The Cider Crate

Archives

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
Links to Pairings
Links to Cocktails
Links to Comparisons

 

Clafeld – Abracadabra

Cider Profile:

Name:   Clafeld – Abracadabra
Sampled April 2020

Brand:  Clafeld Fruit Wine and Cider House
Type: 
Flavoured – Butterfly Pea Flower
Location of Brewing:
Picton, ON
ABV:
5.5 %
Website Link:
waupooswinery.com
Ingredients:
Fermented apple juice, dried butterfly pea powder, sugar, sulphates, potassium sorbate
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473 mL (Can)
Availability:
Clafeld Retail Store + Waupoos Winery Online Store
Flavour:
Butterfly Pea Flower
Colour: 
Medium-dark semi-translucent royal purple. Some blue hues
Carbonation:
Small, streaming bubbles




Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Semi-strong aroma of astringent apple – with hints of lavender, floral and blueberry. Some earthiness.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation and acidity. Quickly semi-sour. Astringent apples with some funky floral notes. Some earthiness and must.
After Taste: Apple dissipates quickly, leaving an acidic, citrus/lemon-like notes with some berry flavours.  Pretty tonic in nature.
On ice:  Similar, a little less carbonation and smoother.

Additional Notes:  An Instagramable vivid purple, the Abracadabra by Clafeld is a mix between astringent apples and a unique, tonic-like citrus kicker.  It is harsh, not sweet as one might guess from the colour, and different than most other ciders available on the market.  Mild floral taste from the butterfly pea flower powder, and not very apple forward.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 3.5
Crisp – 3
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 2

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County Cider – Blackberry Peach
More Sour – Thornbury – Blueberry Elderflower
More Dry – Spirit Tree – Pear with Lavender 
More Crisp – Brickworks – Rosé Cider

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

 

Bumper Crop – Mountain Pear

Cider Profile:

Name: Bumper Crop – Mountain Pear
Sampled April 2020

Brand:  Bumper Crop Cider Company
Type: 
Perry
Location of Brewing:
Vancouver, BC
ABV:
7%
Website Link:
bumpercropcider.com
Ingredients: Carbonated water, cider, Natural Flavours
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 355ml (Can)
Availability:
British Columbia Stores
Flavour:
Pear
Colour:  
Translucent light-gold yellow
Carbonation:
Medium, semi-frequent streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: medium aroma. Sweet, syrupy pear
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation.  Sweet, somewhat sugary pear taste with a little astringency.
After Taste: Pear concentrate becomes more noticeable as the sweetness and sugar dissipates.  Finished with a bit of film.  Some tonic-water elements in the finish
On ice: Slightly less flavourful.

Additional Notes:  A very flavourful pear, the Mountain Pear by Bumper Crop is extra sweet and sugary. Smooth, with some elements of the alcohol (7%), it’s a lot to take in and very commercial.  Similar to other pear-based cocktails, as opposed to a fruit-focused cider. Has some tangy notes in the finish, along with some filmy aftertaste that you would find in carbonated water.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 3.5
Sour – 1.5
Crisp – 3
Dry – 2
Fruity – 3

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Growers – Pear
More Sour – Molson Canadian – Pear Cider
More Dry – County Cider – Pear Flavoured Cider
More Crisp – Okanagan – Dry Pear

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

1911 – Tropical

Cider Profile:

Name:  1911 – Tropical
Sampled January 2020

Brand: 1911 (Beak and Skiff)
Type:
Flavoured – Tropical Fruits
Location of Brewing:
Lafayette, NY
ABV:
6.5%
Website Link:
1911established.com
Ingredients:
Fresh Pressed Cider, sugar, malic acid, natural hlavours, sulfites to protect freshness, lightly carbonated
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473mL (can)
Availability:
New York State
Flavour:
Tropical
Colour:  
Sunshine yellow
Carbonation:
Small, infrequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet apple, pineapple and a hint of coconut
Initial Taste: Light bite. Sweet and creamy apple with strong elements of pineapple. Clean.
After Taste:  Longer lingering with a strong pineapple finish.  Almost pineapple juice-like at times without the pulpiness.  Slight hint of coconut in the aftertaste.
On ice: Slight reduction of carbonation on ice, rest remains the same.

Additional Notes:  The 1911 Established Tropical is an extra fruity and summery drink.  Very clean apple, with a 4 of 6 sweetness rating on the can, its pineapple first – with smooth, sweet apple second.  Aftertaste lasts a long time, but not filmy.  Unique as it’s hard to get such a clean tasting flavoured cider.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Ace Cider – Pineapple
More Sour – Graft – Fields and Flowers
More Dry – Rootstock – Belgian Cider
More Crisp – 

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

 

Rosewood – Legacy Cyser (2017)

Cider Profile:

Name: Rosewood Estate Winery – Legacy Cyser (2017)
Sampled March 2020

Brand:  Rosewood Estate Winery
Type:
Cyser (Mead)
Location of Brewing:
Beamsville, ON
ABV:
13.5%
Website Link:
rosewoodwine.com
Ingredients:
N/A
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: 48 g/L

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottle)
Availability:
Rosewood Estate Retail Store + Online Store
Flavour:
Apple and Honey
Colour:  
Sunshine Yellow
Carbonation:
Few visible still bubbles on the side of the glass



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Mild aroma. Honey and apple notes. Sweet overall.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite from astringency. Strong pungent honey and sweet apples notes.
After Taste: Extra smooth, flavour lasts a pretty long time. More crisp, fresh apple flavours becomes present.  Some filmy notes to finish.
On ice: Less astringency and more smooth/less sharp.

