2 Towns Ciderhouse Imperial Hop and Stalk

I didn't look hard at the label. This was another gift from my brother on the left coast, and I had some very, very good experiences with some of his choices thus far. I glanced at the bottom and saw the "Hop & Stalk" and kind of assumed this would be an IPA or the like. It was when I poured it that I realized that this was a cider. I'm not stranger to ciders, and I have found a few that were excellent, so let's see if this matches them.

The head was very light and went away as quickly as it was poured, as would be expected if I had known that this was a cider. The color is a pale yellow, but it's not the most yellow cider that I've seen. I found that - generally - the more golden that the cider is, the more I like it. The aroma is sweet apples and a slight floral scent.

With the sip comes a tart taste of under-ripe apples and flowers. It's a very interesting take on a cider, and it really seems bold and different. I can't actually say if I like it or not - it's not offensive, but it is just kind of strange.

A proper swig brings a tip-in of carbonation burn, tart apples, and a hint of citrus. The middle rushes in to fill the gap with a watery, swirling tartness scouring the back of the tongue and the roof of the mouth with a caustic and acidic fervor. The finish stops the acidic onslaught and replaces it with more of the tartness of a bushel of crab apples. A strange sweetness kind of finishes it off, cutting the tartness where it sits.

Bottom Line: As ciders go, it is very full of character. It's a bit angry for my tastes, though, and the hops are drowned out almost entirely.



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