Thirsty Thursday

1911 Original Hard Cider is light and clear with a tart apple taste

Frankie Prijatel | Senior Staff Photographer

1911's take on hard apple cider is lighter and crisper than heavy and dark brews such as Angry Orchard.

There’s a chill in the air, meaning it’s finally time to celebrate one of fall’s best traditions: apple picking. Fresh apple pies, apple cider doughnuts and warm cobblers are the desserts of the season. If you head to Beak and Skiff Apple Orchard, just 15 miles from the Syracuse University campus, you can get your hands on these fall-themed desserts, and of course, local hard cider.

This week, I decided to try out Beak and Skiff’s Original 1911 Hard Cider, which is brewed right across the street from the Beak and Skiff Orchard in Marietta, NY.

They orchard was established in 1911, but the owners didn’t brew alcohol until 2001, when they began producing a line of hard ciders.

At both the orchard and at local Syracuse bars, the cider is available on tap, but I decided to pick up a bottle at the supermarket.

The drink poured crystal clear with a pale yellow color, much lighter than other, bigger-brand ciders such as Redd’s Apple Ale or Angry Orchard. There was little to no head, but a few small bubbles floated up from the bottom of the glass, indicating a light carbonation.

The cider was as light on the nose as it was in the glass. As expected, I immediately noticed the fresh zesty apple scent wafting up from the bottle, an enticing scent followed by pear and a hint of vanilla.

After taking a small sip, I noted the cider was clean and refreshing with a light acidity. While ciders can often be too thick and sweet — sometimes reminding me of a chemically made, green apple candy flavor — this cider perfectly captured the tartness of fresh-picked fruit.

The cider has a medium body. It’s not too sweet nor too dry, almost reminding me of sweet champagne, with a smooth apple finish.

If you’re looking for a dark and heavy cider, Original 1911 Hard Cider probably shouldn’t be your pick; however for a light drink with the perfect balance of sweet and tart, I highly recommend this brand.

Don’t want to drive all the way out to the orchard to get a taste? Keep an eye out for the drink in supermarkets. The cider is packaged in a classic green bottle, with a tan and red 1911 logo on the label.

Original 1911 Hard Cider is 5.5 percent alcohol and sells for about $12 for a six-pack. Other 1911 cider flavors include: Raspberry, Ginger, Blueberry, Grapefruit and Hopped IPC Hard Cider.

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