In the woods near the house behind the house where I grew up, my brother and I found a bone. It wasn’t small like a rabbit or raccoon, nor was it thin like a deer. It was thicker around than my fist, and the end of it was buried deep enough in the ground that it needed to be dug up almost in its entirety. My brother and I were young, so this couldn’t be anything other than a dinosaur bone. However, after all the excitement, further analysis revealed it to be a cow femur. What child doesn’t get excited about a cow bone?
As I have mentioned in my previous posts, I do not care for dry ciders, or really dryness in any beverage. And so, it always baffles me when ciders tout this as their strongest quality. William Tell’s Bone Dry is, as the name suggests, a very dry cider. It first strikes with an acerbic taste, but it finishes with a lingering dryness that coats the tongue and any part of the mouth it touches. Overall, this cider’s most forward quality is how dry it is, and unfortunately, that is not something that appeals to me as a cider drinker. With the ever-increasing number of ciders and cideries available, it’s hard to fathom how you couldn’t find a cider you enjoy. However, when it comes to my palate, I would much rather chase after dinosaurs than settle for the cow bone.
The Ciderman’s Rating: 4/10
Anyone who has ever played a game of Whack-A-Mole, or has at least seen an adorable cat play it on the internet, knows how frustrating it can be. You might have the fastest hands in the west, but unfortunately, you only have one hammer, and those moles are numerous. So, what do you do? Do you stop playing Whack-A-Mole because you’ve become so wracked with self-doubt at being unable to hit all of the moles? No! You stop playing Whack-A-Mole because it’s 2016 and there are much better ways to spend your time.
With the consumption of Angry Orchard’s Stone Dry, my 73rd cider, I am officially caught up on Angry Orchard as a cidery. I have tried every single one of their ciders, including the seasonal releases, and the special “Cider House” collection. And this will be true until, eventually, they release another variety and put me behind once again. Until then, I will revel in this temporary completion.
As readers of this blog know, there is no love lost between me and dry beverages, so my immediate thought about a cider called “Stone Dry” was definitely not a positive one. However, I did not hate it. In crafting a traditional English cider, Angry Orchard has created a dry cider that is actually somewhat palatable. The bouquet is full, containing notes of the bittersweet apples, and the color is a beautiful amber. While the flavor does leave my mouth with a familiar feeling of dry desolation, it excites the taste buds enough that my desire to continue is kept aflame.
Whether this was “as dry as a stone” as the label suggests, I have no idea. I’m not in the business of licking rocks like some kind of lizard.
The Ciderman’s Rating: 7.5/10
Although it’s commonly seen in Nordic motifs, the ubiquitous Ouroboros symbol traces its roots back to ancient Egypt. The serpent devouring its own tail signifies infinity and the cyclical nature of life. The reason I bring up the Ouroboros is that I’m beginning to feel like the serpent, except at the end of the serpent’s tail is yet another dry, dry cider.
I am forcing myself to be fair to the Henney’s cider, as most of the ciders I’ve been drinking lately have been on the dry end of the spectrum and it happens to be my least favorite end. However, as far as dry ciders go, this one was particularly enjoyable.
Unlike most dry ciders, which normally taste like a punch in the tongue, Henney’s followed up the punch with a subtle, softer fruit taste. Combined with the aromatic bouquet of freshness, this full-bodied cider more than made up for dwelling on the dry end. And, given that it is brewed across the pond in Herefordshire, I’m more than willing to forgive the dryness.
The Ciderman’s rating: 6/10