I’m not really a cider guy, but then again I haven’t had much cider so maybe I am a cider guy and don’t really know it? The cider I have tried so far has been Woodpecker Cider from Vermont (really lame website, so don’t bother) but I recently had the opportunity to sample a bunch of Crispin Ciders courtesy of their promotional people.
Again, ciders aren’t my first choice, (this is the first cider review on The Brew Club) but this one turned out to be a nice treat on a hot August evening here in New Jersey.
This review is of one of the Crispin ‘Blue Line’ ciders which include ‘Crispin Original’, ‘Crispin Lite’, and this one, ‘Crispin Brut’.
What’s the difference? Well, here’s what they say about it on their website – which isn’t much but it gives you an idea…
Elegant Original is crisp over ice
Invigorating Light with only 110 calories it’s bright over ice
Brisk & refined Brut is a European-Style Extra-Dry over ice
Wow. Hey, don’t kill yourself with the descriptions over there! LOL!
So, today I’m checking out the Crispin ‘Brut’ but I will say I’m really looking forward to checking out their cider brewed with a stout yeast and a maple cider made with a trappist ale yeast!
(I thought that Trappist yeast was locked up in a crypt, but I guess the cider people have secret agents getting those secret yeast strains!)
So anyway, (again from the website) they seem to like to call this Brut version of their cider the… ”champagne” of ciders; combining subtlety and sophistication; the epitome of unforced elegance. A crisp fresh apple bouquet with a brisk, refined finish that lingers on the palate.
As much as I hate that overflowery copy, I’d have to agree with its general points. While I can’t say it is or is not the ‘champagne of ciders’, I did find that this 5.5% ABV beverage to be crisp on the tongue and very fresh tasting. The champagne thing BTW, I think, refers to the ‘dryness’ of the drink. It has something to do with the amount of sugar that its brewed with – or something like that.
Disobeying the suggestion that this cider be served over ice, I gave it a pour and it certainly looked good. Nicely golden in color, clear with a decent amount of carbonation added to its refreshing visual appeal.
The aroma was also enjoyable and a welcome change to the Imperial Stouts I’ve oddly been downing this summer. Fresh apples and flowery with just a little sweetness. Oh, the bubbles tickled my nose! hee hee hee hee hee!
The apple flavors were there for sure, but I didn’t necessarily feel like I was drinking an alcohol-laden and carbonated glass of standard-fare apple juice. It was lighter than that, and the Brutness, or dryness I think lent nicely to the overall experience. It wasn’t sweet or sticky is the point I think I’m trying to make.
Overall, I liked the Crispin Cider in ‘Brut’ format. I don’t think I liked it enough to say I’d buy a six-pack of this or any hard cider in place of my favored beer or the moment, but as a free sample I found it did the trick.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the samples!
What about you? Is hard cider part of your rotation?