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Clafeld – Fuji

Cider Profile:

Name: Clafeld – Fuji
Sampled February 2021

Brand: Clafeld Cider House
Type: Apple – Single Varietal
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV: 7.5%
Website Link:
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 5g/l

Size(s) available: 500ml + 750ml (bottles)
Availability: Clafeld retail and online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Translucent sunshine yellow
Carbonation: Medium, semi-streaming bubbles


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Sweet juicy apple.  Clean with some traditional green-apple elements.
Initial Taste: Light bite, little carbonation.  Bright, juicy, bittersharp Fuji apple with a touch of tartness and acidity. Some tannins and both peel and flesh elements. Tangy and very natural tasting.
After Taste: Apple remains the same but slowly reduces. Becomes slightly drier and more peel-like elements become present. Decently clean. 
On ice: Less acidic and flavourful.

Additional Notes:  The Fuji by Clafeld is a single-varietal that has elements similar to the fruit, with with a touch of fermentation notes. Starts off bitter-sharp and bright, and finishes very peel-like in nature. Quite dry. Mild green apple notes. Light zippiness.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Domaine Cleroux – Nation’Spiked Sweet
More Sour – Loch Mor – Untamed (2019)
More Dry – Beaver Valley – Flagship Dry
More Crisp – Hounds of Erie – Best in Show

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The Old Tun – Russet

Cider Profile:

Name: The Old Tun – Russet
Sampled October 2020

Brand: The Old Tun (Ridgeport Wine inc)
Type: Apple – Dry
Location of Brewing: Niagara, ON
ABV: 9.5%
Website Link: theoldtun.ca
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: N/A
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Drink Collab Online Store
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Translucent, sunshine yellow
Carbonation: Large, infrequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Light aroma. Sweet apple. Bright, light apples with some acidic notes.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Bright apple with some earthy and nutty elements.  Light bodied with some vanilla elements.
After Taste: Apple becomes less present, barrel age elements become more noticeable as time goes on. Finished slightly woody and mostly dry, kind of juicy.
On ice: Slightly less apple focused and flavourful, however quite similar.

Additional Notes: The Russet Cider from The Old Tun is a barrel aged single-varietal cider but lighter than most other barrel aged offerings.  Tastes quite similar to the unfermented flesh and skin of the apple. Vanilla and woody notes, with a pretty traditional apple flavour of the Russet apple. Light bodied and smooth, its easy to drink (particularly for being a barrel-aged cider)

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Spy Cider – Golden Eye
More Sour – The Old Third – Golden Russet
More Dry – Loch Mor – Golden Russet
More Crisp – Thornbury – Honeycrisp Cider

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Windswept – Crimson Crisp (2018)

Cider Profile:

Name: Windswept – Crimson Crisp (2018)
Sampled October 2020

Brand:  Windswept Orchard Cider
Type: Apple – Single Varietal
Location of Brewing: Meaford, ON
ABV: 6.6%
Website Link:
Ingredients: N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500ml (bottles)
Availability: Windswept Retail + online stores
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Hazy straw yellow
Carbonation: Medium, frequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Strong aroma. Funky, earthy notes amongst a bright apple base. Tonic hints.
Initial Taste:  Sharp bite from carbonation. Gripping tannic apple notes that appear quickly. Slightly tart. Peel and flesh notes.
After Taste: Carbonation reduces and makes way for a smoother flavour and mouthfeel. Honey and melon notes emerge. Dry but bright apple finish.
On ice: Carbonation drastically reduced. Flavour and harsher elements reduced. Fairly watered down.

Additional Notes:  This highly carbonated offering from Windswept, their 2018 harvest vintage of their Crimson Crisp features sharp apple flavours and some funky, earthy notes to give it that orchard edge. Balanced tannins help give this cider depth. You get the red apple peel flavour from the crimson crisp apples, but you also get some apple flesh notes here. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Ardiel – Dry Apple Cider
More Sour – Grey & Gold – Spruce of the Bruce
More Dry – Duxbury – English Scrumpy
More Crisp – Thornbury – Honey Crisp Cider

Links to Other Stories
Windswept – Crimson Crisp (2017)
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Revel – Good Evening

Cider Profile:

Name: Revel – Good Evening
Sampled October 2020

Brand:  Revel Cider
Type: Apple – Dry
Location of Brewing: Guelph, ON
ABV: 7.8%
Website Link: revelcider.ca
Ingredients: Cortland cider, vidal, honey, honeycomb
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: N/A 

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Revel Retail Store and Online Store
Flavour: Apple
Colour:  Cloudy pale yellow
Carbonation: Mixture of bubble sizes, bubbly



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Pulpy and creamy apple notes. Slightly acetic. Hints of honey.
Initial Taste: Medium bite. Quick red apple taste, especially peel. Some acidity and tannins.
After Taste: Apples continue but white wine notes emerge. Becomes creamier. Ends on delicate honey notes. Lingering apple tannins that are fresh tasting.
On ice: Carbonation reduced. Much crisper and smoother. All flavour elements reduced.

Additional Notes:  Revel’s Good Evening fits into their grand scheme of cider offerings but is unique in its red apple focus and delicate honey notes at the finish. Crisp, acidic and decently tannic. It has vidal blended into it, but it’s not dominating, and only adds mild flavour and body characteristics. 

