West County’s Pippin Hard Cider appears washed out beige and, upon pouring, produces one of the most energetic heads of suds I’ve encountered recently in a cider. The nose on this one is distinctly floral, with notes of vanilla, citrus and even a slight soapy-ness. It smells like springtime, and has no link to sweet apple or that apple-aging-cellar aroma often found in freshly scented cider. Medium bodied on the palate with pretty significant tannins and lemon like acidity. The effervescence mentioned above certainly comes through on the palate. This is dry cider with lots of citrus notes including lime, lemon, and grapefruit. Sour apple makes its appearance alongside the citrus notes. A slight bitterness arrives at the end along with mineral notes one might encounter in a fine Sancerre or dry Riesling. For all its tannins, the finish is dominated by acidity. This is a cider that is begging for food and many a dish would work just fine. I’d certainly try a fresh and crumbly chevre or a set of chicken thighs basking in a creamy white sauce. Barbecue of the sticky vinegar variety would also work well. This is distinctive cider that will appeal to those who think Angry Orchard is merely a pissed off set of trees.
West County Cider—Colrain, MA