|The Dude's Rug - B. Nektar Meadery|
Not going into copious detail, but The Dude's Rug by B. Nektar Meadery (Ferndale, MI) really comes across as a total divorce from the standard cidar. Yes, this is cidar, but not like a cidar you have ever really tasted before. Cidar is usually light and the flavor is equally light. Heavy cider is a little more intense, but in the grand scheme of things, its not all that significant.
The Dude's Rug is different. Way different. This cider is more like winter time candy with intriguing levels that engross you. It has black tea, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. Not an apple, peach or pear in the bunch, though it is listed as an apple cider. The manufacturer lays it out this way:
Hard cider with tea and Chai spicesEssential Elements - Apple cider, chai tea (tea with cardamom, clove, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla).
Appearance - Dark amber and clear with a foamy white head that dissipates into a thin white rim.
Aroma - Sweet, fresh apples with notes of cinnamon, clove, cardamom, ginger and raisin.
Experience - Sweet, baked apples followed by a vivid blend of clove and cardamom. Black tea rounds out the flavor and leaves little to no tannin. Medium-bodied with a crisp, red apple skin aftertaste.
The color is dark and the resulting drink is nothing short of spectacular. It tastes like dark, wintery port, or even porter if it had a little more body to it. It was one of those bottles that you wish you had an extra couple of ounces that you could wring out of it. It is 5.5% ABV, which is nice because you are going to come back to this one repeatedly - this could be the cider of the season.
I gave it a rating of 4 1/2 stars in Untappd. The Dude abides and this cider is keeping in that tradition.