Big Hill Ciderworks‘ location paints a pretty picture. Set along the South Mountain—a northern extension of the Blue Ridge Mountains—just north of historic Gettysburg and a short distance from the Appalachian Trail, the cidery is amid orchards in the hub of Pennsylvania’s Apple Country. Equally picturesque are the ciders produced by Troy Lehman and Ben Kishbaugh, two independent farmers who came together in 2013 to launch their heirloom apple-based cidery in 2014. The fruit flexes its estate traditional varieties from Dabinetts to Kingston Blacks and the ciders flaunt their reach with farmhouse-style, barrel-aged tipples alongside a dry-hopped bottling.
A limited release, the Dolgo Crabapple fruit used in this eponymous cider is another handsome looker. Pink buds blossom over the cherry-red apples—the reddest skins of all crabapple varieties to top that—and the pressed juice pulls out a pink hue to match the flowers. For Big Hill’s rendition, the cider highlights the apple’s bittersweet qualities, with its tart and tangy, cranberry bouquet. The palate is a complex balance of beaming fruit and zesty acid, stark dry flavors and a full body, sweet tannin and a crisp finish that leaves the mouth watering for more.
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