Review of Kite & String’s Royal Cider, ice cider fortified with apple brandy then oak barrel aged. It is my first time trying this, but I have had their Baldwin and Honeoye.
Cider: Royal Cider
Cidery: Kite & String (Finger Lakes Cider House)
Cidery Location: Interlaken NY
How Supplied: 375ml bottles
Style: American craft barrel-aged brandy-fortified ice cider
Availability: limited, probably only in the Northeast, plus online sales
Cider Description: Fortified desert cider. A cold concentrated ice cider partially fermented then blended with a young apple brandy. Aged briefly in American oak. Deeply textured layers of caramel and vanilla balanced with refreshing acidity. Unfiltered and unfined.
Cidermaker’s Notes: Following a passion for port wines, Royal Cider was born. Beginning with a a high acid blend of heirloom apples cold concentrated in the winter of 2015 to 40+ brix. Fermented to 13% ABV then fermentation was arrested via fortification with apple brandy to 18% ABV. Then barrel aged to soften the edges and allow the brandy to settle in. Naturally clarifying, requiring no filtration.
Apple Varieties: Newtown Pippin, Northern Spy, Honeycrisp, & Baldwin
Cidery Description: ‘Kite’ means light, playful, balanced, fun. ‘String’ means grounded to a place, our small farm. Kite & String Ciders are produced at Finger Lakes Cider House on our organic and diversified farm in Interlaken, New York. Please come visit us in the tasting room any time of year.
Where Bought: their website
Where Drank: home
How Found: online discussion
First Impression: Medium caramel amber hue. No carbonation. Smells sweet, high ABV, and of caramel & spice.
Tasting Notes: Sweet. Medium bodied. Moderate tartness and acidity. Hints of bitterness and tannins. No sourness or funk. Notes of rich baked apple, caramel, vanilla, and spice. Long warm finish. High apple flavor, overall flavor intensity, and complexity. Low sessionability.
My Opinion: I liked it. More ice cider than Pommeau.
Most Similar to: ice cider + a bit of Pommeau
Closing Notes: I think Eden ice ciders are still my favorite so far. My favorites from Eden are are The Falstaff and Brandy Barrel Aged Heirloom.
Have you tried Kite & String Royal Cider? What did you think?