Additional Notes:  The Legacy Cyser by Rosewood is very unique.  It has a strong kick from the honey and wine elements/astringency initially, but becomes extra smooth quickly into the aftertaste. It’s sweet but not sugary, with some creamy and crisp apple elements. It lingers a long-time and is a very unique offering compared to other wine/cider hybrids. This apple mead cyser is well worth a bottle as we cannot recall seeing anything like this elsewhere in Ontario.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Ernest – Dry Cider
More Sour – Clafeld – Oh Beehave Cider
More Dry – 
More Crisp – 401 Cider – Oh Honey Cider

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

Howell Road – Hops Cider

Cider Profile:

Name:   Howell Road – Hops Cider
Sampled January 2020

Brand: Howell Road Cider Co.
Type:
Apple – Hopped
Location of Brewing: St. George, ON
ABV:
6%
Website Link:
brantviewapples.com
Ingredients:
Ontario apples, Ontario hops, sulphites
Gluten Free:
N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473mL (Can)
Availability:
At retail store + various Farmers Market
Flavour:
Apples + hops
Colour:
Pale hazy yellow
Carbonation:
Small, semi-streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong, sweet aroma. Bubble gum and light floral notes.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Quickly sweet with a medley of various apple tastes – mostly of the dessert variety. Smooth, floral hops.
After Taste: Apple flavour continues the same but dissipates. Bubble gum and banana notes. Semi-dry finish, white wine/champagne finish.
On ice: Reduction in the hop flavour. More apple forward and slightly smoother. Slightly more floral.

Additional Notes:  Howell Road’s hopped cider is a very pleasant offering, presenting a nice, balanced hops flavour among the very apple forward cider base. A floral, sweet hops makes it a smoother offering than other hopped ciders on the market. Easy to consume, ends slightly champagne-like.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Malus Ciderhouse – Hopped
More Sour – West Ave – Legend of the Fall
More Dry – Kings Mill – Hopped (Still)
More Crisp – Heartwood Cider – Hoppity

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

 

Graft – Field and Flowers

Cider Profile:

Name:   Graft – Fields & Flowers
Sampled October 2019

Brand: Graft Cider
Type:
Apple – Sour
Location of Brewing: Newburgh, NY
ABV:
6.9%
Website Link:
graftcidery.com
Ingredients:  
Rose hips, hibiscus, rooibos, sea salt
Gluten Free:  Yes
Sugar Content:  N/A

Size(s) available: 12 oz
Availability:
New York Stores
Flavour:
Rosé
Colour: Cloudy, murky brown/yellow
Carbonation:
Infrequent, small streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Very salty with medium floral notes. Some creamy, sour and semi-sweet apple notes.
Initial Taste: Mild bite from acidity and carbonation. Quickly salty and rough on the tongue. Creamy dessert and heritage apple notes.
After Taste: Saltiness continues and lingers, being slightly brine-like. Rose and general floral flavours come through. Some passion fruit and lime flavours. Ends semi-dry with a film from the salt.
On ice: Reduced carbonation – including bite. Becomes watered down, much less salty.

Additional Notes: Graft’s Gose Rosé cider does not lie about being a salty, funky cider that delivers on the sour and the fruit notes as promised on the can. Full-bodied, it may not be for those who don’t like gose beers and/or margaritas. With a creamy apple base, it has many intricate layers of herbal, floral and fruit flavours. Not your standard infused cider by most definitions.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Somersby – Rosé

More Sour – 
More Dry – Strongbow – Rosé Apple
More Crisp – Angry Orchard – Rosé

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

 

Kings Mill – Hopped (Still)

Cider Profile:

Name:   Kings Mill – Hopped (Still)
Sampled February 2020

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

Size(s) available: 750ml (Bottle)
Availability:
Kings Mill Retail Store, Online Store
Flavour:
Hopped
Colour: 
Translucent pale straw yellow
Carbonation: 
Still



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Semi-sweet apple with smooth hops and floral notes.
Initial Taste: No bite. Quickly acidic with a blend of dessert and heritage apple flavours.
After Taste:  Tangy apple with some tannins followed by a light, fresh hops taste.  The hops, although not strong, remains a long time once the apple fades.
On ice: Smoother on ice, less tangy and a little less apple.

Additional Notes:   Floral and light, as opposed to traditional bitter and soapy hops like seen in IPAs and the occasional hopped cider, the Kings Mill Hopped Cider (still edition) is crisp and quite apple forward with a balanced blend of hops.  Smoother than other hopped ciders, its 9% and easy to drink so be mindful. Would complement food well. They also have a carbonated version of this cider.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Malus Ciderhouse – Hopped
More Sour – Coffin Ridge – Forbidden Hopped Cider
More Dry – Spirit Tree –  Dry Hopped
More Crisp – Duxbury – Tilted Barn Hopped Cider

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

 

Muskoka – Cliff Jump Cranberry

Cider Profile:

Name:   Muskoka Lakes – Cliff Jump Cranberry
Sampled February 2020

Brand: Muskoka Lakes Farm and Winery
Type:
Flavoured – Cranberry
Location of Brewing: Bala, ON
ABV:
5.6%
Website Link:
muskokalakescider.ca
Ingredients:
Cider, cranberry juice
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 53g/L

Size(s) available: 473mL (can)
Availability:
LCBO and Muskoka Lakes Retail Store
Flavour:
Cranberry
Colour:
Ruby red
Carbonation:
Small, very frequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Very musty and earthy. Medium tart cranberry.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Quick acidity and sourness from cranberries.
After Taste: Cranberry flavour continues strongly but apples make a minor appearance. Ends on a slightly sweeter but mainly tart cranberry juice flavour. Leaves a residue in the mouth.
On ice: Reduced carbonation. Slightly diminished acidity, tartness and flavour.

