In my mind, there is no better time to put on your cider- or beer-critic hat than during a third date. Oh, no wait – I think there is no WORSE time to put on your critic hat than during a third date. And, yeah, I definitely don’t know anyone who would order a bottle of cider during dinner, then pause everything to set up some photos of said bottle, and then take notes on your cell phone about how the cider tastes and smells. Nope. No one decent would do that. Because that’s just rude. Of course, saying you’re a beer blogger is kind of awesome if you get the right date, so maybe using that excuse could score you some points. Luckily, my date was pretty laid back and has a really small bladder, so I was able to snap some choice photos and take some quick notes as distraction during his bathroom breaks. Plus maybe he thought it was cool. But my lips are sealed on that one.
Anyway! I’d heard about Colorado Cider Company’s Glider series, and when I saw the Cherry Glider on the menu at Kaos Pizzaria, I thought that would be the perfect pairing for the end of the meal full tummy. A little bit of sweet cherry in your drink would do just the trick in place of real dessert.
Cherry Glider: The Basics
Cidery: Colorado Cider Company (Denver, CO)
Style: Dry, with cherry notes
Cherry Glider: The Details
The restaurant was getting close to closing time (because that’s just how I roll), so unfortunately, I was not able to take the time to savor every sip as I typically do when I’m trying a new cider. That did not take away from my enjoyment. I fell completely in love with the color of this cider as I was pouring it from the bottle. In the dimmer restaurant light, it looked like if you made “autumn” into a color and then made that color into a drink. Perfect for the chilly autumn evening during which I was drinking. Holding my glass to the light, however, revealed a brew about the same color as rosé wine. Next, I fell in love with the way this cider smelled – about half the time. The first deep whiff on this cider was an understated cherry smell, but as the cider warmed and opened a little the scent tended to shift from this wonderful, fresh feeling – almost like cold mountain air – to something closer to cherry candy. All the way through the drink, this cider couldn’t decide what it wanted to smell like, and I think that was okay. I love a dynamic drinking experience, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t love those moments of candy smell as much.
Colorado Cider Company describes the Cherry Glider like this: “This cherry is a unique & dry apple cider enhanced with cherries, not over powered by them.” While I don’t always take a company’s product description at face value, this was pretty much the best way to describe this cider. It was almost like there were two stories happening at the same time. On one hand, you had this really light, dry, almost champagne-like cider that was super pleasant to drink. The finish there was super short, clean, and dry. A really classic, well-done dry cider, from what I could get. Then, on top of that cider was a completely different story being told by the cherry – it was that very distinctive black cherry flavor, with all of the wonderful earthiness and late-summer feelings that go along with it. The cherries provided a longer, almost bitter finish, which was allowed to sing since the cider itself didn’t linger on the tongue. However, these two stories worked in harmony with one another, rather than fighting one another – indeed, where the cherry could have been overpowering given how dry the cider was, I did not find that to be the case.
This was a good cider, for sure! I really wish I hadn’t been rushed to finish and vacate the restaurant so I could have spent more time pulling apart the two distinctive flavor profiles in this cider. I would say that someone who just wants to kick back and enjoy a cider may not love this one as much, since I never really felt like the apple and the cherry came together to form a single flavor profile or experience. As someone who actively looks for a fun and unique cider experience, I really loved that aspect, but this might not be ideal for a more casual drinking session. That said, if you want to try something that is pretty unique and a really awesome example of a fruited cider, give this one a sip, and then maybe thee or four more sips.