The Cider Crate


West Avenue – Honey Monster

Cider Profile:

Name: West Avenue – Honey Monster
Sampled April 2021

Brand:  West Avenue Cider House
Type: Apple – Cyser
Location of Brewing: Freelton, ON
ABV: 9.5%
Website Link:
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: West Avenue Retail + online store
Flavour: Apple + honey
Colour:  Transparent sunflower yellow
Carbonation: Large, infrequently streaming

Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

 Smell: Strong aroma. Pungent honey and tannic apple. Some acidity and sourness.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Quick earthy, pungent honey that is rustic and aged. Barrel oak notes. Tannic but bright apples. Astringency.
After Taste: As harsher elements weaken, honey becomes smoother. Funk notes. Dry, dank finish.
On ice: Becomes thinner and harsher elements weakened. More apple forward.

Additional Notes:  West Avenue’s Honey Monster is a bold cider that doesn’t hold back on the natural flavours from fermenting honey and cider together. A very rustic and aged tasting offering, the cider really shines in the initial moments, with a pungent/earthy/natural honey taste that has notes of oak and barreling, with some harsher astringency. The honey becomes smoother in the aftertaste, being bright but also very dry overall. Apples are also bright but decently tannic. A large departure from other honey cysers/ciders available in Ontario. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Niagara Cider – Beekeepers Botanical
More Sour – Slabtown – Honey Habanero 
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Ernest – Original Dry Cider

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Windswept – Cyser

Cider Profile:

Name: Windswept – Cyser
Sampled September 2020

Brand:  Windswept Orchard Cider
Type: Apple – Cyser
Location of Brewing: Grey Country, ON
ABV: 7%
Website Link:
Ingredients: Georgian Bay apples, wild yeast, local wildflower honey, sulphites.
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Via Windswept retail and online stores. Select Farmers Markets
Flavour: Apple & honey
Colour:  Hazy straw yellow
Carbonation: Small, streaming bubbles. Rather foamy upon pour

Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Semi-acidic. Funky with some earthy notes.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation. Funky and semi-tart apples, with some smooth honey.  Acidic apples with some earthiness. Slightly acetic.
After Taste: Apple notes diminish. Honey remains strong, ends on that. Some herby notes like coriander.
On ice: Carbonation greatly reduced, thinner and crisper.

Additional Notes:  The Cyser (a cider fermented with honey) by Windswept is a wild ferment offering. A heavier but not thick mouthfeel from the honey and some funky notes make the cider standout. Some acidity, slightly acetic elements.  Finishes uniquely herby, its earthy and somewhat wild tasting, but still very room. Its substantive carbonation could appeal to sparkling white wine drinkers. A bright cider with a decent carbonation that elevates the flavours.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 1.5
Sour – 3.5
Crisp – 2
Dry – 4
Fruity –2.5 

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

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Rosewood – Legacy Cyser (2017)

Cider Profile:

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

Brand:  Rosewood Estate Winery
Cyser (Mead)
Location of Brewing:
Beamsville, ON
Website Link:
Gluten Free:
Sugar Content: 48 g/L

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

Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

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

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

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

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

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