Additional Notes: Muskoka Lake’s Cliff Jump Cranberry is indeed a very strong cranberry influenced cider – dominating from start to finish – with a minor apple taste appearance near the end. Very tart, sour and acidic, this would only be recommended for true cranberry juice fans. With an earthiness to it, it is a very natural fruit flavour. Drink on ice for a much smoother experience. This is an offering right from the heart of cranberry country in Ontario so you may get transported to the serene Muskokas in thought while you drink this.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Cranberry Apple 
More Sour – 401 Cider – Cranberry Cosmo
More Dry – Heartwood Cidery – Currant Affair
More Crisp – Pommies – Cranberry

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

 

Clafeld – Hey Lady

Cider Profile:

Name:   Clafeld Cider – Hey Lady
Sampled January 2020

Brand: Clafeld Cider House
Type:
Flavoured – Grape
Location of Brewing:
Picton, ON
ABV:
6.5%
Website Link:
clafeldciderhouse.com
Ingredients:
Fermented apple juice, grape skins, sugar, sorbate, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473mL (cans)
Availability:
Clafeld Cider House + online
Flavour:
Grape
Colour:
Rusty orange
Carbonation:
Large, infrequently streaming bubbles.



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Semi-strong aroma. Sweet crisp apple and a little floral.
Initial Taste: Medium bite. Smooth and clean medium-level apple with some red grape notes. Slightly tart, like a hint of lemon.
After Taste:  Becomes drier and slightly more wine-like in the semi-long lingering aftertaste.  Almost has some berry (black current and strawberry) and floral notes in the end.
On ice: Carbonation reduced but remains almost the same.

Additional Notes: Although not with wine, the Hey Lady by Clafeld offers a smooth cider that was fermented on Baco Noir grape skins (which helps to give it its colour). Not overly strong – but still very enjoyable – and it has quite the journey of flavours.  A unique take on a grape-infused cider, with a lower than usual ABV than a wine (because it does not include any mixed-in) but on-par for other craft ciders in the province.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Pommies – Red Sangria Cider
More Sour – Shiny Cider – Pino Noir
More Dry – 401 Cider – True North 
More Crisp – Thornbury – Rose Cider

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

 

Busl – Haskap

Cider Profile:

Name:   Busl – Haskap
Sampled December 2019

Brand: Thousand Island Farms
Type:
Flavoured – Haskap
Location of Brewing: Mallorytown, ON
ABV:
4.5%
Website Link:
buslcider.com
Ingredients:  
Cider, haskap, cane sugar, honey, sulphites
Gluten Free:  Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750mL (bottle)
Availability:
Busl Retail Store
Flavour:
Haskap
Colour:
Dark rose gold
Carbonation:
Small frequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Tart berries, hint of plum. Some sour apples. Mild vinegar.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation and acidity. Quickly sweet with a mild tart apple.
After Taste: Berries really come out here, with notes of raspberry and strawberry. Ends on a semi-dry plum-like flavour. Some film/residue lingers in the mouth.
On ice: Reduces the carbonation and the flavour. Makes it have a thinner body.

Additional Notes: Not a commonly used fruit for ciders, the Haskap Cider from Busl is a light, but decently fruit forward cider that seems close to true to the fruit in flavour. Tart and sweet, this cider has notes of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, along with some plum-like notes to finish. Has a long-lingering flavour and leaves some film residue in the mouth from the sucrose.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Brickworks – The Burgundy Effect
More Sour – Burst Ciders – Atoca
More Dry – West Ave – Cherriosity
More Crisp – 401 Cider – Cranberry Cosmo

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

 

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

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

Brickworks – The Burgundy Effect

Cider Profile:

Name:   Brickworks Cider – The Burgundy Effect
Sampled November 2019

Brand: Brickworks Cider House
Type:
Flavoured – Black Currant
Location of Brewing:
Toronto, ON
ABV:
5.0%
Website Link:
theciderhouse.ca
Ingredients:
Apple juice, sugars (from apple juice), black currant puree, carbon dioxide, yeast
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content:16 g/L

Size(s) available: 473 mL (cans)
Availability:
LCBO (2019)
Flavour:
Black Currant
Colour:
Deep violet and burgundy
Carbonation:
Small, lots of streaming bubbles. Less on ice.



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet and creamy dark berries.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation and acidity.  Slightly tangy apple and black currant are evenly balanced to start.
After Taste: Both black current and apple sour elements become more prevalent in the long lasting aftertaste.  Quite tangy and a little syrupy. Lots of black currant flavour without the bitterness you can get with eating the fruit raw.
On ice: Less carbonation and less tangy.

