Fun fact: honeycrisp is a (reallyreallygood) type of apple. There are no honeycrisps in this cider* – apparently honeycrisp does not make for good cidering. I trust these guys to know, because they haven’t disappointed me yet.
Name: Honey Crisp
Origin: Crispin Cider
I drank this: poured into this kickass “I’m going to go plop on a back porch” glass:
In my “bad photo of the day,” you can see how cloudy the cider is – it’s absolutely opaque. At the same time, it’s not quite this orange – it’s actually roughly the color of fresh-squeezed lime juice. The label, on the other hand, is rather *more* orange than this, but the only reason you need to know that is so you can find some.
Onto the cider itself, shall we?
First off is the scent. It’s powerful. Like, I poured some into the glass, capped the bottle, stuck it in the fridge, and realized, something like four-five feet away, that I could smell apples. Not fake apples, either, but big, juicy, freshly-cut red apples. Unlike the other Crispins I’ve tried, this cider didn’t have a pronounced yeast scent at all – it’s all super-fresh apple apple.**
Tasting it, the apple is full-on and central, but slightly tarter than the scent – like, where the scent screams “red apple” at me, the flavor is a bit more “green apple.” Not Jolly Rancher Green Apple Candy-type green apple, but it’s a bit closer to green than red. That said, it’s not actually a tart cider – like maybe something in the off-dry to semi-sweet range more than something in the sugarbomb range of sweetness. There’s also a slight (really, really slight) hint of yeast flavor in it, but only the slightest touch – just enough that it adds a sort of spicy (clove, maybe) complexity to everything.
And it bubbles.
I like bubbles.
The thing with the bubbles is that I think they’re what skews my perception of the cider as being a bit tarter in taste than in scent, but I don’t think I could explain exactly why if I tried. The other thing with the bubbles is that they help give it this really clean mouthfeel (wine snobs, think Extra Dry sparkling wine mouthfeel, rather than Brut or Semi-Seco). So clean, actually, that the word “crisp” actually appeared in my notes, and I had to laugh at myself for using both “honey” and “crisp” in my tasting notes. This cider was aptly named.
To sum up, this was fantastic. I’m unsurprised, because pretty much everything I’ve had from them has been intriguing and different and really, really good. At this point, I think Crispin could brew cider, throw in brussels sprouts and golden beets and goat cheese, and still make it taste lovely and refined.+ Go try some so you can be as happy as I am.
*or apple wine, as they style it. This is normally where I’d snark a bit about “apple wine” sounding pretentious when cider is a perfectly good word, but I can’t do it with Crispin. They can call this anything they want as long as they keep making it, and frankly, I’d be happy calling it wine as well. I’d rather have this than quite a few of the wines I’ve tried.
**You guys, my allergy medicine is ACTUALLY WORKING, so I could tell! Seriously, my nose had been off for days. Stupid flowering trees.
+Thinking about it, roasting brussels sprouts and beets, drizzling them with a balsamic reduction and then tossing some goat cheese on top would make a potentially really good food pairing for this cider.