We recently tried to get into Bar Hop for a quick drink before Friday night dinner reservations, and failed miserably. But our perseverance paid off after dinner, and delicious beer & cider was our reward.

I had some serious indecision this time around, so I opted for a flight of cider and beer. I sampled Spirit Tree‘s Draught Cider and West Avenue Cider‘s Heritage Dry. I also did a blind sampling of Bellwoods Brewery‘s Witchshark and Indie Ale House‘s Cockpuncher, but more on those in some later posts. Today we’re here to talk cider.

Since this was an impromptu sampling, I was lacking in proper camera or paper for sampling notes. I’m not sure if this was my first time trying Spirit Tree’s Draught Cider. Cider is not my go to drink in November, but after a decadent meal, I wanted something crisp to cleanse the palate.

Brewed in Caledon, ON, Spirit Tree offers a variety of alcoholic and virgin ciders. They learned their craft in Somerset, UK, where people take their cider very seriously. Spirit Tree’s in-house bistro features cider and food pairings, but we lacked a designated driver, so we needed to find their products somewhere a little more TTC accessible.

I tried the Draught Cider on tap in a 5 ounce sample glass. It is the far left option in my photo.

Appearance: Very clear offering. Bar Hop has kind of dim lighting so other colour profiles may be lacking. Straw-like colour.

Aroma: Faint apple aroma. There weren’t a lot of complex aromas in this sample.

Taste: Sweet start with a dry finish. Nice crisp apple flavours.

Aftertaste: Dry apple flavours at the back of the throat. Smooth finish.

Overall: I usually seek out apple cider during the summer months, when beer kicks my allergies into high gear. Cider is great to break up a night and pace things out a little bit, or cleanse the palate if you’re moving from very hoppy beers to very spicy stout flavours. This is a good effort, I’ll have to give it another try from a bottle next time. I hear Spirit Tree makes an Iced Cider, and that one really has my interest piqued. The Draught Cider is available at larger LCBOs, $13.20 for a 4-pack (4×330 ml).

Shawna O'Flaherty

Shawna is a 30-something Montreal native transplanted to Toronto in 2010. Wine loving, beer sniffing and rum swilling come naturally to her, and she is also a certified Irish whiskey taster. She has hosted beer and cheese pairing events in the past.

Shawna has visited vineyards in 6 countries on 3 continents, and has a knack for finding the hoppiest beers around.

She can be found drinking alka-seltzer and coconut water in the morning.

Email: shawna@torontoboozehound.com
  • fcdk1927

    One thing that’s really good about Spirit Tree cider is that it has a relatively low amount of sugar. The sugar content makes Spirit Tree taste sort of like Chardonnay rather than a spiked Apple juice.