In the land of hard cider, there is a population that's often overly sweet and even artificial tasting. Crispin Hard Apple Ciders are in a different category altogether. So if you've shunned hard cider in the past, we think their Artisanal Reserve line is reason enough to get back in the game.
Crispin ciders are fermented with yeast and are much drier and more complex than any other hard cider we've tried. They're naturally fermented in the U.S. using fresh-pressed apple juice (many other companies use apple juice concentrate), and they don't add any malt, grape wine or processed sugars so you're really getting the apple here: plain and simple. While they have 7 different varieties, we've fallen hard for their line of unfiltered Artisanal Reserves: Honey Crisp, The Saint and Lansdowne.
•Honey Crisp: Honey Crisp is the lightest, most subtle cider in the Artisanal line-up. It's sweetened with pure organic honey and made with 3 to 5 different apples. Very drinkable.
• The Saint: Fermented with Belgian Trappist beer yeasts and brewed with maple, this cider has a really nice yeasty, herbal complexity. It's also quite light and very drinkable. We think The Saint pairs really with food as it's not too light but also not as full bodied as their stout version.
• The Landsdowne: Crispin describes this cider as "full bodied, confident & imposing." We think that's fair. If you like stout beers, you've got to try this one. It's fermented from a premium blend of fresh pressed apple juice and Irish stout ale yeast, so there's a slight hint of butterscotch that balances out the subtle fruitiness. This one is a favorite, for sure.
What are your favorite hard ciders this season?
Related: Do You Ever Drink Hard Cider?
(Image: Megan Gordon)