Additional Notes: The second in the Ciderhouse Series (First was Mint & Basil), the Brickworks Ciderworks “The Burgundy Effect” is a full bodied cider, which you could mistake for a black current juice cocktail.  A lot of elements, quite tangy and carbonated, it’s not a beginners drink, and not very apple forward overall.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2
Sour – 4
Crisp – 2.5
Dry – 3
Fruity – 5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Shiny – Pinot Noir
More Sour – 401 – Black Currant
More Dry – Heartwood – Currant Affair
More Crisp – West Ave – Cherriosity

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

 

Ernest – Apple Strudel

Cider Profile:

Name: Ernest – Apple Strudel
Sampled November 2019

Brand:  Ernest Cider Co Ltd.
Type:
Apple – Flavoured
Location of Brewing:
Newmarket, On
ABV:
5.8%
Website Link:
ernestcider.com
Ingredients:
Apples, cinnamon, honey, organic cane sugar, natural flavours, acide malique,  potasium sorbate, sulphites
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/ASize(s) available: 473mL (can)
Availability:
LCBO 
Flavour: 
Mulled
Colour:
Transparent, Bold golden-yellow
Carbonation:
Medium, streaming bubbles. Similar on ice.


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma of caramel, cinnamon and semi-tart apple.
Initial Taste:
Mild bite from acidity and carbonation. Strong, bold nutmeg flavour followed by semi-tart and warming apple notes – and some citrus aspects.  Almost a bourbon-like vanilla.
After Taste: Becomes more cinnamon and apple pie like as the aftertaste goes on. Long lasting with a bit of a film/medicinal taste.  Finished with some pastry and raisin elements.
On ice: No difference.

Additional Notes:  Ernest’s Apple Strudel has a lot of elements: it starts bold and then goes through a bit of a flavour journey with differing tastes, finishing on a flaky, cinnamon ending.  The more you consciously think of it, the closer it is to the Apple Strudel it’s named after. It would be a great alternative to a dessert as it captures the unique, flakiness flavours of a strudel.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Spiced Apple
More Sour – Heartwood Cidery – Eve Goes Badass
More Dry – Spirit Tree – Pumpkin Cider
More Crisp – 401 – Apple Pie Cider

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

 

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

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

 

Cider 101 – Dr. Peppercorn w/ Cherry!

Cider Profile:

Name: Cider 101 – Dr Peppercorn With Cherry     
Sampled October 2019

Brand:  Cider 101 (Niagara Teaching College)
Type:
Flavoured – Mixed
Location of Brewing:
Niagara, ON
ABV:
5.5%
Website Link:
niagaracollegewine.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Limited availability – at College retail store
Flavour: Mixed (Soda-inspired)
Colour:  Rusty peach
Carbonation: Medium, very frequent streaming bubbles.



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Dessert-like apples. Very fresh, semi-sweet and flavourful. Hint of cherry.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Some astringency with semi-sweet dessert apples.
After Taste: Some vanilla and cherry notes are more present towards the end.  More flavour as the bottle warms and finishes. Tonic elements finish.
On ice: Carbonation and flavour are drastically reduced.

Additional Notes:  A very nose-heavy cider, the Dr. Peppercorn from 101 Cider is a cheeky take on the soda of a similar name.  When fresh, and a little warmer, it’s similar to a Dr. Pepper, with some vanilla and cherry notes (plus 21 other flavours?) to support a balanced dessert apple. However, this offering does not age well and becomes tonic in nature, so consume shortly after bottling (we had 2 bottles from the same batch, 3 months apart for reference).

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County Cider – Blood Orange
More Sour – Collective Arts – Cherry & Apple Cider
More Dry – Clafeld – Rosehip Cider
More Crisp – Brickworks – Parkside Cherry

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

 

Heartwood – Ciderhouse Sunset

Cider Profile:

Name: Heartwood Ciderhouse Sunset
Sampled October 2019

Brand: Heartwood Farm & Cidery
Type:
Flavoured – Mixed Fruits
Location of Brewing: Ospringe, ON
ABV:
6.8%
Website Link:
heartwoodfarm.ca
Ingredients:  
N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500mL (bottle)
Availability:
Heartwood retail store, online store, Guelph Farmers Market
Flavour:
Peach
Colour:
Translucent dark peach
Carbonation:
Medium streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Sweet, creamy peach with mild mustiness. Candied.
Initial Taste: Quick bite of spice and acidity. Woody and pepper notes. Some tangy apples.
After Taste: Apple flavour continues mildly with the spice dissipating. Peaches come through very creamy. Ends dry, earthy, damp wood-like. Some vanilla notes.
On ice: Flavour and elements drastically reduced. Basically no spice.

Additional Notes: The Ciderhouse Sunset from Heartwood smells very creamy, like a fresh peach custard. When you take that first sip, it’s a bit of a shock, as it tastes almost like an infused pepper in spice and taste, but we aren’t sure there actually is. Starting off with more harsh elements, it ends completely different, with a creamy vanilla and peach flavour. Has that earthy, woody touch Heartwood is known for. With the spice flavour and sensation, it reminds us of another of their ciders, Eve Goes Badass.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Duntroon – Rhubarb Raindance Infused Cyder
More Sour – Heartwood – Eve Goes Badass
More Dry – Windswept – Crimson Crisp
More Crisp – Drinklab – Pombucha Cider + Kombucha

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

 

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

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

 

Pombucha – Cider+Kombucha

Cider Profile:

