Two Farmers, Two Passions, One Bottle
A Review of J.K.'s the Pair Perry Cider by Almar Orchards
Posted on 10/22/2014 by Chops
                   
Exquisite
A lot of people don't realize that many of their favorite beverages are actually blends. It's a common methodology used to create desired flavors. Wine makers do it. Brewers do it. Even cider makers do it. Case in point: J.K.'s The Pair, a blend of apple cider and perry (pear cider). You have likely guessed by now that this is the same cidery that crafts the delectable J.K.'s Scrumpy Hard Cider, widely considered one of the best ciders on the market. So when I happened upon The Pair from Almar Orchards, grabbing a bottle was a no-brainer. If this blend was even half as delicious as J.K.'s Scrumpy, I was in for a real treat.

Before opening anything new and interesting, I always like to do a little research. I discovered that this cider is ''the fruitful collaboration between two lifelong friends and Michigan farmers, Jim (J.K.) from Almar Orchards and Gene from Garthe Farms. This fine pair of organic orchardists share a passion for learning, growing, and stewardship of the earth. They have worked together to proudly offer you this farmhouse cuvee of apples and pears. Two farms, two farmers, two fruits to make one cider fermented at Almar Orchards. A fine pear indeed!''

Mmm, how great does that sound? Two talented farmers and two delicious fruits in one delectable bottle.

In the glass, this blend had a semi-hazy warm golden coloration. On the nose, I could easily pick out distinct notes of sweet apples and ripe pears. Rounding out the mix were mild notes of caramel, honey, and vanilla. As with all J.K. products, the aroma was clean as a whistle, which I would imagine is due to their organic status. All aromatic notes translated beautifully into flavor notes. It was a harmonious balance of zesty pears and candied apples, which was complimented by notes of caramel, honey, vanilla, and earthy spices. The body was syrupy thick and felt incredibly smooth on the palate. The finish was quite clean and exited with a long zesty fruity aftertaste.

Overall, I found J.K.'s The Pair to be a delightful treat. For me, the highlight of this blend was the deliberate contrast. I greatly enjoyed studying two distinct contributions from apples and pears. This is why The Pair works so well, because you're not struggling to understand a thoughtless mishmash. It really makes me want to get my hands on both pre-blend beverages so I can amuse myself with blend portions.

I can easily recommend The Pair to anyone and everyone. Fans of J.K.'s Scrumpy Hard Cider cannot help but love this blend. Really, any fan of quality cider or perry will adore The Pair. Its savory flavors and high accessibility also make it a win for novices. So if you're looking for something new and exciting, look no further than this nectar. I sincerely hope that J.K. and Gene continue their farming friendship, because this is a beverage I hope to enjoy for a long time to come.

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J.K.'s The Pair Perry Cider by Almar Orchards
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