My husband and I did stockings for each other this year, and I had a lot of fun picking out items for his. I was wandering through our local store in search of little goodies to add to his pile when I came across a hard cider by the company, Crispin. My husband and I don't drink a lot of alcohol but we enjoy it when we do. We've had some pretty good hard ciders before, but I noticed that this one was naturally fermented and had honey as an ingredient. It sounded interesting.
(By the way, I consider myself a traditional foodie, that is someone who tries to eat a diet based on traditional ingredients, and naturally fermented and organic wines and hard ciders can be a part of a well balanced diet in moderation.)
Anyways, my husband was thrilled with the contents of his stocking and shared the cider with me. We were both blown away by how much more flavorful this hard cider was in comparison to any other we've tried (we've tried both cheap brands and more nice, expensive ones). This one was, hands down, the best we've tried. It makes every other hard apple cider we've tried seem one-dimensional, whereas this brand had a lot more complexity.
I took a closer look at the bottle and found the company's website. We tried their honey crisp hard cider. There are a few things they do, besides the naturally fermented process, which may help make this drink so delicious.
They use freshly pressed juice instead of concentrate
They leave the hard cider unfiltered, which gives you residual natural apple wine sediment in the bottle. This could add to the special flavor.
They use honey, but no other additives like sugar or malt or preservatives. I think this allows the true flavors to shine through more.
They also use a combination of different apples. My apple pies taste a lot better when I use a variety of apples, so it makes sense that the same is true for hard cider.
I don't know if I can buy it locally or not, but I noticed that they have several other flavors of naturally fermented hard cider, including one sweetened with maple syrup and Belgian Trappist beer yeasts, another fermented with Irish stout ale yeast, and one more fermented with sake yeast and rice syrup. They all sound amazing.
This will definitely be on our favorite list.