Samuel Smith – Organic Cider

Samuel-Smith-Organic-CiderINDEPENDENT SINCE 1758 (pipping Arthur Guinness by a year), Samuel Smith knows a thing or three about tradition. But while the folks at The Old Brewery take inspiration from the past they are not stuck in it, and since 2007 have also offered alcoholic fruit beverages to capitalize on resurgent interest in this historical niche. Anchoring the line is a refreshing cider of 5% ABV, organic like virtually all Samuel Smith products and nearly as refined. Its profile is flavorful but mild, less assertively carbonated, bitingly sharp, or boosted with sugars as many new American versions.

Hardly tart at all, in fact, it shows a little more red apple than green without teetering too far into sweetness. The body is medium with a slight fizz of effervescence in the finish; using a wine yeast helps attenuate the finish and draw out a touch more acidity. The results are easygoing without being quite bland, satisfying in warm or cool climates alike and unlikely to send one’s blood sugar spiking. This companionable balance fits Organic Cider sensibly alongside Samuel Smith’s more famous beers, but on the whole it fall short of their exemplary status.

Served: 550 ml bottled April 29, 2013 (SD29M1)

Rating: 81

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