The Kingston Black apple is a renowned English cider apple that provides cider blends with the bitterness and acid that well-balanced cider will possess. The Kingston Black falls into the “Bittersharp” category of cider apples. It’s quite rare to find a cider, like the one reviewed here, to be made with nearly 100% Kingston Black apples. The producers are the folks from West County Cider, who have been producing Ciders from their Massachusetts location 30 years now. They use their own estate apples as well as apples grown in other orchards around New England.
West County Cider Kingston Black
You are going to like the richly golden color of this perfectly clear cider that also throws off a warm reddish hue. The aromas are decidedly appely and rip apple at that. There are also wonderful spice notes in the nose. On the palate this cider is decidedly more tannic than most ciders, as well as possessing noticeable acidity—making it a distinctive drink. The carbonation is only moderate. Bitter apple flavors with hints of sweetness come first, with the bitter staying around on the finish. This is an intensely flavored cider and very long cider, due to the excessive tannin. The tannin and acid really calls out for a pairing with food to temper their effect. This cider is very much a “specimen”. By that I mean it is an unusual experience to drink a varietal Kingston Black, rather than encountering it in a blend of apples. For anyone looking to understand how a bittersharp apple contributes to a cider blend, this is a very useful cider to sample. I liked it, but drinking it is much more fatiguing on the palate than most ciders. This is a cider that wine lovers will recognize.