Hard cider with lemon and ginger added. 5.5% ABV
B. Nektar Meadery, Ferndale, MI
By Bill Lau
Posted May 9, 2015
Ah, B. Nekar, you crazy people, you! You got me on this one – when I spotted this on the shelf at Country Fresh Farm Market in Hartwell, OH (which, btw, is a pretty awesome place – I expected a basic, older, small-townish, nothing very special grocer, but was treated to more of a part Dorothy Lane Market/part Findlay Market experience with an outstanding beer & wine department – but I digress) I couldn’t not buy it. If you recognize the name, you know what I’m talking about.
In any case, it’s high time I reviewed a cider here anyway. Hard cider isn’t something I drink often, but I do enjoy them on occasion as a change of pace from beer, cocktails, or wine. (Aside – sweet cider is one of my all-time seasonal faves in the autumn, especially unpasteurized local farm cider, which is thankfully widely available in Ohio. I’ve even dabbled in fermenting some of this cider in the past, with acceptably decent results.) B. Nektar specializes in ciders, meads (which we will definitely get to at some point in this blog), and beer. And a quirky (or is that twisted?) sense of humor. Bless their fermented little hearts!
Appearance (3.5/5): Hazy, milky-looking pale straw hue. Foams like soda and dissipates immediately. Steady stream of large bubbles quickly rise to the surface.
Aroma (8/10): Tart, fruity aromas with apple (reminscent of both Winesap and crabapple), ginger, hint of lemon peel, and yeast. Crisp and appetizing.
Palate (4/5): Light bodied with very fine carbonation tingle washing across and tickling the tongue.
Taste (8.5/10): Tart and crisp apple character up front, quite refreshing, with ginger and subtle lemon mingling in seamlessly. The ginger brings a little bite with it on the back side. The lemon and ginger are nicely done with a deft hand towards integrating them and not letting them dominate. A slight earthy note (I’m guessing from the yeast) joins in late. Possesses a really nice, natural and artisanal character. Would make an excellent aperitif, or pair with olives and mild goat milk feta.
Overall (16/20): I like my ciders like I like my apples – tart and crisp. This is my kind of cider!