So, I had a chance to met the owner and cider maker at Kennebec Cider, and of course, I had to try some of his product. I am very happy that I did. A little background. They are a small cider producer, going into their 3rd year, based in Winthrop, ME. They get apples from the central Maine region, which has a tradition as a great apple growing region going back over 2 centuries. His process is very interesting. He gets fresh fruit in the fall, crushes and presses it as it comes in, and then blends it later. He ferments the cider with wine yeast, but very cold, in the 30′s F, over several months, using the natural cold of winter to essentially lager his cider. In the spring, he bottles it up, and ships it out. It is never filtered, and it is bottle conditioned. He has a small production, about 800 cases a year currently.
Appearance: Light carbonation that falls quickly. Rich, golden color, crystal clear.
Aroma: Intense apple aroma. It is more like apple juice then sweet cider. Very clean, no oak.
Taste: Again, an intense apple taste with a slight sweetness, followed by a nice acidity that gives it some grip. A light body, but it is a bit more viscous then many ciders I have had, but very pleasant. Nice, tart, tangy aftertaste.
Critique: This is a very good cider. Actually, this is one of the best I have had. It is not super fizzy, it is not overly tart, but you get the acidity, and there is a nice body to it. The apple flavor and aroma is quite pronounced, but very clean. I am going to get a few bottles of this years vintage (mine was from 2010, his 2011 was just released) for the cellar. I e-mailed him after I tried it, and asked him about how he gets the intense apple aroma and flavor, and he said he attributes that to the blend of apples he uses (looks for some very aromatic apples in his blend) as well as using a very estery wine yeast. Give it a try, you will not be disappointed.