Some of the best cider in the world comes from small, local orchards across this great country. One such orchard is located in Shoreham, Vermont. Champlain Orchards is family-owned and a steward to the local ecosystem. To gather a better understanding of their business, we will allow them to describe it.
“All of the apples in our hard cider are pressed, fermented, and blended on-site at Champlain Orchards. As one of the oldest continuously operating Orchards in Vermont, we take pride in growing over 100 varieties of apples, as well as peaches, pears, plums, cherries, nectarines, and berries. We are careful stewards of our land and grow our fruit following strict Eco Apple requirements while striving to minimize our carbon footprint and sustainably contribute to our community.”
We love the mission, we love that they are family-owned, now, let’s see how much we will love the cider!
First up in my tastings of Champlain Orchards, I tried the Larabee. I was so happy with this honey cider that is incredibly unique and yummy. There are the honey notes of course but it’s all so light and refreshing at the same time. Plus, this cider pays credit to the bees that have helped pollinate all the apples at the orchards and the honey is also local from Champlain Valley Apiaries – what could be better?!
Secondly, I tasted the Kingston Dry. I highly enjoyed this one, as it is so smooth and so full. It hits all the way to the driest of the dry ciders but in a really great way. I was able to slow sip it, enjoy it, and just breathe for a minute. And, just like the Larrabee, there’s some heart behind this cider – it’s a tribute to the Champlain Orchards’ horticulture team from Jamaica.
Lastly, I went with Ashmead’s Kernel. This is a semi-dry cider in an eye-catching can wrap that I just can’t stop looking at or thinking about its colors. I love the backstory on the can wrap that is shared with drinkers too. With 8.4% ABV, I loved this cider to cool down, relax, and deep breathe after a long day at work. I definitely think this cider has that lingering acidity and you have to be ready for it. It stayed on my lips a bit after each sip. Perfect cider for those who enjoy acidity and prefer drier ciders. If you prefer sweeter ciders, you might want to head straight to Larabee.
If you’re looking to try any of these three great ciders – each with their own uniqueness – head to their website and peek around. The Kingston Dry is a year-round cider while Larabee is seasonal and Ashmead’s Kernel is an Estate Series.