and Vanilla
Location of Brewing: Hamilton, ON
ABV: 6.2%
Website Link: steeltowncider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Steel Town Retail and Online Store
Flavour: Strawberry and vanilla
Colour: Hazy apricot
Carbonation: Small, streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet apple and slightly muddled tart strawberry. A hint of vanilla
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation and some acidity. Medium bittersharp and acidic apples with tannins that dissipate quickly. Some funk and tart notes.
After Taste: Strawberry becomes noticeable and steadily overtakes the flavour profile.  Acidity helps drive the semi-tart and younger strawberry flavour for a long time.  Some vanilla notes at the end as funky elements dissipate.
On ice: Slightly more watered down and less flavourful. Reduced carbonation.

Additional Notes: Steel Town Cider’s Planet of the Pies has a strong bitter sharp, acidic and funky apple base with a tart, not quite ripe, muddled strawberry finish. Strawberries are creamy and slightly tart. This cider has a lot of character and charm, and being mostly smooth overall – the smoothest one yet we’ve had from Steel Town. A lot going on here with a kiss of smooth and creamy vanilla to finish it off.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 3.5
Crisp – 1.5
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Heritage Estates – Eden’s Apple Strawberry
More Sour – Archibalds – Strawberry Lime
More Dry – Lost Craft – Dry Rose
More Crisp – Heeman’s – Berry Blush

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Archibalds – Strawberry Lime

Cider Profile:

Name: Archibalds – Strawberry Lime
Sampled May 2021

Brand: Archibalds Estate Winery
Type: Flavoured – Strawberry & Lime
Location of Brewing: Bowmanville, ON
ABV: 7%
Website Link: archibaldswinery.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Archibalds online + retail stores
Flavour: Strawberry & Lime
Colour:  Transparent rusty orange
Carbonation: Small semi-streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Sweet, fresh and juicy strawberries – with a hint of cream. Slight lime tang.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite from carbonation. Strong juicy strawberry that is sweet but not sugary. Semi-creamy. Hints of lime and citrus that make it tangy.
After Taste: Strawberries remain but pulpy dessert apples come out. Tangy lime really emerges through decently strong here but not overpowering. Sweet finish.
On ice: Carbonation reduced, slight flavour reduction

Additional Notes:  Archibald’s Strawberry Lime is a very fruit-forward cider, with strawberry being dominant – and a focused lime right at the finish. The strawberries are very juicy and fresh, and slightly a bit creamy too. The lime is there throughout but definitely becomes more lime focused near the finish, being tangy. The lime also becomes more obvious the more you drink of the cider. A sweet cider, recommended on its own or for dessert – it would interrupt a savoury meal if paired there. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – 
More Sour – Stock + Row – Sweet Lime
More Dry – Kings Mill – Strawberry Rhubarb
More Crisp – Heritage Estates – Eden’s Apple Strawberry

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No Boats on Sunday – Mixed Berry

Cider Profile:

Name: No Boats on Sunday – Mixed Berry
Sampled March 2021

Brand: No Boats on Sunday
Type:
Flavoured – Mixed berry
Location of Brewing:
Grimsby, ON
ABV:
5.0%
Website Link:
noboatscider.com
Ingredients:
Apple cider, water, sugar, malic acid, natural flavour, potassium sorbate, potassium metabisulphate, colour
Gluten Free: 
N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottle)
Availability:
The Wine Shop (Ontario)
Flavour:
Mixed berry
Colour:
Translucent fuchsia
Carbonation:
Small, infrequent bubbles.  Appears almost still.



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Fresh, crushed berries with some wine and sweet apples.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Light mixed berries (strawberry, raspberry, and some blueberry) with a smooth, dessert apple. Slight alcoholic taste that balances with sweet notes. Very sweet.
After Taste:  Dissipates very quick. Reduction in berry flavours and finishes with a light, sweet, juicy apple flavour that is slightly sweet with a little film in the mouth.
On ice:  Carbonation is cut. Less alcoholic taste.

