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presents…

A BC CRAFT CIDER SHOWDOWN

It’s a fruit frenzy, as JAK’S selects a stunning sextet of varied, interesting BC craft ciders for our Spring session

Every three months, What’s Brewing gets together with JAK’S Beer Wine Spirits to create a new installment of our Tasting Panel series. This episode, for the second time ever, we reviewed a batch of BC Craft Ciders!

The last time we did this was Fall 2017, when we reviewed six ciders from stalwarts like Merridale Cidery and Sea Cider; see our previous Cider vs. Cider episode for more. This time, JAK’S took us on a wild ride of cider styles, including:

MEET THIS ISSUE'S TASTING PANEL

Warren Boyer of Fraser Mills Fermentation Co.: BJCP Certified brewer, past President of CAMRA Vancouver.

Lundy Dale: Founder, BC Craft Beer Month, Pink Pints Vancouver, CAMRA Vancouver. Past President, CAMRA BC.

Paul Pyne of Central City Brewers & Distillers, and Drink Smarter: Certified Cicerone® & beer tutor.

Carnell Turton of Breward Inlet: if the beer isn’t good he’ll say it.

Abby Wiseman of Small Batch Magazine reviews food & drink around Vancouver.

Adam Chatburn: home and commercial brewer, WB columnist and past President of CAMRA Vancouver.

Note: neither What’s Brewing nor JAK’S Beer Wine Spirits bear responsibility for the opinions expressed within, which are solely those of the individual panelists.

HOW JUDGING IS DONE

Our unsanctioned competition uses a Zagat-like 30-point rating with a weighted scale based loosely on the BJCP Scoresheet. One of the great things about this format, as opposed to a simple 5-star blogger rating, is that it forces panellists to put more work into evaluating details of the flavour, balance and overall impression before scoring each category.

Panellists are instructed to give an honest rating, not a sugar-coating. As reflected in their scores, some panelists will love a particular beer and others will truly dislike it. Sometimes that’s influenced by factors that aren’t completely within a brewery’s contrul, such as freshness, or just a bad product sample. This is one of the reasons we have a panel rather than just one reviewer: it helps reduce the impact of factors like packaging flaws and personal tastes.

Appearance: 3 points – Colour, Clarity, Turbidity, Legs.

Aroma: 6 points –
Aroma of fruit, etc.

Palate/Mouthfeel: 3 points –
Mouthfeel, Texture, Carbonation, Astringency

Flavour: 8 points –
Sweetness, Fruitiness, Tartness, etc.

Overall Impression: 10 points – Enjoyment, Flaws.

TOTAL: 30 POINTS

ABOUT CIDER

Apples: the forbidden fruit, the fruit of love and folklore. the original parents of our modern-day apples come from Kazakhstan in central Asia. When we bite into a sweet, crisp Golden Delicious, we are biting into a ball that’s very complicated – more than 57,000 genes (we poor humans only have 30,000).

The many types of table apple that we enjoy for a snack number over 150 in variety. But there is a small, separate group numbering just over 20 varieties which we call cider apples, used solely for making that special nectar of the gods. For the origins of cider making, folklore takes us back more than 2,000 years to the Celtic fringe of Europe. It was mentioned by the Romans circa 55 BC when they arrived in the British Isles and noted the locals were drinking a fermented drink made from the fruit of crab apple trees.

– Brian K. Smith

CONCLUSIONS

Adjusting for cider

Rating cider rather than beer means deviating from our regular criteria. This time round, instead of, say, Hoppy vs Malty, we’ve keyed in on Dry vs Sweet. See our previous Cider vs. Cider episode for more.

And the winner is…

Three of our contestants essentially tied for high score, with Salt Spring Pineapple Amaro and Windfall Hail Mary sharing top honors by a hair.

INDIVIDUAL SCORES

OVERALL RATINGS

APPEARANCE & ENJOYMENT

Pie chart tip: legend starts from 45 degree mark (3 o’clock) then works clockwise

COLOUR

CLARITY

LIVELINESS

ENJOYMENT

FLAVOUR & PALATE

For this group as a whole. For individual scores, see below.

SWEETNESS

FRUITINESS

TARTNESS

What’s Brewing welcomes our new Tasting Panel sponsor!

JAK’S BEER • WINE • SPIRITS

Since 1981, we’ve worked to provide a community-first experience in our stores across British Columbia.

Vancouver, Surrey, New Westminster, Burnaby, Maple Ridge, Coquitlam, Richmond, Campbell River, Penticton and Willams Lake!

Find your location at www.jaks.com

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