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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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Magners – Original

Cider Profile:

Name: Magners – Original
Sampled October 2020

Brand: Magners Cider Company
Type: Apple – Commercial
Location of Brewing: Tipperary, Ireland
ABV: 4.5%
Website Link: magners.com
Ingredients: Cider, Sugar, Citric Acid, Colour, Sodium Metabisulphite, Sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 33g/L

Size(s) available: 500ml (can)
Availability: Worldwide
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Transparent orange
Carbonation: Large streaming bubbles. Mild foam at top.


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Pulpy apple. Ale yeast notes. Mild maltiness.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Quick ale taste. Caramelized juicy apple. Tonic notes.
After Taste: Apple becomes sweeter, more concentrated and syrupy. Quick finish, medium body and taste.
On ice: Reduced carbonation. Little change taste wise, but a bit watered down. Slightly thinner body.

Additional Notes:  Magners’ Original Cider is quintessential pub drinking and an easy transition for beer drinkers as it has an ale-yeast like taste. Medium body, it has a pulpy, concentrate apple taste that becomes slightly sweeter as it goes. Smooth and easy to knock back a few in a social setting, like a sports game. Large carbonation bubbles, resembles ginger ale. Amber notes.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Somersby – Apple
More Sour – Strongbow – Original Dry
More Dry – Brickworks – Batch 1904
More Crisp – Caple Road – Blend No. 3

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Somersby – Rose

Cider Profile:

Name:   Somersby – Rose
Sampled August 2019

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


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

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

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

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

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

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Brickworks Lemonade Cider Radler

Cider Profile:

Name:   Brickworks Lemonade Cider Radler
Sampled June 2019

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

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


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

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

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

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

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

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Lost Craft – Apple Cider 

Cider Profile:

Name: Lost Craft – Apple Cider
Sampled July 2019

Brand: Lost Craft
Type:
Apple – Crisp
Location of Brewing:
Toronto, ON
ABV
: 5%
Website Link:
lostcraft.ca
Ingredients:
Cider, sulphates
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml
Availability:
LCBO and grocery stores
Flavour:
Apple
Colour:
Straw yellow
Carbonation:
Large, infrequent streaming bubbles




Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium sweet aroma. Slightly earthy, somewhat sulphuric.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Sweet, crisp and semi-sugary dessert apple.
After Taste: Not long lingering as carbonation reduces. Becomes sweeter and creamier with a slight film in the mouth.  Some sulphur notes at the end.
On ice: Carbonation is cut. Slightly creamer.

Additional Notes:  The Lost Craft Apple Cider is a sweet, dessert focused, commercial-oriented cider.  It’s extra creamy, with a hint of earthy notes.  Its light, has a slight film left in the aftertaste and is quite crisp. Simple and more of a pub cider, it aligns with the beer company culture it originates from.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Somersby – Apple
More Sour – Seagram – Premium Craft Cider
More Dry – Brickworks –  Batch 1904
More Crisp – Creekside – Rood Apples Cider

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Somersby – Apple

Cider Profile:

Name: Somersby Apple Flavoured Cider
Sampled December 2015        

Brand: Somersby Ciders
Type: Apple – sweet
Location of Brewing: Carlsberg, Denmark
ABV: 4.5%
Website Link: somersbycider.com/ca
Ingredients: Water, fermented apple juice, sugar, apple juice concentrate, citric acid (acidity regulator) flavour (apple), potassium sorbate (as a preservative), caramel colour, sulphite
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 104 g/L

Size(s) available: 500mL can
Availability: All-year – LCBO, various restaurants and bars
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Golden caramel, translucent
Carbonation:

 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium very sweet apple smell, with hints of vanilla tones. Some honey notes
Initial Taste:
  Mild-medium candied apple bite with caramel tones. Extra sweet fleshy apple.
Aftertaste: Turns very sweet with a flat feeling and taste – similar to an apple juice with a slight wine hint.  Sugar residue remains.  Semi-think in consistency.
On ice: Makes the cider smoother and thinner. Has a smoother, more consistent apple flavour, with more wine then apple juice taste present.

Additional Notes: A great ‘gateway’ cider for new drinkers. Very sweet and is great for mixing cocktails since the flavour doesn’t get washed out. With some wine elements, this sugary “apple wine” can result in bad hangovers.  Somersby has become the new standard in commercial cider since 2015.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet- 4.5
Sour- 2.5
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 1.5
Fruity – 4

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

London Calling – Pear & Apple

Cider Profile:

Name: London Calling Apple + Pear | London Calling Pomme + Poire
Sampled December 2015

Brand: London Calling
Type: Apple & Pear
Location of Brewing: Laval, Quebec
ABV: 5%
Website Link: londoncallingcidre.com
Ingredients: Cider, sugar and/or glucose-fructose, natural flavour, malic acid, sodium benzoate, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 341mL (glass bottles)
Availability: Grocery stores in Quebec
Flavour: Apple and Pear
Colour: Light yellow
Carbonation: Mild carbonation

 LondonCalling200x400w

 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell:  Faint sweet apple smell
Initial Taste: Mild and smooth light apple flavour, semi-sweet.
After Taste: more pear-focused flavour develops. A very weird, malty and almost metallic flavour develops and lingers develops after the pear flavour emerges.
On ice: Carbonation and taste weaken on ice. Becomes less sweet and flavourful. Pear taste is more prevalent.

Additional Notes: An artificial, lower-grade cider that seems to have been designed to appeal to younger people. Has a very bizarre aftertaste that develops that is hard to describe beyond it being malty.

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

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

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