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East Street – Aprés Blueberry Black Cherry

Cider Profile:

Name: East Street – Aprés Blueberry Black Cherry Cider Seltzer
Sampled September 2021

Brand: East Street Cider Co
Type: Cider Seltzer – Flavoured
Location of Brewing: Goderich, ON
ABV: 4%
Website Link:
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 0g/L

Size(s) available: 355ml (can)
Availability: East Street Retail and Online stores
Flavour: Black cherry and blueberry
Colour:  Translucent white freezie
Carbonation: Large streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Candied mild black cherry. Earthy light blueberry. Dank and tonic notes with a hint of dessert apple.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Medicinal cherry. Tonic note forward. Generic berry notes.
After Taste: Light dessert apples peak through. More blueberries become obvious but rather earthy. Remains candied and long lingering with some grittiness.
On ice: Reduced carbonation and mouthfeel. Tonic notes seem more amplified.

Additional Notes:  East Street’s Aprés Blueberry Black Cherry cider seltzer definitely leans more on the seltzer side than a cider. Tonic note heavy, it has a thin mouthfeel and is not juicy as a result. The black cherry comes across as medicinal and candied. The blueberry is more obvious near the finish, with some mild dessert apples. A very light and somewhat dank offering for a spritzer to consume and not a standard cider experience so don’t expect it. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Brickworks – The Purple Road
More Sour – Ernest – Cranberry Cherry Rosé Cider Spritzer
More Dry – Hard Way – Catawampus Black Cherry Cider
More Crisp – Duxbury – Pomme D’Eau

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Howell Road – Raspberry Lemonade

Cider Profile:

Name: Howell Road – Raspberry Lemonade
Sampled August 2021

Brand: Howell Road Cider Co
Type: Flavoured – Raspberry & Lemonade
Location of Brewing: St. George, ON
ABV: 6.2%
Website Link: brantviewapples.com/howell-road-cider-co
Ingredients: Ontario apples, Ontario raspberry
lemon juice. Sulphites

Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Howell Road online and retail store
Flavour: Raspberry lemonade
Colour:  Transparent deep red
Carbonation: Medium infrequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Juicy, tart raspberry dominant. Hints of lemon zest.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from tartness, acidity and carbonation. Quick muddled ripe raspberry. Mild pulpy apple that includes green apple characteristics.
After Taste: As raspberry slowly weakens, more apple notes appear. Lemon juice becomes more obvious and sour. Long lingering tart notes. Earthy hints. 
On ice: Cuts a lot of body and tartness. Smoother. Much less raspberry.

Additional Notes:  Howell Road’s Raspberry Lemonade screams summer in a can. Very tart, sometimes sour, it draws from both the lemon and raspberry for a semi-puckering experience. It starts off very raspberry dominant, with the lemon becoming more clear in the finish. Not much apple, it appears slightly at first, a bit more in the finish, but you could definitely fool people for this not being a hard apple cider if they didn’t know.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2
Sour – 4
Crisp – 2
Dry – 2.5
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Brickworks – Lemonade Radler
More Sour – Clafeld – Disco Lemonade
More Dry – Ernest – Blue Lagoon
More Crisp – Kings Mill – Raspberry (Carbonated)

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Slabtown – Lemon Tea

Cider Profile:

Name: Slabtown – Lemon Tea
Sampled August 2021

Brand: Slabtown Cider Co
Type: Flavoured – Tea
Location of Brewing: Uxbirdge, ON
ABV: 5.3%
Website Link: slabtowncider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Slabtown retail and online
Flavour: Lemon + tea
Colour:  Hazy bright yellow, with suspended particles
Carbonation: Medium infrequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Light aroma. Black tea. Lemon zest. Mild apples peak through.
Initial Taste: Sharp, semi-sour sensation that’s almost tingly on the lips and tongue. Smooth black tea that tastes sweetened but not sugary. Lemon zest and juice notes that are not acidic. Mild semi-sweet bright apples.
After Taste: Apples dwindles but black tea remains. Some light tannins. Ends mostly dry. Average length in mouthfeel.
On ice: Weakened body. Apple and lemon are reduced. Black tea remains the same.

Additional Notes:  Slabtown’s Lemon Tea Cider stands out in a crowd. They did a very good job at replicating the sweet black tea with lemon commonly consumed in the lower United States, especially. A very unique start to this cider – instead of the carbonation or acidity greeting you like most ciders, its a sharp sensation that is almost tingly and sour, maybe from the lemon addition. The black tea tastes sweetened and remains consistent throughout. Lemon juice and zest appear, mostly upfront but are not acidic. The apple is mild but bright. Pretty flavour forward overall even with the lower numbers on our scale below.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 2
Crisp – 1.5
Dry – 3
Fruity – 3

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Clafeld – London Fog
More Sour – Steel Town – Daga Carmesi
More Dry – Ernest – Tea and Cookies
More Crisp – Busl – Quran-TEA-ne

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West Avenue – CRUSH!

Cider Profile:

Name: West Avenue – CRUSH!
Sampled August 2021

Brand: West Avenue Cider House
Type: Perry – Flavoured
Location of Brewing: Freelton, ON
ABV: 7.2%
Website Link: westavenue.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 355ml (can)
Availability: West Avenue Retail and Online Store
Flavour: Pear and Cab Sauv
Colour:  Cloudy grapefruit pink with dark trub
Carbonation: Almost still, random large bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Funky pear. Acetic. Mild red grapes.
Initial Taste: Light bite. Smooth red grapes that are quick. Some funk, some astringency. Tannins.
After Taste: Becomes smoother, more plum notes come out. Juicy yellow pear emerges here. Very dry finish that clears out well.
On ice: Thinner body, less carbonation. Flavours watered down.

Additional Notes:  West Avenue’s CRUSH! is a perry made with cab sauv skins. Unlike some of West Avenue’s other offerings made with red grapes, this is grape flavour focused and doesn’t come across red wine-like. Juicy, it tastes very different than anticipated. Very hazy with some particles, it starts off more funky and astringent with some tannic red grape skin flavours and mouthfeel. It then becomes smoother and the juicy pear notes emerge. Very dry, especially in the finish. It becomes very watered down on ice so it is not recommended.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Niagara Cider – Rose Gold
More Sour – Shale Ridge – Cabernet Funk
More Dry – County – Legacy Series Rosé 
More Crisp – Crimson – Rosé Cider

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Shale Ridge – Cherry Apple

Cider Profile:

Name: Shale Ridge – Cherry Apple
Sampled August 2021

Brand:  Shale Ridge Hard Cider
Type: Flavoured – Cherry
Location of Brewing: Thedford, ON
ABV: 5%
Website Link: shaleridgeestatewinery.com
Ingredients: Cider, tart cherries, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Shale Ridge retail + online stores
Flavour: Cherry
Colour:  Transparent vivid red
Carbonation: Small, infrequently streaming


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Semi-tart, candied cherries. Sweet, pulpy apple.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Some acidity. Quick sweet apple that is very fleshy. Mostly dry cherry that is tangy and mildly tart.
After Taste: Cherry becomes slightly sweeter, very cherry blaster candy-like. Off dry finish.
On ice: Slightly less acidic. More cherry and less apple are noticeable.

Additional Notes:  Shale Ridge’s Cherry Apple is one of their more dry options we’ve had from them. With a mostly dry cherry flavour, it is still candied and reminds us of cherry blasters. The mild sweetness in this seems to come from the apples, which are fleshy and bright. A lighter, very crisp and refreshing option. The cider seems to be more cherry-forward on ice.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Puddicombe – Cherry
More Sour – Banjo – Rouge
More Dry – Apple Falls – Cherry Crush (2018)
More Crisp – West Avenue – Cherriosity

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Chill St – Wild Thing

Cider Profile:

Name: Chill St – Wild Thing
Sampled March 2021

Brand: Chill Street Cider
Type: Flavoured – Mixed fruit
Location of Brewing: Elmsdale, NS
ABV: 7%
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: Blueberry & Sangria
Colour: Translucent dar burgundy
Carbonation: Appears almost still. Lightly carbonated. 



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Extra sweet candied blueberries. Some red wine elements.
Initial Taste: Light bite – somewhat like a wine. Thick and heavy blueberry.  Some dessert apples that are light.  Red wine astringent elements are there but not as dry.
After Taste: Red wine lingers and is very noticeable on the breath. Blueberry becomes more gritty in the finish.  No apple residue. 
On ice: Reduced carbonation and thinner mouthfeel.