Name:   Pombucha – Cider+Kombucha
Sampled September 2019

Brand: Drink Lab Inc.
Type:
Apple – Blended
Location of Brewing:
Toronto, ON
ABV:
4%
Website Link:
drinklab.ca
Ingredients:
Apples, kombucha (water, green tea, cane sugar, bacteria culture), yeast
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: 29g/l

Size(s) available: 473ml (Can)
Availability:
LCBO 
Flavour:
Apple
Colour:  
Slightly hazy, bright straw yellow
Carbonation: Fine, infrequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Mild, sweet apples with a hint of fruity mango-like smell.  Light tea notes.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation, followed by sweet semi-dry dessert apples and some hints of fruity notes.  Light and crisp apples.  Some astringency. Medium level tropical flavours, like mango, pineapple.
After Taste: Becomes drier with time, ending with some mild green tea elements and notes.  Lingers awhile on the tongue.
On ice: Less carbonation. Slightly less flavour.

Additional Notes:  This dessert like cider, Pombucha is a mix of light, crisp apples (about ¾ in flavour) with about ¼ kombucha flavours.  The tea leaves it finishing dry and a slightly earthy.  Kombucha is present, but lacking a defined flavour it gets lost in the apples. The tropical flavours present, really make it stand out from other ciders at the LCBO. This one is easy to consume, just be aware it may have some caffeine from the green tea/kombucha.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 3.5
Sour – 3
Crisp – 4.5
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 3.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Duntroon – Radience Rhubarb 
More Sour – West Ave – Cherriosity
More Dry – Clafeld – Rosehip Cider
More Crisp – Collective Arts – Local Press

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

 

Thornbury – Blueberry Elderflower Apple Cider

Cider Profile:

Name:  Thornbury – Blueberry Elderflower Apple Cider
Sampled October 2019

Brand: Thornbury Village Cider House
Type:
Flavoured – Blueberry and Elderflower
Location of Brewing: Thornbury, ON
ABV:
5.1%
Website Link:
thornburycraft.com
Ingredients:  
Apple Cider, fresh pressed apple juice, wild blueberry Juice, sucrose, natural flavours, sulphites.
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 56 g/L

Size(s) available: 473mL (can)
Availability:
LCBO and Grocery Stores (2019)
Flavour:
Blueberry & Elderflower
Colour:
Translucent, dark rose gold.
Carbonation:
Medium streaming bubbles, some foam that remains.  Less on ice.



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong, sweet berries, candied blueberry and some current.  Elderflower/floral also present with a slight sweet apple. Some tangy/sour elements.
Initial Taste: Mild bite from carbonation with some acidity.  Sweet, creamy and somewhat syrupy fresh blueberry and some dessert apple notes.
After Taste: Fruit flavours continue with the elderflower becoming more present.  Some film finish that lingers. Long lasting, sweet but clean tasting.  Fresh blueberry present for awhile.
On ice: Mild reduction in flavour. Thinner mouth feel, less tangy and sharp.  Less elderflower.

Additional Notes: Thornbury’s Blueberry Elderflower is full flavoured but not heavy.  It’s filled with fresh blueberries and a balanced elderflower taste.  A sweet apple is the base, but does not pull from the overall balance.  Floral, fruity and easy to drink.  If you are interested in going to the extremes from a traditional, drier apple cider, but still like something easy to drink, this might be the one for you.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Feral Cider
More Sour – Pommies – Cranberry
More Dry – Clafeld – Elderflower Wine/Cider blend
More Crisp – Ernest – Wild Blueberry

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

 

Somersby – Rose

Cider Profile:

Name:   Somersby – Rose
Sampled August 2019

Brand: Somersby (Carlsberg Canada Inc)
Type:
Apple
Location of Brewing:
Falkenberg, Denmark
ABV:
4.5%
Website Link:
somersbycider.com
Ingredients:
water, apple wine (water, sugar, apple juice concentrate), sugar, apple juice concentrate, carbon dioxide, citric acid (acidifier), natural flavours, potassium sorbate, colours (Caramel carmines, anthocyanins)  
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: 72 g/LSize(s) available: 500ml Can
Availability:
LCBO
Flavour: Apple
Colour:
Translucent rose-gold.
Carbonation:
Large, infrequently streaming bubbles.


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Semi-strong, pungent extra ripe fruit.
Initial Taste: Medium bite that dissipates quickly. Becomes very sugary and fruit forward.  Almost crunchy from the sugar elements. Caddied floral notes present.
After Taste: Some filmy notes, Finishes with strawberry and other berries. Extra sweet finish but not overly long lasting.
On ice: Slightly less sugary on ice.

Additional Notes: Somersby Rose is a very commercial version of the popular trend for ciders.  Its light, very sugar forward (at 72g/l one of the highest we have seen) and cocktail like.  Those who are a fan of the line might enjoy a slight variation to the original. We suggest it on ice (with most of the other Somersby) to help cut the sweetness.

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

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

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

West Avenue – Cherriosity

 

Cider Profile:

Name:   West Avenue – Cherriosity
Sampled April 2019

Brand: West Avenue Cider House
Type:
Flavoured – Cherry
Location of Brewing: Flamborough, ON
ABV:
8.5%
Website Link:
westavenue.ca
Ingredients:
N/A
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500mL (bottle)
Availability:
At retail store, online store + better beverage bars
Flavour:
Cherry
Colour:
Rusty orange with some red hues. Semi-transparent
Carbonation:
small frequently streaming



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong musty and earthy apples, with some tart cherry
Initial Taste: Light bite from some acidity. As carbonation dissipates, a semi-tart cherry with apple base become present. Apples, not overly strong, are most heritage tasting with some tannins.
After Taste: A semi-long lingering with cherry leads the way, though lots of notes from the fermentation process also present.  Finishes with some slight vinegar elements.
On ice: Becomes much flatter and thinner.  Less cherry flavour.