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

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

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Clafeld – Ginger Gold (Dry)

Cider Profile:

Name: Clafeld – Ginger Gold (Dry)
Sampled October 2020

Brand:  Clafeld Cider House (Waupoos Winery)
Type: Apple – Dry, single varietal
Location of Brewing: Picton, ON
ABV: 6%
Website Link: waupooswinery.com
Ingredients: Ginger gold apples, sulphites
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content: 48g/L

Size(s) available: 750ml (bottle)
Availability: Clafeld retail store + Waupoos Winery online store
Flavour: Apple
Colour: Translucent, light yellow
Carbonation: Large, infrequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Bright and juicy apple with a hint of earthiness.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Smooth juicy apple flesh with a touch of dryness and tannins present. Zippy notes. Bartlett-pear like notes. 
After Taste: Dissipates quickly.  Becomes more dry and less apple forward.  Some earthy and funky elements become more present. Mild ginger root undertones.
On ice: Carbonation dramatically reduced leaving a more watered-down flavour.

Additional Notes:  Not to be confused with a ginger flavoured cider, the Ginger Gold by Clafeld is a single varietal that is semi-dry and a little bartlett-pear like.  Finishes drier with a bit of earthy elements, like the name of the apple implies, ginger-like.  Zippy, with some spice-like undertones. Light bodied overall. Very apple flesh focused and juicy. 

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Shiny – Apple Cider
More Sour – County – Waupoos Premium Cider
More Dry – The Old Third – Golden Russet
More Crisp – Mackintosh Ciderhouse – Five Acre Cider

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Front Road – The Spy

Cider Profile:

Name:   Front Road – The Spy
Sampled May 2020

Brand: Front Road Ciderworks – Blueberry Estate Hills
Type:
Apple – Crisp
Location of Brewing: St. Williams
ABV:
6%
Website Link:
blueberry-hill.ca
Ingredients:  
N/A
Gluten Free: Yes
Sugar Content:  N/A

Size(s) available: 500 mL (bottle)
Availability:
Blueberry Hill Estates Retail Store + Online Store
Flavour:
Apple
Colour:
Hazy straw yellow
Carbonation:
Small, very frequently streaming bubbles



Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium aroma. Slightly astringent and late season-esque apple juice.
Initial Taste: Light bite from carbonation. Musty and muddled apple with some astringency and fermentation notes
After Taste: Apple becomes cleaner and definable with time. The spy apple becomes much more noticeable in the aftertaste with some spice notes.  Standard aftertaste length. Some caramel notes
On ice: Slightly thinner with a bit less carbonation, minimal change.

Additional Notes: An interesting single varietal, The Spy – made solely with Spy Apples – is mostly a single flavour journey but does have more depth than some other Spy single varietal ciders we’ve tried.  It’s easy to drink but still holds some more tannic, muddled notes that the palate may have to adjust to.  It becomes cleaner as you consume.  A very middle-of-the-road cider, no flavour is dominating or goes too far in either direction. Looks hazy and kind of tastes like it too.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Heritage Estates – Dragon’s Gold
More Sour – Pommies – Farmhouse
More Dry – Windswept – Northern Spy
More Crisp – Thornbury – Original Cider

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Windswept – Crimson Crisp (2017)

Cider Profile:

Name: Windswept – Crimson Crisp (2017)
Sampled April 2018

Brand:  Windswept Orchard Cider
Type:
Apple – Dry
Location of Brewing:
Grey County, ON
ABV
: 7.4%
Website Link:
windsweptcider.com
Ingredients:
Apples, sulphites
Gluten Free:
Yes
Sugar Content: N/A

Size(s) available: 500mL (bottle)
Availability:
Retired, previous vintage
Flavour: Apple
Colour:
Bright but cloudy sunshine yellow
Carbonation
: Medium, frequent streaming bubbles. Very carbonated and fizzy.

 


Cider Crate Tasting Notes:

Smell: Medium sweet aroma – with some earthy notes of freshly pressed apples.
Initial Taste: Medium bite from fizzy carbonation (that has a tonic-water taste). The cider becomes quickly tart on the palate with hints of sweetness. An earthy astringency becomes present. Tannins present in taste and feel. Strong dry apple flavour.
After Taste: Long lasting aftertaste that becomes more tangy with time.  Finishes softer and sweeter with less carbonation and a more crisp, juicy apple taste. Overall quite dry.
On ice: Less sweet. More tonic water tasting in nature.

Additional Notes:  The Crimson Crisp has a unique tasting journey cider, which finishes like how it smells, but the first sip is tart and very carbonated.  Well balanced with a lot of elements, it’s a very fruit forward but does not stray from tasting like a single apple variety. Old world, partially “somerset-style” in nature as the unpasteurized, unfiltered naturally sparkling cider is far from commercially produced.

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

Next recommendations:
More Sweet – Heartwood Dry Maple Cider
More Sour – 401 Craft Apple Cider
More Dry – Tawse Sparkling Cider
More Crisp – Great Canadian Cider – Nice and Dry

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Links to Pairings
Links to Cocktails
Links to Comparisons