Style: Bourbon barrel aged hard cider
ABV: 6.9%
Glassware: Bordeaux Wine Glass

Appearance: The cider sits in my glass, clear as can be. It’s straw yellow in color with a slight greenish tint.

Aroma: Sweet floral notes like elderflower hit me initially before subtle scents of apple and pear appear. The barrel aging gives it a very basic hint at sweet wood notes but it is so subtle that it is almost undetectable.

Flavor: The flavors are quite muted and the finish has the astringency of a dry apple. The apple character itself is again very subtle like it was in the nose. Pear and sweet wood also comes through but again it just hints at it.

Mouthfeel: Acidic throughout and with a thin mouthfeel.

Finish: Again, that slight astringency in the finish but it has relatively well balanced dry and acidic characters throughout.

Currently Enjoying With: I am not currently eating with my beverage here, but a few things come to mind. This would serve as an ‘aperitif’ or a before dinner drink. I’m actually thinking brunch for this one. If serving with food, I immediately think of a fresh romaine lettuce salad that has raw chopped red bell peppers, sugar snap peas, radish and a light vinaigrette. The crispness of the salad and all the raw veggies would break up the acidity in the cider, while this same cider acidity would also brighten the flavors of the vegetables. I would also stick to pairing this cider with easy fruits like melon, or perhaps star fruit. I’m hoping that these kinds of foods will coax the flavors from barrel aging out of the cider.

Overall Impression: I personally would prefer more notes of the barrel to come through. I have had Sietsma’s Lemongrass cider and it was a real delight! The flavors in the Lemongrass version are bold and balanced. Adding it to cocktails is going to be incredible! This barrel aged version though was a bit too muted for my personal preference and I wonder if different barrel usage or more aging time would be to their benefit. I look forward to trying this again in the future after some tweaks.