If you’re driving through central Michigan, there is not much variation in the landscape that will grab your eye. The hour long drive up from Lansing to Mount Pleasant on US-127 is filled with flat farmland. However, if you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll see a giant apple orchard and a big sign for Uncle John’s Cider Mill.
Uncle John’s has been around forever, and they offer a variety of apple-based goods, such as apple pies, apple donuts and other treats. While Uncle John’s is known for its non-alcoholic apple cider, the dark horse of the cider mill is the hard cider.
I recently paid a visit to Uncle John’s Cider Mill and picked up a six-pack of the stuff to try. I documented my findings below.
One of the things that can set the tone for your experience with a hard cider is the packaging. The appearance of the packaging was basic, but not in a bad way. The cans boasted a nice vintage looking font with a little drawing above it.
After taking a look at the packaging, I decided to pour out the fermented apple beverage. The look of this drink is beautiful. It has a nice golden pour with a pleasant head and a nice looking carbonation. Of all the ciders I have tried, I would say that I found the pour to be particularly impressive.
I think that the aroma is an essential harbinger for taste. I found that this cider had a particularly impressive aroma. I noticed some wine like notes as I took a whiff of the drink. What I really appreciated from this fruit beer was the nice apple pie and almost cinnamon like scent.
This bevy of pleasant odors flowing through my nostrils was exciting, and I could not wait to taste this cider and see if it lived up to its scents.
All I can say is: plot twist! I thought that this hard cider was going to be very sweet. However, I was surprised to get more of a dry taste from this apple beer. Even though the dry flavor was surprising, I was not disappointed. I found the flavor to be very robust. Another thing that I noticed about the taste was the tartness. The slightly sour and bitter nature of this drink shows a little honesty in the production in that the makers aren’t trying to mask the true flavor by adding too much sugar. The dryness and the tartness were definitely well received, and I enjoyed this apple libation all the way down to the bottom of the glass.
The texture was also a notable aspect of this hard cider. The carbonation was pleasant and stimulating without masking the flavor of the alcoholic apple juice. This is a testament of the sensitivity and expertise of these St. John’s based cider makers.
Finally, I thought the aftertaste was also something to consider. The dryness stayed in my mouth, but not in a way that it ruined the flavor of the cider. It made me crave another sip of the delicious golden stuff. Which is saying a lot considering we are true hard cider connoisseurs.
Drive on down to Uncle John’s Cider Mill (or maybe your local corner store) and pick up some of this incredible hard cider. It’s definitely an A+ in my book!
My favorite is still this drink by Blake’s, who would of thought cucumber and ginger would taste so good together.