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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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Heeman’s – Berry Blush

Cider Profile:

Name: Heeman’s – Berry Blush
Sampled March 2021

Brand: Heeman’s Hard Apple Cider
Type: Flavoured – Mixed berry
Location of Brewing: Thorndale, ON
ABV: 5.0%
Website Link: heeman.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottle)
Availability: Heeman retail and online store
Flavour: Mixed Berry
Colour: Transparent vivid-red
Carbonation: Infrequent large streaming bubbles.  


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell:  Mild aroma. Juicy mixed berry with strawberry and semi-tart raspberry.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Strong, juicy strawberry and soft, smooth dessert apple – with creamy raspberry.
After Taste: Raspberry dissipates and apples slightly reduced. Strawberry becomes more predominant and lingers a long time. 
On ice: Strawberry reduced a lot for a more balanced flavour profile.  A lot weaker overall.

Additional Notes:   The Berry Blush Hard Apple Cider by Heeman’s is a light but flavourful offering. It’s strawberry forward, with lots of juicy and creamy strawberry elements.  Softer, pulpy dessert apples make a flavourful base that’s accompanied by some tart raspberries that leave it balanced and not overly sweet.  A lot of flavour that lasts a long time. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Heritage Estates – Eden’s Apple Strawberry
More Sour – Spy Cider – Crimson Tide
More Dry – Kings Mill – Strawberry Rhubarb
More Crisp – Reinhart’s – Strawberry Hibiscus

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Collective Arts – Raspberry Mojito

Cider Profile:

Name: Collective Arts – Raspberry Mojito
Sampled February 2021

Brand:  Collective Arts Brewing
Type: Flavoured – Raspberry, lime and mint
Location of Brewing: Hamilton, ON
ABV: 5.7%
Website Link:
Ingredients: Apples, raspberry juice concentrate, lime juice,
spearmint oil, raspberry flavour, yeast, sulphites

Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Occasional release, Collective Arts online
+ retail stores

Flavour: Raspberry + mojito
Colour:  Deep ruby red with purple hues
Carbonation: Medium streaming bubbles

 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Tart rich raspberries. Tangy lime. Hint of mint.
Initial Taste: Medium bite. Dessert apple followed by tart, pulpy raspberries. Lime tang.
After Taste: Raspberries overtake apples. Spearmint then becomes dominant. Mint is slightly earthy, cooling and natural – and lingers awhile. Lime hangs out a bit too.
On ice: Reduced carbonation. Weakened spearmint.

Additional Notes:  Collective Art’s Raspberry Mojito is exactly as promised. While there is a bit of an apple taste to begin, it’s raspberry forward for most of the journey. With some tangy lime and a strong spearmint finish, it’s an accurate representation of the fusion cocktail they aimed to mimic in this cider. Tart raspberries taste natural and muddled, with some memories of a cranberry cider from the sour notes and mouthfeel. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Ernest – Impeachmint
More Sour – Steeltown – Daga Carmesi
More Dry – Kings Mill – Ontario Mule
More Crisp – Slabtown – Mojito de Manzana

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Slabtown – Mojito De Manzana

Cider Profile:

Name: Slabtown – Mojito De Manzana
Sampled September 2020

Brand:  Slabtown Cider Co.
Type: Flavoured – Lime and Mint
Location of Brewing: Uxbridge, ON
ABV: 6.4%
Website Link: slabtowncider.com
Ingredients: N/A 
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Slabtown Retail Store
Flavour: Lime
Colour:  Transparent golden-yellow, with lime particles
Carbonation: Small, semi-streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Herby-mint with some lime elements.  Mild apple.
Initial Taste: Light bite. Quickly sour with lime elements that blend with a creamy and juicy apple taste.
After Taste: Relatively short aftertaste that clears out with some lime zest elements.  A bit of sweet apple taste.  Lime elements remain in the mouth. Some mint and salty aftertaste.
On ice: Carbonation drastically reduced, lime reduced.

