Cider Review: North Country Honey Badger
Did you know that most ciders are made from a blend of juice from multiple apple varieties? Some heirloom and cider apples like the famous Kingston Black, among others, do make a fantastic single variety cider, but most lack the balance of sugar, acid, and tannin needed for a great cider. However, single variety ciders made from “eating” apples like Honeycrisp are available and gaining momentum.
North Country Cider’s Honey Badger is made from 100% Maine-grown Honeycrisp apples. I’ve had other Honeycrisp single variety ciders in the past, some were pretty good while others were just bland. I even did a 1-gallon Honeycrisp batch myself and found it lost most of its fresh apple character after fermenting to dryness. However, I was excited to try this one and compare it to the others I’ve already tasted.
Yellow and slightly hazy, lively carbonation on pouring that lasts, forming a small head that mellows out to a thick ring of bubbles around the glass.
Fresh, sweet and ripe apples, nothing more and nothing less.
It’s like biting into a Honeycrisp apple with fresh apple flavor all the way. A surprising but welcome amount of acidity balances out the natural sweetness. This isn’t a complex cider but it retains great apple flavor for a single variety cider.
It's coming in on the drier end of semi-sweet with the perfect amount of acidity for the sweetness level. Surprisingly it has some viscosity and body to it - not a ton but way more than I expected from an eating apple.
Clean and simple, this cider surprised us both. At only 4.75% I expected it to be too sweet (as low ABV ciders are usually sweet) for my preference but it wasn't. It’s bursting with fresh apple aroma and flavor so I’m assuming a cold and slow fermentation process was used to retain as much of the Honeycrisp’s character as possible. This proves that simple culinary apples can be used to create a good single variety cider when well executed.
Serving Suggestion: Enjoy cold and on its own. The apple flavors and aromas are present but would be easily overpowered.