Additional Notes:  The Wild Thing by Chill Street is a wine/cider blend with lots of blueberry elements that are sweet and thick (but not candied tasting like it smells). Its blueberry forward with light apple flavour and elements pulled from the red wine, but without the harshness and astringency of a straight red wine.  If you find red wine too harsh, this might be a great option for you as it has the base profile of a cider. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4
Sour – 2.5
Crisp – 1.5
Dry – 2
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – No Boats on Sunday – Mixed Berry
More Sour – Annapolis – Earl Blue
More Dry – York County – Like an Academic Blueberry Cider
More Crisp – Ernest – Wild Blueberry

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Carlisle Cider – Tally Ho Valley

Cider Profile:

Name: Carlisle Cider – Tally Ho Valley
Sampled August 2021

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

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Carlisle retail + online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent light straw yellow
Carbonation: Fine streaming bubbles
with large still on the glass


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Fermented, sulfur and funky notes. Medley of apples. Buttery notes.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite from carbonation. Fermentation note forward. Bright, crisp apples that seem bitter-sharp dominate. Some earthy/funky/dank hints
After Taste: Apple characteristics remains the same but the intensity disappears quickly. Cleans out mostly with mild fermentation and dank notes lingering. Cucumber/vegetal aspects.
On ice: Carbonation and apple are cut. Funky notes more forward.

Additional Notes:  Carlisle’s Tally Ho Valley is a very rudimentary cider in nature, that is bold with fermentation, funk and dank notes. It’s a very front-flavour heavy cider that clears out quickly, with only small lingering vegetal notes in the finish. The apples for when they are noticeable are bright and bitter-sharp tasting. Has a very dark aspect to it, so maybe more for farmhouse cider lovers.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 2
Crisp – 2.5
Dry – 3.5
Fruity – 2

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Clafeld – Smashed Apple
More Sour – West Avenue – Legend of the Fall
More Dry – Loch Mor – Untamed (2019)
More Crisp – Grey & Gold – Heritage Dry

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Cox Creek – Dry

Cider Profile:

Name: Cox Creek – Dry
Sampled August 2021

Brand: Cox Creek Cider (Cox Creek Cellars Estate Winery)
Type: Apple – Dry
Location of Brewing: Guelph, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link: coxcreekcellars.on.ca
Ingredients: Apples, yeast
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Cox Creek Estate Retail and Online Store
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Transparent sunflower yellow
Carbonation: Large infrequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Light aroma. Dank, semi-sweet apples.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Smooth, semi-creamy apples with some bright and juicy elements.  Acidity is its main feature. Tart but not puckering or sour. Semi-thick with hints of stone fruit.
After Taste: Acidity dissipates becoming drier – including the apple flavours – with a slight film.  Long lingering with a full body.
On ice: Thinner and less apple/stone fruit elements.

Additional Notes:  Cox Creek Cellar Estate Winery offers their Dry Cider, which is more of a traditional cider and not overly winery-inspired in taste.  Full-flavoured, its punchy, semi-dry and juicy – also has unique hints of a stone fruit pit like a nectarine.  Clean but with a little film in the long lingering aftertaste. A hearty pub-drinking experience. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Shiny – Apple Cider
More Sour – Pommies – Farmhouse Cider
More Dry – Sprit Tree – Draught
More Crisp – Thornbury – Honey Crisp

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Twin Pines – Hammer Bent Scrumpy

Cider Profile:

Name: Twin Pines – Hammer Bent Scrumpy
Sampled August 2021

Brand: Twin Pines Orchards and Ciderhouse
Type: Apple – Scrumpy
Location of Brewing: Thedford, ON
ABV: 6.2%
Website Link: twinpineorchards.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 1L (bottle)
Availability: Twin Pines Retail + online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Transparent straw yellow
Carbonation: Medium, infrequently streaming


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Fermentation and funk. Creamy fleshy apple.
Initial Taste: Mild bite from carbonation. A semi-crisp and acidic apple that is naturally bright and fleshy that comes out quickly. Tonic notes and astringency. Bitterness.
After Taste: Apple dissipates rather quickly, leaving some fermentation notes that lingers.
On ice: Little reduction in carbonation. Not much difference for flavour, less harsh elements overall.

Additional Notes:  Twin Pines’ Hammer Bent Scrumpy is a very dry, authentic scrumpy experience that features bright apples amongst the prevalent bitter and harsher elements (like fermentation notes). The apple is also slightly creamy – which we think is unique for a scrumpy – but does not linger long. Semi-heavy on the fermentation process, it adds acidity, astringency and bitter notes. A good representation of the British style that’s not as overpowering as other scrumpies we have had in the past. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 2
Crisp – 3
Dry – 4.5
Fruity – 2.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Shale Ridge – Crisp Apple
More Sour – Loch Mor – Untamed (2019)
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Cowbell – Original Cider

Links to Other Stories

Bar review: Twin Pines – Scrumpy at Her Fathers Cider Bar (2016)

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Duxbury – Honey Rose Petal

Cider Profile:

Name: Duxbury – Honey Rose Petal
Sampled August 2021

Brand: Duxbury Cider Co
Type: Flavoured – Rose and Honey
Location of Brewing: Meaford, ON
ABV: 5%
Website Link: theduxburyciderco.ca
Ingredients: Ontario apples, honey,
organic apples, sulphites

Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 25 g/L

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Duxbury Cider online store
and select farmers markets

Flavour: Rose and honey
Colour:  Transparent, bright yellow
Carbonation: Large infrequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Astringent and floral rose. Tannic, acidic apples. Mild honey undertones.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Quick tannic apples and acidity that are sharp and gripping. Thick honey flavour and mouthfeel. Some fermentation notes here.
After Taste: Apples become smoother, cleaner. Delicate rose notes come through. Long lingering apple and honey flavours.
On ice: Reduced carbonation. Smoother overall. Apples come across sweeter. Less acidity.

Additional Notes:  Duxbury’s Honey Rose Petal Cider is a cider with a lot of depth. Starting off with strong and gripping apples, tannins and acidity – with some fermentation – it becomes smoother and cleaner in the finish, but without a lessening of flavour or complexity. The honey is particularly strong upfront, but balanced to the other elements, making the cider very flavoured and with a heavier mouthfeel. The rose petals come through once some of the heavier acidity and sharp apple notes soften, being delicate and mildly floral.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Cowbell – Rose Cider
More Sour – Clafeld – Rose Hips Cider 
More Dry – Ernest – Rose Cider Spritzer
More Crisp – 

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Fieldbird – Sing Song (2018)

Cider Profile:

Name: Fieldbird – Sing Song (2018)
Sampled August 2021

Brand: Fieldbird Cider
Type: Apple – Traditional
Location of Brewing: Bloomfield, ON
ABV: 10.5%
Website Link: fieldbirdcider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Fieldbird Retail and online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Translucent, Pale Yellow
Carbonation: Medium, Frequently Streaming


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Cellared, earthy and slightly pulpy apple. Some astringency.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Followed by earthy and pulpy dry but bright apple notes. Some acidity and fermentation notes. Effervescent.
After Taste: Apple flavour reduced with more fermentation elements, becoming drier and then cleaning out, leaving little residual taste.
On ice: Heavily reduced carbonation, smoother and flavour

Additional Notes:  An original offering from Fieldbird Cider, the 2018 Sing Song is a dry, pulpy and earthy cider that’s easy to consume. A lot of elements with these bright apples, and one of the more crisp offerings. Complex but not confusing for the palate. Remember to let it breathe a bit as it does foam greatly when poured – even though it’s not overly carbonated when consumed. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Duxbury – Side Road
More Sour – Ironwood – Original Cider
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Heritage Estates – Dragon’s Gold

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Apple Falls – Cherry Crush (2018)

Cider Profile:

Name: Apple Falls – Cherry Crush (2018)
Sampled August 2021

Brand: Apple Falls Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Cherry
Location of Brewing: Carrying Place, ON
ABV: 7%
Website Link: applefallscider.ca/
Ingredients: Honeycrisp apples, hand-picked cherries,
(may contain sulphites).
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Apple Falls retail + online
Flavour: Cherry
Colour:  Transparent pale peach
Carbonation: Small infrequently streaming


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Light aroma. Crisp, sweet apples. Hints of cherry tartness.
Initial Taste: Light bite. Cherry skin notes. Semi-dry honeycrisp apples. Herby/earthy notes.
After Taste: Apple reduces. Cherry becomes slightly tart and more prominent. Ends on a dry cherry note with pepper/saison hints.
On ice: Lighter body. Slightly less cherry and apple.

