Stormalong: Kingston Black
Basic Info about the Cider
Cider: Kingston Black
Origin: Sherborn, MA, USA
Color: Gold, clear
Our Review of the Cider
Julia's Thoughts and Rating:
Kingston Black has a pleasant smell to it that is reminiscent of juice box apple juice. Upon sipping the cider, there is a slight tingling sensation, as well as a fair amount of acidity (you can feel a drying sensation on the top of your tongue). After a couple of seconds, however, a subtle apple flavor similar to the sweet-but-not-too-sweet flavor of a McIntosh apple comes through. Shortly thereafter, some lemon notes emerge, and about halfway through the sip, the apple flavor becomes secondary to the lemon. It is at this point that the acidity peaks. As the sip winds to a close, a buttery whiskey flavor becomes noticeable and helps to balance out the acidity. Both the acidity and whiskey notes continue into the aftertaste and are joined by a slight amount of bitterness, as well as a drying sensation. This cider leans more toward a medium body, and it is in between off-dry and semi-dry. It has a relatively low amount of carbonation, and as indicated by the touch of bitterness and dry mouth sensation in the aftertaste, there are tannins present in this cider.
Overall, I loved this cider. I found it extremely well balanced, with the notes of sweetness, acidity, and tannin all working together and balancing each other out. This cider had a much more nuanced flavor profile than the majority of ciders that we have reviewed so far, and I am sure that if I were to drink it again, I would pick up on other flavors that I hadn’t noticed the first time around.
Ramsay's Thoughts and Rating:
This has a small but persistent bite upfront that lasts for most of the sip before slowly fading.
After a few sips, I noticed a medium body. Feels like it has more depth to it than most of the ciders I’ve had so far.
The acidity in this one is interesting in that I get it almost immediately, and it lasts for the entire sip. Other than that, I felt like it increased until about the halfway point before mellowing out a little. The carbonation on this is high for sure. You will feel it in your gut before long.
This has a healthy amount of tannin. I felt it coat my tongue with every sip, drying it out in the process. Reminds me of some red wines in that sense.
The flavor of Kingston Black is quite something to describe. The first thing I notice is a sharp lemon/citrus flavor, but right after, at about ¼ into the sip, I get a bittersharp apple flavor. Closest I would say on flavor is probably a Cortland apple — sweet with some tartness. The bittersharp kicks up in profile until about the ¾ point, before gently fading into the aftertaste. The apple flavor is dominant in the aftertaste. It lingers for quite a long time.
This cider has characteristics of both a dry and a sweet cider. In the middle of the sip, I get some sweet notes, but the acidity and tannin give it dry notes. That said, I got a semi-dry finish.
Overall, Kingston Black is very unique. It was different from ciders I’ve had in the past. The bittersharp apple flavor is something new for me. With qualities of sweet and dry, I felt it delivered a welcome change of pace. It’s a shame bittersharp apple aren’t more common in the U.S.