This dry cider from Spirit Tree Estate Cidery in Caledon, Ontario is a pale, brassy yellow and has no shortage of large bubbles streaming from the bottom of your glass when poured. The smell of Spirit Tree Draught Cider is green apple-forward, with notes of crabapple, baked dessert apples, white grape and wild yeast, which creates a mild funk.
Tart and crisp are the two words that best describe the taste of Spirit Tree Draught Cider to me. Green apple and white grape flavours are balanced with a warm and mellow honey sweetness that gives way to a dry finish and a punchy hint of sourness. The cider has a full body and plenty of life on the tongue, along with a mild syrupy feel and an air of creaminess you just won’t find in a typical mass-market product. A funky yeast note lingers in the aftertaste, along with a dry spiciness that brings cinnamon and black pepper to mind.
Originally packaged in clear bottles, Spirit Tree Draught Cider recently made the move to emerald green cans that uses an understated branch-like design to evoke the image of an apple. There is a brief description of the cider on the back, a warning that it contains sulphites (most ciders do) and a stamped canning date.
Spirit Tree Draught Cider was one of the first Ontario ciders to gain wider distribution away from its home market. A couple of years later, it is still one of the best you’ll find at the LCBO and worthy of being called a leader. It showcases what’s great about Ontario craft cider while remaining accessible enough for those weaned on fizzy yellow juice to try without being pushed away.
Try Spirit Tree Draught Cider with a spinach salad, feta, goat or other sharp cheeses, vanilla ice cream or a pork dish. You can find it at select LCBO stores and licensees or visit the cidery, which is open weekly from Wednesday to Sunday.
Type: Dry Cider
Region: Ontario, Caledon
Brewery: Spirit Tree Estate Cidery
Format Purchased: 473 mL
Alcohol Content: 6.0%