Additional Notes:  A mainstay in the cherry realm of ciders from West Avenue, Cherriosity is very tannic in nature, with some tart but not puckering cherries.  Lots of elements from the fermentation process, and not very sweet, it is a unique and different taste on a cherry than most other ciders. Think crushed and dark cherries, not very candied.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 3
Crisp – 2
Dry – 4
Fruity – 3

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Heritage Estates – Eden’s Apple Strawberry Cider
More Sour – Heartwood Cidery – Eve Goes Badass
More Dry – Clafeld – Framboise Raspberry Cider
More Crisp – Collective Arts – Cherry Apple

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

 

Burst Cider – Atoca

Cider Profile:

Name:  Burst Cider – Atoca
Sampled July 2019

Brand: Burst Cider Co.
Type:
Flavoured – Cranberry
Location of Brewing: Embrun, ON
ABV:
6.0%
Website Link:
burstciders.ca
Ingredients:  
N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500mL (bottles)
Availability:
At Ottawa area bars + Étienne Brûlé Brewery
Flavour:
Cranberry
Colour:
Hazy pink + red
Carbonation:
Fine streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet, tangy apples + tart cranberry.  Mild astringency and acidity.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from acidity and mild carbonation. Quickly tart and sweet. Strong candied cranberry flavour. Notes of tangy apple base.
After Taste: Cranberry continues, slowly dissipating. Becomes more dry. Tart, dry cranberry finish.
On ice: Carbonation drastically cut. Less tangy and less tart. Slightly more smooth.

Additional Notes: Burst’s first release, Atoca, translates to ‘cranberry’ from French, and that is exactly what you get in this cider. Rather tart, it starts off more sweet  and candied tasting, and becomes drier as the cider progresses on. With a tangy apple base, the flavour does ‘burst’ on the palate with so many defining elements. Cranberry really does drive the cider from start to finish, so you need to like the fruit to appreciate this cider. Dry, not sugary, it could appeal to a sour cocktail drinker.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 3.5
Crisp – 3
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Ernest – Rubee
More Sour – West Ave – Cherriosity
More Dry – Great Cider – Cranberry
More Crisp – Pommies – Cranberry

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

 

Brickworks Lemonade Cider Radler

Cider Profile:

Name:   Brickworks Lemonade Cider Radler
Sampled June 2019

Brand: Brickworks Ciderhouse
Type:
Apple – Radler
Location of Brewing:  Toronto, ON
ABV:
3.3%
Website Link:
theciderhouse.ca
Ingredients:
Cider, carbonated water, lemon juice, cane sugar
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: 52g/l

Size(s) available: 473mL (cans)
Availability:
LCBO and Brickworks Ciderhouse
Flavour:
Lemon and Apples
Colour:
Hazy lemonade yellow
Carbonation:
Medium infrequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Semi-strong aroma. Crisp lemon dominates. Mild sweet apple undertones.
Initial Taste: Mild bite from carbonation and acidity. Quick lemonade flavour. Batch 1904 Cider easily detectable.
After Taste: Lemon continues and lingers. Sweet, semi-sugary. Mild musty base. Ends crisp and sweet.
On ice: Reduces carbonation. A bit thinner in body and taste. More watery.

Additional Notes: A very straightforward offering, the Brickworks Radler is indeed some parts lemonade and some parts their original Batch 1904 Cider; however, it does lean more on the lemonade side. Crisp and sweet, it refreshes and is perfect for summer. One of the first cider radlers we’ve seen to be offered commercially – and admittedly more balanced than our home attempts at a cider radler.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4
Sour –3.5
Crisp – 4
Dry – 3
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Somersby – Rose
More Sour – County – Feral Cider
More Dry – Clafeld – Disco Lemonade 
More Crisp – Brickworks – Queen Street 501

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

 

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 

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

County – Blackberry Peach

Cider Profile:

Name:   County Cider – Blackberry Peach
Sampled June 2019

Brand: County Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Blackberry and Peach
Location of Brewing:
Picton, ON
ABV:
6.5%
Website Link:
countycider.com
Ingredients:
Cider, natural peach and blackberry flavour, sulphites
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500ml (glass bottle)
Availability:
County Retail and in select bars
Flavour:
Peach and Blackberry
Colour:  
Straw yellow
Carbonation:
Large, semi-streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong sweet peach aroma –  with some blackberry and sweet apple.
Initial Taste: Mild sensation and bite from carbonation and acidity.  Sweet apples, with peach overtaking and becoming most dominant.  Blackberry is noticeable, but more of an undertone here.
After Taste:  Slight tartness from blackberry, which the flavour is much more present in the aftertaste.  Lingers a long time, leaves a slight sugar residue in the mouth.
On ice: Thinner, but similar flavour.

