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The Beer Circle » Cider, Crispin Cider Co. » Crispin Cider Company: The Saint

Crispin Cider Company: The Saint

Though in a new blog there are a lot of “firsts,” I feel like I’m getting a number of the cool ones: cooking with beer, the first poorly reviewed beer, and now the first cider. I know, I know, this isn’t the cider circle. This is a deviation from traditional beer circle posts in a few ways: not only is it the first cider, but also as of February 21st, Crispin Cider is owned by Tenth and Blake. For those who are unfamiliar, Tenth and Blake is the “Craft and Import” division of MillerCoors that has been buying out or purchasing large stakes in craft breweries. But Wait! Hear my illogical logic! I’ve actually been wanting to try Crispin for a while, and I figured that since I bought it two weeks after the buyout it would have still been brewed while it was independent. I know this doesn’t really change that Tenth and Blake got my $5.99, but a girl is allowed to delude herself a little bit, so leave me be. I chose the Saint because I thought it sounded really interesting. Crispin describes it as such:

Naturally fermented using a premium blend of fresh pressed apple juice, not from concentrate, and fermented with Belgian Trappist beer yeasts, The Saint boasts a sweet floral bouquet that develops a yeasty, herbal complexity.

The Saint is uncorrupted by added malt, spirit or grape alcohols, and is free of added sugar, colorants, sorbate and benzoate preservatives, and is filtered cold for crisp refreshment.

I can get behind that. I try to eat healthy and organic when I can. “Uncorrupted” seems like overly strong and a little dramatic, but it makes sense given the name of “The Saint” and using Biblical language. The description is very flowery in general, but this is my favorite line:

It’s very, very good.

Well we’ll see, won’t we?

Crispin Cider Company’s The Saint
This is a nice looking cider; the picture doesn't illustrate this, but there was a nice a nice amount of head before I snapped the photo. It's cloudy in appearance since it is unfiltered-- the bottle tells you to turn the bottle upside down to disperse everything that had settled at the bottom.
There really isn't much of an aroma on this one. Part of it is probably that the ice is blocking the bubbles from really releasing the aroma... but that's how they told me to drink it. I had some left in the bottle, so I poured it into a glass to smell; this had a much stronger aroma, though it was moreso of the Trappist yeast rather than the apples.
This is definitely a cider that is very unique from what I've had in the past; the Trappist yeast adds a nice complexity. I can't really taste any of the maple syrup, and it fact it's still pretty tart- not a tart that adds really, it's almost off putting. I wish there was a little something more to balance the flavor, since saying it has maple syrup gives the indication that it errs on the side of sweet. The flavor of yeast is more prominent than that of apples.
The Saint is pretty high carb. I wasn't quick enough to grab a photo before the foam went down, but there were a lot of bubbles throughout drinking it. It should be noted, however, that the bubbles are very small-- they're more like champagne bubbles than soda bubbles; the mouthfeel in general was very champagne-y. I liked that is was unfiltered- it adds a nice body that typically isn't there in ciders.
It was $5.99 for a 22oz bomber. Considering that it is a 'Super Premium' all natural cider rolling in at 6.90% ABV, I didn't think that was too bad.
This is a unique contribution to the cider world, and I think it could be a good 'gateway' from more mainstream ciders into Belgian beers. One thing I noted from looking for the scores on RateBeer, however, is that it looks like the Saint is really inconsistent. Some people said it was too tart, some said way too sweet. Some said they couldn't taste the maple at all, and others said that was the most prominent flavor over the apples and the yeast. Some people had bottles that seemed to be completely flat, whereas that was definitely not the case with this one. This may reflect a larger issue with Crispin in terms of delivering a consistent product.

Beer Stats
Style: Cider
Serving: Bottle
Size: 22oz
ABV: 6.90%
BA Score: N/A
RB Score: 85

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Written by Paige Deckert

Paige is a fifth year graduate student at Penn State; she received her craft beer education while bartending during undergrad at the University of Illinois. Over several months, Rogue’s Dead Guy served as her gateway beer, because it was $2/pint on Thursdays, and thus offered the highest ABV/$. This eventually turned into enjoyment, and everything is history from there. Her first legal beer was Robert the Bruce on cask at the Blind Pig in Champaign, followed by the Duchess de Bourgogne. Paige has visited over 15 breweries, including Great Divide, Bells, Jolly Pumpkin, Three Floyds and Dogfish Head, with plans to add more in 2012 via trips to San Diego, Phoenix, and Austin. Paige became friends with Russ (and subsequently Garrett) when they became friends on untappd. She clearly remembers seeing a check-in of his and thinking, “Who is this clown checking into Miller Light at the Shandygaff?” Soon thereafter he introduced himself at a Zeno’s beerfest, and they bonded over their beer geekery (sans adjuct lagers). Find Paige Deckert on Google Plus

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