A few days ago, I happened to pick up a bottle of The Saint from the Crispin Cider company of Minneapolis, Minnesota. It comes in one of those large, two-pint bottles that’s just perfect for sharing. Usually, I’ll check reviews before trying something new … especially when a bottle goes for more than eight bucks. I didn’t this time. what the heck. The label promised crisp, all-natural cider with real organic maple syrup and the Belgian Trappist Yeast that’s a key ingredient in some of my very favorite ales. I took a gamble, and I’m glad I did. It was an absolute treat.
The color is hazy straw—golden and, well, natural looking, for lack of a better term. The aroma us subtle and pleasing: fruity, of course, like fresh apples and a hint of something else—pear, maybe—and the delicious, bready scent that always accompanies the . There is a light head that disappears quickly,leaving only a few bubbles and faint lacing. The mouth feel is surprisingly light with pleasant carbonation. The taste, though, that’s where the Saint excels.
The first taste is apple, of course. Tart and sweet, but the tartness isn’t puckering, and the sweetness is far from syrupy or cloying. The maple is the next taste to emerge, subtle but clearly present, and it adds to and balances the apple in a marvelous way. The Trappist yeast adds very pleasant herb and vanilla notes. It all blends in a delicious, satisfying, and all-together delicious way.
I’ve only tried the one bottle (although I am about to race back to my beloved Candler Park Market to pick up another—and maybe see what else Crispin has to offer) but I feel fairly confident in declaring this my very favorite cider—maybe even over Magner’s Irish Cider and Ace Pear. It’s delicious and refreshing, and (while I usually think of apple cider and maple to be more autumn flavors) perfect for summer. As always, please let me know what you think!