Apple Cider Tasting - 2023
We went berry picking a few times this year - strawberries, red and black raspberries, blueberries, and had full intentions to apple pick. When the time came, it was a little chillier than I planned for and the half bushel was the smallest we could pick -- which we will do some time, but maybe next year! Instead, we bought a few varieties of apples based on their descriptive signs placed around the market -- if we use these ones up, I won't be surprised if we go back and try two more that intrigued us! We were excited to see that in addition to 40+ varieties of apples for sale, they also had several ciders that used different combinations of apples! We did an apple taste test and a cider taste test of all they had in stock. For our blind tasting, I liked that on the jugs, we couldn't tell them apart, besides the coloring. They had a key posted on the cooler that we snapped a picture of to compare our tasting notes! And, I guess cider tastings are becoming a family tradition. If you want to see what we tried last year, check out this post.
Johnston Fruit Farm had just added a new little pony the day we were there.
They had lots of pumpkins and gourds, but I couldn't get over how much these looked like perfectly shaped pears!
They have a few other animals like another pony, a donkey, and a few goats.
We purchased four different ciders and here they are, in the random order of our tasting according to the cap colors:
Blue - Crabapple cider
White - House blend of several varieties
Yellow - Exclusively Goldrush apples
Green - Antique apple blend
We began tasting them cold, and then after I mentioned I thought the green would taste really good warm, we decided to taste them all warm, too! Below are my tasting notes and preference of the cold tasting.
Cold (in order of favorite):
Blue - a tartness that builds, mild sweetness
Green - fruity, big flavor, thicker density, much less tart, not very sweet
White - pleasant but really mild overall
Yellow - smells and tastes like the skin/core of an apple, earthy in taste, not much sweetness or tartness
I am so surprised by how much the warmth changed the flavors of the ciders. Here are the results of the warm cider taste test. But also, just how different the ciders tasted in general.
Warm (in order of favorite):
White - sweet, classic tasting cider, I could keep drinking!
Green - tart, sweet, more complex
Blue - tartness builds as I sipped, good, but I like it cold better
Yellow - sweet at first, then goes dry really fast
Take a close look at the spectrum of cider colors!
As I mentioned, we picked up a few apples to try as well, which we did after the cider taste test. This is the order we tasted in, and also the order of my favorite (although they were all good) -- didn't plan how that worked!
Apples (in order of favorite):
Bramley - good body, tart, but not overly so
Spitzenberg - okay, a little more on the dry side to me, smells great!
Calville Blanc - soft but flavorful
Calville Blanc was my pick, Bramley was my husbands, and the third, Splitzenberg, we picked for my husband's parents as we thought from the description it would be their favorite! I look forward to trying the one cider they were out of and also a few more varieties of apples -- we were drawn to the antique apples in general, the ones that originated in the 1600-1700's. The two we want to try (after we finish these) is the oldest apple we saw there -- that was almost completely brown on the rind and a tiny lady apple that apparently used to be kept in pockets as a breath freshener!!!
Hope you enjoyed this cider and apple taste testing. Tell me your favorite apple variety and cider in the comments! As always, #GetSatiated.