Smith & Forge Hard Cider

I'm not going to go nuts on ciders again. I did enough of these for a stretch there, and it gave me an appreciation for the type of beverage. This one is marketed to men. I'm only guessing that based on the labeling, but it definitely looks like they are trying to make it a manly alternative to beer, and it has an average beer's ABV - 6%. Let's see how they did with the taste.

The beverage is a deeper gold than most of these ciders, and it's really clear with virtually no carbonation. It's pretty unremarkable looking, and the aroma is pretty much what sets it apart - it's very strong with apple wine. It is a heavy smell, like a liquor. There may be a hint of oak in there, too.

First sip is sweet and not very apple. The scent of apple wine is more like it - it's more wine than cider, as far as I can tell. It's a very sweet wine, and it's not based on grapes in any way, but it is a lot deeper than a cider. It's got the oak and some kind of moss deepness that doesn't take away from that overwhelming sweetness.  Full swig time...

Tip-in is dusty crab apple and sweetness with a very, very light carbonation tingle at the edges. The middle is nice, juicy apple with sweetness and even a hint of cinnamon and oak. The middle is pretty damn good. The finish rolls on in with an unexpected wave of bitter apple peel. The sweet apple stays on the lips, and that balances things out pretty nicely.

Bottom Line: One of the best ciders I've had. A very reasonable alternative to a hard root beer or even a medium-grade beer.



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