Cider Review: Evenfall Denizen
The Pacific Northwest is bustling with fantastic ciders, at least from what I see and hear. This comes as no surprise since so many of our apples come from that region. Unfortunately, we don't get our hands on too many PNW ciders here in Ohio. When I do get one, my subconscious response is to hang onto it. But why? Cider is meant to be enjoyed, so that's exactly what I'm doing tonight.
Denizen is the first cider I've had from Evenfall. It's a spiced cherry cider, but made with white cherries so it doesn't have the rose hue that so many are going after these days (nothing against rose ciders, there are sme fantastic ones out there). The bottle tells me it is spiced with cinnamon, allspice and fennel and is aged in neutral oak for 10 months. 8.5% and dry, this sounds like my kind of cider.
Let's try it then, shall we?
Yellow and slightly opaque. Spices and possibly some sediment in suspension and moving with the carbonation. Light carbonation with natural tiny bubbles. This cider has some legs, which makes sense at 8.5% ABV.
Cherry and oak predominantly. I'm picking up a yeasty funk and acetic notes as well. Only a hint of spice.
Big hit of baked apple with baking spices up front. Almost like an apple pie but stonefruit flavors, mainly cherry but with a hint of apricot, take over. The acetic acidity is present but not overwhelming. A smoother acid (perhaps lactic from MLF in the barrel?) keeps the acetic well below volitile levels. Oaky tannins and allspice balance out nicely.
The spices linger through to the finish, but the tannins from the oak are the star here. They dry the entire palate and keep it that way for quite a while or until taking another sip (which, let's be honest, will come long before they wear off). Medium body, not too heavy but definitely has some substance to it.
This is a complex cider but all of the flavors work together to create a harmonious balance. A warming sensation comes with it, perhaps from the relatively high ABV, making it perfect for a cold autumn night. I definitely look forward to trying more from Evanfall in the future.