Stem Ciders Remedy Dry Hopped Apple Cider

Review of Remedy from Stem Ciders, their dry hopped cider.  I’ve previously tried their Le Chene, Blood Orange Cyser, and Malice.  My husband brought this and 4 of their other ciders (plus even some Pommeau!) back from Colorado for me.

Cider:  Remedy
Cidery:  Stem Ciders
Cidery Location:  Denver Colorado
ABV:  6.7%
How Supplied:  four pack of 12oz cans, and kegs
Style:  American craft dry cider made from dessert apples, with Cascade & Citra hops

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Availability:  Only in Colorado, year round, at these retailers.

Cider Description:  Dry hopped with Cascade & Citra hops.  Floral and citrus fruit intermingle with apple on the nose giving way to a tart apple zing without any bitterness.

Cidery Description:  At Stem Ciders, we are committed to creating ciders of the highest quality that honor the purity and complexity that is inherent to the apple. We can’t wait to introduce you to your perfect cider match. We are dedicated to reviving the cider tradition, which goes far beyond what you enjoy in your glass. We hold our growers in the highest regard, and by fostering relationships with them we reward their hard work and promote the regrowth of heirloom apple cultivation. We love our home-base in Denver, and embrace the Colorado lifestyle that makes us lug a bottle to share up a mountain to enjoy a drink with a view. Most importantly, we love nothing more than seeing that smile on your face when you have your first sip of one of our crisp, refreshing ciders.

Price:  $10 / four pack
Where Bought:  Stem Ciders tasting room in Denver
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I read about Stem Ciders online.  Last time my husband was in Colorado, he picked me up a bunch of ciders, including Stem Le Chene.  I keep hearing about their Banjo special release cider, but I’m 0/3 as far as finding it (apparently its only available about 1 month a year; its currently still barrel aging).  This time around I thought I’d make it easier on my husband and give him a shopping list all from the same cidery, so he could just stop by the tap room (vs. trying to find ciders at multiple bottle shops).  I e-mailed the cidery ahead of time and they were nice enough to send me a list of what they had in stock.

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, of hops and citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Moderate bitterness.  Low astringency.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of hops, citrus, floral, herbal, honey, mineral, and green apple.  Long bitter finish.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate sessionability.  Low flavor intensity.  Moderate complexity.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it, although it was a bit more bitter than I prefer.  It has a light wine-like flavor which would pair well with food.

Most Similar to:  Incline Explorer, Portland Cider Hop’Rageous, and Tod Creek Mala-Hop

Closing Notes:   This is a nice hopped cider option for folks who like dry ciders and want something available in a multipack.  Next up I have their Branch & Bramble (raspberry) cider, then special releases Whiskey Barrel-Aged Apricot and Pommeau.

Have you tried Stem Remedy?  What did you think?

Rustic Roots Organic Snow Cider Dry Apple

Review of Rustic Roots Organic Snow Cider Dry Apple, from British Columbia.  Its the first time I’ve tried their cider, and this is the only cider this winery makes.

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Cider:  Organic Snow Cider Dry Apple
Cidery:  Rustic Roots
Cidery Location:  Cawston B.C. Canada
ABV:  7.6%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  Canadian Organic craft cider

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Availability:  unknown

Description:  unknown

Price:  $7
Where Bought:  Schilling Cider House
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Moderate carbonation.  Smells mild, sharp, of floral and citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Dry to semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Low bitterness.  Low tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of herbal, floral, lemon, green apple, white grape, pineapple, crab apples, and mineral.  Moderate to long finish.  Moderate sessionability, apple flavor, flavor intensity, and complexity.

My Opinion:  Tasty.  I was surprised how flavorful it was for its level of dryness.  Juicy and sharp.

Most Similar to:  Dragon’s Head Columbia Crabapple, Montana Ciderworks Spartan Dry-Style, Blue Moon Raven’s Moon Apple Cider, and Scandinavian Green Apple Cider

Closing Notes:   This is a great value, considering it is imported (although not very far) and Organic.  I haven’t seen any other varieties from them yet though (it looks like they primarily make grape wine).

Have you tried Rustic Roots Snow Cider?  What did you think?

Eden Heirloom Blend 2013 Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Ice Cider

Review of Eden Ice Cider’s Heirloom Blend, aged in apple brandy barrels, made in 2013 in Newport VT.  I’ve tried a number of their ice ciders and sparkling ciders; see here.

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Cider:  Heirloom Blend, limited release, 2013, aged in Apple Brandy Barrels
Cidery:  Eden Ice Cider
Cidery Location:  Newport VT
ABV:  10%
Residual Sugar:  15%
How Supplied:  187ml & 375ml tall skinny glass bottles
Style:  American craft ice cider, aged in apple brandy barrels

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Availability:  Their ciders are at least sold in AK, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, IL, MA, MD, ME, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OR, SC, VT, WA, and British Columbia, although this one has less distribution than their non barrel aged Heirloom Blend, which is most commonly found.  Eden also offers online sales when allowed by state.

