Review: Crispin Original, Crispin Cider Co.

Crispin Original
Crispin Cider Co. — Minneapolis, MN

  • Style:  Hard Apple Cider
  • ABV: 5.0%
  • Ingredients:   Hard Apple Cider, Apple Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavors, Malic Acid, Sulfites.  Gluten Free.
  • Calories:  170 per 12 oz.
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle (provided by Crispin)
  • Price:  $7.99 (four-pack) at supermarket

Description: "Crisp over ice. A classically styled, but untraditional hard apple cider. Fruit forward, with a fresh, crunchy appley nose and a deliciously creamy, refreshingly crisp mouth feel." — Crispin Cider Co. 

Random thoughts:   I decided to taste a cider for the first time in over 10 years.  I’m dedicating a whole series to Hard Ciders.  Latha and I tasted this together.  I don’t have much experience with ciders, so I’ll do my best to describe our experience.  As with my beer reviews, I don’t judge to style.

The tasting:  Yellow / golden straw in color with visible effervescence.  No head, which is normal for a cider.  Head retention is driven by the malts and adjuncts used in a beverage.  Since ciders are essentially fruit juice and yeast, there will be no head.  Score one for the gluten intolerant!

Aroma of….apples.  Latha best described it as “Jolly Rancher Sour Apple” and I totally agree.  It has a sweet and tart aroma to it.  It’s just apples, straight up—very unlike beer that usually has many layers of flavor.  Flavor, is again, apple.  It has a definite sweetness, without being syrupy or cloying.  The sour is noticeable, but not enough to make you pucker.  Finally, there's a bit of alcohol to round it all out.  It’s medium bodied, lightly carbonated, and has a smooth mouth feel with a touch of prickly carbonation on the swallow.  It finishes with a sweet and sour apple flavor.

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again!   I liked Crispin Original.  The levels of sweet and sour were perfect for my tastes—not too little, and not too much.  I appreciated its simplicity—apple juice and yeast.  It's very refreshing and I would definitely drink it on a hot summer day.  That said, I probably couldn’t drink more than two, because it is sweet.  Crispin recommends pouring it over ice.  I tried it with with ice, but preferred it plain.  Ice would bring the sweet and sour flavors down a bit.  Try it both ways and see which you prefer.   If you haven’t tasted a hard cider in a while, give this one a try.  Next up, Crispin Brut.

Have you tasted Crispin Original?  What did you think?

Follow this blog on Twitter or Facebook


  1. I'm not a big cider guy, but in the past I've been pleasantly surprised by Strongbow Cider. If you can find it, it's really quite nice.

    Enjoy the site. Keep up the good work!

  2. Ell, thanks for reading the blog! Glad you like it! I really appreciate it the nice feedback. I won't be converting to a full-time-cider guy anytime soon, but I'll drink them from time to time. I'll keep a look out for the Strongbow. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Hey, thanks for this timely review. I saw Crispin and Fox Barrel at the shop tonight, but the "help" was not helpful and I was too afraid that they were macrobrews in disguise so I passed these by in favor of my black & gold standby, Strongbow.

    Many of the "hip new" ciders are sweet, so I'm always a little leary. My personal preference is for a crisp, dry cider that is much closer to a simplified Belgian than apple juice. Sounds like the Crispin Original is worth a try; I'm looking forward to your review of the Brut.

    I don't know if my small local Sutliff Cider Co is shipping as far as PNW, but if you see their DRY in the 750 bottle, pick one up and give it a try!


Thoughts? Tell me what you think.