Crispin’s Lansdowne Artisanal Reserve hard apple cider has a touch of organic molasses and is fermented with Irish stout yeast. Crispin’s CEO is a huge rugby fan, and apparently, this cider is an homage to Irish rugby and the now-torn-down Lansdowne Road stadium. And nothing says “heaving pile of large, sweaty men in Larry Bird-length shorts” like a nice apple wine.
Actually, I asked a friend who plays rugby in the UK whether rugby players drink cider. He replied, “We drink everything.” Fair enough.
I don’t know how to pour this stuff, but mine was a mostly clear and auburn, with big bubbles. The Haybag got the sludge and hers looked a little like the Potomac river after two days of rain. It smells like apples, caramel, and something like apple butter. And it tastes about the same, with some tartness thrown-in, and a dry finish. It is way more full-bodied, and much less tart, than I expected. But it wasn’t too sweet, it had a little pleasant tartness, and there was very little aftertaste.
I actually liked it. I may try something more tart next time, or maybe Crispin’s The Saint (with maple syrup and Belgian Trappist yeast). Until then….beer.
The Haybag: I like it. I taste butterscotch, too. More importantly, I can’t believe you are scared of a French guy named Sebastien. This blog has an image to maintain!