Beer…er…Cider Review: Crispin Lansdowne Artisanal Reserve

I had a request from a reader to review something gluten-free. Beerbecue aims to please. So, since I would rather share a needle with Keith Richards than drink a sorghum beer, hard apple cider it is.

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.

They are just looking for something crisp, tart, and refreshing, with a tantalizingly flighty sweetness.

Actually, I asked a friend who plays rugby in the UK whether rugby players drink cider. He replied, “We drink everything.” Fair enough.

I also agree with whatever this guy says.

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!