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Crimson Cider – Perfect Matcha

Cider Profile:

Name: Crimson Cider – Perfect Matcha
Sampled March 2021

Brand:  Crimson Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Tea
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV: 5.5%
Website Link: crimsoncidercompany.com 
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Crimson online + retail store
Flavour: Matcha green tea
Colour:  Translucent fluorescent green
Carbonation: Large semi-streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Crisp, acidity, fleshy apples. Hint of earthy green tea.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Quick acidic and crisp apples that are semi-bright. Lime notes.
After Taste: Apples become cleaner, slightly juicier. Some natural and earthy matcha flavour notes come out to finish. Slight film.
On ice: Slightly thinner mouthfeel.

Additional Notes:  Crimson Cider’s Perfect Matcha is a light profile cider that is easy to consume. With a more mild matcha profile than anticipated, it’s not too overpowering but as a result it may not satisfy tea connoisseurs looking for more of a matcha experience. Being a mostly apple driven cider, it’s crisp, acidic and smooth with bright fleshy apple notes throughout.  The tea flavour does become a slight bit stronger near the finish due to the natural settling of the powdered tea. The green colouring is hypnotizing. Remember to gently shake before consumption.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Clafeld – London Fog
More Sour – County – Elderflower Sour
More Dry – Steeltown – Daga Carmesi
More Crisp – 

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Busl – Quran·TEA·ne

Cider Profile:

Name: Busl – Quran·TEA·ne
Sampled February 2021

Brand:  Busl Cider
Type: Flavoured – Tea
Location of Brewing: Mallorytown, ON
ABV: 5%
Website Link: buslcider.com
Ingredients: Cider, hibiscus tea, raspberry juice,
sugar, honey sulphites

Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Busl online + retail stores
Flavour: Hibiscus and raspberry
Colour: Transparent flamingo pink
Carbonation: Large bubbles, very infrequently streaming


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Light aroma. Mild tart raspberry and semi-floral notes. Sweet green apple.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Floral bouquet of hibiscus flavour. Sweet apple – red and green varieties – with mild tart aspects.
After Taste: Hibiscus continues but raspberry starts to develop more, is sweet and natural. Clean finish.
On ice: Minimal change in flavour or mouthfeel.

Additional Notes:  Busl’s Quaran·tea·ne is a great excuse to stay home and drink instead. With a very floral and forward hibiscus flavour from the start, it is balanced and never too heavy on the flavour journey. A candied, sweeter raspberry comes out in the aftertaste that cleans out of the mouth well. It has a minimal carbonation that doesn’t distract or influence the natural flavours. Not too much tea noticeable but more so has the mouthfeel of an iced tea.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Reinhart’s – Strawberry Hibiscus
More Sour – Steel Town – Daga Carmesi
More Dry – East Street – Harvest Botantical
More Crisp – Stock & Row – Cold Tea

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Ernest – Tea and Cookies

Cider Profile:

Name: Ernest – Tea and Cookies
Sampled January 2021

Brand:  Ernest Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Tea
Location of Brewing: Bond Head, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link: ernestcider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: 7g/L

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Ernest Online Store
Flavour: Earl grey tea + vanilla
Colour:  Transparent rich gold with brown hues
Carbonation: Fine, frequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Heavy black tea. Creamy vanilla. Hint of mild apples.
Initial Taste: Strong bite from tea tannins. Light carbonation. Gritty black tea flavour and mouthfeel. Earthiness. Equal apple with orange and caramel hints.
After Taste: Black tea remains but slowly dissipates. Creamy vanilla emerges. Dank apple notes. Long lingering tea tannins and flavour.
On ice: Mild carbonation reduction. No significant flavour change.

Additional Notes:  Ernest’s Tea and Cookies Cider is a very heavily tea driven cider, it may not be as sweet as you’d expect as with ‘cookies’ in the title. With a lot of black tea flavours and grit from its natural tannins, it is an earl grey experience from start to finish. You get a bit of mild orange notes from the tea’s bergamot. Some creamy vanilla emerges near the finish. Apple base is minimal. If you don’t like black tea, this cider isn’t for you.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Coffin Ridge – Lavender Earl Grey
More Sour – Steel Town – Daga Carmesi
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Clafeld – London Fog

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Clafeld – London Fog

Cider Profile:

Name:  Clafeld – London Fog
Sampled February 2021 

Brand: Clafeld Fruit Winey & Cider House
Type:
Flavoured – Tea Infused
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV:
5.5%
Website Link:
waupooswinery.com
Ingredients:  
Fermented apple juice, decaffeinated orange pekoe tea, bergamot, sugar, vanilla extract, sorbate, sulfites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content:  N/A