Additional Notes:  A very juicy and fruit forward cider, the Country Blackberry and peach starts off sweet and peachy, and finishes more with the blackberry flavour.  It’s sweet – more so than other County offerings – and very full flavoured/full bodied. Perfect to quench a thirst under the rays of the blaring sun.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4
Sour – 2
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 3
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Brickworks – Stadium Island Peach
More Sour – 401 Cider – Peach 
More Dry – Hinterland – Sparkling Cherry Cider
More Crisp – Ernest – Impeachment

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

 

Clafeld – Rose Hip

Cider Profile:

Name:   Clafeld – Rose Hip
Sampled June 2018 (Updated May 2021)

Brand: Clafeld Fruit Winery and Cider House
Type:
Flavoured – Rose Hip
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV: 8%
Website Link: clafeldciderhouse.com
Ingredients: Fermented apple, grape and cranberry juice, sugar, dried rosehips, dried rose petals, sulphites, potassium sorbate.
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473mL (cans)
Availability:
Retail store and online store
Flavour:
Rose Hip
Colour:
Rosé pink/red.
Carbonation:
Large, non-streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet, dry apple with hints of rosé wine. Also floral and musty in nature.
Initial Taste: Light bite from acidity. Slightly puckering sour with strong floral flavours. Dry apple base.
After Taste: Remains slightly sour and astringent. Rose flavour becomes more defined and stronger. Dry finish with many rosé wine features.
On ice: Carbonation and acidity slightly reduced. Rose flavour remains the same.

Additional Notes: Clafeld’s Rosehip Cider is a good rosé wine alternative. This cider features a strong bouquet of floral flavours – with rose notes being predominant but overall quite a light and smooth cider. A dry cider, it is a mature offering that would also appeal to wine drinkers.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 3.5
Crisp – 2
Dry – 4
Fruity – 3

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Brickworks – Rosé Cider
More Sour – Pommies Cranberry Cider
More Dry – Spirit Tree – Pear with Lavender Cider
More Crisp – Collective Arts – Local Press

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

 

401 Cider Company – Apple Pie Cider

Cider Profile:

Name:  401 Brewery – Apple Pie Cider
Sampled April 2018

Brand: 401 Cider Brewery
Type:
Flavoured – Spiced
Location of Brewing:
Colborne, ON
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link:
401cidercompany.com
Ingredients:
Fermented apple juice, mulling spices, brown sugar, caramel colour, sulphites, potassium sorbate
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750mL (bottle)
Availability:
At retail store and online
Flavour:
Apple and spices
Colour:
Golden rusty brown
Carbonation:
Medium, semi-frequently streaming



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma of sweet apples and baking spices. Caramel notes
Initial Taste: Light bite from slight acidity and apple elements. Quick cinnamon and baking spice flavours come out strongly. Vanilla, crust-like flavours also there.
After Taste: All initial flavours continue with sweet apple flavours become more obvious. Long lingering. Very smooth and sweet finish.
On ice: Carbonation is cut. Spices are reduced – including the heat from the spices. Creamy apple flavours remain.

Additional Notes: 401’s Apple Pie Cider is spot on to the dessert it’s named after. A very accurate medley of flavours, it starts as more of the vanilla-like crust flavours, moving towards more of the apple pie filling flavours as it progresses. With strong baking spices (especially cinnamon), this is a perfect dessert drink for any cider fan. Smooth, creamy and rich, it is well-balanced overall.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 3.5
Sour – 4.5
Crisp – 4
Dry – 3
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County Blood Orange Cider
More Sour – Thornbury Spiced Apple Cider
More Dry – Spirit Tree Pumpkin Cider
More Crisp – Collective Arts Pear Saison Cider

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

 

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

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

 

Great Cider – Cranberry

Cider Profile:

Name:  Great Cider – Cranberry Cider
First sampled May 2018
Last updated: October 2020

Brand: The Great Canadian Cider Company
Type:
Flavoured – Cranberry
Location of Brewing:
Collingwood, ON
ABV:
6.3%
Website Link:
greatcider.ca
Ingredients:
Organic cider, organic cranberry
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: 25g/L

Size(s) available: 473mL (cans)
Availability: 
LCBO
Flavour:
Cranberry
Colour:
Salmon pink with some rusty hues
Carbonation: 
Medium streaming bubbles

 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Clean, slightly sweet cranberry aroma with mild sweet apples notes.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation but very smooth from the start.  Light, tart cranberry flavour – amongst a medley of fresh, fleshy apple flavours. Sour green apple notes. Some earthy hints.
After Taste: Apple flavours continue and linger awhile. Cranberry becomes stronger, building in intensity for a bit. Somewhat tangy, semi-dry finish. Tonic like notes.
On ice: Ice cuts the carbonation and makes the taste and mouth feel thinner.

Additional Notes: Great Cider’s Cranberry Cider starts with apples being the more so first detectable flavours; and cranberry being more in the backend of the cider drinking experience. There is a nice medley of apple varieties noticeable – with the sweet, fleshy, tangy and sour notes nicely matched and balanced amongst each other. The cranberry flavour is tart and mildly sweet but not overpowering on the palate. Not a juicy cranberry base, tasting more so infused into the cider.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Cranberry Apple Cider
More Sour – County Cider Co – Feral Cider
More Dry – 401 Cider – Cranberry Apple
More Crisp – Pommies Cranberry Cider

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

 

Clafeld – Disco Lemonade

Cider Profile:

