Maker: Blake’s, Armada, Michigan, USA
Style: Ice Cider
Purchased for $16 (375 ml)
Appearance: Orangish yellow (my 5 y/o daughter’s description). Effervescent.
Nose: Apple wood, dry heirloom apple, lavender, grape soda.
Palate: Medium bodied and sweet. Bubbles, unoaked chardonnay, mango, papaya.
Finish: Botrytized wine. Fades quickly into a light tingle.
Parting words: Ice cider is similar to ice wine in concept. There are two styles: cryoextracted, and cryoconcentrated. Cryoextracted is similar to ice wine in its process. The fruit is left on the tree where it freezes. It is usually harvested in January and then cold fermented for an extended period of time (this differs from cryoextraction in wine which is a process that involves freezing grapes by artificial means). This cider is cryoconcentrated. That means the fruit is harvested late in the season, made into juice and then allowed to freeze. It is then cold fermented.
This is the first ice cider I’ve ever tried and it’s a winner. It lacks the sexy unctuousness of ice wine but it also lacks its often cloying character. It’s well balanced and complex but never obnoxious, at a least to me. I love it and I could drink it all day. This is what a $16 cider should taste like. Amshiré Ice Cider is highly recommended. I have no idea what the name means, though.