I’ve previously reviewed the Foggy Ridge Sweet Stayman (* * * *) and was mightily impressed. This cider from Foggy Ridge celebrates early ripening American Heirloom apples, giving particular attention to the Graniwinkle and the Virginia Hewe’s Crab—an apple that was championed by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Foggy Ridge appears completely dedicated to lifting up and leading the craft cider revolution.
The First Fruit pours with a beautiful and quickly-disappearing head, but leaves behind very active small bubbles. The light golden color is pristine, clean and clear. If you try to drink this cider too cold, you’ll lose out on the lovely, tart apple aromas that spring from the glass. So don’t do that. You’ll also miss that neat hint of rosemary and thyme in the nose and you don’t want to do that. On the palate you’ll meet moderate carbonation that spreads out in a nice juicy wave. That’s when the pure tart apple hits your buds. The hint of sweetness is balanced by some pretty serious acidity. Astringency, however, isn’t something you need to worry about. The First Fruit closes and finishes with a beautify pinpoint lemon taste that leaves your mouth watering and clean. But here’s the secret: Let this cider warm up just a little more than you think you should and all of a sudden all these flavors combine in a beautifully creamy texture. I like this cider. I like Foggy Ridge. I like what they are trying to do and how they do. I could drink this cider all day and start over.