Additional Notes:  Apple Falls Cherry Crush is a light and sessionable cherry cider that stands out from other cherry-flavoured ciders we’ve had. Tasting like it’s infused on cherry skins rather than juice added at the finish like many on the market, as it’s smoother with a lighter cherry experience overall. We anticipated it to be sweeter upon seeing there were honeycrisp apples, but it’s mostly off-dry, becoming more dry in the finish. Unique notes of herbs and earthiness come through initially, with it changing to more of a pepper and saison note in the end. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – KW Craft – Wild Cherry
More Sour – Slabtown – Legendary Cherry
More Dry – Banjo – Rouge
More Crisp – Busl – Cerasus Cherry Cider

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Cowbell – Original Cider

Cider Profile:

Name: Cowbell – Original Cider
Sampled August 2021

Brand: Cowbell Brewing
Type: Apple – Commercial
Location of Brewing: Blyth, ON
ABV: 5.0%
Website Link: cowbellbrewing.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Cowbell Brewery retail and online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Hazy, rustic straw yellow
Carbonation: Small, streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell:  Light smell. Slightly funky and earthy/grassy
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Light, but fleshy unfiltered pulpy apple.  Sweet and smooth with slight green apple notes. Slight baking spice notes
After Taste: Becomes slightly pulpy and thicker. Very little peel notes that linger with clean elements.
On ice:  Less spiced and slightly more watered down.

Additional Notes:  Cowbell Brewing’s Original  Fresh Pressed Cider is a unique offering, that’s pulpy, slightly thicker, and with a little bit of green apple notes.  It has a nice, smooth apple that’s very fresh and fleshy.  Smooth comes to mind, with almost a bit of bright citrus notes in the aftertaste. Sweet but not sugary and a concentrated apple flavour. Drinks like a lager a bit. Commercially-oriented with a broad appeal to some cider enthusiasts as well. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Somersby – Apple
More Sour – Duxbury – Heritage 1650
More Dry – Spirit Tree – Draught Cider
More Crisp – Thornbury – Road Apples

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Steel Town – PORRO!

Cider Profile:

Name: Steel Town – PORRO!
Sampled August 2021

Brand: Steel Town Cider Co.
Type: Apple – barrel-aged
Location of Brewing: Hamilton, ON
ABV: 6.2%
Website Link: steeltowncider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Steel Town online and retail store
Flavour: Apple and Pear
Colour:  Cloudy neon yellow
Carbonation: Medium frequently streaming.
Foams greatly upon pouring


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Very strong aroma. Heavy funk and cellaring. Acidity and astringency. Mature apples, including crab apple notes.
Initial Taste: Heavy bite from carbonation and acidity. Quickly astringency and harsh note forward. Bittersharp apples that taste aged.
After Taste: Once acidity weakens, some dank pear comes through. Cellar notes linger.
On ice: Carbonation reduced. Slightly smoother overall.

Additional Notes: Steel Town’s PORRO! is a very old-world inspired sidra made with both apple and pear. A very fermentation, barreling-focused cider, it’s about the processes and not as much the fruits which act mostly as a canvas to showcase these harsher, funkier flavours. Heavy on carbonation, it will probably foam over on you as it did us. The apples taste aged and mature, while the pear comes through rather dank and farmhouse near the finish. A funky, sour and intense offering, it’s a niche crowd cider. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Shale Ridge – Pear Apple Cider
More Sour – 
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Twin Pines – Traditional Apple-Pear Cider

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Walkerville City – Argyle Apple

Cider Profile:

Name: Walkerville City – Argyle Apple
Sampled August 2021

Brand: Walkerville City Cidery (Brewery)
Type: Apple – Traditional
Location of Brewing: Windsor, ON
ABV: 5%
Website Link: walkervillebrewery.com
Ingredients: Apples, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 19g/L

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: LCBO 2021, Walkerville Brewery
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Transparent, pale yellow
Carbonation: Large, streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Mild aroma. Semi-sweet. Bright apples with slight sulphur notes.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Smooth, creamy, fleshy and pulpy apple notes. Clean with some brightness. Some bitter notes and some fermentation aspects.
After Taste: Apple drops out and becomes a little more like a crisp lager in taste.  More bitter and fermentation notes enter and it lingers a long time with a slight sulphur finish.
On ice: Little changes. Slightly less apple.

Additional Notes:  The Argyle Apple Cider by Walkerville City Cidery /Brewery is a medium bodied, apple forward offering that’s pretty clean but has a bit of sulphur and fermentation notes in the end.  It drinks a lot like a crisp lager and a standard pub cider, which makes sense with the brewery background.  Not too sweet, with a bit of peel and fleshy notes, its a  middle of the road cider all around, which isn’t a bad thing!

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Brickworks – Queen Street 501
More Sour – Coffin Ridge – Forbidden Artisinal Cider
More Dry – County – Waupoos Premium
More Crisp – Pommies – Farmhouse Cider

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Thornbury – Road Apples

Cider Profile:

Name: Thornbury – Road Apples [The Tragically Hip Cider]
Sampled August 2021

Brand: Thornbury Village Cider House
Type: Apple – Traditional
Location of Brewing: Thornbury, ON
ABV: 5.1%
Website Link: thornburycraft.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: 2021 – most provinces in Canada
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Transparent straw yellow
Carbonation: Large, semi-streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Slightly acidic and bright apples. 
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Bright apples with some tannin and acidic notes but extra clean. Slightly tart. Some peel grit and flavour.
After Taste: Becomes drier and slightly less apple focused. Some fermentation notes add depth. Semi-long lingering with a clean finish. Slight nut-like hints.
On ice: Much thinner on ice. Reduced flavour overall.

Additional Notes:  In collaboration with the iconic Canadian Rock Band, The Tragically Hip, the Road Apples by Thornbury is a very crisp, clean cider with some tannic and acidic elements. A little drier and brighter than their original, it finishes dry, clean and with some rather unique nutty notes. Smooth just like the music of the hip with some grit and depth like the songs as well. Fits well into the emerging definition of what an Ontario cider is, though it is rolling out to be available across Canada.  

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Apple Cider
More Sour – Revel – Time and Place
More Dry – Twin Pines – Hammer Bent Old World
More Crisp – Duntroon – Empire Extra Dry Cyder

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Puddicombe – Peach Cider

Cider Profile:

Name: Puddicombe – Peach Cider
Sampled June 2021

Brand: Puddicombe Cider Company
Type: Flavoured – Peach
Location of Brewing: Winona, ON
ABV: 5.5%
Website Link: puddicombecider.com
Ingredients: Fermented peach juice, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Puddicombe online and retail store
Flavour: Peach
Colour: Translucent golden peach
Carbonation: Large, infrequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Slightly funky peach pit.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Sweet and syrupy peach elements. Clean to start, slightly sugary amongst an aged peach juice. Some fermentation and funk notes.
After Taste: As carbonation reduces, it becomes a bit more syrupy with a long lasting, slightly earthy finish.  Peach is overripe.
On ice: Slightly reduced carbonation and body.  Smoother.

Additional Notes:  The Peach Cider by Puddicombe is rather unique Ontario peach cider as it does not contain apples.  Sweet and syrupy, it’s somewhat clean and it finishes slightly earthy. The peach itself is not a traditional or candied peach – it’s thick and slightly dank, tasting aged and with fermentation notes present. Between the sweet elements and the funk/dank notes, its a contrasting cider with a lot happening on the palate.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4
Sour – 2.5
Crisp – 2
Dry – 1.5
Fruity – 4

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Shale Ridge – Peach Apple
More Sour – Steel Town – Barrique Nectarine and Peach Cider
More Dry – Liberty Village – Peach Cider
More Crisp – Niagara Cider – Peach Chardonnay 

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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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Loch Mór – Harrison

Cider Profile:

Name: Loch Mór – Harrison
Sampled August 2021

Brand: Loch Mór Cider Co
Type: Apple – Single varietal
Location of Brewing: Hillier, ON
ABV: 8.3%
Website Link: lochmorcider.com
Ingredients: Harrison apples, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 375ml (bottle)
Availability: Loch Mór online and retail store
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Hazy rusty orange
Carbonation: Fine foam/bubbles that are still at top


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Caramelized and astringent apples. Funk and earth.
Initial Taste: No bite. Pulpy, caramelized apple notes with acidity on the nose. Orange/citrus hints. Thick with orange wine elements.
After Taste: Acidity continues, with apples becoming slightly drier, leaving your mouth pretty dry. Slight wood/earth hints that linger. Mild smokiness at the finish. Somewhat long lasting.
On ice: Much thinner body. Less harsh notes. More juice-forward.

