Ardiel Cider House “Victoria” Pear Cider, Blue Mountains, Ontario, Canada (Alcohol 6.5%, Residual Sugar 34 g/l) LCBO $3.45 (473ml can)

You know, pear is my very favourite fruit (with gooseberries a close second), and so I have always had a soft spot for pear cider AKA Perry. Saying that, I’ve had many a letdown experience with the stuff since arriving in Canada over quarter of a century ago. With this in mind it was a real delight to taste a local Perry that appealed to my very particular sensibilities.

Pear can so often be such a clumsy flavour and/or aromatic, whether in wholly natural or artificial form, hence my severe disappointment with so many pear ciders over the years; this one though, was exactly what I had been searching for.

Now I’m just a sucker for a pretty face can, and I love the artwork on this as it somewhat reminds me of many of those old Victorian era botanical drawings. Exterior appearance aside, it’s what’s inside the can that really got me going.

On both the nose and the palate there’s a certain delicacy here, and that’s what really attracts me to it. There’s no real in-your-face wave of pear evident, but a subtle note of the ripe fruit in both the reserved (and gently floral) bouquet and on the very back of the palate. The carbonation isn’t over the top and aggressive either, so it makes for a very pleasant mouthful, with a lazy, gentle gossamer of bubbles that are a sheer delight on the tongue. Don’t be dissuaded by the residual sugar, as this tastes decidedly dry.

Wonderful stuff.

4 apples out of 5
(Four apples out of a possible five)

Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And that’s simply smashing.