Review of Eden Cellar Series #16, Benjamin, a Petillant Naturel cider made from 2019 harvest apples from Eden’s own biodynamic orchard, and named after their orchardist Benjamin Applegate. ‘Pet Nat’ is also known as Méthode Ancestrale, and is a way to make naturally sparkling cider (see here for more info on this style). It is my first time trying this cider, but I’ve had most of their line-up (see here).
<This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Eden. Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received this for free. The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review que, considering it is a new release and the info may be helpful for folks deciding to purchase it. I love free stuff, especially cider! Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here? Contact me.>
Cidery: Eden Specialty Ciders
Cidery Location: Newport VT
How Supplied: 750ml bottles
Style: American craft orchard-based heritage Petillant Naturel cider from heirloom & cider apples, zero residual sugar
Availability: in limited markets and through their website
Cider Description: PROFILE: Bubbly, tart, juicy
APPLE VARIETIES: Northern Spy, Golden Russet, Grimes Golden, Esopus Spitzenberg, Michelin, Ashmead’s Kernel, Baldwin, Rhode Island Greening, Egremont Russet, Stembridge Cluster, Blue Pearmain, Binet Rouge, Orleans Reinette, Calville Blanc, Rubinette
METHOD: Spontaneous fermentation, bottled in process before finishing. Not disgorged, contains residual lees
TASTING NOTES: tangerine, white roses and granite
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: oysters, charcuterie, farro bowl
For more info, see here and here.
Cidery Description: Our specialty ciders reflect the cold winter climate and apple heritage of Northern New England. We make ciders that are unique and innovative, but that also respect the rare and expensive apples we use, and refrain from aggressive manipulation and industrial beer and wine processing techniques.
Where Bought: n/a
Where Drank: home
How Found: it showed up
First Impression: Hazy light pumpkin hue. Moderate carbonation. Smells of mild apple with hints of must and funk.
Tasting Notes: Dry. Light bodied. High tartness and acidity. Low tannins. Hints of bitterness and funk. No sourness. Notes of sharp but juicy heirloom apple and lemon with hints of floral and earth/straw. Moderate length tart finish. Moderate apple flavor, sessionability, and flavor intensity. High complexity.
My Opinion: I liked it, once I got past the first mouth-puckering tart sip. Super apple forward and juicy although without any sweetness.
Most Similar to: Eden Deep Cut, except with more complexity, more tartness, and a hint of funk
Closing Notes: Although this was nice to try, both my husband and I preferred Eden Deep Cut due to the lower tartness.
Have you tried Eden Benjamin? What did you think?
One thought on “Eden Benjamin”
Upon trying this, I was transported to autumn in my native New England, where I’ve not lived for 40 years. The flavors of Benjamin brought back getting a jug of fresh cider — before it was all pasteurized — and leaving it on the counter to ferment. The result was similar to Benjamin, including the feral tartness. Since the cider came from roadside stands of small makers, it’s possible the apple complement had a lot in common, too.
Like you, I am glad to have tried Benjamin. Still, the style is too acetic for me to drink regularly. I am lucky to prefer the less expensive Deep Cut, just as you did, and for the same reason.
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