I've got some more liquid gold that's been sent to me for my comment.
Louis Raison French Cidre is officially hitting the Illinois market with three offerings: Rouge Délice, Original Crisp, and Organic Dry. All three flavors are in six-pack bottles; Rouge Délice will be available on draft, with kegs of Organic Dry and Original Crisp arriving later.
Louis Raison originates from the Brittany region of France. Established in 1923, Louis Raison, the flyer says, has a rich history in cider making, "throughout which attention to quality and cooperative, sustainable farming have remained the core values." Louis Raison is part of the French farmer-run cooperative Agrial, which acquired Seattle Cider Co. in 2016, allowing each cidermaker access to the other's market.
Rouge Delice 5.5%. Made with red-fleshed apple varietals grown only in France, as part of the cidermaker’s family farms. Along with another varietal called Bittersweet. It pours an interesting brownish-red. There was some fizz, but it died off in the time it took me to take the picture. The nose is not too strong, and has a lighter touch of apple flesh, and peel. The taste is fizzy and sweet. I notice that of the ciders I got, this one has sugar, “natural flavors,” and coloring added (and that it's odd that ciders have to list their ingredients and calories on the label, but beers can't). That’s not automatically a bad thing, but knowing it’s there, I can’t help but wonder what a cider made straight from these apples would taste like; probably more tart than most palates would enjoy. So this first bottle is pretty sweet, kind of a dessert cider.
Organic Dry. 4.5%. Made with 100% organic bittersweet apples. This has more of a crush apple smell, without as much sugar in the nose, or in the taste. The dryness makes the alcohol a bit more noticeable, and the prickly effervescence keeps this from getting to sticky. Clear gold, sparkles like a champagne.
I was sent the usual promotional package, with three bottles. However, the Original Crisp somehow popped its cap in transit, leaving an empty bottle and a few flyers sticking together. Ah, well, these thing happen when you ship beers. Something similar happened when I did a beer trade with someone in Utah…
Anyway, these ciders are both rather sweet, in varying degrees, and agreeably fizzy. I'd like to have some more funky or drier ciders to try with these, but maybe they'll pop up later.