Categories
Cider

Along Came a Cider: Cider Review: Bent Ladder Cider’s Original

Yesterday I saw my first outdoor blooms of the season. What season, one might reasonably ask? It’s still Winter here, but I saw snowdrops. Yesterday the sun was powerful enough to melt feet of ice and tempt many people outdoors. I’m grateful for that little preview of Spring. Today, it’s a gray world of rain and mist, but I remember the look of a blue sky. Today’s cider is one that reminds me of Summer. A friend of mine sought out a selection of Bent Ladder Cider for me, and that makes me value it all the more. Bent Laddery Ciders and Wines come to us from Doylestown, Ohio. The company was founded in 2015. Here’s how the website describes the process,

Each cider is made from a selection of our estate-grown apples which we crush, ferment, age and keg in-house. Even if you have never tried a hard cider before, our wide selection ensures that you will be able to find something that you love.

I recommend learning about Bent Ladder Ciders and Wines on the company’s homepage here: https://bentladder.com/ As this is the cidery’s first appearance on the blog, I wanted to start with The Original. Here’s how the Original is described.

A blend of apples including Northern Spy, Jonathan and Winesap. Aromas of green apple and ripe pear. Fruit forward flavors of ripe apple, blossoms and nectar. Well balanced and easy drinking with a clean mellow finish.

Medium Sweet

6.5% ABV

Appearance: brilliant, lots of bubbles, medium intensity warm straw

This cider has a classic look with medium intensity warm straw color. I see many bubbles in the glass. As the image reveals, Bent Ladder’s Original is brilliant in terms of clarity. Aromas: baked apple muffins, spices, bready, ripe apple The Original reminds me of a brunchy weekend breakfast in the best of all possible ways. It smells like a fresh apple danish with notes of baking spice, clean yeastiness, powdered sugar, and ripe apples. There’s also just a hint sweet orange in the mix. I am so very reminded of baked goods! The aroma is clean and enticing. Sweetness/Dryness: Semi-sweet This cider strikes me exactly as the cidery it describes, semi-sweet. The sweetness in The Original is beautifully integrated in the whole experience, and it’s a super approachable level of sweetness in a cider. Flavors and drinking experience: bubbly, medium acid, honey, ripe apple So much of what I noticed in the aroma comes through in this cider’s flavors as well. It does remind me of a sweet apple-y dessert. The Original brings lots of bubbles to my glass, and I’m grateful. It has medium acidity, a beautifully honeyed flavor, and a generous share of fresh apple. The whole experience tastes jammy to me. Its a sunny, summertime cider in my book. I enjoyed this with a hearty veggie soup and homemade bread, but I’d love to see this with a quiche and muffins.



Categories
Cider

Original Sin Hard Cider: Successfully Misbehaving for the Past 25 Years

By Ana Soltero | Reporting by CiderScene

“Have you sinned today?” If you’ve had a sip of Original Sin hard cider in the past 25 years, you very well may have.

This year, New York’s Original Sin cidery celebrates their 25-year anniversary since their establishment in 1996. While founder Gidon Coll calls the past quarter-century an amazing journey, there’s no doubt the voyage started off a little rocky.

“Back then, what perception there was of cider was often negative,” Coll said. “Finding a distributor willing to carry a cider from a small new producer was a major challenge.”

Before jumping into the recent history of Original Sin, let’s discuss a little bit of the old days of cider.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, hard cider held a higher social status than beer in America — up until the mid-1850s, that is. Somewhere along the way (we’re looking at you, Prohibition), the drink’s following dropped.

During the 20th century, interest and knowledge surrounding the cider scene was in the pits. Its watershed moment didn’t come until 2011, when the United States National Cider Association came along and after the first CiderCon meeting — which Coll attended.

“That meeting consisted of 40 or so individuals, from a variety of backgrounds who came together with a singular mission to grow our industry,” Coll said. “From that moment on, the US cider industry has had a sense of structure and community.”

Stop the tape and rewind. As aforementioned, Original Sin was established in 1996. Coll recalls that the first few years of Original Sin were tough. He hauled cases of cider onto New York City subways and to Manhattan and Brooklyn establishments.

However, Coll said he still held a sense of optimism regarding the future of Original Sin for two reasons:

“One, people who had never tried hard cider before generally liked it and many were surprised and intrigued to hear about the rich traditions of the drink,” Coll said. “And two, OS has always had an amazingly loyal following.”

Soon, Coll experienced a feeling of euphoria when the first set of East Village bars agreed to stock his cider, and shortly after, when he first witnessed customers ordering Original Sin by name.

Twenty-five years later, Original Sin has received salutes from the likes of Market Watch, The New York Times, New York Post and Paper Magazine.

So, what can other sideries that want to reach a 25-year milestone do? When it comes to developing a following for your cider, Coll said he’d recommend engaging with end-consumers as much as possible.

“Direct contact with cider drinkers will enable you to communicate the attributes of your product offerings and give you invaluable first-hand market feedback,” Coll said.

According to the cidery’s about pageduring Original Sin’s early days, Coll “collected feedback from everyone he knew, adjusting and tinkering with his cider until it was clean, crisp and practically perfect.”

This sort of communication between cidermaker and cider drinkers has allowed the cidery to continue to produce a variety of hard ciders, from fruity picks to straight-up apple and drier cider offerings.

The people Coll has met along the way (and the cider, of course) have helped Original Sin along its journey.

“It is hard to put in words the level of gratitude I feel to all the consumers, bartenders, and bar and restaurant owners and managers who have gone out of their way to support OS through the years,” Coll said. “We have also been incredibly fortunate to have an amazing supportive network of distributor partners.”