Additional Notes:  Loch Mór’s Harrison is a part of their Danforth Road series that makes elevated offerings with rare and unique apples. This cider smells and tastes very different from one another. While it smells strong, astringent and funky, it’s actually much smoother to consume. A caramelized, pulpy apple flavour drives this throughout. While it smells decently alcoholic – and is 8.3% – it tastes much lighter. With some skin contact wine-like notes, its almost like a hybrid with an orange wine and an ice cider in flavour. Acidic, pulpy apples make this taste very juice forward – almost tastes like fresh pressed, unfiltered high quality juice.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Heritage Estates – Dragon’s Gold
More Sour – 
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Farmgate – Founders Reserve

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Howell Road – Tropical

Cider Profile:

Name: Howell Road – Tropical
Sampled August 2021

Brand: Howell Road Cider Co
Type: Flavoured – Mixed Tropical
Location of Brewing: St. George, ON
ABV: 5.8%
Website Link: brantviewapples.com
Ingredients: Ontario apples, guavas,
pineapples, oranges, mangos, sulphites

Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Seasonal – Howell Road retail
and online store

Flavour: Mixed tropical
Colour:  Transparent sunshine yellow with peach hues
Carbonation: Medium streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet tropical notes, with pineapple and orange specifically. Banana hints.
Initial Taste: Light bite. Semi-sweet medley of bright dessert apples with creamy pineapple, orange, mango coming through. Banana hints among the balanced, mixed fruits.
After Taste: Apple weakens quickly. Slightly tart guava comes through. Cleans from the palate quickly.
On ice: Reduced carbonation. Thinner apple flavour and base.

Additional Notes:  Howell Road’s Tropical Cider is a light, semi-sweet medley of exotic fruit flavours that is still somehow clean to consume. The cider starts off more orange, pineapple and mango focused – and weirdly with some banana notes though it’s not an ingredient. The apples are also stronger in the front, quickly weakening. A bright flash of tart guava comes out in the finish, but it empties out quickly and smoothly. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County Cider – Blood Orange
More Sour –  Steel Town – Vay Kay
More Dry – Collective Arts – Hurricane Cider
More Crisp – Coffin Ridge – Tropical Hopped

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Shale Ridge – Strawberry Mojito

Cider Profile:

Name: Shale Ridge – Strawberry Mojito
Sampled August 2021

Brand: Shale Ridge Estate Winery
Type: Flavoured – Strawberry and Mojito
Location of Brewing: Thedford, ON
ABV: 5%
Website Link: shaleridgewinery.ca
Ingredients: Cider, strawberries & mojito mint
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 355ml (can)
Availability: Shale Ridge Retail Store and Online
Flavour: Strawberry & mint
Colour: Transparent dark peach
Carbonation: Mixed, streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Sweet muddled strawberry. Slight hint of herb notes.  Light dessert apples.
Initial Taste: Light sensation from mild carbonation and some acidity. Followed by a pulpy sweet strawberry and balanced semi-bright and tart dessert apple. 
After Taste: Apple reduces, as more earthy/herby mint becomes noticeable. Strawberries become less tart and more faded. Semi-long lingering.
On ice: Thinner body. Slightly less sweet.

Additional Notes:  The Strawberry Mojito by Shale Ridge smells like it will be an extra sweet, mixed cocktail; however, its a balanced semi-tart strawberry and bright dessert apple cider with a bit of acidity and tang.  Mint is more earthy/herby than being cooling. It’s overall, very light and easy to consume, with the strawberry lingering the longest.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Archibalds – Strawberry Lime
More Sour – Steel Town – Planet of the Pies
More Dry – Kings Mill – Strawberry Rhubarb
More Crisp – Heritage Estates – Eden’s Apple Strawberry

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East Street – Nature Study

Cider Profile:

Name: East Street – Nature Study
Sampled August 2021

Brand: East Street Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Mixed
Location of Brewing:  Goderich, ON
ABV: 5.9%
Website Link: eaststreetcider.com
Ingredients: Apples, lavender, peach,
butterfly pea powder, sulphites

Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 355ml (can)
Availability: East Street Retail and Online Store
Flavour: Lavender, peach
Colour: Cloudy, purple with blue hue
Carbonation: Medium, frequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Pungent and earthy lavender. Some peach sweetness.
Initial Taste: Mild bite. A strong earthy and fresh lavender, with a small hint of peach and apple in the background.
After Taste: Lavender becomes fully dominant, with some slight astringent notes.  Earthy and herbed tasting. Muddled finish with floral bouquet notes lingering.
On ice: Lighter, but not much change.

Additional Notes: Nature Study by East Street Cider Co. is a heavily lavender focused cider, and is more of a lavender drink than anything else. Some hints of peach and apple emerge in the base, but it’s very focused on the pungent floral aspects.  You have to like lavender for this one as it gives you an authentic flavour throughout. Earthy and herby at times. The peach is smooth and semi-sweet but is many times dominated by the lavender.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Coffin Ridge – Lavender Earl Grey
More Sour – County – Elderflower Sour
More Dry – Crimson – Lavender Buds
More Crisp – Brickworks – The Purple Road

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Archibald’s – Hard Core

Cider Profile:

Name:   Archibald’s – Hard Core Dry Cider
Sampled June 2021

Brand:  Archibald’s Estate Winery
Type:
Apple – Dry
Location of Brewing:
Bownmanville, ON
ABV:
8%
Website Link:
archibaldswinery.com
Ingredients:
N/A
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability:
Archibald’s online + retail store
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  
Transparent Light-Yellow
Carbonation:
Large, infrequently-streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Semi-musty, slightly earthy, mature apple.  Some effervescence.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Some tartness and acidity that shows up right after carbonation reduces. Dry, somewhat apple forward and quite naturally astringent. Red-peel notes.
After Taste:  Becomes more acidic and less apple focused, less sour, with more bitterness. Finishes with a slight film. Fermentation elements are present at the finish.
On ice: Less carbonation and overall intensity and apple elements reduced.  Less sour.

Additional Notes:  Archibald’s Hard Core Cider at 8% packs a punch.  It is very unique for an Ontario dry cider and is slightly earthy and astringent. Its a very element and fermentation note forward cider, with apple almost being secondary. Finishes dry and lingers a long time, where the more you drink the more you notice the red apple peel flavour and tannic grit.  Not a beginner cider, but one for an experienced cider drinker.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Loch Mor – Savvy Pomme
More Sour – Farm Gate – Hyslop
More Dry – Windswept – Northern Spy
More Crisp – Kings Mill – Russet Heritage

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Seagram – White Peach

Cider Profile:

Name: Seagram – White Peach
Sampled August 2021

Brand: Seagram Premium (Waterloo Brewing)
Type: Flavoured – Peach
Location of Brewing: Waterloo, ON
ABV: 5.3%
Website Link: waterloobrewing.com
Ingredients: Cider, carbonated water, natural flavours
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 47 g/l

Size(s) available: 437ml (can)
Availability: LCBO and Waterloo Brewing retail
and online stores

Flavour: Peach
Colour: Straw Yellow
Carbonation: Large streaming bubbles 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet, fresh, candied peach.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Sweet, white peach and slight apple elements to start the cider off. Clean and bright. Slightly creamy in nature.
After Taste: Apple reduces leaving a sweet, syrupy and candied peach.  Fresh tasting and also sugary in nature. Long lasting body that coats the mouth.
On ice: Less carbonation. Slightly sweeter.

