Review of Dan Armor Cuvée Spéciale Cidre Brut, a budget-friendly imported French cider from Trader Joe’s.
Cider: Cuvée Spéciale Cidre Brut
Cidery: Dan Armor
Cidery Location: Brittany France
How Supplied: 750ml glass bottle
Availability: wide release at Trader Joe’s (since Dec 2014)
Cider Description: What Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale is to beer, Dan•Armor Cuvée Spéciale Cidre Brut is to hard cider. Hard cider has been around for centuries, and is currently enjoying a huge upswing in popularity. With all the options available, we found ourselves drawn to the cork-finished ciders made in the Brittany region of France, where a co-op of apple growers has been producing small-batch, hand-crafted cider since 1953. Their apples are grown in Brittany, and the cider definitely has a “local flavor” that makes it unlike any of the other ciders we offer. Dan•Armor is made with two ingredients – fresh-pressed apple juice and brewing yeast. The cider is bottle fermented (like sparkling wine), which allows the live yeast to develop into fine bubbles – small amounts of CO2 are added to create uniform bubbles throughout each batch. It’s dry and crisp (thus the Brut designation), with forward notes of apples, and strong, persistent bubbles. It’s incredibly drinkable and not at all sweet, a refreshing take on a centuries-old classic.
Where Bought: Trader Joe’s
Where Drank: home
How Found: browsing
First Impression: Lovely deep golden orange hue. Highly carbonated. Significant head upon pouring which quickly dissipated. Ripe cooked apple, vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar scent.
Opinion: Between semi-dry & semi-sweet, which was sweeter than I was expecting, but good. Effervescent mouthfeel. The ripe cooked apple, vanilla, caramel, & brown sugar notes continue to the flavor. Crisp & smooth, and very refreshing, Light-bodied. Very flavorful and a bit unique, but not bold. Slight earthiness, but no funk. I’m curious what apple varieties they use, but couldn’t find detailed information. Almost no detectable bitterness, acidity, or tartness. This cider was a crowd pleaser, and the other three tasters I had all agreed it was good. It quickly disappeared! Easy to drink, so its probably good it was only 5% ABV.
Most Similar to: Other French ciders, although this is a bit sweeter than typical I believe. French cider seems very similar to English cider.
Closing Notes: Very tasty! This is an awesome deal for $5 as well. I’ll be picking up more for sure.
Have you tried Dan Armor Cuvée Spéciale Cidre Brut? What did you think?