Revel - Bittersweet Freedom 2022 (Hyslop Crabapple Cider) / 750mL
Revel Cider (Guelph, ON)
Some apples are better than others. 7 years ago, Revel had the immense good fortune to stumble onto what has become their favourite apple. Having tried ciders from traditional European cider apples over the last few years, for them, nothing has topped the incredible character of the humble Hyslop. Hyslop is a crabapple variety that originated in North America in the 19th century (around Boston likely). Revel only knows of 3 trees in Ontario, and they’re extremely biennial: meaning they bear fruit every other year. Even though they discovered these trees back in 2016, this is only the fourth time they’ve gotten their hands on these crabapples. Bittersweet Freedom starts with those chalky tannins. Where many grape tannins tend to be softer and fruitier, Hyslop crabapples are chalky, stripping the saliva from your mouth. These unique tannins give way to eye popping tangerine juice, slowly followed by the farmyard funk brought forth by native yeast. The acid here is thankfully restrained, because honestly there’s enough going on to keep you thinking about it without a ton of acidity.