I recently acquired a bottle of Steampunk Cider from Leonard Oakes Estate Winery. Hmmmmm, Steampunk? The name intrigued me. I have heard the name before but where? Oh yeah, Dogfish Head Brewery. In 2010 Dogfish Head installed an eye-catching steampunk influenced functional sculpture that was created by artist Sean Orlando and the Five Ton Crane Arts Group in 2007. The Tree House is 40′ tall, 40′ wide, weighs 8 tons, and consist of recycled and reclaimed materials.
But the term “Steampunk” became irrelevant to me until I opened the bottle of Steampunk Cider. I did a little research and what I found was right up my alley. I am a new sci-fi fan so no wonder I haven’t heard of it.
According to Wikipedia, steampunk is defined as a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Therefore, steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American “Wild West”, in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power.
Steampowered machinery and cider? Sure, in a time of the industrial revolution, steam-powered cider mills were the norm, especially on the east coast. This post prohibition cider combines new and heritage cider apples to create a harmony between the traditional and the future of craft ciders.
I shared the cider with the beast of Crafty and the Beast (Sarah). Craft ciders are relatively new for Sarah, she’s a beer chick. Sarah was expecting an apple-ly sweet carbonated beverage. Not.
This is what she got. Before I get to the review, I confess that this will be a not so detailed review. I do my best work when I focus solely on the cider. Maybe it’s a guy thing.
Steampunk lives in a 750 ml bottle with an enticing steampunk-apple inspired label.
Leonard Oaks Estate winery resides in Medina, NY in Orleans County just 38 miles from Niagara Falls.
For the Pour
The clear and straw-colored Steampunk poured quite aggressively with tiny bubbles and a white mouse that kept me company longer than most sparkling ciders. It was quite fun to watch.
For The Aroma
A clean fruity nose with very light green apple notes and a mineral musty background assured me that bittersweet apples were used. Quite enticing with a subtle aroma.
For the Taste
This is where Sarah gets confused. While this is indeed a sweet cider, she expected an apple-ly sticky carbonated drink. Preconceived by the industrial 12 ounce bottles she previously tasted, she was quite surprised but in a good way.
The body had a medium crisp feel followed by an acidic bite. This fruity sweetness aggressively rose to the surface shadowed by mineral musty flavor and a touch of hay. The tannis were soft with a substantially long finish. Though this was a sweet cider, it had West Country characteristics.
My over all impression
I don’t believe in comparing one style to another so to compare Steampunk to other sweet ciders, Steampunk stands out as a winner. Leonard Oakes Estate Winery did a wonderful job achieving an old meets new relationship between heritage bittersweets with modern sweet apples. An excellent sweet and acidic balance.
Pair this cider with spicy and salty foods. The sweetness will tame the heat and contrast the saltiness.