Yellow Cat Mulled Cider (2013) Tasting Notes

Original Post: Yellow Cat Mulled Cider
Style: Dry Cider
Brew Date: Fall, 2013
Tasting Date: October 13, 2014
ABV: 7%
IBUs: N/A
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Cinnamon and some mild citrus are the predominant aromas. It also gives off some vaguely “old” character. As soon as I take a sip, though, that mild unpleasantness is gone. Sweet, spicy, orange and maybe a little bit of apple. Yes, the apple is not one of the stronger features of this cider.

I remember it had too much orange initially after using only the mulling spice on it, thus I added some vanilla and cinnamon. That cinnamon is strong and welcome. It blends with the orange, without completely overpowering it. The combination tastes like Christmas.

This stuff is very sweet. I back sweetened with Splenda, which I was nervous to do, but it seems to have worked out fine. I liked the initial results but I was afraid it wouldn’t age well. The Splenda doesn’t seem to have changed the way the cider has aged at all, though.

There is a lot of carbonation, but the tiny bit of head that rose when I first poured it disappeared almost immediately. Aside from the lack of foam, the cider looks great. It is crystal clear, though I don’t remember that being the case when it was fresh. The color is pale yellow. This began as dark brown, cloudy cider but it now looks a lot more like apple juice. I’m always surprised by how light cider gets when it has cleared.

There is a lot more spiciness going on here. The cinnamon and orange are the immediately obvious flavors, but clove, nutmeg and all sorts of unidentifiable spices are lurking behind. I was surprised last year how much this stuff reminded me of Christmas time. Most of these spices are much more associated with Fall and Pumpkins, but somehow, the orange brings it straight into Winter.

I mentioned that age came through in the aroma, but as I drink more, I can tell its age in the flavor a bit, too. It is not bad, but things seem a bit more muddled and less bright than they did last year. The spices have certainly not died down much, if at all but they have lost some of their liveliness.
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This was one of my most surprising batches. It did not turn out how I expected, but it turned out quite well. After close to a year in the bottle, it is a little worst for the wear, but I didn’t leave much for this year anyway. There is so much going on in this that the 7% ABV is never the least bit noticeable. I would be interested to see how high the ABV could be pushed before it became more of a presence in the cider. I’m not planning to brew this exact recipe this year, but I am going to use it to guide me in another sweet cider I’m planning.

This bottle is about done for. Stay tuned for details on the new batch I am planning for the coming weeks, though.

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