Friday, August 24, 2012

Don't be an out-cider part 2: Anthem Pear and Cherry

After my experiences with Finnegan and 2 Towns' ciders I decided to continue my cider kick for a little while longer. I remember when I was younger and in college (PS - stay tuned for the Back 2 School Booze special edition we are planning here at West Toast!!!) cider was what people drank if they did not like beer. The ciders were fluffy and sweet with little in the name of complexity of flavor. In essence, they were alcoholic soda pops aimed at young people who just want to get boozy. It was not until I trekked to London for a study abroad program that I found some full-bodied ciders that could really blow your hair back. After returning to the states I returned to my favored beers (again, please keep a keen eye for our September articles!), and left cider behind.

Years later, when I moved to the lovely Pacific Northwest, I was treated to ciders that reminded me of the jolly old days in London. I also have experienced ciders that have taken steps even beyond that. Some still are sweet, but offer more than just sugar. Some are tart, but offer more than just the puckering of the lips. Some are dry, but offer more than just the tangy bite of apple. There is a cider out there for everyone (including some that still focus on the young and undiscerning demographic).

I tried Anthem Pear on tap at Les Caves a while back and found it to be light and lovely. So pale in color that I questioned it even had a hue, this cider had a nose that floated on the air gently and almost begged you to dip your nose right into the liquid. The flavor was equally delicate, almost floral, with soft pear flavor and a hint of sweetness. I do not think I would drink this with food - the flavors might get lost. I would also avoid drinking it ice cold. Let it be just cool enough to sooth you in the summer heat, and drink it in the evening light on the porch after a long day. If you like things to be interesting but are not looking for flavors that will knock your taste buds off, this is the cider for you.

After my experience with the Pear, I decided I would give Anthem Cherry a try while brewing up a batch of red oaked ale. I found the color of this tart cider to be pleasantly reddish-orange with a light carbonation and fruity nose. The flavor was undeniably cherry with a chamagne-y finish. I also found this to be a very earthy cider. I enjoyed drinking it alone, but would be happy to sip it along with some raw milk cheese or dark chocolate. It would be great alongside of a dessert - just be ready to pucker up when you sip!


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