Have you ever had a cider made from crab apples? I don’t think I have until today. I have two ciders from Creek & Gully Cider in Penticton. One is Just Crab 2021 and the other is Crabby Pear 2021 which is a blend of 50% Hyslop crab apple and 50% Bartlett pear. If you bite into crab apples you get a lot of puckering acidity, but when they are made into cider there still is tartness, but they are softened so you can enjoy your sip with or without food. All their orchard fruit is certified organic. Let me tell you about these two ciders.
My Cider Tasting Notes
Creek & Gully Crabby Pear 2021 (BC $24)
Has a light amber colour, slightly hazy. Effusive medium-sized bubbles poured over the bottle upon opening. The cider has medium-plus intensity aromas of fresh apples and sweet spices, a touch of pear and some woodiness. Dry, medium body, with high acidity and medium bitterness. Bright flavour of traditional apple cider along with a touch of pears. The pear flavour becomes stronger as the cider is exposed to air in the glass plus the mouthfeel softens. There is also some woodiness on the palate. A medium-plus length finishing with apple skins, traditional apple cider and a touch of tannins. A lean mouthfeel on the finish. Medium tannins. Once you let the bubbles settle down in the glass and get more exposure to air, you get more pear flavour and the cider feels more elegant on the palate. –
Creek & Gully Just Crab 2021 (BC $26. Only available at the cidery)
A bright, clear copper colour that has light petillant sparkle. Lighter intensity aromas of sweet apples, floral, and a touch of vanilla. With some air, you get some caramel and bruised apple aromas as well. Dry, fuller body with a round mouth feel. Very small creamy bubbles. Medium intensity tannins from the mid-palate to the finish. Light apple flavour with a touch of floral. Medium-plus length finishing with tart cidery apples and medium tannins.
Acidity and Tannins
Apples share similarities to grapes. They both have acidity and tannins. Do you know what kind of acidity are in apples? It is the same acidity in grapes. Hint, some red wines go through a secondary fermentation called MLF. The M is the apple-type of acidity. The M is a softer acidity that you associate with milk. I put the answer to the apple-type of acidity at the bottom of this article. Did you guess correctly?
Where Can I Buy These Ciders?
You can order Crabby Pear cider online from Creek & Gully Cider or purchase it at the Cidery in Penticton. Just Crab is not available online. You can also purchase Crabby Pear through these retailers:
Jak’s Liquor Stores – select BC stores
Liberty Wine Merchants – Vancouver
Urban Liquor Stores – Kelowna
Public Liquor – Kelowna
Grand Liquor Merchants – Nelson
Cook St. Liquor – Victoria
College Heights Liquor – Prince George
And at these restaurants, breweries, and bakeries:
Fox Mountain Brewing Company – Williams Lake
Wildflower Bakeshop + Cafe -Port Alberni
Ratio Coffee – Vernon The Courtney Room – Victoria
Cuchillo – Vancouver
If you are in Montreal or in Alberta, you have these options:
Bricks Wine Co. – Calgary
Sherbrooke Liquor – Edmonton
Fleurs et Cadeaux – Montreal
Thank you to Creek & Gully Cider for providing me with these samples to review.
The type of acidity in apples is called Malic acid. Some red wines, like Bordeaux reds, go through a secondary fermentation called Malolactic Fermentation to convert the tarter malic acids into softer lactic acids. Cheers!