Additional Notes:  The Seagram’s White Peach by Waterloo Brewing is a light, upbeat and commercial white peach flavour, that is unique amongst other peach ciders for being the white variety. Very sweet, it’s clean with only a hint of apple base. Long lasting with pretty much no acidity (typically like a white peach over a traditional darker fleshed peach). Drinks very much like a mixed drink. Very candied, almost doesn’t taste like real fruit.

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 – Chill Street – Afternoon Delight
More Dry – Niagara Cider – Peach Chardonnay 
More Crisp – County – Peach Cider

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Twin Pines – Hammer Bent Old World

Cider Profile:

Name: Twin Pines – Hammer Bent Old World
Sampled August 2021

Brand: Twin Pines Orchards and Cider House
Type: Apple – Traditional
Location of Brewing: Thedford, ON
ABV: 6.3%
Website Link:
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 1L (bottle)
Availability: Twin Pines retail + online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Golden yellow
Carbonation: Small, infrequently streaming


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Rich caramelized and crisp apples. Slightly tart and earthy.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Off-dry apples. Tannins and acidity. Red peel notes. Fermentation and alcohol notes present.
After Taste: Apple remains the same but becomes smoother and slightly more peel focused. Bitter/ fermentation elements reduces.
On ice: Carbonation almost eliminated. Less apple-forward.

Additional Notes:  Twin Pines’ Hammer Bent Old World Cider is a traditional, rudimentary cider to the maximum. Rich in apple flavours from start to finish, it has a lot of red peel notes that become more present near the end. Tannins, acidity, fermentation and astringency all greet you throughout the sipping journey to add depth and complexity. A cider connoisseurs dream but could also be loved by new cider drinkers looking to try something as traditional as possible in Ontario with no additives.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Duxbury – Side Road Cider
More Sour – Duntroon – Empire Extra Dry Cyder
More Dry – 
More Crisp – 

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Chill St – All Night Long

Cider Profile:

Name: Chill St – All Night Long
Sampled July 2021

Brand: Chill Street Cider
Type: Flavoured – Blackberry
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, online store and locally in Nova Scotia
Flavour: Blackberry
Colour: Translucent, straw yellow
Carbonation: Small, frequently streaming bubbles. 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Candied and sweet artificial-like blackberry. Light dessert apple
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Semi-sweet dessert apple with some blackberry elements that are tart and very different than the smell.
After Taste: Apple dissipates and a semi-dry and slightly astringent blackberry becomes more present – and it lingers a long time in the aftertaste.  Some tonic notes.
On ice: Reduced carbonation and sweetness. Overall, a bit muted.

Additional Notes:  Chill Streets’ blackberry dry offering called All Night Long smells very sweet, commercial and upbeat, however the taste is more muted, tart and tonic-like.  The first sips will throw you off a bit, as it is slightly dry and semi-sweet apples with only a hint of blackberry.  As the apple drops out in the aftertaste, you’re left with a semi-tart and artificial-tasting blackberry pulp finish.   

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – No Boats on Sunday – Mixed Berry
More Sour – Annapolis – Earl Blue Cider
More Dry – Bulwark – Blush
More Crisp – Howell Road – Blackberry Pear

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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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Heemans – Ambrosia

Cider Profile:

Name: Heemans – Ambrosia
Sampled June 2021

Brand: Heemans Cider
Type: Apple – Sweet
Location of Brewing: Thorndale, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link: heeman.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Heemans retail + online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent pale yellow
Carbonation: Large semi-streaming bubbles,
with a lot on the glass


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Bright, clean and rustic apple.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite from carbonation. A quick thick and sweet honey and apple that is slightly pulpy, but bright. Floral essences.
After Taste: Apple continues, becomes slightly less sweet. Some underlying bitter hints. Honey comes out strong here. Lingering finish that is mostly clean except for some coating honey.
On ice: Slightly thinner mouthfeel. No flavour change.

Additional Notes:  Heeman’s Ambrosia Cider is a sweeter than anticipated cider, but it’s not sugary, and it is very driven by the Carolinian Honey added – in terms of sweetness, flavour and mouthfeel. The apple base is soft and uplifting, complimenting the heavy honey presence (that is most noticeable in the finish). The cider has some floral and bitter hints, adding to its complexity. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – 
More Sour – Coffin Ridge – Forbidden Dry Cider
More Dry – Grey & Gold – Heritage Dry
More Crisp – Thornbury – Honey Crisp Cider

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Slabtown – Ginger Spritz

Cider Profile:

Name: Slabtown – Ginger Spritz
Sampled June 2021

Brand:  Slabtown Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Ginger
Location of Brewing: Uxbridge, ON
ABV: 5.5%
Website Link: slabtowncider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Slabtown retail + online stores
Flavour: Ginger
Colour:  Translucent, light-yellow
Carbonation: Small, infrequent bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet ginger and hints of herby apple
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. A smooth apple base with a light, balanced and non-intrusive ginger. Somewhat sweet. Tonic and herb hints.
After Taste: Little change between initial taste and aftertaste.  Elements of apple reduce leaving a little bit of a smooth, ginger ale-like taste and mouthfeel.
On ice: Cuts carbonation and slightly less ginger.

Additional Notes:  Slabtown’s Ginger Spritz is exactly that, a light apple offering that has a slightly sweet apple base, with a smooth, ginger forward flavour.  It is quite close to a low-carbonation ginger-ale soda, but still has a light, bright-apple base noticeable. Easy to drink. 

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 1.5
Crisp – 3
Dry – 2.5
Fruity – 3

Next recommendations:
More Sweet –
More Sour – KW Craft – Thai Ginger
More Dry – Kings Mill – Ontario Mule
More Crisp – Archibalds – Hard Ginger Cider

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Crimson – Cherrific

Cider Profile:

Name: Crimson – Cherrific
Sampled June 2021

Brand: Crimson Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Cherry
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link: crimsoncidercompany.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Crimson retail + online store
Flavour: Cherry
Colour:  Transparent metallic red
Carbonation: Large, infrequently streaming


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Bright, crisp apple. Hint of tangy sweet cherry, almost candied.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. The quick bitter sharp apple base comes through. Clean acidity. Some tangy cherry peaks through. Tingly and mildly sour.
After Taste: The cherry becomes stronger and more sharp while apple weakens. As cherry moves towards being smoother and more candied in nature than in the initial taste. Lingering cherry notes that stay for awhile.
On ice: Cuts carbonation and tang a lot. Cherry flavour somewhat reduced. Smoother overall.

Additional Notes:  Crimson’s Cherrific is basically a bag of cherry blaster candies in a bottle. The cider starts off more apple focused – bittersharp tasting mostly to us – and then becomes a stronger cherry into the finish. Tangy and tart, it’s a bright cider overall that’s easy to consume. A tingly carbonation and acidity elevates the offering.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Shale Ridge – Cherry Apple
More Sour – Banjo – Rouge Cherry Apple Cider
More Dry – West Avenue – Cherriosity
More Crisp – KW Craft – Wild Cherry

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Carlisle Cider – Progreston Falls

Cider Profile:

Name: Carlisle Cider – Progreston Falls
Sampled June 2021

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

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Carlisle retail + online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent light straw yellow
Carbonation: Fine streaming bubbles with large still on the glass


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Heavy fermentation notes. Punchy, semi-pungent apples.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Thick medley of apple flavours. Heavy fermentation notes. Carbonation adds tonic notes. A touch of funk.
After Taste: As fermentation notes clear out, it becomes slightly brighter and sweeter.  Tannins coat the mouth, also lingering with some flavour. Mild maple and earthy notes.
On ice: Becomes thinner, slightly reduced flavour and carbonation.

Additional Notes:  Carlisle’s Progreston Falls is a fermentation flavour driven cider, with a medley of apple flavours noticeable. The carbonation adds a lot of mouthfeel and some tonic flavour, but doesn’t last long. Once the fermentation notes clean out, the apples become brighter and sweeter. Throughout there are mild alternative flavour notes, including some funk and some earthiness. A decent amount of tannins in this one. A refreshing farm-cider option. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Hounds of Erie – Best in Show
More Sour – Steel Town – Session Cider
More Dry – West Avenue – Frequin Rouge
More Crisp – Thornbury – Honey Crisp Apple

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County Cider – Legacy Series Rosé

Cider Profile:

Name: County Cider – Legacy Series Rosé
Sampled May 2021

Brand: The County Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Rosé
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV: 6.5%
Website Link: countycider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: 5g/l

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: County Cider retail and online store (2021)
Flavour: Rosé
Colour: Transparent rose gold
Carbonation: Infrequent, medium sized bubbles. 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Pulpy floral rosé wine and bitter sharp apples.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Bitter sharp apples with some acidity that’s balanced with baco-noir wine that’s slightly dry but still light.
After Taste: Apple dissipates and becomes more wine-like in nature. Finishes with a slight film but clean and dry.   A refreshing and bright finish that is long lasting.
On ice: Carbonation cut, but not much change.

