savnac (2064) - Anchorage, Alaska, USA - FEB 7, 2011
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
22 oz bottle. Slight smell of apple, with natural musty smell. Cloudy, brownish yellow in appearance. Tastes like an apple that is overripe and starting to turn brown. It lacks the fresh crisp flavors that I enjoy in ciders. Flat, syrupy mouth feel. Although unique, would not drink again.
JohnMan (102) - Illinois, USA - JAN 25, 2011
1.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 5/20
This was an interesting cider. There’s some apple floral flavors mixed with a slight roasty malt. Not my type of flavors.
Tmoney99 (8787) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 11, 2011
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Poured clear brown color with a minimal fizzy head that diminished slowly with little lacing. Medium floral apple and grape aroma. Medium body with a smooth dry texture and soft carbonation. Medium dark grape and tart apple flavor with a medium grape sweet finish of moderate duration. Solid drinkable refreshing beverage.
zizzybalubba (1154) - Elizabeth City, North Carolina, USA - DEC 31, 2010
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
22 oz. bottle from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. Light brown pour with a thin head that quickly fades. Aroma of tart apple and bready yeast. Flavor is a mixture of sweet and tart apple but the Irish stout yeast certainly alters the flavor from a traditional cider. An acquired taste, I suppose. Not bad overall.
bvc (1103) - Kenmore, Washington, USA - DEC 27, 2010
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
22oz bottle. Pours a unfiltered toffee brown with just a little bit of head. Syrupy apple, champagne, Belgian esters, light plastic. Tastes pretty much like unfiltered apple juice and molasses...sounded better on paper. I keep sipping hoping that the molasses will smooth out, but it just stays too sharp for me.
obguthr (3225) - Poquoson, Virginia, USA - DEC 20, 2010
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
Rubber and apple aroma, with molasses overtones. Muddy ochre. Overripe apples, still quite rubbery. Nice body. Light molasses finish. Very unusual cider, doesn’t appear to be particularly well made, but I like the concept.
bhensonb (8997) - Woodland, California, USA - DEC 19, 2010
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from the Co-Op in Davis, CA. Pours a very hazy dark amber/brown. Aromas of very ripe apple skins and treacle. Near medium body. Flavor is lightly appleskin with some supporting treacle. All very moderate - neither light nor heavy. Drinks much like a low carbonation ale. And despite the treacle the skin bitter balances. Very much worth a try. Drinks way too easy.
Skyview (5023) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - NOV 8, 2010
3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Sampled during Minnesota Autumn Brew Review 2010 and via 22-oz bomber picked up at Heritage Liquors in Maplewood, MN. Pours a hazy brownish amber colored cider with a thin off-white ring and film top. Aroma of fresh road construction tar, hint of yeast some anise, butterscotch and a very faint apple juice. Taste is mostly anise/black licorice, a hint of apple juice, burnt sugar, and some medicinal bitterness. Finish is semi-dry, medicinal with a lingering black licorice and light apple juice aftertaste. If it’s black licorice and some apple you’re looking for this is okay.
Drake (6503) - Ivy, Virginia, USA - OCT 28, 2010
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle from Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA, opened 10/1/10. Pours a very dark hazy amber color with a thin fizzy head. Aroma of caramel and apples with a tart, earthy finish. The taste is molasses, apples, earthy notes and a bitter nutty finish. Medium bodied.
Nuffield (3348) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - OCT 24, 2010
2.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
I want to offer a comment directed to the Crispin Cider Company in the hope that they might see this. I’m a local Minnesotan and, given that we have such great apples in the state I would love to see some great cider produced here. I lived in England for three years and absolutely adored fine cider. I’ve also tried most of the best French and Quebec ciders. The fact of the matter is that nothing I have tried from Crispin has come even close to being good cider. In the case of the Lansdowne, the molasses and yeast have done much to cover the apple flavor with a murky caramel and sharp yeastiness. This is a mess, giving the drinker nothing of the possible delights that one could have if you take the apple base an push it in a number of directions. There is the potential for this to be a Faro of sorts, given its sweetness (not that that is an easily emulated style), but all they’ve done here is washed out the tart freshness of a good cider. There was scarcely any apple to be found in the aroma. My wife and her sister, both of whom have loved ciders that I’ve given to them over the years, responded to this one with "blech". But the complaint is not unique to this cider. For whatever reason, even the straight-up ciders are not echoing the best that cider has to offer. Perhaps they’ve done this already, but I would suggest that they invest in a trip to Herefordshire, Bristol, and a couple beer/cider festivals, sampling as many English ciders as they can find and asking for tips from the best artisan cider producers. Crispin needs a leap up to the next level of proficiency in cider making. After refusing to finish the last sips of this bottle, I had a glass of regular non-alcoholic cider (from Pepin producers, Minnesota) from a gallon jug, and found it wholly more satisfying. Best of luck in the future. I’ll keep trying their ciders, and I hope they keep trying to improve, because there’s no reason why Americans can’t have and love the best quality cider, like that which is available in other parts of the world.