Nine Pin Cider Works

Nine Pin Cider Works, located in Albany, NY, first opened to the public in early 2014. While the company is still quite young, they've managed to take the Capital Region of New York by storm. Nine Pin and its partners have enjoyed a quick rise to success, more than doubling their annual production in the 2 years they've been open. They've gained a large and devoted following in the area, myself included.

Nine Pin works exclusively with local orchards to source the apples they use to create their many varieties of hard ciders. In addition to producing and bottling a line of regularly available styles, the cider makers at Nine Pin also like to get creative. They have an ever rotating list of experimental ciders that are only available to try at the Albany tasting room.

The company's success can be attributed to their innovative recipes. While the mainstream hard ciders out there pander to the public, creating cloyingly sweet, fizzy apple juice, the makers of Nine Pin work exceptionally hard to create something uniquely different and actually worth drinking. Today at That Special Flavor, we review Nine Pin's Signature and Ginger hard ciders!

Signature

Nine Pin's Signature blend has become my favorite go-to hard cider. It's off-dry, bright, lively and loved by all who taste it.

On the nose, it is full of granny smith apples and fresh squeezed lemons. Those notes carry through on the palate, where they are met with citrusy acidity and a fine, persistent fizz. A slight hint of wet stones keeps the whole thing balanced and food friendly. And even though it's much, much drier than other mainstream ciders, Nine Pin's Signature Blend still has those sweet and friendly apple notes that you would expect (and want) from a hard cider.

The fruity apple notes and mouth-watering acidity draw you in, while the dry, clean finish cleanses your palate, readying your taste buds for another tasty gulp. You could easily drink this with just about any food, and at 6.7% abv, it's well worth your time.

Ginger

Nine Pin's Ginger cider is a blend of dessert apples infused with ginger and orange peel. As you lift the glass to take a sip, you are greeted with aromas of apple skins and candied ginger.

Flavors of green and yellow apples dance with lemon zest and orange blossoms on the palate, while a soft ginger note creeps up on the finish. This cider is delightfully high in acidity, encouraging the drinker to guzzle it down. And though quite mild at first, the ginger spice grows stronger and stronger with each additional sip. Halfway through the glass, the ginger is in full force, and there's no denying that this thing is spicy!

If you're looking for a fun switch, use this ginger cider in place of a standard ginger beer. I made a moscow mule with Nine Pin's Ginger cider and home infused ginger vodka, and it was delicious, spicy, sweet, and refreshing. And boozey! Most ginger beers are alcohol-free, but this cider is a whopping 6.7% abv.

Nine Pin is currently available all over New York State and recently just expanded to Boston, Mass. I've made it a habit of bringing these ciders as hostess gifts, especially when traveling out of state. They are delicious, well made, beautifully packaged, and always well received.