Second day of spring here on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. Eight inches of snow, school cancelled, working from home for both of us. This Good Life Glacial Till Ice Cider seems to be the right choice for this snowy evening...
You'll never find this specific cider again. Good Life Cider is now Kite & String Cider after a recent re-brand. To confuse things a little more, Kite & String is made by and is the house brand of Finger Lakes Cider House (which, incidentally, is where we really fell in love with cider a couple years back). So, if you find yourself in the Finger Lakes region of New York, go to Finger Lakes Cider House to get their Kite & String Cider, which for the purposes of this review we're calling Good Life. Got it?
The good news for you is that Kite & String still makes an ice cider, which appears to be quite similar to what we tasted tonight based on a comparison of the description on our bottle and their website.
Ice cider, if you aren't familiar, is made by freezing freshly pressed juice, concentrating it to ridiculously high sugar levels (technical term if you want to nerd out: cryoconcentration). This super-sweet concentrated juice, when fermented, yields a higher ABV—here around 12%—and maintains a lot of residual sugar. It's thick, intense, and meant for sipping.
Glacial Till pours pure gold, viscous with thick, long legs. Roasted apples hit the nose first, and tasting reveals caramel-covered Granny Smith (Beth's take) or buttery slow-baked apples, perhaps with a butterscotch drizzle (says Mike). There's some acid in here, which lends a sharp, tart note towards the end and cleans up the finish so it isn't cloying. It lingers for a long, long time, which is quite welcome because this cider is straight-up delicious.
This isn't a cider you'd drink with a meal. You'll want it after dinner in a small snifter or funky aperitif glass (though technically it would be more of a digestif) as you sit at the table, dishes pushed aside to clean up later, chair pushed back a bit. Serve it with a light, savory dessert. Blue cheese would be killer. Maybe a few roasted nuts and dried figs or apricots. Let the cider do the sweet work.
Of course, if your daughter makes a pan of chocolate chip cookie bars on her snow day, you could always have one of those alongside as well...