Kings & Spies – Sea Cider (Saanichton, BC, Canada)

Kings & Spies – Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, 8% ABV, 750ml, (Saanichton, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft cider*)

from the website:

Victorian by provenance, Kings & Spies is a cider fit for royalty or rogues. Crafted from King apples, Northern Spies and others of mysterious lineage, this off-dry cider reveals a secret: Vancouver Island apples make winning cider. Proceeds support LifeCycles, a Victoria non-profit that promotes local Island food production.

The Story:
Kings & Spies is the result of our partnership with LifeCycles, a Victoria-based non-profit that promotes Island food security. Volunteers pick apples every Fall from backyards and local heritage orchards (such as the one at St. Ann’s Academy). Most of the apples go to people in need, but some are saved for us to craft into Kings & Spies. The name was coined when we noticed that our first shipment of apples from LifeCycles contained many King of Tompkins and Northern Spy apples. Kings & Spies is truly a community cider and proceeds support the community work done by LifeCycles. The blend of apples varies from year to year, depending on the fruit brought in by LifeCycles, but the style is consistently gently effervescent and off-dry. Depending on the year, it may show soft tannins, plus either fruity or floral and herbaceous notes on the nose.

After the apples are pressed to release the juice, fermentation takes place in pressurized stainless steel tanks to capture CO2, resulting in a naturally sparkling cider. The yeast strain used promotes a malolactic fermentation, which softens the acidity of the cider (Island apples can be very acidic). The cider is fermented to dryness then a juice reserve is added prior bottling to balance the acidity.

Tasting Notes:

  • Appearance: Clear, gently effervescent, light straw in colour, bright.
  • Aromas, flavours: Reminiscent of Prosecco; delicate; hint of floral and herbaceous notes; cut apple.
  • Acid/sweetness: Mellowed acidity, off-dry.
  • Mouthfeel: Minimal astringency, slight creaminess.

Suggested Food Pairings:
Delicate flavours and light sauces such as white fish, raw oysters and poultry. Salads and mild, hard cheeses. Prosciutto, margherita pizza.

  • Style: (off-dry) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Fruity clean tangy soft acidic champagne apple juice light woody
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Burnaby
  • How much: $16.60 CAD (after 12.5% off) – 750ml., March 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours clear golden yellow, just a few bubbles in the glass, a few singular very slow sporadic streams.

Nose: rounded woody apple juice. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, bright clean fruity

Mid-palate: light burpy, off-dry (lvl-3-sweetness), firm soft acidic bite, light champagne, tangy apple juice

Finish: fruity woody apple exhale, clean finish.

Summary: Pleasantly clean, structured, and drinkable. Visually and aromatically not that assertive but goes down crisp and smooth. A good aperitif.