Our first adventure destination: A date weekend away at Niagara Falls. One of the first searches after deciding on the destination of our adventures is to see which cideries are along the travel path. Our search brought us to Blackbird Cider Works located along the Niagara Wine Trail. Although we have tried some of Blackbird’s cider, nothing is better than having the experience of visiting the birthplace of each unique cider.
The drive to the cidery takes you through the scenic countryside that lies between Rochester and Buffalo. Our favorite route to always take is the scenic route and this one was sure not to disappoint. The drive brought us serene views of Lake Ontario, cold and icy, mixed with farmland and orchards.
Blackbird Cider Works is a farm based cidery. Like many of the others in our neck of the woods their tasting room is located right next to their orchards where they grow organic and conventionally farmed English, heirloom and modern apple varieties. As farmers and fermenters, their products reflect the care and appreciation it takes to be a fruit to bottle producer.
One of the best things about small craft beverages is walking into the tasting room and actually meeting the cidermakers. We were fortunate enough to be able to meet cidermaker Kristen. It was awesome to be able to chat cider with her. If you get the chance to meet her we’re sure it will be a pleasure.
Cider Sample: Dabinett
Everyone has a different palette and we are no exception to that rule so our tasting section will be broken into his and hers each week.
This weeks review: Blackbird Cider Works Dabinett
His: This cider is a blend of English bittersweet fruit, which is still fairly uncommon to find in our area. I enjoy the search for rare finds in craft beverages so needless to say I was excited for the opportunity to try this cider. I was not disappointed. Although I would not recommend it for a beginning cider drinker, I enjoy fuller bodied, tannic ciders like this. A deep golden in the glass with aromas of fermenting straw, I found the cider to be fruit forward with a nice clean finish.
Hers: Two years ago if you took me on a wine tour all my tastings would be checked under the sweet section. I couldn’t even imagine trying a dry wine without wrinkling my nose. As I have started to dabble in craft beverages my palette has drastically changed. I now prefer a dry red wine over a Moscato any day. One thing I love about going to cideries is seeing their small batch ciders. I enjoy tasting and talking about the ideas behind the blends and the stories of how each cider came to be. One of the ciders that we tried was the Dabinett, which is a limited edition as only 75 cases were made in 2014. As soon as I heard English style when Kristen presented the Dabinett to us I was a little skeptical. I am still learning how to appreciate the uniqueness of English style ciders. As I smelled it, I immediately knew it was a true English style cider; it had that funk, as I refer to it. It certainly has been a learning curve to me to get past the funky smell that is often associated with English ciders. Once getting past that “on the farm” smell, the Dabinett had a nice clean, crisp, dryness to it.
Until our next adventure,
A & S