One thing is for sure in these uncertain times: winter is here! In tandem with the shift in seasons and tastes, we’ve updated our cider guide with a new list of local flavours to cozy up with on dreary winter days and nights…
Once again, we’ve asked some of our favourite BC cideries to share some new and interesting sips. Since several of these ciders are limited to extremely small quantities we encourage you to treat this list as a treasure map to apple-y deliciousness.
Try This: ‘Blackberry Crisp‘ | “It’s your favourite dessert in a bottle! We fermented our apples with local blackberries and cinnamon and then matured the medium sweetness cider with toasted/roasted oats to truly create the flavour of this delicious dessert. Also try our Mulled cider this winter!” — Russell Moore, Founder and Head Cidermaker.
Try This: ‘Slow Burn‘ | “For these chilly months ahead we recommend Slow Burn – a bone dry cider with fresh pressed pumpkin juice and spicy ginger juice, blended with seasonal spices. Available all through the autumn and winter.” — Gabriel Jefferies, Founder & Cidermaker
Try This: ‘Fortuna‘ | “My favourite cider from our 2019 Vintage has to be Fortuna. It’s intriguingly herbal and blue….. Hah! That is to say it smells like juniper and dried blueberries. Pair it with duck rillette and hard sharp cheeses or, for something really fun and festive, put it over ice with one part Marrow’s white Vermouth and two parts cider.” — Alyssa Hubert, Cidermaker.
Try This: ‘Cranberry Orange‘ | “We’re particularly proud of our new release Cranberry Orange cider. It’s perfect for fall with tart cranberry notes and a warm orange zest finish.” — Rachel Bolongaro, Owner & Cidermaker.
Try This: ‘Cidermaker’s Select‘ | “As we move into the fall and winter season, I am drawn to our Cidermaker’s Select. By wild fermenting this cider in bourbon barrels the bright acidity of our apples is rounded out by the smokey caramel notes of the cask. This is the cider that I want on a cozy night in, paired with a delicious spread of local cheeses.” — Kate Garthwaite, Owner/Cidermaker.
Try This: ‘Keeved‘ | “A naturally sweeter cider with full apple flavour and smooth acidity. Made through a traditional French process of denutrification resulting in an incomplete fermentation, leaving some residual sugar. Made with 100% organic apples. It’s a great cider year-round. Food Pairing: Roast pork, wild mushroom crêpes, pheasant terrine.” — Brad Klammer & Mike Petkau, Owners.
Try This: ‘ORCHARD‘ English-style Dry Cider | “We love Orchard because it’s dry and complex, and makes a wonderful aperitif and wassail! December is the perfect time of year to drink a glass of Orchard and make a toast to the apple orchard’s spirit as historically it’s when folks used to go wassailing – a drinking ritual that honoured the spirit of the apple trees and ensured a bountiful harvest the next year.” — Christine Moulson, Brand – Storyteller.
Try This: ‘Porter’s Dry‘ | “Made with only cider-specific varieties from our orchards (with a special focus on Porter’s Perfection), this cider is one of our favourites as it has a deep, complex tannic flavour profile that we love in a traditional dry. Porter’s Dry pairs well with a rich holiday meal of turkey or roast duck, as the natural acidity in the cider works wonders to cleanse your palate between mouthfuls.” — Lauren Wilson, Co-Owner & Cidermaker.
Try This: ‘Cherry Cascara‘ | “This cider was cold soaked for 14 days with Cascara: the red fruit around the coffee bean. Notes of fruit leather and Negroni. Finished with a splash of fresh black cherry juice. Curiously complex. Surprisingly refreshing.” — Clinton McDougall, Cidermaker; & Patrick Connelly, Co-Founder.
Try This: ‘Vintage Cider‘ | “This is my favourite cider that we produce. This lightly carbonated, dry cider has been double fermented, then aged in bourbon barrels. Subtle notes of caramel and vanilla give it a boozy caramel apple taste. It pairs perfectly with fish, cheese, or even a creme brulee.” —Kelsi Paul, Cider Maker & Tasting Room Manager
Try this: ‘Sweater Weather‘ | “The 2020 vintage of this cider was fermented with local BC honey and red currants, and barrel-aged in Woodinville rye barrels to round up its spice and peppery notes. An ideal pairing for the holiday dinner ahead. Pair with turkey, honey baked ham, roasted vegetables and my favourite: Christmas cookies! This is the perfect cider to get you through the chilly holiday season.” — Nathaly Nairn, Co-Founder.
Try This: ‘Apple Pie‘ | “Our Apple Pie cider is made from a refreshing blend of heritage cider apples that are fermented slowly then infused with cinnamon and a touch of brown sugar. It’s the perfect winter sipper that has all the flavours of your favourite apple pie. It pairs well with charcuterie board mainstays like aged cheddar and prosciutto.” — Jason Child, General Manager
Try This: ‘Barrel Aged Muscat‘ | “We’ve just released our Barrel Aged Muscat cider so that’s what we’re drinking right now. Wild-fermented apples picked from historic apple orchards of SSI. Aged for over a year in French Oak barrels that previously held Muscat wine. Soft, musty grape and round tannins held together with firm apple acidity.” — Gerda Lattey, Co-Owner & Director.
Try This: ‘Wassail‘ | “This winter warmer is perfect just as is, or paired with your favourite seasonal dishes. The spices ensure it’s also ideal with strong cheeses, apple pie, apple crisp, pumpkin pie and Figgy Pudding.” — Mariah Simpson, Sales & Marketing Specialist.
Try This: ‘Late Season Keeve‘ Native yeast ferment, 5.6% ABV. | “Our Late Season Keeve is an ode to the rare, late-ripening heirloom apple varieties we harvest from old orchards around Pender Island, from Baldwins to Golden Russets. Using the traditional French method of keeving (multiple rackings over the cool winter months), we were able to retain a natural, residual sweetness, making this sweet, sharp, and funky in turns.” — Katie Selbee and Matthew Vasilev (Cidermakers)