While I still rarely choose a beer over a cocktail, there is another fermented beverage that calls to me. Cider, my friends, is my fermented beverage of choice. For a cider fiend like myself there is a siren song above all others; uncharted ciders draw me to wherever they may be. My buddy Conrey sent me a message in December to rub in the fact that he was enjoying a delicious cider that I’d never heard of. Not wanting to be left out, I emailed Crispin Cider (the cider maker) to find out where I could procure the same tasty beverage. Sadly, Crispin isn’t available in Colorado yet (it’s coming this year!). But, they were kind enough to send me a sampler of their products to try. It was like Christmas! I’m going to break up the reviews to give me time to sample and write, so keep your eyes peeled if you too are a cider fiend.
Crispin’s primary line of ciders is their Classic Blue Line. The Blue Line is composed of three ciders each of which presents a different aroma and flavor profile. From their site, some background:
Crispin Super Premium Hard Apple Cider, designed to be enjoyed over ice. Inspired by the classical, refined flavor styles of continental European cider making, Crispin “Blue Line” ciders are clean on the palate, with a crisp, not sweet, taste profile. They are deliciously untraditional with a strong “apple bomb” bouquet, fresh appley mouth-feel and pure & clean lingering aftertaste. Our ciders are not styled as traditional “sweet beers”, they are not old-fashioned sweeter alternatives to beer, but sophisticated and crisp not sweet, dry and not “sticky” on the palate. And totally delicious over ice.
Now, there’s an interesting point before I dive into the reviews. The label on each of these three ciders suggests that it be enjoyed over ice. That was something I’d never seen suggested for cider, so I asked the Crispin folks why they suggest it for theirs.
To answer your question regarding pouring Crispin over ice, it’s something that’s done quite often in Europe and a lot of American’s haven’t caught on to it. I think it’s the preferred way and it tastes exceptional when enjoyed over ice (even in the frigid Minnesota Winter!).
– Paul Gillis, Marketing Manager for Crispin Cider Company
Sounds great to me! I’ll definitely be giving it a try. Especially once the weather warms up. On to the consumption!
Original – Crisp Over Ice [Blue]
Nice clean aroma of apples. This is the sweetest of the three Blue Line ciders, but still what I would consider a dry cider. I found the Original to be the fruitiest of the three ciders with a full apple flavor. The crisp moniker is definitely deserved. This cider is light, fruity and natural tasting. Crispin also offers this cider as a draught, so keep your eyes open next time you’re at your favorite watering hole.
Light – Bright Over Ice [Light Blue]
Ever heard of a light cider? Neither had I. But, don’t think light beer; this cider is nothing like that. Crispin’s light cider has a subtler aroma and the flavor isn’t as full as the Original, but it’s a great cider. The flavor is lightly sweet with bright apple flavors coming to the fore. And, get this, despite its full flavor and sweetness this cider only packs 110 calories. I’ll take one of these over a light beer any day.
Brut – Extra-Dry Over Ice [Dark Blue]
English Dry ciders have long been my favorites. There may be a new winner though. This cider is dry and clean with a super bright apple in the aroma. The driest of the three Blue Line ciders the Brut packs a huge apple flavor and body. The Brut is the least sweet of the three and very reminiscent of some of the European ciders I’ve tried. Fantastic cider.
These three literally can’t get to Colorado soon enough for me. Thankfully, I’m heading to Arizona at the beginning of March where I’ll be able to indulge my new-found need for Crispin Blue Line ciders.
† The product reviewed here was provided to me as a free sample. If you’re wondering what that means check out my sample policy.