Phonograph Cider Cider Greening (7.5% alcohol by volume) is a sparkling cider. Half of the apples come from the Greening Orchard which was planted with Rhode Island Greening Apples 80 years ago and when out of production 15 years ago. When last managed commercially is was certified organic. The rest of the apples come from a farmstead orchard about 15 miles away. They raise the intensity and alcohol of the cider by freezing and concentrating some of the juice and adding it to the must. They let the fermentation get to almost the desired alcohol level and then stop it, filter the cider and put it in a tank - like is done with Prosecco - and carbonate the cider. The stop the secondary fermentation by cold crashing the cider then filter it and package it.
The cider has a medium low apple smell with some alcohol in the background. The fermentation smells clean. It pours brilliant straw with a hint of green tint and good reflectance. A few streams of bubbles leisurely working their way to the top. It starts semi-sweet, with moderate carbonation that tastes and feels natural and not produced by artificial means. The apple flavors are rich and layered, tasting like more than one variety and it has a trace of smoky bacon in the background. As you drink the tartness of the apples come forward gradually accompanied by bitter tannins that shift the cider from semi-sweet to semi-dry. the tannins provide a light astringent touch. The apple flavors linger long and pleasantly. The carbonation is medium and the the alcohol produces very mild warming. This is a classy and very flavorful cider with all of the parts working well together. It has just the right amount of carbonation and just the right amount of funk. This cider pairs well with anything pork, spicy foor or cheese. I rate it 83.
I am eating O'Scanny Oysters with the Phonograph Cider and the cider's apple flavors work very well with the oyster's salt and the cider's traces of smoke and bacon tie in well with the oysters meaty, mushroom and brie flavors. Read the full review here.