Additional Notes:  A zippy cider that is tamed by the herby-mint elements, the Mojito De Manzana by Slabtown cider is unique with its added lime juice and pulp after the fermentation.  Flakes of lime are present, but not overpowering.  Almost like a limeade alternative with an apple base. If it’s too much, on-ice reduces the lime, mint and saltiness. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Ernest – Impeachmint
More Sour – Revel Cider – All Day
More Dry – Kings Mill – Ontario Mule
More Crisp – Crimson Cider – Mint to Be

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Coffin Ridge – Tropical Hopped

Cider Profile:

Name: Coffin Ridge – Tropical Hopped
Sampled August 2020

Brand:  Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery Inc.
Type: Flavoured – Mixed
Location of Brewing: Annan, ON
ABV: 6.0%
Website Link:
Ingredients: Cider, fruit juices (pineapple, mango, guava, passion fruit, orange, peach, kiwi), natural flavour, sulphite
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 473ml (can)
Availability: Limited – Coffin Ridge Winery
Flavour: Tropical Fruits
Colour:  Rusty orange
Carbonation: Medium, frequently streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Pineapple and citra hops forward. Medley of tropical fruits.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from carbonation and acidity. Hop sensation and taste quickly noticeable. Candied pineapple. Some bitter notes.
After Taste: Fruits become slightly sweeter. Some fruits like kiwi and orange become more prominent. Creamy and tangy finish that lingers.
On ice: Carbonation reduced dramatically. Flavours reduced but overall smoother as hops taste and sensation are also reduced.

Additional Notes:  The Tropical Hopped from Coffin Ridge is a remarkably well-balanced cider amongst all elements. It’s sweet and fruity and it still has some bitterness and grunt from the hops. While the pineapple is the most noticeable fruit, all fruits work in harmony with one another and they create a sweet, authentic fruit punch experience. Fruit flavours taste very fresh and juicy from start to finish. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Clafeld – Fruit Cocktail Cider
More Sour – Slabtown – Pineapple Mimosa Cider
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Pommies – Mimosa Cider

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Beaver Valley – Bumbleberry

Cider Profile

Name: Beaver Valley – Bumbleberry
Sampled September 2020

Brand:  Beaver Valley Winery Ltd.
Type: Flavoured – Mixed berry
Location of Brewing: Kimberely, ON
ABV: 7.5%
Website Link: bvcider.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Beaver Valley retail store (or by special online order)
Flavour: Mixed berry
Colour:  Deep ruby red
Carbonation: Fine, semi-streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Tangy black currant, sweet and tart rhubarb. Bittersharp apples.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from acidity and carbonation. Quick bittersharp apple. Bold rhubarb flavour. Pungent, earthy dark fruit notes. Some tartness and bitterness. Woody elements.
After Taste: Rhubarb remains the strongest flavour, with sweeter blackberry and raspberry notes becoming more obvious. Very dry, natural fruit/rose wine flavour finish.
On ice:  Reduced carbonation, flavour, body. Much smoother experience.

Additional Notes:  The Bumbleberry by Beaver Valley is a very dry mixed fruit cider that might surprise you for the depth and bold flavours it features. The rhubarb notes are very strong and add a natural bitterness and pungency to the sweeter fruits it is mixed with. A woody-flavour makes it feel like it a forged forest berry experience. Rather dry, as only a bit of natural sweetness and brightness comes from the berries. The cider is a bit tart but not puckering. Beaming with natural and intense fruit flavours.

Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 2
Sour – 3.5
Crisp – 1.5
Dry – 4.5
Fruity – 4.5

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – County – Feral Cider
More Sour – Ernest – Bumbleberry Cider
More Dry – 
More Crisp – Thornbury – Raspberry Cider

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Cider 101 – Dr. Peppercorn w/ Cherry!

Cider Profile:

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

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

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



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

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

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

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

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

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Links to Pairings
Links to Cocktails
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