Farnum Hill Semi-Dry Cider

I know this isn’t beer, you don’t have to tell me.  I’m not sure I’ve ever had hard cider, but when the Farnum Hill Cider maker sent me two bottles of cider I thought I’d give it a shot.  Farnum Hill is a small cider maker in western New Hampshire.  They describe themselves as not the mass marketed, college landscape cider, but one of refinement like a fine wine.  Well lets see how this stacks up against fine Beer!farnum_semidry

The Semi-Dry cider is described as:

Farnum Hill Semi-Dry: Golden, bubbly, with a delicious array of fruits and mysterious aromatic notes. Semi-Dry offers an appetizing, life-enhancing balance of subtle sweetness, sharpness, astringency, and fruitiness. Alcohol content 7.4% by volume. Mushroom cork with wire hood closure, 750 ml. bottle. A congenial, versatile companion to seafood, herbed saucy dishes, cheeses, ham, poultry, sausage, rabbit, pork, omelettes or quiches, etc.

Appearance:

Well it looks like apple juice with a bit of carbonation, a steady stream of bubbles rise from the bottom, like champagne.

Aroma:

It is what I would expect, mostly apples.  It reminded me when I was a kid going on a school field trip to the apple orchard and they were pressing apples that had just been picked. This cider had that sweet and musty smell of fresh pressed cider.

Taste:

Ok, wow, that first sip was a shocker.  Having never indulged in hard cider; it was a bit surprising.  The mouth feel is that of champagne, very thin and extremely carbonated.  It was very tart, dry and yet somewhat refreshing.  It was very much wine like, not my drink, but I can see how this can be enjoyable to some.  Took a break from this for about 15 minutes, because I just wasn’t enjoying it although my wife had a couple sips a was.  After my quick break, I started to enjoy the flavors and tartness of this cider much more.  As teh cider warmed up, the apple flavor became more apparent and some sweetness came through with I though worked well with the tartness.

Calories: Don’t know how to calculate calories with cider, but this cider was 7.5% abv

Glassware: Wine

Overall Impression:

Learned 2 things about cider.  One, my wife really liked this.  I think it was champagne likeness that appealed to her.  Two, I didn’t really like this cold, straight out of the fridge.  I did, however, enjoy some qualities about it as it warmed up.  I’m not sure I would go and buy this for myself, I would go buy some for someone who like ciders.

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4 Responses to “Farnum Hill Semi-Dry Cider”

  1. nate Says:

    I agree…i think hard cider is best served warm. I haven’t tried any commercial stuff in a long time, and certainly need to check this stuff out. I think woodchuck is gross, but I’m sure that like the Icehouse of cider.

    I made some of my own hard cider from apples from my dad’s orchard this fall. I let it ferment using the natural yeast on the outside of the cider. It fermented like beer in a matter of weeks and was delicious. I didn’t carbonate it. Actually used the wild Ohio yeast for a batch of homebrew last weekend.

    I think it is healthy for the beer lover to drink outside the realm of beer…keeps the taste buds on edge.

  2. Simply Beer Says:

    @nate I do drink a lot of stuff out side of beer, just don’t write about it on Simply Beer because I’m trying to stay focused on beer. I also drink wine, bourbon, and whiskey/scotch. But, I total agree you need to expand your horizons to keep your self sharp. Another reason why I try to mix up the styles and breweries of beers I’m drinking.

  3. Jim Says:

    Don reviewed a cider not long ago on our blog and came to a similar conclusion – nice, but I probably wouldn’t run out to get some. Another more amusing similarity is that both of you received it for free. For Don it was a birthday gift and for you it was comped from the manufacturer.

    So I think the takeaway is cider is okay, as long as it’s free. Which sounds about right to me.

    @nate – I am, however, not about to knock your homemade cider – it sounds interesting, especially without the carbonation. I’d probably pay to try it. I guess that’s good sign for your future as a brewer, huh?

  4. Simply Beer Says:

    I’m actually looking forward to trying the other one I have to see how they will differ.


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