The first weekend of April presented us with a great opportunity to visit a cidery close to home. The Lake Ontario Wine Trail was holding its annual Roll Out the Barrels weekend and it gave us the opportunity to try some limited release ciders from Embark Craft Ciderworks!
This is not our first trip to Embark, nor will it be our last. They are one of three places making cider in our hometown, a place which remained a dry town until 1996 and didn’t relax the regulations allowing farm based beverage producers until after 2004. Biased as we are with it being home, Williamson, NY is the perfect place for a cidery. It is in the heart of apple country with orchards on what feels like almost every street.
For the Wine Trail event Embark released three special ciders available to sample in the taproom:
Him: A three cider assessment coming up so I will try to be brief, hitting the important aspects of each.
Nieuw Yorker: A cider bearing the Dutch spelling of ‘New’ this one is pale yellow with small bubbles, bubbling is fairly constant though not nearly as vigorous as another one of the three. First impression on the smell was that it is more floral than fruity, there are also some tart apple aromas present that balance the floral notes nicely. The floral notes were much more subtle in the taste as there were loads of bright fruit flavors and it finished crisply with a slight bitter apple skin note.
Tart Cherry Barrel: Aged in neutral bourbon barrels with tart cherries the first thing to notice on this one is certainly the color! It is pink like you would expect from a blush wine. The bubbles in the glass are very small and vigorous, this one just keeps going. The cherries come through in the aroma combined with some vanilla notes. Tart apple and tart cherry flavors are the strongest in the taste but there are subtle caramel flavors there too. This one also finishes clean from the tartness of the cider, it might be the fruit flavors playing tricks on me but it also seems to have a small amount of sweetness to it.
Whiskey Barrel Aged: Pale yellow and slightly cloudy in the glass the aromas in this one are amazingly complex. The barrel aging on this cider gives it a smells of baked apples, apple pie, caramel and spices. A dry cider this one is not as tart as the first two, the barrel aging may have balanced out the acidity a bit. Oak and vanilla flavors with a slight smokiness this one has a longer lasting warming finish.
Her: Being able to try three different, unique ciders was a real treat. The colors and tastes were very different which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Nieuw Yorker: This had a subtle apple smell at first. I enjoyed looking at the tiny bubbles that kept floating up in the glass after being poured. It had a nice clean, crisp taste to it which would make having a couple glasses of this cider pretty easy to do. There was a nice tart finish to it at the end that make me want to keep going back for more.
Tart Cherry Barrel: Upon first sniff, you certainly can smell the bourbon. It wasn’t an overwhelming smell but just the right amount to allow your tongue to get ready for that slight bourbon flavor. It had a beautiful dark pink color with lingering bubbles. There was a slight cherry taste, that was noted after a couple of sips. It finished with more tartness than The Nieuw Yorker and had my mouth watering slightly at the end of each sip.
Whiskey Barrel Aged: This cider had unique smell that reminded me of fall. I caught both caramel and apple pie smells in this cider. It was slightly cloudy but still rich in a golden color. This cider had a tart taste right from the beginning. From the first time it touched my tongue to the end I had that tart pucker taste. This cider is extremely dry with a lingering finish.
Until our next adventure
A & S