Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Farnum Hill Ciders

A little while back I was lucky enough to receive three samples from Farnum Hill. I put them in the fridge to chill, got busy and promptly forgot about them. This past weekend, looking for something to drink while watching the NBA finals, I found them, waiting, in the back of my fridge.

If I lived closer, I would love to go and visit their orchard. I have family that has an apple orchard, though they do not make cider. The list of apples is intriguing with many I have not heard of before including Hubbardston Nonesuch, Ribston Pippin, Tompkins King. On their site they mention that any fruit that they have, you are welcome to taste:

During October more and more rare heirloom apples, surprising in flavor, shape and color, come in for tasting and sale. In the farm-stand you’ll find a big free tasting array with some historical information on each variety. While waiting for time travel, try biting into fruits that distant forebears ate, in the Old World and the New. Take home apples enjoyed by Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and even Louis XIV!

Now onto the cider. First the disclaimer: I am not a cider expert. I have fond memories of sweet cider from my childhood. I far too frequently lament the lack of that cider on the West Coast. My introduction to alcoholic cider came later as a teenager spending a summer in Ireland. I could say that since that time I had tasted and studied ciders around the world, but I'd be lying. To be honest, they are something I have wanted to know more about but they've remained on that list of things to do when I had more time.

The three ciders I sampled were:

Extra Dry: The first I tried. Pale gold, bubbly and dry. I loved the fruit flavors on the nose and their balance with the acid. From their site: Richly aromatic, suggesting myriad fruits of the earth, and the earth itself, with a complex, palate-cleansing balance of fruit, astringency, and acid. Made, like Semi-Dry, from a range of late-harvest, difficult apple varieties. Alcohol content 7.5% by volume. The leftovers made for an fun variation on short ribs braised in beer.

Farnum Hill Semi-Dry Cider: This was my friend's favorite. Bubbly with a fragrant nose. From their site: Golden, gently bubbly, with a delicious array of tropic fruits, citrus, and mysterious aromatic notes in the nose and on the palate. Our Semi-Dry cider is much less sweet than semi-dry champagnes. We use that much-abused word “dry” in a literal-minded way, striving to balance the faintest sweetness against sharpness, astringency, and fruit (which is different from sweet). Alcohol content 7.4% by volume.

Farnum Hill ‘Farmhouse’:
Pale gold and bubbly, with some sweetness Their site says: "Citrus, pineapple, bittersweet apple, and a trace of the barn. Farmhouse astringency is nowhere near the extreme, but shows a certain tannic edge. Alcohol content 6.5% by volume.

These ciders are not always easy to find so check out the link on their website :
If you are able to visit they are at:
Poverty Lane Orchards & Farnum Hill Ciders
98 Poverty Lane
Lebanon, New Hampshire 03766
Office: (603) 448-1511

No comments:

Post a Comment