From the website: “BULWARK ‘Original’ is a hand crafted traditional Cider that is dry, crisp, and refreshing. It is all natural and made with 100% fresh-pressed apples from the famed Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, Canada. Settlers first started growing apple varieties in this Valley in the early 1600’s and our Cider’s unique character and flavours are meant as a tribute to those 400 years of apple growing tradition in the Valley. BULWARK ‘Original’ has a signature flavor that is achieved through a careful blending of 5 apple varieties. It is great on its own or on ice and is an excellent accompaniment to many fine dishes. A truly refreshing and satisfying drink to be enjoyed on all occasions. Serve Chilled“
- Appearance: Bright, Straw
- Aroma: Winey, Fresh Apple
- Taste: Fresh Apple, Crisp, Tart
Background: BULWARK is from Nova Scotia’s Annopolis Valley, which is also home to Port Royal, North America’s 2nd oldest European settelement. The area originally settled by the French in 1605 as the capital of Acadia ( Aka. Cajuns who were later sent to the Southern Sates such as Louisiana) was fought for and passed back and forth by the English and French as they tried to build a stronghold in North America. During this time, many English & French Apple trees were planted throughout the area. BULWARK uses 400 years of colonial apple growing tradition to make their ‘Original’ cider.
First Taste is: Crisp! This Nova Scotian cider starts with a winey nose and pours a small head of 1/4″ of mousse that quickly subsides to micro bubbles. The nose doesn’t disappoint as this cider starts a little winey and moves to a dry fresh apple finish. There’s a tart acidic bite to this cider that compliments the gentle effervescence and fresh apple bouquet that resonates throughout this cider.
What’s in it? 5 types of apples and sulphites.
Overall: A really nice example of an Eastern English-style Cider. One of the comments I hear from people getting into real cider is, “it’s nice, but it doesn’t taste like apples”. Which is kind of funny, because with no other fermented beverage would you have the same expectations; Would you expect Wine to taste like grapes? Or Vodka to taste like potatoes? No, probably not. However, BULWARK Original actually tastes like apples. It’s not in-your-face as some ciders can be, but it’s there. I was really impressed with this offering from Nova Scotia’s Muwine Estate Wines. The crisp fresh apple flavours in this cider in conjunction with the gentle effervescence makes this a real winner and a cider to keep an eye on in Canada. I have a feeling that you will be seeing this cider more often on Canadian patios as we get into the warmer months.
Would I buy it again? Yes, I wish I could get this cider! This would be one to add to add to my regular rotation in the cider cellar.
Where to get it? Available in select restaurants and retailers across Canada or if you are in Nova Scotia you can pick it up at the NSLC.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
X-factor: Grown from some of the oldest apple trees in North America, this cider tells a great story of the early colonial cider days.
Full Disclosure: It was very enjoyable even though I generally like my cider with bold tannins there is something about BULWARK that makes me smile when I drink it.