Now…for those that know me, you’ve probably never heard me rave about a hard cider. I love non-hard, good cider with all of my New England heart, but hard cider? Besides Downeast Original, I’ve had a hard time finding one I’ve enjoyed sipping on.
Enter this cider that Z and I had before our flight back from Boston on Monday. Not really in the mood to drink – let alone drink a cider – I was pleasantly surprised by this bottle. Here’s why:
What: Smugglers’ Reserve Bourbon Barrel-Aged Hard Cider by Stowe Cider, Stowe, VT
Tasting Notes: The effervescence in this limited release cider is what initially won me over. It was bubbly – reminiscent of champagne – with an evident bourbon flavor on the backend. I’m a sucker for a bourbon barrel-aged anything, so the obvious booze in this was super appealing to me. The texture was thin yet crisp; it's an incredibly refreshing cider.
Pairing Suggestion: A cheese plate filled with soft cheeses; a melty, buttery grilled cheese; pork chops (I’ve tasted them before, they will work!); roasted winter vegetables; a nice, hearty pasta (risotto, anyone?).
Where Can I Find It? There was only one batch of this particular cider made this year - and Stowe Cider's distribution isn't that far and wide (understandably so). For my New England friends, I'd call your local beer and liquor stores and see if they have it available. Stowe Cider is also located at 1815 Pucker Street in Stowe, Vermont - check it out on a ski weekend!
Are you a hard cider fan?