Hard Cider (as we call it here in the States) is on of the fastest growing segments of the ‘craft’ alcoholic beverage marketplace. Not only that but its also become quite the regular fermentable for John each fall. Living in New England that can only lead to one thing… New England Hard Cider.
New England Hard Cider is pressed apple juice fortified with sugars (sometimes honey), then usually aged with raisins, spices and sometimes oak. John has been developing his technique for making hard cider over the past couple years. The results are showing tremendous progress. (As evaluated by this admittedly non-commercial cider drinker.) Here is the cider tasting video:
This most recent batch improves on prior year versions by sourcing locally pressed apple juice without preservatives. Using some locally sourced honey (did you know John’s become quite the Mead maker too???) and raisins-induced secondary fermentation, this 2013 batch is outstanding.
The cider starts with a very pleasant acidity but yields to a bright apple finish. In the aftertaste, there is a lingering tartness that is refreshing and makes you want to drink more.
The body is light and may be under the 1.010 gravity reading that was taken at bottling because some ale yeast was added to eat the added priming sugar but also the residual sugars the English Ale yeast didn’t get to.
As a fan of John’s work, I really felt like this cider was a winner. I gave it my highest cider award, which is to say that I wanted to drink a lot of it and then make some bad decisions. The next step is to get it into the hands of some cider experts to see if it is truly a good cider or not. If John can send it to be a part of a national cider competition, he might be able to get better feedback than he has received in the past.
If you were hoping to follow along at home, here are some of the other posts related to the making of this cider.
First, this is the post of the cider making day back in October.
Check out this post if you want to know how to ferment the cider using raisins.