There’s that guy you know. Every circle of friends seems to have one. He makes money, and he lets everyone know. When he gets back from a skiing trip to Europe, he lets you know about that too. He uses a lot of product in his hair, gets mani-pedis, and dates a series of interchangeable, vacuous young girls that he usually picks up at the gym. His watch is aerodynamic and expensive looking. He doesn’t just sit–he lounges everywhere. You tolerate his ego because he can be entertaining, and sometimes he shows up with an expensive bottle of liquor.
In the world of cider, his name is Crispin. (For the record, we are talking about hard cider, not apple juice.) And Crispin has definitely tossed a great deal of cash at a marketing team to make their branding seem trendy, classy, and classic. That’s not to say it’s a shallow, soulless cider. But the flashy externals always put a question mark over the quality of the content.
I am not a dedicated beer drinker, so The Man patronizes my quirk of drinking cider instead. On a recent beer forage trip to Dorn’s, he carried home a bottle of Crispin’s Honey Crisp hard cider. This is one of the artisanal varieties they produce, and it’s flavored with organic honey. After a chill in the fridge, we popped the top off the 22 ounce bottle and poured the pearly cider.
It tasted of fresh apples, spring water, green grass, and honey. It was definitely crisp. It was absolutely made from apples. But it lacked that intrinsic cidery flavor of old, fermented apples that lingers in the back of your mouth. It was too clean and clear. Too young. And it took me a while to identify the lingering round notes of cardamom that haunted my mouth.
I would drink Crispin cider again. I would even like to try some of the other varieties they offer like the sake style or the Belgian Trappist inspired cider. And they’ve apparently got Fox Barrel Cider, a line made from pears. But when I want a good bottle of cider, I’ll still reach for Cidre Bouche.
Honey Crisp, 22 oz.