Friday, November 25, 2016

A Review of Hard Ciders

Hello! I hope everyone in the U.S. had a very happy and peaceful Thanksgiving. Today I thought I'd share a selection of hard ciders that I've been sampling lately. Cider is a wonderful fall beverage, and great for those who don't like the taste of beer or have to avoid it due to gluten intolerance

The first one is called Samuel Smith's Organic Cider from England. This was my beverage choice yesterday, Thanksgiving day. It comes in such a large bottle that I was able to enjoy it before dinner and with dinner.

Described as a medium dry cider with light body, clean apple flavor and a gentle, apple blossom finish, this cider is good paired with food. It's quite a bit drier than my favorite cider (J.K.'s) but I liked it enough that I would buy it again.

The next one, J.K.'s Scrumpy Hard Cider, is my favorite. If you only try one cider, I'd suggest this one. Made in Michigan on a family farm since the 1850's, it has the perfect amount of sweetness for me -- not too much, but enough that it isn't dry. Unfiltered and organic, it's hearty (not clear) and very flavorful. It's a satisfying cider that goes well with spicy foods. Their website shows a special seasonal called Winterruption that I'd like to try. It's described as apple pie in a bottle with flavors of cinnamon, vanilla and maple. Yum! However, our local store only sells the Orchard Gate Gold. I've emailed the company to ask if their product can be purchased online or if there are any other stores in our area that sell it.

The next one, Zombie Killer, is also produced in Michigan. It has a unique name and a unique taste. It is a hard cider with honey and cherry added. The cherry stands out quite strongly. It's a tart cherry, though -- like the kind you bake with -- not a sweet cherry. I don't really taste the honey. The color is quite pretty, and clear. This is a nice cider, but not a favorite.

There are two more ciders in our refrigerator that I will review next time. One is a pumpkin cider by Crown Valley Brewing out of Missouri. The other is Henry Hotspur's Hard Pressed for Cider, which comes from the Pacific Northwest. 

I hope your Thanksgiving was lovely. Ours was. The weather was beautiful! We moved our spread of appetizers out onto the porch where we stayed until dinner was ready. It was even warm enough to open the windows. By the way, the square cheese on the right side of the board below is fantastic. It's Trader Joe's Fromage Pavé, a soft ripened cheese from France. Really yummy. The crackers in the middle of the round tray are Trader Joe's Pistachio Pomegranate Crisps that were a huge hit. I was sorry I couldn't try one (they're not gluten free). What yummy foods and beverages did you enjoy this Thanksgiving?


  1. Hard cider is our drink of choice here. I am pretty certain I live in your area so I am wondering where you purchase the ciders here. TJ's? Have you been up to Hard Rock brewery? We enjoyed a stop there back in June and had a flight of ciders to taste. Our favorite cider is actually the Aldi one. It used to be a seasonal item but now they carry it year around and they cannot keep it in stock so we grab a 6 pack whenever they have it when we are there.

    1. Hi Lana,
      I'd not heard of Hard Rock, so I Googled it and couldn't find it. Do you mean Bold Rock? I have not heard of that either and haven't seen it in any stores. I've bought cider at many places: the grocery store, Trader Joe's, our local wine shop ... I'm glad cider is gaining in popularity for us non-beer drinkers.

    2. I am cracking up because my husband is always correcting me on that one! Yes! Bold Rock! They have a cidery south of Asheville. You need to have the actual address to find it because it is out in the middle of nowhere. I think Ingles carries it and if they don't maybe it is not available in any of our local stores. We bought quite a bit at the cidery and have been enjoying that for some months. My favorite is the one in the dark brown bottle. That is helpful isn't it?


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