Cider Description:  This limited release of our flagship Heirloom Blend Ice Cider has been aged in 10-year old barrels previously used for apple brandy. It has notes of caramel, apple sauce, and vanilla, a round, full mouthfeel, and plenty of acidity to create a lasting, refreshing finish.

Cidery Description:  Eden Orchards and Eden Ice Cider began on a trip to Montreal in 2006 when we first tasted ice cider and wondered why nobody was making it on our side of the border.  We had dreamed for years of working together on a farm in the Northeast Kingdom; it was a dream that had vague outlines including an apple orchard, cider, and fermentation of some sort.  That night we looked at each other and knew ice cider was it.  In April 2007, we bought an abandoned dairy farm in West Charleston, Vermont and got to work.  Since then we have planted over 1,000 apple trees, created 5 vintages of Eden Vermont Ice Ciders, and have introduced a new line of Orleans Apertif Ciders.  Out goals are to create healthy soils and trees in our own orchard, to support out Vermont apple orchard partners who do the same, to minimize our carbon footprint, to contribute to the economic and environmental health of our employees and our Northeast Kingdom community, and most of all to make world-class unique ciders that truly reflect our Vermont terroir.

They have a tasting bar on the main floor of the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center in downtown Newport VT.  Their current product line includes at least eight ice ciders, two Aperitif ciders, and dry & semi-dry sparkling ciders.  They also have a cider club where members get access to special release ciders not available to the public.

Price:  $17 / 187ml
Where Bought:  through their website
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing their online store.  I enjoyed their Heirloom Blend, and loved their Northern Spy barrel aged cider, so it wasn’t a hard sell.

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First Impression:  Still.  Deep caramel amber hue.  Smells of rich ripe baked apples, residual sugar, higher ABV, brown sugar, burnt caramel, honey, and oak.

Tasting Notes:  Sweet to very sweet.  Full bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low tannins.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Concentrated notes of baked apples, brown sugar, burnt caramel, vanilla, honey, brandy, oak, orange, and a hint of spice.  Long warming finish.  Low sessionability.  High apple flavor.  High flavor intensity.  Moderate to high complexity.  Moderate to high brandy influence.  Low oak influence.

My Opinion:  Amazing!  I enjoyed the barrel aged and brandy qualiies of this ice cider.  Due to the sweetness this is definitely a beverage to sip only a small quantity after dinner, but that means even a small bottle lasts awhile.  It also kept very well in the fridge, without any noticeable flavor change during the week I had it open.  I think this is my favorite of their ice ciders so far, just slightly above Northern Spy (see here), as it had the added apple brandy flavor in addition to just the oak aging.

Most Similar to:  High quality ice ciders.  Compared to Eden’s Heirloom Blend, it had added oak and apple brandy notes.  Compared to Eden’s Northern Spy, it had added apple brandy notes.  Their different ice ciders have a lot of similarities but also differences.

Closing Notes:   This was another impressive cider from Eden Ice Cider.  I still have their Windfall Orchard ice cider left to try, which I ordered at the same time.

Have you tried Eden Ice Ciders?  What did you think?

Schilling Cider House Visit 21 Tasting Notes

Tasting notes from my 20th visit to the Schilling Cider House in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle WA.  Check out my past posts with tasting notes here.

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I was there on a random Tuesday.  I started with a flight.  This was one of the only times I’ve visited the cider house and not had a full flight of ciders to try which were new to me, but there were still 32 choices.  Sometimes its good to not have much new to try, as I can focus on ciders I know I liked previously.

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<left to right:  Wandering Aengus Bittersweet, Schilling Barrel #2, Wandering Aengus Cellar Door, One Tree Raspberry, Reverend Nat’s The Passion>

Wandering Aengus (Salem OR) Bitersweet (5.2% ABV):  I recently tried this draft-only wild fermented cider from bittersweet apples from the Poverty Lane (Farnum Hill) orchard in New Hampshire, but wanted to give it another try as I was considering picking up a growler of it.  Although still very tasty, I didn’t find this taste as impressive…it seemed milder in flavor, and less tannic.

Schilling (Auburn WA) Barrel #2 (21% ABV):  This is the last keg of their 2nd series of barrel aged distilled cider, which I tried previously.  Its more apple brandy than cider, very alcohol-forward.  I didn’t really enjoy it as much this time around…it seemed all alcohol and less flavor (my notes from last time mentioned honey and floral notes).

Wandering Aengus (Salem OR) Cellar Door (8.5% ABV):  This is a draft-only version of their Bloom cider which is fermented drier.  Semi-dry.  Sharp.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and high acidity.  Low to moderate bitterness.  More astringent than tannic (low to moderate).  Mild flavor notes of floral, herbal, honey, and citrus.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate sessionability.  Low flavor intensity.  Moderate complexity.  I think I like the regular version of Bloom better, as it was more flavorful.

