Kite & String Honeoye

Review of Kite & String’s Honeoye.  It is my first time trying this cider, although I’ve had their Baldwin.

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Cider:  Honeoye
Cidery:  Kite & String
Cidery Location:  Interlaken, New York
ABV:  6.3%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  American craft cider, semi-sweet to sweet (5.1% RS), sparkling, from Newtown Pippin, Baldwin, McIntosh, & Liberty apples

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Availability:  probably only in the Northeast, plus online sales

Cider Description:  A tribute to the sweetness of a fall apple harvest. Sharp and heirloom apples fermented to dryness, balanced with a sweet reserve of high Brix fresh juice, cold concentrated on the farm to 29 Brix through cryo-extraction.  Semi-sweet. Sparkling. Aromatics of fresh baked apple and summer honey. Boldly fruit forward yet balanced with bright acidity and a rich juicy finish.

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 and visit us in the tasting room any time of the year.

Price:  $16
Where Bought:  their website
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I heard they were doing free shipping for the holidays, and I’ve always read good things about their ciders, so it was an easy choice to place an order.  Plus, they have a nice wide selection for all tastes.  I also picked up their Baldwin and Royal Cider.

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow hue.  Smells mild and sweet.  Low carbonation.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low to moderate tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of honey, sweet apple, and tropical fruit.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate apple flavor.  Moderate to high overall flavor intensity.  Low to moderate complexity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it – very honey-forward for not having honey added (which would be a cyser).  However, it was right on the edge of being too sweet for my liking.  For many it might be better as a dessert cider and/or something to share, but I drank it all myself.  Its a fairly simple cider as far as heritage ciders go, and with its qualities and sweetness, it would make a great introductory cider for folks new to heritage cider.

Most Similar to:  cyser, although most of those are much higher ABV, so I’d say Bertilinos and Austin Eastciders Texas Honey

Closing Notes:  I like seeing sweeter heritage cider options, as I prefer semi-dry to semi-sweet, and the majority seem to be dry.

Have you tried Kite & String Honeoye?  What did you think?

Kite & String Baldwin Cider

Review of Finger Lakes Cider House’s Kite & String (formerly Good Life Cider) Baldwin.  This is my first time trying anything from this cidery.

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Cider:  Baldwin
Cidery:  Kite & String
Cidery Location:  Interlaken, New York
ABV:  11.0%
How Supplied:  750ml corked & caged bottles
Style:  American craft heritage cider from Baldwin & Wickson crabapples, semi-dry, traditional method (methode champenoise)

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Availability:  likely only in the Northeast, plus online sales

Cider Description:  Made from Baldwin apples, with a modest addition of Wickson Crab, this blend highlights the bright tropical notes and intense acidity of these varieties. The high alcohol and robust flavor come from the cryoextraction process (similar to Ice Cider) used to concentrate this juice to 20 brix prior to fermentation. It is then fermented slowly to retain maximum esters and polyphenols, and aged for only a short time to best showcase its fresh and bright, fruit-forward nature.

Semi Dry, Traditional Method.  Pineapple, lime, and Riesling on the nose. Bursting with bright, tropical fruitiness and slight perceptive sweetness on the front palate, moving to thirst quenching mid palate and bracing acidity with a dry, weighty finish.

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 and visit us in the tasting room any time of the year.

Price:  $18
Where Bought:  online
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I heard they were doing free shipping for the holidays, and I’ve always read good things about their ciders, so it was an easy choice to place an order.  Plus, they have a nice wide selection for all tastes (although it looks like they sold out of this variety since I purchased it).  I also picked up their Honeoye and Royal Cider.

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Moderate to high carbonation.  Smells of sharp apples and citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Dry to semi-dry.  Light bodied.  High tartness and acidity.  Low tannins and bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of sharp apple, lemon, grapefruit, mineral, and hints of floral.  Long tart warming finish.  Low apple flavor.  Low to moderate flavor intensity and sessionability.  Moderate complexity.

My Opinion:  I wasn’t super into this cider.  I thought the acidity, carbonation, and ABV overpowered the fruitiness, and it was mouth-puckering tart for my tastes.  Actually it tasted more like champagne than cider.  However, my husband loved it.  If you are into drier, super tart, highly carbonated champagne-alternative ciders, I’d recommend it.  I tried this at multiple temperatures and seemed to like it closer to room temperature to tone down the tartness some.

Most Similar to:  Finnriver Artisan Sparkling Brut cider

Closing Notes:  Despite being too tart for my liking, this was a great New Year’s Eve selection, as it is bubbly, and with a higher ABV, one bottle lasted all night.  I bet any leftovers would make good mimosas too, although we didn’t have any left…

Have you tried Kite & String cider?  What did you think?