First Draught: Spirit Tree Draught Cider, a hard apple cider that stands out from the pack


Published:

 

There is a very wide gap between good and bad cider, with not very much in the middle. Unfortunately, too much of the latter finds its way onto bar tap lists simply because it’s an alternative to beer and it doesn’t have gluten.

Spirit Tree’s Draught Cider — made in large part from the apples grown by the cidery — is a stunning example of a delicious cider. It is miles away from the cloying sweetness of mass-market ciders, but it has a wider range than the bone-dry imports, plus a subtle hint of the funkiness that we find in some sour beers.

The cider pours a very light straw yellow with a bit of fizz that quickly dissipates. To me, the aroma is clean and balances apple blossoms with McIntosh apple peel, but if you’re the type who vacuums your way out of the house, you might detect a bit of a gym-sock funkiness.

The flavour opens with more McIntosh and a hint of sweetness that leads into a slightly sour finish. The tart aftertaste (like a very mild Granny Smith) lingers pleasantly. The tart-sour element means that this cider can include a bit of sweetness without being thrown out of balance.

The funkiness on the nose and the sourness in the finish are both by-products of the traditional English cider yeast that Spirit Tree uses to ferment the Draught Cider. There is some Brettanomyces in that blend, so this cider shares characteristics with many of the world’s most complex beers.

The current LCBO release has been quite popular, so depending on what part of the city you’re in, you may only be able to find it in a local pub. Luckily, it’s on tap at barVolo and a few other establishments around town.

The Draught Cider — along with Apelager Cider, Pear Cider, Estate Reserve Cider and Ice Cider — is also available at Spirit Tree’s cidery in Caledon.

Spirit Tree Estate Cidery’s Draught Cider, $14.15 for four 330 ml bottles, LCBO #338160

In addition to covering beer, new restaurants and food trucks for Post City, David Ort writes about food and drink for several Toronto publications including his own site, Food With Legs. He is also the author of the upcoming Canadian Craft Beer Cookbook. For more of his thoughts on food, beer and life in general, follow him on Twitter or get in touch at info@foodwithlegs.com.

Edit Module

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

Uptown DineSafe infractions from April and May

Uptown DineSafe infractions from April and May

Posted 17 hours ago
In Season and on the Menu: Rhubarb lands on menus including Toronto's Soho House

In Season and on the Menu: Rhubarb lands on menus including Toronto's Soho House

This week, I talked to Soho House Toronto’s pastry chef, Kirsten Pettit, all about rhubarb. It’s her favourite season.
Posted 4 days ago
Coal-fired pizza is coming to Toronto

Coal-fired pizza is coming to Toronto

Angelo’s Coal Fired Pizza, an import from Quincy, MA, is set to open on Front Street this June.
Posted 6 days ago
Lunch Pick: The Chase Fish & Oyster’s new seafood brunch

Lunch Pick: The Chase Fish & Oyster’s new seafood brunch

The Chase Fish and Oyster is doing brunch. Now that the weather has finally shaped up, the ideal prelude to a day at the water’s edge is a meal replete with the fruits of the sea.
Posted 7 days ago
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleEdit Module