Here we are, a week away from SCAA#6 when I realize I never wrote up #5. Ooops!
For Santa Cruz Alcohol Appreciation chapter 5, we chose hard cider as the theme.
Here’s how it works: everybody brings a different kind of the specified alcohol, we make lots of food and then we do a blind taste test and take notes. To try to keep down on potential preconceived notions, one of us either covers all the bottles in numbered brown paper bags or we pour each one into an identical bottle labeled with a number. After all the ciders (or whichever item we are tasting) have been sampled, we reveal what each one was.
For hard cider, we ended up with a few specimens of an AA first: homemade booze.
Here’s what we had, along with some of my favorite “tasting notes” for each one. This round was interesting because we ended up with some ice ciders as well as regular hard ciders. Technically we probably shouldn’t have lumped them all together but we did. What was interesting to me is how almost everyone wrote down “Jolly Ranchers,” “green apple Jolly Ranchers” or “candy” for number 7. I don’t think we’ve seen that much consensus before.
1. Angry Orchard: sweet and delicious/hmmm apples/sweeeet/Martinelli’s!/light, boring/very sweet/tastes like juice
2. Ross-on-Wye: pickle juice/not sweet/aluminum/yeasty-smelling/yuck
3. Sam Smith: way blander/yeasty/slightly boring/acidic but tasty/very easy-drinking
4. Woodchuck: dirt/semi-dry/tastes like an Australian fruity wine/dangerously easy to drink
5. Blossom Nectar: meh/vinegarish/fruity/nice color/good smell/sour but i like it
6. Crispin- Browns Lane: my favorite so far/slightly more sour than previous cider/eh, not bad/i could drink this
7. Crispin – Honey Crisp: Jolly Rancher/ green apple jolly rancher/candy like/smells like candy/
8. Crispin – The Saint: Tasty!/sharp aftertaste/sweet!/tastes like calvados/booring
9. Shane’s homebrew: not so sure about this one/yick/vinegar/super bitter/sour/off?/bitter/hurts my mouth!
10. Shawn’s dad’s homebrew: Riesling/cloying/Martinelli’s/juicy but good
11. Andrea’s homebrew: went to the swill bucket/ beer?/sour and watery/I’d drink it if I had to, actually, no I wouldn’t/
12. Jason’s homebrew: like vodka/ vodka?/ drawing of a face puking/strong alcohol smell/oh gawd
13. Hornsby’s Crisp: cut grass bouquet/smells green/smells too sweet/tastes like kiddie toothpaste/quite good
14. Hornsby’s Draft: crisp/mellow/ Good!/not bad not bad
15. Eden ice: dessert wine/sweet and smooth/great aperitif
16. Neige: syrupy/complex/tart/a bit too boozy/nice interesting tart-sweet balance/my favorite/ yup, it’s a dessert wine