This cider house rules!

14 January 2009
By Tom Mansell

Bellwether Original Hard Cider

Click the label to visit Bellwether's website

Varietal: Apples! Apparently they use around 7 varieties for their original, probably including Liberty, Northern Spy, Tompkins King, Baldwin, English and French cider apples.
Price Point: $9.50
Alcohol by volume: 6.5%
Residual Sugar
: unknown, but my guess is about 2-3%.

Looks: Nice golden color.  This sparkling cider has a decent amount of carbonation, especially when poured vigorously, which diminishes after a little bit.
Nose:  I hate to start out with apple, but yes, this apple cider smells like apples*.  The other thing I get (and I get this on a lot of Bellwether ciders) is potpourri (i.e., cinnamon and floral spice).  Also some pear, and kind of a sour apple Blow Pop thing going.  I also get a bit of sulfur on the nose.
Palate:  Crisp acidity is nicely balanced by the palpable sweetness of this cider and a bit of {astr”attachment_23″ align=”alignleft” width=”145″ caption=”Competing interest statement: I actually bought this glass.”]img_1007-copy[/caption]

Yes, I picked a hard cider as the first thing to review on a wine blog.  Well, it is one of the first stops on the Cayuga Wine Trail.  Plus, I was hungry and I wanted something that would pair with food.  I picked a good one.  A ham sandwich with brie and mustard from CTB with this stuff?  Money in the bank.

Bellwether Hard Cider is a family-run business as far as I can tell, with Cider Dad (the cidermaker), Cider Mom, and Cider Daughter pouring samples at the Ithaca Farmers’ Market and at the Cidery on Route 89, which is home to 4 Cider Cats.  They make a bunch of different ciders ranging from pretty “brut” all the way up to “Black Magic” and “Cherry Street” which are blended with blackcurrant and cherry juice (respectively) after fe:{s:5:”count”;s:1:”0″;s:9:”post_tags”;s:0:”";s:4:”time”;s:10:”1257215410″;}”;

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