Semisweet Sparkling Cider
Urban Forage Semisweet Sparkling Cider (2015, 6.8% alcohol by volume) is a sparkling version of their dry cider. It has a mild spicy apple smell with light alcohol. It is brilliant effervescent gold creating a champagne-like head on the pour that leaves a thin ring of bubbles around the rim. The color is consistent from the center to the rim and the cider has good reflectance. The flavor is semi-sweet and very refreshing with traces of fresh apple and a light touch of funk. The sweetness, carbonation and acidity work well together and lead to traces of tannin on the finish. The body is medium with a slightly astringent note on the finish from the tannins but there is no bitterness. I am drinking this with a Pâté du Champagne and a wedge of the Deer Creek the Blue Jay, a quintuple crème blue cheese infused with juniper berry. The Pâté du Champagne pulls out some bacon flavors that the cider alone only hints at and makes the apple notes a little stronger. Both the cheese and the pâté help uncover traces of barnyard and mild smoky phenolics in the cider. The juniper and blue cheese tang bring out the cider's apple and they work very well together. The cider does some mild palate cleansing leaving a lovely, lingering lightly smoky, lightly tangy, apple, creamy, smoky, bacony aftertaste. This is a delightful, easy drinking cider that more closely resembles a British cider than an American one. It will pair nicely with a wide variety of cheeses and is good to have on hand whenever the urge for a substantial ploughman's lunch emerges or when an interesting cheese needs a companion.