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beerPlease, I hope someone gathered the joke I was going for without me having to curse in that title.  Please, tell me someone caught it.  I really couldn’t come up with anything else clever.  So forgive me…

I’m on a cider kick.  It goes down so smooth and when it’s warm, the cider is so refreshing.  It’s just wonderful.  Mmmmmmm, cider.CameraZOOM-20140525135255681

I decided, since I was out driving anyway, that I should just pass through East Dubuque on the way home from church and get some stuff to review.  I first went straight to the ciders and this caught my eye.  It looks positively awesome.  I decided, because it looked awesome and didn’t have anything weird in it ingredients wise (friends, check the ingredients when you buy cider), that, “It can’t be that bad.”

So yeah, maybe I should get over my preconceived notions of how things are packaged and bottled.  Shock and awe over how much I enjoyed it is the only way I can enjoy it.  Even now, as I proclaimed yesterday that I wish it was in a bottle, I don’t know if I would want to change everything.  In my pride I want to be right about the can, but this cider is so good I don’t want to say something should change because it might change something else, possibly making it worse.

And it’s hard to argue with results.

Smith and Forge Hard Cider

Appearance: A beautiful amber color.  I mean beautiful.

CameraZOOM-20140525135330964I’ve had and enjoyed lighter beers than that.  I’m not sure if this is true or not, but it seems like this is the darkest cider I’ve ever poured.

Scent: Apples.  Not sickly sweet apple juice, not that typical “hard cider” smell; it smells like apples.  A closer smell did bring out the hard cider scent but the only thing I thought as my nose first went into the glass was, “Apples!”

Taste: Delicious.  Quite a bit of apple flavor, a bit of sweet, a bit of dry.  Honestly, when I drink a hard cider, this is exactly what I want.

Taste from the can: Not nearly as good.  Not at all.  Pour it in a glass, friends.

Quality: Top notch.  Even as I drank it after pouring it from a can, it doesn’t have that same nastiness that canned beer is known for.  This is quality, quality cider that I love.

Drinkability: Torn on this.  I could drink them all, easily, but they are a bit sweet comparing to something like Original Sin’s cider.  They are a bit heavier.  I mean, it’s still a cider so it goes down super easy, but there are ciders that go down easier.

Overall: Wow.  It is quite fantastic.  People may over look it because it’s in a can but that would be a mistake.  It is flavorful, a bit sweet, and still clocks in at 6.0% ABV; it’s what cider should be.

Unbiased: A.  I think.  I mean, it  objectively has more flavor than most ciders and is fantastic but I don’t know if I can give it an A and truly believe that is unbiased because…

Biased: A/A+.  Seriously, this is amazing cider.  I will get it again, and multiple times again.  I can’t quite say it’s perfect, but it’s pretty damn close.

Smith & Forge Hard Cider Website

As I’m writing this piece, I’m also watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi and I am struck by the constant drive to improve and innovate what he does.  Tradition is important, but only so far as it doesn’t interfere with doing the absolute best at your craft.  I won’t try to compare a can of hard cider to the art of Jiro’s sushi but there is something to doing what you think is correct for the craft that you have.  Frankly, I would never have opted for a can, but they made the choice that had the benefits that they wanted, and it paid off in spades.

Not sure what I’m trying to say here; maybe, just to excel at your craft, not judge based upon archaic notions, and always grow.  Almost homiletic, in a way.

To quality in all that you consume!

– Robby