Champagne tastes on a cider budget
A Review of the Saint by Crispin Cider Co.
Posted on 6/1/2011 by Doc Sally
My experience in writing cider reviews for BrewChief has led me to some delightful ciders, and some pretty unpleasant ciders. So as I progress forward in exploring ciders, I'm now firmly in uncharted territory, and I rarely know whether the next new bottle will bring delights or horrid old-yoga-mat disgust. Kind of exciting, really. But its always good to have a clue that the next cider I'm about to try will meet a certain quality standard. My thanks to for maliadore and Brew's yer Daddy for writing on Crispin ciders, as this is a family of ciders I have yet to try, but had my curiosity piqued by her reviews. I thought I'd try one that has not been reviewed here yet: The Saint, one of their artisanal reserves.

In keeping with the unfiltered apple wine used for making this cider, the pour discloses a flaxen turbid cider with *bubbles*! Lots of bubbles! Almost frothy, not enough to form a head, but very lively looking. Not a strong scent—mostly acidity and alcohol, with yeasty notes and just a whiff of apple.

The first sip keeps with the liveliness of the visual. Bubbles! One of the most effervescent ciders I've tried. The second impression is that I've just taken a sip of champagne—and not because of the bubbly nature. The tanginess up front is likely the hallmark of the Belgian Trappist beer yeast they used, but the effect is distinctly champagne-like, not beer-like. The mouthfeel is refreshing and not heavy, with a semi-dry level of sweetness; the sediment gives the mouthfeel a nice richness as well. While they have added a touch of maple syrup, the maple flavor was not aggressive; the sweetness was well balanced with the tanginess and just a hint of tannin. But it's the yeast that takes center stage in the flavor, developing just enough diversity in tone to keep it lively. The backend melts after a few seconds with a very clean aftertaste.

This cider *begs* to be consumed on a hot summer day—very refreshing, and dangerous in its quaffable quality (is quaffable a word?). I'm looking forward to doing more “research” on the Crispin Cider Co. offerings, as it seems they are routinely knocking it out of the ballpark.

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