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Review – Crispin Artisanal Reserves

Posted by Reese on 2011-04-17 @ 07:10am

I recently consumed my last three bottles of Crispin cider, the Artisanal Reserves, and I’m truly sad to see them all gone.  I really enjoyed their vibrant, flavorful Blue Line and the Artisanal Reserves add an interesting mix of depth and complexity.

Crispin Artisanal Reserves™ are “Cloudy” hard apple ciders. A completely unique, New World interpretation of hard apple cider. Inspired by the “no boundaries, no rules, let’s give it a go” universe of the superb craftsmen that make up the craft beer fraternity of the USA. The ciders offer unusual taste complexity and authentic cidery aromas, without sacrificing refreshment enjoyment.

The Artisanal Reserves use racked unfiltered apple wine, fermented from fresh pressed apple juice, never from concentrate, and smoothed with novel organic natural sugars, such as honey or maple syrup. The unfiltered nature of the apple wine leaves a rich apple sediment in the bottom of every bottle, a true treat in a hurried world, every bottle should have a “Bottoms-Up!” tilt and swirl before opening to ensure even dispersion of the sediment and a fair sharing of the complex flavors. Good to the last drop.

Lansdowne - “Extra Stout Bodied. A full bodied, confident & imposing cider.”

Sporting a cloudy, leather brown color this is a cider like no other I’ve seen.  Lansdowne has a very complex flavor that lies somewhere between a traditional dry cider and an Irish stout, no doubt from the Irish stout yeast used in the fermentation.  Add to that the complex funk of added molasses and you have a cider that really changes your view of what cider is meant to be.  This isn’t my favorite cider, but if you’re a fan of stout and cider (Poor Man’s Black Velvet), then this is definitely one to try.

The Saint“Prepare to be converted. The Saint is a uniquely debonair & elegant cider, a cider to convert skeptics.”

Amber in color and cloudy, this cider looks more traditional than the Lansdowne.  And as I taste it I can definitely see why they consider this a cider to convert the skeptics.  The flavor is very smooth and mellow with hints of the added maple syrup coming through.  That light maple flavor blends very well with the apple flavors making for a crisp, bright cider.  Excellent cider.

Honey Crisp - “Crispin Honey Crisp Artisanal Reserve is a small batch, hand crafted, super-premium hard apple cider smoothed with real organic honey for a rich, creamy, full-bodied crisp taste. Smooth over ice.”

I saved this bottle for last and, holy crap, was it worth the wait.  This cider has a more traditional look, light amber and slightly cloudy.  The flavor, though, is where this one shines.  It’s smooth with a very bright apple flavor.  The honey is subtle and compliments the sweetness of the apples.  I would keep this on hand for myself as a special occasion cider.  Something I break out when I’m wanting a cider that’s more nuanced and complex.  Definitely my favorite.

Now I really can’t wait for Crispin Ciders to come to Colorado some time this year.  Going to be a delicious day to say the least.


† The product reviewed here was provided to me as a free sample. If you’re wondering what that means check out my sample policy.