The wave of hard cideries that has swept the coasts has finally made its way inland to the shores of my fair burg. So far, one has opened in Duluth (Duluth Cider) and another is planning to open later this month (Wild State Cider).
I had a chance to go to Duluth Cider this weekend and have a taste. I ordered a flight of ciders — yes, just like you can at a winery or distillery. I asked the bartender to pick out two sweet ciders and two semi-sweet ones since that mirrors my preferences in wine.
On the sweet side, he poured me Eve and Las Lajas. I have to admit, of all the varieties I tried that night, Eve was my favorite. It tastes like one of the crisp fall apples you’d eat at Bayfield’s Apple Fest. The finish had a lovely little bite.
Las Lajas is flavored with coffee from Duluth Coffee Company. I tried this one first, and didn’t like it because it didn’t have the traditional apple taste I was expecting. But after I tasted the other three and came back to it, my palate had gained a new appreciation. Besides the coffee, it carries hints of caramel and vanilla – rather like a crème brulee of ciders. I joked with my friend that this would make a good breakfast cider.
I did not enjoy the semi-sweet ciders as much. Those were Sawtooth and Gitch. I can’t think of any description for Sawtooth. It just did not inspire my tongue. Gitch was a bit better, but like its namesake lake, was watery compared to the more robust flavors of the sweet ciders.
Instead of ordering a flight, my friend had a full glass of the Palisade — a dry cider that he found “quite pleasing.”
Many in the crowd were drinking a reddish cider called Ruby, which is a sweet one made with cranberries. I’d like to try that next time we go back. We were there on a night that featured a jazz band. The cidery has many events planned in the coming weeks that look intriguing.
The crowd was a mix of ages, but featured a preponderance of men with dark beards, glasses and plaid shirts. So if you’re a hipster, you’ll fit right in. If you’re an oldster hipster like us, even better!
The types of ciders available vary, so you might not find these same ones when you go. Don’t let that stop you from giving your tongue an adventure and trying what sounds good.
I’m glad this wave of ciders has reached the shores of Lake Superior.