GSN Review: Awestruck Premium Hard Ciders

1413301533807Autumn is here, and time to break out the cider!  Although to be honest it feels more like mid-Winter in Syracuse today at only 22 degrees.  But, aside from that, there is something about this season that begs for enjoying a few apple flavored beverages.

If you didn’t already know, New York State is home to over two dozen of varieties of apples.  In fact, there is an annual apple festival just outside of Syracuse that has been held since 1973 and now attracts over 90,000 visitors per year! So apples are big business here.

Awestruck Cider is crafted on the fringes of the Catskill Mountains in rural Walton, New York.  They make three styles and were kind enough to visit the GSN office and personally drop off three 750ml bottles for us to enjoy.

Eastern Dry – Not too sweet or sour, this cider strikes a perfect balance between the two.  The carbonation level is just right, as well.  A lovely cider for sharing over a charcuterie board with a friend or two.  GSN Rating: B+

Hibiscus Ginger – Sweeter than I was expecting, but not overly so.  The hibiscus adds color, while the ginger gives it a little kick of heat.  I think a bit more ginger would make this cider even more appealing.  I found this cider served on the rocks was even better than stright up, and an interesting alternative to ginger ale in a highball.  GSN Rating: B

Lavender Hops – Beer is hopped, and even some spirits, so why not cider?  Why not go a step further and add perfumed floral notes with lavender?  That’s what you’ll find here.  In spite of the potential for this experiment to go horribly wrong, it works beautifully well.  Of the three ciders, this was by far my favorite.  Each sip surprises the palate and engages the mind to really reflect on what you’re drinking.  Very clever, creative and a real winner among ciders!  GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Awestruck Ciders