Remember my peeve about Angry Orchard’s expensive Cider House Collection — that you could do so much better for the price? Crispin is precisely the opposite. It’s taken me this long to review their Lion Belge because every time I get some, I get too wrapped up in enjoying it to fiddle with careful smelling and pausing and sipping and writing.
Lion Belge is the kind of pear cider that’s entirely from pear juice, fermented with Belgian Wit yeast and flavored with orange peel and coriander. It comes out of the bottle a lovely, pale yellow, more or less cloudy depending on how much if the sediment is suspended or settled. Don’t worry about being careful to pour it off the lees, Crispin encourages it to be tipped up and swirled around for maximum dispersal.
The aroma is light — a little of the orange, a little of the yeast, a very little bit of the coriander. The flavor, mild and complex, all the elements in good balance. There’s an edge of sweetness, the bitterness and citrus of the orange peel, the light touch of the yeast; all in all a quality drink with a much more reasonable price tag than Angry Orchard.
You can locate yourself some Lion Belge on Crispin’s site, and I thoroughly recommend you do so.