Size(s) available: 473mL (Can)
Availability:
Clafeld Retail Store + Waupoos Winery one store
Flavour:
Black tea and Vanilla
Colour:
Pale transparent yellow
Carbonation:
Small, infrequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Earthy, leafy aroma from the tea. Forward vanilla. Slight mustiness and fermentation notes.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation and acidity. Hit of earthy tea leaves. Sweet, crisp with light dessert apples. Slight bitterness.
After Taste: Apple notes continue but they become smoother. Vanilla emerges with a slight hint of orange. Ends creamy and marshmallow-like, with some mild tea resin notes.
On ice: Carbonation reduced, slightly less vanilla finish. Tea flavour remains the same. Slightly harsher with the black tea.

Additional Notes: The London Fog from Clafeld is a journey cider, starting off one way and ending quite differently. It has an earthy, black tea flavour that quickly emerges right in the first second of consumption, with mild tea resin/tannin notes that stay. The real treat is the creamy, light mouth-feel vanilla ending that delights the senses. Not a lot of apple, but what is there is its light and dessert-oriented. We reviewed the 2018 version in the old 355ml can, and it was much more harsh and gritty then it is now. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Coffin Ridge – Lavender Earl Grey
More Sour – Steel Town – Daga Carmesi
More Dry – Ernest – Tea and Cookies
More Crisp – Stock & Row – Cold Tea

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Steel Town – Daga Carmesi

Cider Profile:

Name: Steel Town – Daga Carmesi
Sampled January 2021

Brand:  Steel Town Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – sour cherry + black tea
Location of Brewing: Hamilton, ON
ABV: 6.2%
Website Link: steeltowncider.com
Ingredients: Pressed apples, montmorency cherry juice,
black tea, yeast

Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 355ml (can)
Availability: Steel Town retail + online stores
Flavour: Black tea + cherry
Colour:  Hazy rusty red
Carbonation: Medium, semi-streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Punchy acidity. Black tea pungency. Acetic. Sour apple.
Initial Taste: Strong bite from acidity and some carbonation. Black tea notes that are gritty. Sour candied cherry. Acetic and rustic.
After Taste: Becomes more cherry focused with heritage apple notes more prevalent. Mild smokiness. Lingering acidity and sourness.
On ice: Watered down flavour and mouthfeel. More cherry notes come through. Less punchy overall.

Additional Notes:  This sour sidra-inspired offering from Steel Town, the Daga Carmesi, is unique but fits well into the portfolio of Steel Town offerings. The Montmorency Cherry notes are dynamic, being sour and candied at the same time. Added black tea adds flavour and mouthfeel, being gritty and natural in taste. Heritage and sour apple notes add to the overall punchiness of the cider. Acidic and acetic. Would have a niche fan base (totally our style). 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Coffin Ridge – Lavender Earl Grey
More Sour – Revel – Sonata
More Dry – Ernest – Tea and Cookies
More Crisp – Slabtown – Legendary Cherry

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Stock & Row – Cold Tea

Cider Profile:

Name:   Stock & Row – Cold Tea
Sampled July 2020

Brand: Stock & Row Cider
Type:
Flavoured – Tea
Location of Brewing:
Bloomfield, ON
ABV:
4%
Website Link:
stockandrow.com
Ingredients:
Apples, black raspberry tea, stevia, sulphites
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 355ml (cans)
Availability: 
Select direct delivery and various bars in Ontario
Flavour: 
Black raspberry tea
Colour:
Hazy, sunflower yellow
Carbonation:
Medium, semi-streaming bubbles, larger and less on ice.



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Mild dessert apples with raspberry iced tea.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Blend of iced tea with raspberry and semi-sweet apples.
After Taste: Dissipates quickly with some apple notes left behind, along with a lingering black-tea finish, including some tannins from the tea.
On ice: Reduced carbonation and flavour. Less apple based.

Additional Notes:  Although the Stock & Row Cold Tea is most certainly a cider, it’s quite close in taste to a Canadian-style sweet raspberry tea with apple accents.  Made with black tea, it is refreshing and light at 4%, and it features a candied raspberry flavour. Not sugary and very crushable on a sunny afternoon.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Raspberry Apple
More Sour – 401 Cider – Raspberry
More Dry – Coffin Ridge – Forbidden Pink
More Crisp – Ernest – Blue Lagoon

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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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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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