Maker: Uncle John’s Fruit House, St. John, Michigan, USA
Style: Semi-dry hard apple cider.
Note: Old can design pictured.
Appearance: Light gold with lots of bubbles, but a short lived, bubbly head.
Nose: Gravel, apple juice, aged late harvest Riesling.
Palate: Light bodied and semi-dry. Mildly tart apples, mineral water. Effervescent.
Finish: A touch of tartness on the front end, but then long and dry with a little sweetness just to hold it together.
Parting words: Uncle John’s empire is located about twenty-five miles north of Lansing, our proud state capital. It’s an agricultural attraction. U-pick blueberries, a market featuring asparagus, sweet corn, strawberries, sweet cherries, peaches, apples and probably more (all seasonal of course). They also have doughnuts, caramel apples, unfermented cider by the glass (mulled or unmulled), pies, jam, apple butter and just about everything else one would expect.
They also have a winery. They mostly make fruit wines, but they do offer a red blend (Merlot-led), a white blend (Chardonnay, Vignoles, Pinot Gris, Riesling), Concord, a few styles of mead and hard cider. Cider is what they’re best known for, and with good reason. They do a very good job. They make a very full line of different apple cider styles and flavors, perry and even a fortified apple wine. They have a still, too and make an apple brandy. If you’re into wasting high quality produce by turning it into a colorless, flavorless beverage, they also make an apple vodka that should be right up your alley.
At any rate, this Draught Hard Cider (now simply labeled “apple” on their new, snappy-looking white cans) is their flagship hard cider. I like it a lot. It’s dry enough to enjoy anytime but has enough sweetness to keep it from tasting like Perrier with an apple slice. It’s well balanced and I like it a lot. I can’t wait to explore some more and, better yet, take a short road trip to see the whole operation in person some time!
Uncle John’s Hard Apple Cider is highly recommended.