Hard cider has an image problem, said Eric Asimov in The New York Times. Superb versions exist, but the “many bad versions” keep serious drinkers from finding them. While cider is generally associated with cooler regions, skeptics should consider exploring those of Spain’s Basque country first. Basque ciders are among the “most unusual in the world”: Though they can turn people off “because of their unusual aromas of wet wool, animal fur, and what might politely be termed barnyard,” I heartily recommend them.
Sagardo Naturala This cider, from the Isastegi estate, is “fresh, lively, and starkly dry, with a touch of animal scent.”
Bereziartua “Dry and exuberant,” with an “aroma of dried leather.”
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Sarasola Sagardoa This nonsparkling cider has a rank odor but delivers “ravishing freshness and complexity.”
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