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Kings Mill – Black Currant

Cider Profile:

Name: Kings Mill – Black Currant
Sampled June 2021

Brand: Kings Mill Cider
Type: Flavoured – Black Currant
Location of Brewing: Stirling, ON
ABV: 8.5
Website Link: kingsmillcider.company.site/
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottles)
Flavour: Kings Mill online + retail stores
Colour:  Translucent deep ruby red
Carbonation: Small streaming bubbles,
very foamy when poured


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Fruity black currant with some astringency.
Initial Taste: Tingly bite from carbonation. Quick juicy black currant with some grit from berry skins. Bitters harp apples are noticeable. Very black currant dominate. Earthy hints.
After Taste: Black currant becomes slightly weaker, apples come out a touch more. Dry finish with some fermentation notes present.
On ice: Slightly less carbonation. Tastes a bit less alcoholic.

Additional Notes:  Kings Mill Black Currant is a very berry dominant cider – with the black currants leading the way the entire journey, with a secondary presence from the apple base. This is a very gritty and authentic black currant flavour – you can almost taste the berry skins in this one. Mostly dry, it’s elevated and is almost wine-like at times. It’s 8.5% and it definitely tastes alcoholic as well. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 3
Crisp – 2
Dry – 4
Fruity – 4.5 

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Archibalds – Hard Currant Cider
More Sour – Heartwood – Currant Affair
More Dry – 
More Crisp – 401 Cider – Black Currant

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KW Cider – Canadian Shield Berries Rosé

Cider Profile:

Name: KW Cider – Canadian Shield Berries Rosé
Sampled October 2020

Brand: KW Cider Company 
Type: Flavoured – Mixed Berry
Location of Brewing: Kitchener-Waterloo, ON
ABV: 6.3%
Website Link: kwcider.com
Ingredients: Ontario apples, strawberries, blueberries,
raspberries, cranberries, blackcurrant, champagne yeast, cane sugar

Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: KW Winter Mixpack (2020 LCBO) + KW Cider Online Store
Flavour: Mixed Berries
Colour: Rose Gold
Carbonation: Large, semi-streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Light aroma. Mixed berries and dessert apples. Stronger on ice.
Initial Taste: Light bite. Balanced mixed berries and dessert apples with a bit of sourness and bitter sharp apple notes. Crisp and clean. Mild wine-like astringency.
After Taste: Becomes more berry-focused as apple dissipates, in particular blackberry and raspberry notes.  Finishes semi-juicy with little alcoholic elements.
On ice: Less carbonation and less overall berry flavour and intensity.

Additional Notes:  The KW Cider Canadian Shield Berry Rosé is a light, sparkling, wine-like cider that is rather crisp and clean. With a mix of multiple types of berries found across Canada, it has some natural sweetness from the fruits. Balanced apples and berries make it light and gives it a rose gold colour. Drinks very much like a rosé wine but is very clean and light bodied.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Rosé Cider
More Sour – Beaver Valley – Bumbleberry Cider
More Dry – Clafeld – Rose Hip Cider
More Crisp – Stock & Row – Cold Tea

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Spy Cider – Crimson Tide

Cider Profile

Name: Spy Cider – Crimson Tide
Sampled August 2020

Brand:  Spy Cider House and Distillery
Type: Flavoured – Black Currant
Location of Brewing: Clarksburg, ON
ABV: 5%
Website Link: spydistillary.com
Ingredients: Apples, black currants.
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Spy Cider House retail store + online store
Flavour: Black currant
Colour:  Transparent Ruby red
Carbonation: Medium streaming bubbles, some foam when poured. 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Tart apple with thick black currant reduction.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Semi-tart apples that are crisp and flavourful.  Some tart black currant elements. Strawberry notes.
After Taste: Apple reduces and black currant becomes much more present, tart with mild sweet aspects. Slightly thick and tingly mouthfeel. 
On ice: Reduced carbonation, more black currant focused.

Additional Notes:  The Crimson Tide by Spy Cider is a tale of two tastes. Apple forward and slightly tart to start, as time lingers it becomes much more black currant focused in the aftertaste (Enough so that you wonder where all the apple went).  Crisp to start and slightly muddled in the finish. Note: This is a remix of their original, Golden Eye same base with black currant added. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Duntroon Cyder – Raindance Rhubarb Cyder
More Sour – 401 Cider – Black Currant
More Dry – Beaver Valley – Bumbleberry
More Crisp – 

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McAdam – Dark Fruits

Cider Profile:

Name: McAdam – Dark Fruits
Sampled September 2020

Brand:  McAdam Cidre Urbain
Type: Flavoured – Mixed Berry
Location of Brewing: Montreal, QC
ABV: 4.7%
Website Link: Mcauslan.com
Ingredients: Apple juice, blackcurrant and blackberry juice, carbon dioxide, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Various locations around Quebec.
Flavour: Mixed berry
Colour:  Translucent deep red
Carbonation: Fine, streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Semi-tart apples with blackberry, tart blackcurrant and hints of raspberry
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Apple forward with semi-sweet, semi-tart apples. Punchy berry notes.
After Taste: Becomes sour and even more berry forward after a few seconds, with some earthy elements. Longer lingering with apple flavours returning with a thick mouthfeel. Almost has some black cherry notes.
On ice: Thinner on ice, less carbonation.

Additional Notes: The Dark Fruit (Fruits Noirs) by McAdam Cidre Urban has a gorgeous red colour and a lot of fruits packed in it.  Starting apple forward, very punchy and fruit-heavy upfront – it quickly becomes berry focused. Thins out quickly – unbalanced berry notes comparing the start and finish. Dryness and tartness from blackcurrants noticeable, along with some other earthy and tannic notes.  

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

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

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D’ont Poke the Bear – Berry

Cider Profile:

Name: D’ont Poke the Bear – Berry
Sampled August 2020

Brand: Generations Wine Company Ltd.
Type:
Flavoured – Berry
Location of Brewing:
Toronto, ON
ABV:
5.8%
Website Link:
dontpokethebear.com
Ingredients:
Cider, sugar (glucose), black currant, concentrate, natural flavours, potassium metabisulphite, sulphites.
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: 35 g/L

Size(s) available: 473mL (can)
Availability:
LCBO
Flavour:
Apple
Colour:
Transparent peachy-pink
Carbonation:
Medium, semi-streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Berry and floral notes with sweet apples.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Slightly tart black currant and generic berry flavours mixed with a semi-sweet apple base.
After Taste: Black current notes make way for more raspberry and strawberry-esque flavours.  Becomes slightly filmy and a little bit of a dry mouthfeel.  Long-lingering flavour.
On ice: Cuts carbonation and apple flavour. Thinner mouth feel.

Additional Notes: D’ont Poke the Bear Berry is a sweeter cider that is quite fruit-focused. It has a thicker body that is a bit gritty to consume and lingers awhile. Raspberry and strawberry notes really drive the cider at the finish.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – No Boats on Sunday – Cranberry Rosé
More Sour – Thornbury – Raspberry
More Dry – 401 Cider – Black Currant
More Crisp – Niagara Cider – Rose Gold 

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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

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