Additional Notes:  The County Cider Company offers its Legacy Series Rosé for 2021.  Blended with baco-noir wine, it’s got a very traditional rosé taste.  Sharp and crisp apples blend well with the rosé elements, which smell more floral than it tastes.  Long lasting aftertaste helps with the rest of the full-bodied offering. Acidity driven and very wine-oriented in body.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 3
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 4
Fruity – 3

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Niagara Cider – Rose Gold
More Sour – Spirit Tree – Crabapple Rosé (2019)
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Lost Craft – Dry Rosé

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Loch Mór – Savvy Pomme

Cider Profile:

Name: Loch Mór – Savvy Pomme
Sampled June 2021

Brand: Loch Mór Cider Co
Type:  Apple – Single Varietal
Location of Brewing: Hillier, ON
ABV: 8.5%
Website Link: lochmorcider.ca
Ingredients: Apples, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 375ml (bottle)
Availability: Loch Mór Retail and online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Translucent, sunshine yellow
Carbonation: Mixed, lightly streaming bubbles.
Heavy carbonation when first opened.


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet pulpy and bright apple with hints of pineapple.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Sweet and smooth apple that’s creamy with some acidic notes. Bright pineapple-like notes. Rich fermentation flavours.
After Taste: Apple reduces and becomes a little more dry and acidic. Some long lasting tannic notes. 
On ice: Carbonation is slightly reduced. A little more acidic and less apple forward

Additional Notes:  Loch Mór’s Savvy Pomme is a uniquely smooth cider that is is off-dry yet still higher in tannic elements and acidity.  Even being as delicate as it appears, it’s much higher in alcohol than you would think at 8.5. Rich in fermentation notes and depth. It is easy to drink with a long lingering aftertaste.  Has a unique pineapple flavour to it, although it is a single varietal offering.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Slab Town – Pineapple Mimosa
More Sour – Steel Town – Salvaje (Pet Nat)
More Dry – Grey & Gold – Heritage Dry
More Crisp – Kings Mill – Russet Heritage

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Shale Ridge – Peach Apple

Cider Profile:

Name: Shale Ridge – Peach Apple
Sampled March 2021

Brand: Shale Ridge Estate Winery
Type: Flavoured – Peach
Location of Brewing: Thedford, ON
ABV: 4.2%
Website Link: shaleridgeestatewinery.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Shale Ridge retail and online store
Flavour: Peach
Colour: Transparent sunshine yellow
Carbonation: Large, infrequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Candied peach and sweet dessert apples
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation that is tingly.  Sweet peach that is slightly sugared but fresh and juicy. Some fleshy dessert apples.
After Taste: Carbonation reduces making the peach aftertaste even stronger and more forward – with a medium apple.  Remains sweet with a slight film.
On ice: Less carbonation, little change

Additional Notes:  The Peach Apple by Shale Ridge is a very light, peach forward offering. Sweet and candied but not sugary, it’s only 4.2% but fresh and juicy.  Not much apple overall, it reminds us very much of the peach drinks of our childhood. Pretty clean as there are no fermentation elements, so its easy to drink, with a tingly and uplifting carbonation.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Seagrams – White Peach Cider
More Sour – Steel Town – Barrique Peach & Apricot
More Dry – Niagara – Peach Chardonnay 
More Crisp – 

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Ernest – Rosé Cider Spritzer

Cider Profile:

Name: Ernest – Rosé Cider Spritzer
Sampled May 2021

Brand: Ernest Cider
Type: Flavoured – Mixed
Location of Brewing: Newmarket, ON
ABV: 4.0%
Website Link: errnestcider.com
Ingredients: Cider, water, juice
(Cranberry juice, tart cherry juice for colour),
wine, potassium sorbate, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 4g/l 

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: LCBO and Ernest online store
Flavour: Rosé 
Colour: Hazy, dark-rose
Carbonation: Large, streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. A floral perfume with candied cherry and slightly medicinal
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Smooth floral and rosé offering, with some candied notes. Cherry cough drop notes.
After Taste: Apple makes a sharp, sour appearance then dissipates quickly, leaving a dry, more floral perfume + bouquet like taste. Slight earthy finish.
On ice: Cuts carbonation and tonic elements. More wine-focused on ice.

Additional Notes:  The Rosé Cider Spritzer by Ernest Cider is a light offering at 4% and 4g/L of sugar.  Very floral and rosé forward, it has a quick hit of sour apple that is the base for the product.  A little thick but it doesn’t have too long of an aftertaste.  Some notes of cherry and cranberry which make the rosé elements pop along with some earthy elements. Note the wine mixture with some tonic elements and bitterness. Cherry is slightly medicinal tasting and candied in nature (like a cherry flavoured cough drop). 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Rosé Cider
More Sour – Crimson – Rose Cider 
More Dry – Clafeld – Rose Hip Cider
More Crisp – Lost Craft – Dry Rosé 

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Stock and Row – Lime Crush

Cider Profile:

Name: Stock and Row – Lime Crush
Sampled June 2021

Brand: Stock and Row Inc.
Type: Flavoured – Lime
Location of Brewing: Bloomfield, ON
ABV: 4.5%
Website Link: stockandrow.com
Ingredients: Apples, key lime juice concentrate,
sugar, sulphites

Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 355ml (can)
Availability: Stock and Row online store and
select licensees

Flavour: Lime
Colour: Hazy limeade hue
Carbonation: Medium streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. A tangy and punchy lime. Some mild dank, funky, fermentation notes
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation and acidity. Sharp tangy lime with other citrus hints. Some dessert apples are present, along with a little funk.  
After Taste: Apples and funky notes dissipate, leaving a simple lime juice finish with a hint of sweetness that smoothes out the lime punch.
On ice: Minimal change

Additional Notes:  Stock & Row offers their 3rd offering, the Lime Crush, which is a very lime juice forward offering with a light, crisp, dessert apple base.  Although slightly funky and with fermentation note to start, it finishes clean and almost like a limeade drink. Strong overall in flavour, enhanced by a lower (if any) filtration. Decently tangy/sour but should not be puckering for most. You have to like lime to enjoy this one.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 4
Crisp – 1.5
Dry – 3
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Brickworks – Lime Margarita
More Sour – 
More Dry – Kings Mill – Mojito
More Crisp – Slabtown – Mojito de Manzana

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Kings Mill – Arrested Development (Carbonated)

Cider Profile:

Name: Kings Mill – Arrested Development (carbonated)
Sampled June 2021

Brand:  King’s Mill Cider
Type: Apple – Off-dry
Location of Brewing: Stirling, ON
ABV: 10%
Website Link: kingsmillcider.ca
Ingredients: Ontario heritage apples, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Kings Mill retail + online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent semi-bright yellow
Carbonation:  Small, infrequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Mostly dry apples with hints of floral and must.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Quickly followed by a semi-sweet apple base that is slightly tangy and acidic. Mild honey and floral hints. Effervescent. 
After Taste:  Acidity and tanginess grow, lingers a long time.  Very clean finish, sweeter as time goes on but no grittiness.
On ice: Smoother on ice, less tangy, less crisp and thinner. 

Additional Notes:  Arrested Development by Kings Mill Cider is a  clean, crisp and slightly acidic cider.  Made with heritage apples, its mostly dry with a hint of sweetness, making it an off-dry selection.  A traditional, easy to drink cider, you would almost think it’s a “light cider offering, but it’s 10% and it will sneak up on you. It gets tangier as the bottle warms with a long lasting aftertaste. A very good traditional cider that refreshes.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Apple Cider
More Sour – Stock & Row – Slow & Low
More Dry – Loch Mor – Untamed (2019)
More Crisp – 

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Farmgate – Hyslop

Cider Profile:

Name: Farmgate – Hyslop
Sampled May 2021

Brand: Farmgate Cider
Type: Apple – Dry
Location of Brewing: Carp, ON
ABV: 9.5%
Website Link: farmgatecider.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 375ml (bottle)
Availability: Farmgate online store
+ select Ottawa farmers markets

Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Rusty orange
Carbonation: Large streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet apple, with vanilla hints. Unique pear smell.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Initially a very clean and bright bittersharp apple. Then it builds in acidity and tannic properties, with some sour crab apple-like notes emerging. Vanilla and pear hints.
After Taste: Becomes less clean, more apple peel focused. More dry and gritty. Some acidity that lingers.
On ice: Thinner mouthfeel. Weakened flavours. Less tannic.