Additional Notes:  The Mixed Berry by No Boats On Sunday – although not listing berries in the ingredients – is a balance between the apple and berry aspects but not balanced when it comes to the sweet factor, it’s pretty high.  Dessert apple forward, it’s sweet and clean with some red fruit flavours.  A mild alcohol taste but it’s easy to drink for the average consumer.  Sweeter than the rest of the product line with less apple flavour.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Chill Street – Berry Naughty
More Sour – Ernest – Bumbleberry Cider
More Dry – Bulwark – Blush
More Crisp – Heeman’s – Berry Blush

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Chill St – Berry Naughty

Cider Profile:

Name: Chill St – Berry Naughty
Sampled February 2021

Brand: Chill Street Cider
Type: Flavoured – Strawberry and lime
Location of Brewing: Elmsdale, NS
ABV: 5.2%
Website Link: chillstreetcraftbeverageco.com
Ingredients: N/A 
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Chill St. retail and online store
Flavour: Strawberry lime
Colour: Transparent, light orange/peach
Carbonation: Small, streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Sweet strawberry and candied dessert apple.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Light mouthfeel with sweet candied strawberry and supporting dessert apples.
After Taste: Apple dissipates with a slight film. Strawberry remains awhile. Some sweet lime present in the aftertaste.  Somewhat long lingering.
On ice: Reduced carbonation

Additional Notes:  The Berry Naughty by Chill Street Ciders is a light and sweet offering that is very strawberry forward with candied notes.  It’s bright, lightly carbonated and lingers a while in the mouth.  Comparable to some international brands like Rekorderlig & Kopparberg Strawberry Lime ciders.  

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4.5
Sour – 2
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 1.5
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet –
More Sour – Annapolis Cider – Sour Cherry
More Dry – Bulwark – Blush
More Crisp – No Boats on Sunday – Dry Rosé

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Revel – Maribelle (2020)

Cider Profile:

Name: Revel – Maribelle (2020)
Sampled December 2020

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

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Revel retail and online stores. Better Beverage Bars
Flavour: Strawberry and lemon thyme
Colour: Cloudy with crushed pulped strawberries
Carbonation: Medium, semi-streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Acidic strawberry, lemon and funky apple notes.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Tart and acidic strawberries and apples present. Bold sour lemon notes. Almost puckering.
After Taste: Apple and acidity dissipate. Slightly stronger presence of strawberries which are more creamy.  A bit herby notes at the end that are semi-sour in nature.  Leaves the mouth a little dry.
On ice: Slightly less sour.

Additional Notes:  The 2020 version of the Maribelle by Revel Cider Co. is a unique and ‘journey’ cider, with a lot of elements and character.  Colour wise, its a brilliant strawberry red, with visible crushed strawberries.  Acidity and sourness are strong – almost puckering – but still very drinkable with other elements balancing it (earthy notes and strawberry sweetness). More sour lemon at first with crushed, creamy strawberries to finish. Herby punch to it. Little apple. Lots of particles and pulp but it does not impact the experience. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Reinharts – Strawberry Hibiscus
More Sour – 
More Dry – Beaver Valley – Bumbleberry
More Crisp – Heritage Estates – Eden’s Apple Strawberry

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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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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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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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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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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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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

Links to Other Stories
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Heritage Estate – Eden’s Apple Strawberry

Cider Profile:

Name:   Heritage Estate Eden’s Apple Strawberry
Sampled July 2019

Brand: Heritage Estate Winery & Cidery
Type:
Flavoured – Strawberry
Location of Brewing: Barrie, ON
ABV:
6%
Website Link:
heritagestates.ca
Ingredients:  
N/A
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: 50 g/L

Size(s) available: 473mL (can)
Availability:
At Heritage Estates retail store and local farmers markets
Flavour:
Strawberry
Colour:
Cloudy ruby-red/pink
Carbonation:
Frequent small streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma of juicy fresh strawberries. A sweet, slightly earthy apple base.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from acidity, mild carbonation. Quick burst of sweet, juicy strawberries with some tangy apples, slightly caramelized in nature. Some earthiness. Banana, lemon and honey notes.
After Taste: Strawberry remains strong but apple flavour becomes more present. Mild acidity and mustiness. Sweet, refreshing finish.
On ice: Carbonation cut. Smoother with a bit less flavour.

Additional Notes:  A juicy offering, the Eden’s Apple Strawberry adds a fresh strawberry flavour to their original Eden’s Apple semi-sweet cider but it is not sugary or gritty. Rather creamy, it almost melts in the mouth. Defined by a tangy, thicker, and fresh, almost milky mouth feel, you could easily find yourself having it in place of strawberry shortcake. Very full bodied and full flavoured.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Shiny Cider – Pinot Noir
More Sour – Apple Falls – Strawberry Blush
More Dry – Burst – Attoca 
More Crisp – Thornbury – Blueberry Elderflower 

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