Tasting Notes: Eve’s Rustica 2015

  • Eve’s Cidery, Van Etten, New York. Southern Finger Lakes.
  • 2015 Harvest Year.
  • Apples included Macoun, Empire, Liberty, McIntosh, and Wild.
  • Mix of wild and inoculated ferments. Secondary bottle fermentation with dosage of cryo-concentrated wild apple juice.
  • 4.3% RS, pH 3.7, 6.6% ABV
  • 750 ml w/ champagne cork and cage.

To me, the finest beverages not only taste great, they appeal to one’s intelligence. They function as a testimony of a place and a season and perhaps reveal a bit of the soul of the creator.  Rustica is a cider with a great story, a story that revels intention, opportunity, and a desire to create a beverage with layered flavors and complexity. The opportunity was access to an old, temporarily neglected McIntosh orchard, with apples exceptionally sweetened through fungus (scab) and cracking. The intention and complexity came from the blending of  mixed fermentations, both inoculated and wild, and aging and carbonation with a secondary bottle ferment; and finally a dosage (back-fill after disgorging) of the juice of foraged wild apples, concentrated through natural freezing.   Very cool!

Tasting Notes:

Rustica pours as a clear, deep golden cider with a light-cooper rim, exhibiting a vigorous bubble which quickly dissipates.

Upon opening, a pleasing, intense fruit aroma immediately filled my kitchen, like an apple storage shed in early December. Closer inspection revealed a bouquet of sweet fruit, reminiscent of cooked or caramelized apple.

The cider had a creamy, bright mouthfeel which gave way to a gentle bitterness with lingering apple butter-like sweetness.  The mild, toasty, yeasty character from the secondary bottle fermentation layered seamlessly with cider’s enduring sweetness.  To me, it was almost like a pleasant, bready marzipan. The acidity was quite gentle and the cider’s overall balance inclined towards sweet, though certainly not cloying.

Rustica by Eve’s Cidery is a very approachable, well crafted cider.  You can buy Rustica directly from Eve’s if you are in one of the many states they can ship to.  Michigan, unfortunately, is not among these states though there are certainly several secondary online sources outside of New York which carry Eve’s and do ship to the State. Cheers!

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