Additional Notes:  The Hyslop by Farmgate will surprise you – it smells somewhat sweet but it is a very dry cider. Starting off very clean and bittersharp forward, it becomes acidic, tannic and gritty from the hyslop apples. But they are slightly countered with unique vanilla and pear like notes that emerge. Towards the end it becomes very peel oriented and even drier. Being very different in smell than taste and with a unique apple flavour we cannot recall tasting anywhere else, it is a unique journey worth taking. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Waupoos Premium Cider
More Sour – Spirit Tree – Crabapple Rose (2019)
More Dry – Kings Mill – Scrumpy
More Crisp – Clafeld – Spy

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Chill Street – Squeeze The Day

Cider Profile:

Name: Chill Street – Squeeze The Day
Sampled March 2021

Brand:  Chill Street Brewing
Type: Flavoured – Guava
Location of Brewing: Elmsdale, NS
ABV: 5.9%
Website Link: chillstreetbrewing.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Chill St retail + online store
Flavour: Guava
Colour:  Transparent sunshine yellow
Carbonation: Medium streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Punchy and juicy sour guava with some sweet apple.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Semi-strong sour acidic guava with apple blend. Slightly tart and earthy.
After Taste: Becomes drier and more earthy.  Less apple and slightly reduced guava overall.  Finishes dry.
On ice: Reduced carbonation.

Additional Notes:  The Squeeze The Day by Chill Street is unique as the Guava really dominates, instead of the apple. It means it’s a surprising taste, as the guava has a lot of similar characteristics to a very dry and earthy apple.  One of the least sweet of the Chill Street offerings we’ve had. Slightly earthy and a little bit acidic and decently sour.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Brickworks – Pineapple Agave
More Sour – Steel Town – Guava AF
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Coffin Ridge – Tropical Hopped

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Duntroon – Empire Extra Dry

Cider Profile:

Name: Duntroon – Empire Extra Dry Cyder
Sampled May 2021

Brand: Duntroon Cyder House
Type: Apple – Single Varietal
Location of Brewing: Duntroon, ON
ABV: 5.5%
Website Link: duntrooncyderhouse.com
Ingredients: Apples
Gluten Free: yes
Sugar Content: 0g/L 

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: LCBO and Duntroon Cyder House
retail and online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Sunflower yellow
Carbonation: Large, semi-streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Sweet and pulpy apple with slight acidity
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Punchy bright apples that are semi-sweet (naturally so) and very crisp. Extra clean. Honey essences.
After Taste: Apple dissipates becoming drier but leaving most of the other elements the same.  Somewhat long lingering.
On ice: Reduced carbonation and some sharp elements.

Additional Notes: The Empire by Duntroon Cyder House is a strong example of an extra clean and crisp single varietal.  Very apple focused, it has a strong flavour and body from start to finish. Empire flavour is naturally semi-sweet and very bright but its a dry cider – with no added sugar. Not as sweet and juicy as it smells, but very crisp and refreshing with a bit of a kick from the apples. Lots of flavour and character for having just 1 type of apple and only apples as an ingredient. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Original Apple Cider
More Sour – Duxbury – Heritage 1650
More Dry – Liberty Village – Extra Dry Cider
More Crisp – 

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Spirit Tree – Estate Reserve (2019)

Cider Profile:

Name: Spirit Tree – Estate Reserve (2019)
Sampled May 2021

Brand: Spirit Tree Cider Co. 
Type: Apple – Dry
Location of Brewing: Caledon, ON
ABV: 8.5%
Website Link: spirittreecider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Spirit Tree online + retail store
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent sunshine yellow
Carbonation: Small, semi-streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Bright apples amongst tannic, funky apple notes. Earthy hints.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite from carbonation and acidity. Bright, slightly acetic apples that are tannic and rustic. Some bitterness and a mild astringency. Medley of apple varieties. Effervescence.
After Taste: Apples remain the same but become slightly more funky in nature. Earthy notes with hints of oak. Mostly clean finish with some mild tannic residue. 
On ice:  Carbonation reduced. Harsher elements reduced, becomes slightly more smooth.

Additional Notes:  The 2019 Vintage of Spirit Tree’s Estate Cider is a milder than expected cider drinking experience that still has a lot of the expected estate cider elements. Tannic and mostly dry, there is a bright medley of apple varieties present here, but they present lighter than you many anticipate. Its a good starter cider into estate ciders that have tannic/heritage/estate varieties. Would pair well with food as it would not interrupt the flavours much. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Busl – Aurum Apple Cider
More Sour – West Avenue – Spontaneity
More Dry – FieldBird – 2018 Sur Lie Perry
More Crisp – Duxbury – Five Metre Scrum

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Slabtown – Sweet Maple Heat

Cider Profile:

Name: Slabtown – Sweet Maple Heat
Sampled May 2021

Brand:  Slabtown Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Maple & Peppers
Location of Brewing: Uxbridge, ON
ABV: 6.2%
Website Link: slabtowncider.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Seasonal – Slabtown online + retail store
Flavour: Maple + peppers
Colour:  Transparent canary yellow
Carbonation: Large infrequently streaming


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Bittersharp apples. Earthy maple. Hint of peppers.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Clean, bright apples that are off-dry. Sweet candied maple comes through.
After Taste: Maple becomes slightly more obvious. Hint of red pepper spiciness only at the end. Clean finish.
On ice: Carbonation reduced, along with flavours.

Additional Notes:  Slabtown’s Sweet Maple Heat is a very clean cider that has a smooth, candied maple to it, with a slight hint of pepper heat at the very finish (which builds as you drink the bottle). Despite the name, it’s a tame and mild cider so spicy-averse people need not worry. The maple is natural but on the sweeter cider. The apple base is very crisp, bright, and almost soft. A light offering that will satisfy most.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Farm Gate – Mulled
More Sour – Heartwood – Eve Goes Badass
More Dry – Kings Mill – Ontario Mule
More Crisp – Kings Mill –  Jalapeño

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Steel Town – Guav AF

Cider Profile:

Name: Steel Town – Guav AF
Sampled May 2021

Brand:  Steel Town Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Guava
Location of Brewing: Hamilton, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link: steeltowncider.com
Ingredients: Pressed apples, guava, vanilla, milk sugar, yeast
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 355ml (can)
Availability: Steel Town online and retail store
Flavour: Guava
Colour:  Cloudy orange/peach
Carbonation: Fine, frequently streaming


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Funky and sour guava.  Some juicy and lactose bitterness is noticeable.  Not many apples.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from acidity and semi-soft carbonation.  Sour guava that is thick and funky – and somewhat punchy.  Some bitter-sharp and bright apples in the background. Creamy yet slightly bitter lactose.
After Taste: Intensity reduces overall as flavour mellows. Apple pulp makes a brief appearance.  Not overly long lasting and is less punchy, but some dry and earthy elements remain.
On Ice: Thinner, less punch.  Slightly more creamy. Cuts off aftertaste dramatically.


Additional Notes:  Steel Town’s Guav AF won a nod for one of our favourite ciders in 2017 at the Toronto Cider Festival and now it’s available in cans.  It’s a sour barrel-aged cider that could be puckering to some but too overly sour offering for us, with a lot of earthy and funky elements that are balanced to the semi-sharp apples. Thick but not gritty. Creamy and tart guava adds a unique dynamic to it. Lactose adds creaminess and some milk sugar bitterness. Very much fermentation forward, its a unique offering that fits very well into the Steel Town repertoire   Contains lactose = allergy alert.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Coffin Ridge – Tropical Hopped
More Sour – Revel – Prosthetic Conscience
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Slabtown – Cucumber Mint

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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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Rosewood – Pomme D’or

Cider Profile:

Name: Rosewood – Pomme D’or
Sampled May 2021

Brand: Rosewood Winery Estates
Type: Cyser  – Apple Spirit
Location of Brewing: Beamsville, On
ABV: 20%
Website Link: rosewoodwine.com
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottle)
Availability: Rosewood online and retail
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Transparent rust
Carbonation: Still


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Caramelized sweet apples with a light astringency
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Sweet thick and syrupy caramelized apple with a slightly burnt honey note
After Taste: Elements from the barrels become more noticeable (woody and earthy) as the apples reduce. Lingers a while but with little apple elements.
On ice: Watered down and much less flavourful

Additional Notes:  The Pomme D’Or by Rosewood Estate Winery is a Cyser (apples with honey) that has been fortified into a dessert-style spirit at 20%.  It’s sweeter than many other apple spirit offerings yet still has a nice kick.  Honey provides a unique element, along with the barreling notes that are not overpowering.  

