I can totally understand why Heineken has decided to sell their Blind Pig cider in The Maven Bar in Leeds (or vice versa). They go so well together!!! The Maven Bar, with it’s prohibition theme and the cider taken its name after the illegal alcohol establishments, Blind Pigs, in 1920s America.
I am not a massive cider drinker, despite growing up in the country of Kopparberg and Rekorderlig. In fact, these ciders might be the worst as they are so sweet. I prefer dry cider and was happy to try out yet another kind, incorporating spirits in the flavours.
Blind Pig Cider
At the launch event we had the chance to try out all three Blind Pig cider flavours – Bourbon & Blueberry, Rum & Poached Pear and Whiskey, Honey & Apple. The bottles are awesome! I love that they are wrapped in old looking paper and that pig heads are printed on the bottle caps. I’ll have to wait for the cider to launch in shops before I can get my hands to add to the bottle cap collection.
Rum & Poached Pear
As a rum lover I obviously wanted to try this first and I wasn’t disappointed. A nice and dry flavour with a hint of rum, but by no means overpowering. I did however feel the pear was a bit dark in it’s flavour, but the lime and mint leaves, which the drink had been garnished with, complemented the drink well and made it a little bit fresher.
Whiskey, Honey & Apple
Whiskey, Honey & Apple didn’t appeal to me as much as I can’t stand whiskey but I thought, like the rum, this wouldn’t overpower the cider taste and it didn’t. Still not my favourite, despite the apple and orange bits served with it. I would however love to try this as a mulled cider, I think that could win me over.
Bourbon & Blueberry
My favourite cider flavour was definitely Bourbon & Blueberry because it was really refreshing! It went down far too easy and especially in a warm place like The Maven Bar is. Fresh blueberries were scattered in the drink and it was topped with a twist of lemon peel. Possibly the best fruit combination of all time!
Bears Pantry Nibbles
Since The Maven Bar, as the name suggests, only serve drinks, the nibbles for the evening were presented by a catering company called Bears Pantry. Their nibbles were all inspired by the Blind Pig ciders and tasted delicious. Food can never go wrong and I think they did a fabulous job incorporating the cider tastes to the menu.
As a little starter we were treated to Pork Belly Bites, glazed in Blind Pig Cider Whiskey, Honey and Apple. I love most meats but pork belly might not be the most interesting of meats so with a glaze like this it’s certainly more enjoyable. The little nibbles made us want more food!
The main, Apple and Tomato Curry with Tangy Rice, was recommended to be accomplished with the Rum & Poached Pear cider but I didn’t find that necessary. There were enough flavours in the curry on its own. The Tangy Rice was something I’ve never tried before but I absolutely loved it. It has the same texture as prawn crackers but tastes saltier. This fresh flavour went really well with the spicy curry.
Last but not least dessert came out and it looked divine and tasted even better. Sweet Cider Puffs with Blind Pig Cider Bourbon & Blueberry Marshmallow and Dark Chocolate Shards. In the light you could see the purple colour given to the marshmallows from the Bourbon and blueberry dust it was covered in. All three bites worked perfectly together.
I have only been to The Maven Bar a couple of times before but never had a chance to sit down as it’s usually packed during the weekend. It’s a lovely and chilled place on a weeknight (based on the turnout after the launch event rush had gone) so I will come back, especially since they are one of selected few bars serving Blind Pig Cider.
If you haven’t been to The Maven Bar before I strongly recommend it. Make sure to try out one of the Blind Pig ciders when you are there and let me know what you think.