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Judge's Review: 91 Rating - Dabinett by Snow Capped Cider

August, 2021
Judges Rating: 
91
Aroma: 
20 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
37 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Dabinett* by Snow Capped Cider is a single varietal cider being judged against  BJCP category C1A, New World Ciders.

The cider is served in a  tall, narrow pilsner glass at 48oF, exhibiting a deep gold/light amber color, brilliant clarity and lively gas exchange. The nose is light and fruity with a hint of honeydew melon, light acid, faint dried herbs (bay-laurel), and a tight apple sweetness. The aroma comes off overall as straightforward and not particularly complex, but imbued with a lovely fresh, off-dry apple note that is very appealing (if you missed that pun, I forgive you). There are no grassy, barnyard or phenolic spicy tones at all -- just lively fruit with a nice acid/sweet backdrop.

The flavor profile is richer and sweeter than the aroma indicated, with a fairly obvious early sweetness with tones of light honey, floral nectar, melon and green apple. The mid-palate presents a soft tannic astringency that is short-lived. The late flavors are lingering green apple and a light sweet-tart balance that  straddles dry to off-dry, leaning to the latter. Body is medium, gas level is medium/sparkling, and the astringency in the finish is low but plainly evident. Overall the cider is very approachable and straightforward, with bright cider fruit dominating, and the squeaky clean ferment taking a backseat. I quite like it (the apple fruit character is, frankly, delicious) but do think some more complex ferment flavors might add to the enjoyment. As far as parings, a charcuterie, cheese and preserved fruit plate would knock it out of the park.

*post-blind comment: Dabinett is, of course, a classic English cider apple, isolated in Somerset well over 100 years ago. It is fantastic to see this apple varietal being crafted into a well-made, albeit new world-accented, cider. Props.

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