May 20, 2021 is the kick-off for BC Cider Week and continues to May 30, 2021. BC Cider Week was founded in 2016. Did you know that there are over 30 local producers?
Cider is typically made from apples, but it can be made from other fruits as well, such as pears. I have four ciders from Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse that I’m tasting for you to celebrate BC Cider Week. Three ciders are made from Heritage apples, while the last is made from a rare Perry pear. The ciders are:
Bittersweet – one of the certified organic estate ciders that are part of their Heirloom Series. Bittersweet apples are the backbone of traditional English cider and are some of the rarest apples in Canada.
Perry – a very limited cider, only released every few years made with Perry pears.
Kings & Spies – a blend of King apples, Northern Spies, and other apples of mysterious heritage (a favourite cider that I have been able to try before).
- Rumrunner – from their Barrel Series, full-bodied.
The apples and pears for these ciders come from Vancouver Island. The bottles are 750ml so if you are a wine drinker, this size is familiar to you. I like that the ciders also come with a stopper so that you can enjoy a glass of cider now and over the next few days. All of the ciders I’m tasting are sparkling to some degree so having the stopper to keep the sparkle in is greatly appreciated.
My Cider Tasting Notes
Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse Kings & Spies
Appearance: A deeper gold colour in the glass. Bright and sparkling. The bubbles are quite light in the glass.
Nose: Higher intensity aromas with a mix of ripe apple, bruised apple, apple skin, and baked apple pie, along with sweet spices. I get a traditional apple cidery nose.
Palate: Medium sweetness with medium biting acidity to start but then becomes creamy. Crisp apple plus apple core bitterness and apple skin flavours. Hints of floral and citrus. Light tannins mid-palate to finish.
Finish: Medium-plus length finishing off-dry, with light apple flavour and some tannins.
A classy apple cider that should pair well with a variety of chicken and pork dishes. Grilled pork chops with applesauce would be a good choice for this cider.
Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse Perry
Appearance: a pale brilliant pink colour. It has lots of small-medium sized bubbles that cling to the glass.
Nose: Lighter intensity nose, with pears and pear skin. Maybe a hint of floral as the cider warms up in my glass.
Palate: Medium sweetness, fuller-bodied, with high acidity. Floral, pear, and a touch of peach flavours. There is also some saltiness and touches of citrus and sweet spice. A very nice creamy texture from the tiny bubbles on your palate.
Finish: A medium length, finishing with pears, creamy texture, and some bitterness (I think tannins from the skin).
This is a very delicate elegant cider. Enjoy on its own or with a dish with subtle flavours, such as steamed fish or a salad.
Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse Bittersweet
Bittersweet apples are the backbone of traditional English cider and are some of the rarest apples in Canada.
Appearance: A light amber colour. Bright and clear with light bubbles.
Nose: A very traditional apple cidery nose plus some woodiness and bruised apples. Intense aromas.
Palate: Very slightly off-dry, with small, almost creamy bubbles. Very much traditional apple cidery flavour. Higher acidity and bitterness. I also pick up bruised apple and skin and maybe a touch of burnt sugar and some saltiness.
Finish: Medium-plus length finishing dry. The acidity gives a nice creamy mouthfeel. Some tartness and tannins on the finish.
A quality cider from my tasting. I suggest pairing this with grilled pork or sausages. Or just have a sliced apple and cheddar cheese plate with it.
Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse Rumrunner
Rumrunner’s apples are hand-pressed then, slowly fermented with Champagne yeast, and aged in rum-soaked bourbon barrels for a minimum of six months. If you like Scotch ales, or Porters, this cider is very similar.
Appearance: A deep amber colour, clear, lightly sparkling.
Nose: Fairly high-intensity aroma, mostly of molasses but also brown sugar.
Palate: Medium sweet and light bitterness. Medium level of acidity. It has a thicker mouthfeel with a small creamy bubble. You get lots of molasses flavour and you can feel the rum. Very faint apple flavour.
Finish: A medium length with again primarily molasses and rum flavours and a thick creamy texture.
Sea Cider recommends trying this with steak, Caribbean and Moroccan food. For a savoury dish, I suggest ribs with a sweet southern bbq sauce. I also suggest having this with a rich dessert that has dark chocolate, toffee, or caramel in it.
Where Can I Buy These Ciders?
You can buy these ciders from Sea Cider’s website ($17.50 for a single bottle++) and many locations across BC. This link has a map to help you find the closes location: https://www.seacider.ca/where-to-buy/.
Thanks to Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse for providing me with these ciders to review for you. Enjoy BC Cider Week!