Name:  Clafeld Cider Disco Lemonade
Sampled April 2018

Brand: Clafeld Fruit Winery and Cider House
Type:
Flavoured – Lemon
Location of Brewing:
Picton, ON
ABV:
9%
Website Link:
clafeldciderhouse.com
Ingredients:
Fermented apple juice, fermented grape juice, dried grapefruit peel, dried lemon peel, dried orange peel, sugar, potassium sorbate, sulphites
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473mL (cans)
Availability:
Clafeld retail store and online
Flavour:
Lemon
Colour:
Bright yellow
Carbonation:
Small semi-streaming bubbles with large still bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma – dry, musty apple with a lot of fermentation-process notes
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Slight acidity and quick musty flavours. Some bitter and sour flavours from the apples.
After Taste: Sweet lemon flavour comes through and largely overtakes apple flavours. Malty with some acidity. Semi-dry finish.
On ice: Cuts out carbonation sensation. Increases lemon/lemonade flavour and is sweeter overall, with less must.

Additional Notes: Clafeld’s Disco Lemonade cider is a unique cider, delivering on a sweet – not puckering – lemon flavour on the palate. If you want an aged, mature, more-wine like experience drink it without ice. If you want a sweeter experience that really highlights the sweet lemonade aspects, throw some ice in it.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Brickworks Hawaii 5 Eh
More Sour – Pommies Cranberry
More Dry – Heritage Estate Dragon’s Gold
More Crisp – Collective Arts Honey and Lavender

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

 

Tempt – Dirty Passion

Cider Profile:

Name: Tempt – Dirty Passion
Sampled December 2017

Brand:  Tempt Cider (Brewery Group Denmark A/S)
Type:
Flavoured
Location of Brewing:
Denmark
ABV:
4.5%
Website Link:
tempt.dk
Ingredients:
water, apple wine, sugar, carbon dioxide, acidity regulator (E330), lemon juice from concentrate, stabilizers (E414 E445), natural Passion Fruit flavour, Colour (E160e)
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/ASize(s) available: 330ml Can
Availability:
2017 Europe
Flavour:
Passion Fruit
Colour:
Opaque orange (Looks like orange pop)
Carbonation: sparse, medium bubbles. 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong, sweet orange pop-like and passion fruit notes.
Initial Taste: light bite from carbonation, sweet syrupy passion-fruit and candied orange taste.
After Taste: Reduces quickly, becomes more sweet and pop-like.  Little apple flavour. Some syrup elements to finish, though light overall.
On ice: Carbonation is reduced, little else changes.

Additional Notes:  Part of a long line of Danish Ciders, the Tempt Dirty Passion is their sweet and sugary commercial take on a passion fruit cider.  It’s very pop-like in nature, close to an orange crush or c-plus, though maybe even sweeter with a little less carbonation.  Made with Apple wine, it’s light, candied and far from traditional.

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

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

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

Clafeld – Elderflower Cider & Wine

Cider Profile:

Name:  Clafeld Elderflower Cider & Wine
Sampled October 2017

Brand: Clafeld Fruit Winery and Cidery
Type:
Flavoured
Location of Brewing: Picton, Ontario
ABV: 9%
Website Link:
Ingredients: Fermented apple and grape juice, dried elderflower, sulphites, potassium sorbate
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473mL (cans)
Availability:
All year – retail store and online
Flavour:
Elderflower
Colour:
Very pale yellow – almost clear
Carbonation:
Medium infrequent bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium sweet apple w/ floral and white wine notes
Initial Taste: Mild to medium bite. Sweet and smooth. Strong elderflower flavour with sweet apple notes.
After Taste: Continuing elderflower flavours. Mild astringency. Some fermentation notes. Lingering floral flavours. Semi-dry, white wine finish.
On ice: Carbonation is cut. Ice cuts the flavour slightly. Becomes more astringent on ice.

Additional Notes:  Clafeld’s Elderflower is a light cider offering, which has a very natural elderflower flavour that is not too overpowering. Strong wine presence, that has light apple and floral notes. Semi-dry finish. Drink this cider fresh, it is not to be aged as we discovered with an older version we had let sit for a while.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County Peach Cider
More Sour – 401 Cider Orchard Blend
More Dry – Tawse Sparkling
More Crisp – Clafeld Rose Hip Cider

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

 

Clafeld – Oh Beehave

Cider Profile:

Name:  Clafeld Oh Beehave
Sampled January 2018

Brand: Clafeld Fruit Winery and Cider House
Type:
Flavoured – Honey
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV: 9%
Website Link: clafeldciderhouse.com
Ingredients: Fermented apple juice, fermented grape juice, honey, sulphites, natural flavour, potassium sorbate, sulphites.
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 341 mL (bottle)
Availability:
All year – retail shop and online
Flavour:
Apples and honey
Colour:
Bright lemon yellow
Carbonation:
Small streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium smell. Musty apple aromas with hints of white wine.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Smooth, sweet apple flavours with some sour and musty notes. Noticeable malty tones. Acidity that reminds us of lemons.
After Taste: Sweet apple flavour continues. Honey makes a mild appearance. Tangy, dry, white wine-like finish.
On ice: Becomes more smooth. Apple flavour is cut.

Additional Notes: Oh Beehave is a crisp and dry apple cider that features apple flavours first; with the honey flavours secondary. This cider has a rustic, countryside appeal.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Growers Honeycrisp Cider
More Sour – Brickworks Queen Street 501
More Dry – 401 Honey Cider
More Crisp – No Boats on Sunday

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

 

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