Haykin Family Cider’s Reserve Niedzwetzkyana

Last Friday, I looked out my office window to see bright golden afternoon sunshine, an and by the time I made it to the front door, a snow squall was blowing through. We’ve entered the shifting and sporadic path to Winter. We’re not there yet, but it’s on the horizon. Though we cannot hibernate properly, I’m looking forward to some human hibernation-imitating activities. One of my favorites is holing up at home with dear ones, dear pets, a good meal and a good cider. Preferably followed by a movie. This past Saturday, I got to do exactly that.

Woody chose Haykin Family Cider’s Reserve Niedzwetzkyana for us. The vivid red color and the unfamiliar name were intriguing, and everyone in my house has loads of respect for everything Haykin Family Cider puts out. It’s a Colorado based cidery and family business, making truly exciting ciders that win loads of awards.

2018 Method Ancestrale Ela Family Farms Cuvee:

Harrow Pear:

I recommend visiting the cidery website to learn more:

Today I’m sharing my notes on Haykin Family Cider’s Reserve Niedzwetzkyana. This cider is a single-varietal from Niedzwetzkyana apples with 8.1% ABV. HEre’s the official description

Niedzwetzkyana is an ancient apple – originating from Central Asia, near the birthplace of all apples. One of the earliest red-flesh apples to exist, both the flesh and core are a striking shade of crimson. This highly aromatic drink leads with fresh, bright acidity followed by tart cherries, cranberries, light baking spices, chalky minerality and a soft, tannic finish. 100% Niedzwetzkyana apples grown by CiderView Orchards. This cider is dry.

Appearance: pink mousse, deep ruby ​​color, visible bubbles

Wow! This cider looks a stunner! It pours with a tall pink mousse—lots of foam that dissipates. I’ve almost never seen such a thing. The Reserve Niedzwetzkyana is beautifully and completely deep ruby ​​red, like the inside of a ripe strawberry in color. I can see plenty of bubbles as well. I’m so glad that Haykin Family Cider uses clear glass for this bottle. This cider deserves to be seen!

Aromas: minerals, dried fruit, autumn leaves, baking spices

The Reserve Niedzwetzkyana smells minerally with strong presences of dried fruit, autumn leaves, tea, and spices.

Dryness/sweetness: Dry

This cider is bone dry. You could use this cider as an emblematic example of a fully dry cider.

Flavors and drinking experience: tannic, brightly high acid, floral, cherry, bold

I am in awe. This cider is bold and different and delicious. At first, the Reserve Niedzwetzkyana tastes deep and low: a pow of tannins hits immediately. Then I start to perceive acids—strong, bright acids. I can taste sour cherry notes, but nothing about the cider is sweet. The overall impression I get is intensity that holds together well. The cider tastes Floral but bold, like bark more than like petals. This breaks all expectations of a rosé cider; nothing is pastel or gentle here. The cider is red and assertive, turned up to 11 but all-natural and balanced by fiat. I adore how adventurous it tastes; this is an everything-forward cider. And it’s delicious.

The Reserve Niedzwetzkyana brings an angular mouthfeel, medium viscosity and a high level of sparkle to the drinking experience. This is a cider to savor with something strong an creamy like a soft cheese with some funk and good sturdy wheat crackers.

What a treat!


Snow Capped Cider Harrison Reserve

It was lovely to travel to Harrisburg and judge cider once again, but I will not be revealing any results from that competition for some time. Things must remain under wraps until the PA Farm Show in January. And in the meantime, some very exciting cider arrived for me.

I was so happy to get some very special releases from Snow Capped Cider. I’ve only ever had the chance to sample sips from GLINTCAP bottles. I did have the pleasure of sitting with Kari Williams during the awards ceremony and learning about the orchards and history of Snow Capped Cider. The cidery has grown out of the Williams Family Orchards for five generations in Colorado. Ty and Kari brought cider to the extensive farm operations in 2014. I love how the cidery is described in relation to its geography on the Snow Capped Cider website.

Williams Family orchards are located at the bottom of Grand Mesa in the beautiful Surface Creek Valley of Colorado’s Western Slope. At an elevation of 6130 feet, we are one of the highest elevation orchards in the world. The high elevation, warm days, and cool nights capture the crisp taste of Colorado, producing a clean, and balanced cider.

I am so curious about what the Harrison will be like. There’s a lot of cachet in single-varietal ciders and plenty of mystique about this particular storied apple. Plus this cider won the Best-In-Class gold at GLINTCAP in the Heritage Sweet category.

Here’s how Snow Capped Cider describes the Harrison on the bottle.

America’s most famous 18th century cider making apple was nearly lost to extinction and revived in 1976. This apple has earned its bragging rights from modern cider making to our past presidents. The straightforward flavors as a single varietal are presented with smooth juicy apple, slight sweetness, noteworthy orange peel, small hints of earthy spice and lingering touches of lemon ginger Medium body boasting soft tannin with a finish delivered on a light golden hue. We hope you will enjoy our interpretation of historic Harrison as much as we do! Made with 100% Harrison apples with special thanks to Cider View Orchard, WA. 6.5% ABV

Appearance: brilliant, bubbly, pale straw

This sider shines! When first poured, there’s a lively mousse, but it doesn’t stick around. The color is delicate and subtle: just a hint of pale barely golden straw. I love seeing all these bubbles.

Aromas: cherries, overripe apples, peaches, minerals

My anticipation for this cider was high, but when I got a scent from it that anticipation sky-rocketed! This cider was bubbling with notes of wam overripe apples, cherries, peaches, and minerals. At the same time it smells like toasted bread crumbs. I cannot wait to taste this.

Dryness/Sweetness: Semi-sweet

This is a beautiful semi-sweet cider. The sweetness is fully incorporated into the beverage and comes across as entirely natural.

Flavors and drinking experience: high acid, peaches, intense, clean, fruity

This semi-sweet cider is brimming over with natural fruity flavor. The Harrison’s high acid works with the cider’s sweetness to keep things tart and lively rather than thick or syrupy. The cider’s flavors are intense and concentrated and beautifully clean. As I sip the cider again, peaches and other stone fruits like apricot grow in the flavor landscape. I love how charming and sophisticated this cider is.

The cider has a full body, a low but present level gentle tannins, and enticing sparkle. The whole experience is beautifully balanced. I’m so happy to finally get to review a Snow Capped Cider, and the Harrison is certainly a winner.