Weekly Beer Geek: Nomad Dry Hard Cider
- Written by Luke G
- August 9, 2012
Nomad Dry Hard Cider
North Peak Brewing Co.
The Beginning: Yet another hard cider rather than beer proper, but they sell on the same shelves at the liquor store and, besides, it’s hot outside. The recent rains probably have farmers jumping for joy, but for my money the increased humidity more than cancels out the benefit of the slightly lowered temperatures. When I looked in my beer fridge and saw nothing but stouts and powerful ales, I knew it was time to break out something dry and sweet.
The Brewer’s Pitch: Nomad is a dry hard cider straight from Traverse City’s Old Mission Peninsula- brewed with local apples, no less. With the smell of a freshly sliced apple and a slightly dry, tart finish Nomad is the perfect thing to please the palate on a hot day and leave it clean. Multiple apple varieties are combined for a pleasing whirl of taste that will leave you refreshed and begging for more.
The Beer: Nomad is an extremely pale whitish with the barest hint of clear gold. It's very fizzy with large bubbles of carbonation, although with most ciders it doesn’t hold a head. The nose does indeed carry the smell of chopped apples with a slightly musty alcoholic smell. The first taste is a lightly sweet apple juice taste with minimal alcohol in it. The finish is crisp and clean although not particularly dry. Moving through the glass, though, the sweetness faded in the face of a dry bitter pucker. By the end of the glass the sweet apple juice is gone, with a dry finish that cleans the palate.
The Breakdown: My grade on this beer moved up and then back down the further I worked through it. At first the sweet juiciness was pleasant enough, but nothing special and not the dry pucker I wanted. Moving onward, things started to get more interesting. The finish began to pop on my palate with a cool, clean tang. However, that train kept rolling well past where I wanted to jump off. By the end, unfortunately, the sweetness was a distant memory. The dryness was too much for the rest of the taste and there wasn’t enough apple flavor to carry the cider-ness of the cider. I’ll give it this: it was refreshing, but it would have been a world of improvement if it had carried a bit more apple sweetness to pair with the strength of the dry finish.
The Bottom Line: Every couple of years my family borrows a friend’s cottage right up in walking distance from the Old Mission Peninsula. I may have to do a little on-the-spot research on this one, to see if another one changes my mind… or another… or another…