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

From Rosewood Winery: The cyser-Bochet (Cyser being honey wine made with apple and bochet being a honey wine made of burnt hone) is bone dry, all sugar was consumed during ferment or the forced caramelization of the honey prior to ferment. Wild fermented. It was aged for 1.5 years in French oak prior to 1.5 years in freshly emptied calvados barrels (French apple brandy barrels, very rare to get). It was bottled without filtration or fining. It’s a one of a kind production

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Kings Mill – Ice Cider
More Sour – Calvados Boulard – Pays ‘dauge
More Dry – Loch Mor – Pommeau
More Crisp – County Cider – Prince Edward County Ice Cider

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West Avenue – Rosie

Cider Profile:

Name: West Avenue – Rosie
Sampled May 2021

Brand:  West Avenue Ciderhouse
Type: Flavoured – Grape
Location of Brewing: Freelton, ON
ABV: 7%
Website Link: westavenue.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: West Avenue retail + online store
Flavour: Grape
Colour:  Hazy deep burgundy
Carbonation: Medium infrequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Red wine is strong with pungency and sweet notes. Mild heritage apples.
Initial Taste: Minimal bite. Quick deep red wine forward – with a mild dry apple base peaking through. Some woody/barreling notes.
After Taste: Red wine/grapes become softer and with slight strawberry and blackberry hints. Dry, long lingering finish.
On ice: Slightly thinner, less punchy.

Additional Notes:  Rosie by West Avenue is a wine-lovers dream, being incredibly red wine/grape forward, with the apple base being mild but definitely thinning this out compared to a straight red wine – with the carbonation also doing this a bit. It’s a bit punchy with some pungency and wood/barrel notes, but they do slightly make way and become softer in the finish with some berry flavours including strawberry and blackberry hints. Much stronger than a standard rosé-blended cider, but a great alternative to those who don’t like the grit of red wine mouthfeels. Not too astringent also. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Shiny – Rosé Cider
More Sour – Shale Ridge – Cabernet Funk
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Crimson – Rosé Cider

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Loch Mór – Lagan’s IPC

Cider Profile:

Name: Loch Mór – Lagan’s IPC
Sampled May 2021

Brand: Loch Mór Cider Co
Type: Apple – Hopped
Location of Brewing: Hillier, ON
ABV: 7.7%
Website Link: lochmorcider.ca
Ingredients: Apples, hops, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 355ml (can)
Availability: Select LCBOs (Spring 2021) and licensees
Flavour: Hopped
Colour: Dark yellow
Carbonation: Mixed frequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Sweet apple with pine-like hops + resin.  
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation and some acidity. It takes a moment for the flavour to kick in, when it does it’s a thick, semi-sweet apple that has a distinct and stronger hops element to it – that’s slightly earthy and fresh.  Medium resin and bitterness notes without the standard mouthfeel from these (as like in an IPA).
After Taste: Apple reduces and thinning out, leaving a stronger hops blend that lingers a long time and remains a bit in the chest.
On ice: Carbonation is reduced. Dramatically watered down and less body.

Additional Notes:  Loch Mór’s Lagan’s IPC is a pretty strong and powerful yet approachable cider (As is the dog it is named after).  Slightly piney and with spruce notes from the hops, but not hoppy or bitter like an IPA.  Apple is bright but smooth and it compliments the hops well to enhance the overall apple flavour base. Lots of body and character. A great cider interpretation that honours the beer style it is inspired from but with its own unique elements.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Pelee Island – Hopping Apple
More Sour – Spirit Tree – Dry Hopped
More Dry – Kings Mill – Hopped (Still)
More Crisp – Ardiel – Big John Hop Cider

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Clafeld – Spy

Cider Profile:

Name: Clafeld – Spy
Sampled May 2021

Brand:  Clafeld Cider House
Type: Apple – Single Varietal
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link: waupooswinery.com/cider-house
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 5g/L

Size(s) available: 500ml & 750ml (bottles)
Availability: Waupoos Winery Online Store
+ Clafeld retail store

Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent mustard yellow
Carbonation: Large infrequently bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet aroma of bright apples. Cotton candy notes. Mild acidity.
Initial Taste: Medium bite. Quick acidic and semi-dry apple. Naturally sweet, bright apple notes. Cotton candy elements. Extra crisp.
After Taste: Apple flavour continues with its acidity slowly dwindling. Clean finish. Semi-long lasting.
On ice: Less carbonation and less acidity. Flavour less prominent.

Additional Notes:  Clafeld’s single varietal Spy Cider is a very crisp cider that grasps the palate with natural acidity from the apple. A dry cider but with naturally sweet and bright apple flavours, its got a clean flavour but somewhat coating of the mouth. Unique cotton candy-esque flavour notes detected. Very apple forward with not too many alcohol fermentation flavours or other flavour notes present.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2.5
Sour – 3
Crisp – 5
Dry – 4
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Front Road – The Spy
More Sour – FieldBird – Northern Spy (2017)
More Dry – Windswept – Northern Spy (2018)
More Crisp – 

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Busl – Aurum

Cider Profile:

Name: Busl – Aurum
Sampled May 2021

Brand:  Busl Cider
Type: Apple – Crisp
Location of Brewing: Mallorytown, ON
ABV: 6.0%
Website Link: buslcider.com
Ingredients: Apple cider
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Busl online + retail stores
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Transparent, light yellow
Carbonation: Mixed, semi-frequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Smooth, sweet, pulpy apple.
Initial Taste: Light carbonation. Smooth and semi-creamy, slightly sweet apple that is light. Soft apple that dances with the carbonation for a bit.
After Taste: Sweet apple reduces and becomes slightly earthy and a touch musty. Long lingering aftertaste that is slightly thick.
On ice: Less bright apples and carbonation.

Additional Notes:  Busl Cider’s straight apple offering the Aurum, is an apple-forward, simple and sweeter apple cider that is bright and pulpy in nature. Aftertaste is pretty minimal, but slightly earthy/natural and musty with some elements that are somewhat herby and tonic-like.  A lot of classic apple juice elements in this soft but refreshing offering. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury – Honeycrisp
More Sour – Duxbury – Five Metre Scrum
More Dry – Kings Mill – Scrumpy
More Crisp – Spy Ciderhouse – Golden Eye

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Lost Craft – Dry Rosé

Cider Profile:

Name: Lost Craft – Dry Rosé
Sampled May 2021

Brand:  Lost Craft Cider
Type: Flavoured – Red wine
Location of Brewing: Toronto, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link: lostcraft.ca
Ingredients: Cider, wine, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 29 g/L

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: LCBO
Flavour: Red wine
Colour:  Deep burgundy with purple hues
Carbonation: Medium streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Red wine pungency. Dry tannic apples.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Quick dry and tannic apples. Red grape and merlot flavours.
After Taste: Apples clear out, it becomes more red-wine focused. Dry, wine-focused finish that is slightly gritty and tannic like a deep red wine.
On ice: Thinner body and less carbonation. Less wine focused, slightly more apples.

Additional Notes: Lost Craft’s Dry Rosé is a surprisingly sophisticated offering for being a canned cider at the LCBO. Very dry, it’s tannic and gritty. While the can says it has a ‘splash of red wine’, it is actually very red wine focused, having a deep merlot taste to it, from start to finish. Very dry, it drinks like a thinner red wine with a touch of crisp, acidic apples. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Thornbury -Rosé
More Sour – Spirit Tree – Crabapple Rose (2019)
More Dry –
More Crisp – Shiny – Rosé

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