NEWTOWN/ALBEMARLE PIPPIN: Ciders made exclusively from Newtown (or Albemarle) Pippin, a New Jersey-originated culinary apple heralded for its dual personality as a tasty eating apple and qualified cider apple. Biggest fans include President Thomas Jefferson and Queen Victoria. Here are six to try now.
Pippin Gold | Foggy Ridge Cider | Dugspur, VA
This fortified cider might receive its apple brandy addition from veteran distiller Laird & Company, but it is a demonstration of pure Newtown Pippin. Sweet apple spirits of golden flavors fill the glass, while the palate is coated in tropical fruit, honey, toffee and baking spices. Blue cheese, please! | 18% ABV | 375ml | $30
Newtown Pippin | Angry Orchard | Walden, NY
New York-grown Newtown Pippins are fermented with wild yeast and left unfiltered in this small lot bottling for the cider giant’s single variety series. Subtle, crisp green apple aromatics evolve with air, while the palate stays bright, earthy and dry with a hint of cellar funk for extra character. | 7.7% ABV | 750ml | $20
Pippin | Dragon’s Head Cider | Vashon, WA
Island time meets orchard-based concentration in this small, husband-and-wife-run operation. Only Newtown Pippin goes into the cider, highlighting the purity and grace of the apple. A profile of yeast funk, sharp green apple, smashed lemongrass and melon rind make this a perfect substitute for Vinho Verde and belongs next to shrimp salad. | 6.9% ABV | 375ml | $15
Pippins | Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse | Saanichton, BC
From the Vancouver Island-based cidery’s Heirloom Series, this single-varietal bottle takes a go at New England-style of cider by chaptalizing (adding sugar post-fermentation for higher alcohol content) its Newtown Pippin juice, resulting in a robust, mouthwatering and burly sipper of tropical fruits and honey. | 9.5% ABV | 750ml | $23 CAD
Royal Pippin | Albemarle CiderWorks | North Garden, VA
It’s Albemarle Pippin ‘round here, with a nod to Queen Victoria’s love of the apple behind this cider’s story. Floral, bone dry and crisply clean, this is a drink that finds its brilliance next to food, like citrus-buttered scallops or grilled pork chops with spice. | 8.6% ABV | 750ml | $17
Dryhard Gold | Mission-Trail Cider Co. | Bradley, CA
Fruit growers first, cidermakers as of recent years, this cider is picked, washed and sorted by hand before cold-pressing the Newtown Pippins fermented in this bottle. The cider is expressive with orange fruits, apple blossom, earth and yeast in the nose, sealing the deal with fresh, juicy fruit and a dry, cleansing finish. | 8.8% ABV | 500ml | $12
This article originally ran in Volume 9 of CIDERCRAFT magazine. For the full story and more like it, click here.