One Tree (Spokane WA) Raspberry (6.0% ABV):  This is a draft-only raspberry cider.  My sample was from the end of the keg, so it poured very smoothie-like.  Semi-sweet to sweet, but it tasted like it was meant to be that sweet, not overdone.  Full bodied.  Very strong raspberry flavor.  No apple/cider flavor.  Low to moderate tartness and acidity.  Simple but tasty, similar to Schilling’s Raspberry Smoothie, although One Tree’s is higher ABV.

Reverend Nat’s (Portland OR) The Passion (6.9% ABV):  I tried this recently, but was curious whether my taste buds we off at Cider Summit, as it is described online as very sour, but I only found it mildly sour.  However, Sarah at the Cider House confirmed that this year’s batch wasn’t nearly as sour as last year’s.  I enjoyed it, but at Cider Summit I found it had more passionfruit flavor and even less sourness, which I preferred.

I also had a couple bottle pours shared with me.

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Wandering Aengus (Salem OR) Pommeau Apple Dessert Wine (14.0% ABV):  Pommeau is apple brandy with cider.  Semi-sweet to sweet.  Still.  Full bodied.  Mild in flavor for a Pommeau, not as booze-forward as you’d expect for the ABV, but still very apple-forward.  Mild tartness, acidity, bitterness, and tannins.  Notes of cider apples, oak, leather, and orange.  Amazing!

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Worley’s (Shepton Mallet, Somerset, UK) Premium Vintage 2013 (6.4% ABV):  This is another one I’ve tried previously.  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Low tartness, acidity, bitterness, and tannins.  Low to moderate carbonation.  Medium bodied.  Its an English cider, but I found it quite similar to French cider, as it is rich, apple-forward, carbonated (although less so than when I previously tried it), and yeast-forward, but not overly tannic.  Awesome.

This was an awesome tasting.  The Wandering Aengus Cellar Door was the only cider I wasn’t too big a fan of.  The Pommeau was probably my favorite though.

Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says!  Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?

2 Towns Nice & Naughty Imperial Spiced Cider

Review of 2 Towns’ Nice & Naughty Imperial Spiced Cider, their winter seasonal high ABV cider with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  I’ve tried this before (see here), and even tried the bourbon barrel aged version (see here), but only on draft.  I’ve previously tried most of their lineup; see here.

>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by 2 Towns.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received it for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review cue.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.<<

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Cider:  Nice & Naughty
Cidery:  2 Towns
Cidery Location:  Corvallis OR
ABV:  10.5%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  American craft apple honey wine with spices

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Availability:  Thru the end of 2016 in AK, CA, HI, ID, OR, WA, and Minneapolis MN & Chicago IL.

Cider Description:  Festive and warming, Nice & Naughty is crammed full of whole cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and a touch of honey to celebrate the season.  Made with Cinnamon, Nutmeg & Clove.

Cidery Description:  At 2 Towns Ciderhouse we believe that the long history of cidermaking demands respect and deserves to be done right. Starting with the highest quality whole ingredients from local farms, we take no shortcuts in crafting our ciders. We never add any sugar, concentrates or artificial flavors, and instead use slow, cold fermentation methods to allow the fruit to speak for itself. As a family-owned company, we are committed to the growth of our team and enrichment of our communities. We take pride in producing true Northwest craft cider.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~$8)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Light to medium straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells sweet, of baked apples and cinnamon.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Moderate tartness.  Moderate to high acidity.  Low bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of baked apples, juicy apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, hints of cloves, honey, and citrus.  Long warming slightly boozy finish.  Low to moderate sessionability.  Moderate apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity / spice intensity.  Low to moderate complexity.

My Opinion:  Tasty.  I liked it better closer to room than fridge temperature, oddly enough (considering the high ABV).  The level of spice is nice…not overwhelming.  I also liked that it wasn’t overly sweet.  It is however a bit on the acidic side.

Most Similar to:  AEppelTreow Sparrow Spiced and Elemental Seasonal Spiced Apple, both which had similar levels of sweetness and flavor profiles, but not as high of an ABV.  Reverend Nat’s Winter Abbey Spice has a higher ABV, but had an odd sourness.

Closing Notes:   If you are looking for a unique spiced cider, one with a bit more kick but not too much sweetness, this is a nice choice.

Have you tried 2 Towns Nice & Naughty?  What did you think?

Number 12 Black Currant Dry

Review of Number 12 Ciderhouse’s Black Currant Dry.  I tried their Chestnut Semi-Dry and Sparkling Dry earlier this week.

>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Number 12.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received it for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review cue.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.<<

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Cider:  Black Currant Dry
Cidery:  Number 12 Ciderhouse
Cidery Location:  Buffalo, Minnesota
ABV:  7.4%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  American craft cider from Minnesota apples, with black currant

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Availability:  Number 12 ciders are sold in these locations in Minnesota.

Cider Description:  Number 12 Black Currant Dry begins with aromatic notes of jam and rich black currant followed by a crisp, dry cider finish. Once considered the “forbidden fruit” due to a 100 year ban, the black currant is now experiencing a resurgence in America’s conscience. It pairs beautifully with locally grown apples by providing a tannic structure needed for depth and complexity. This is the cider that will change your perspective.

I didn’t know that black currant was actually banned–wow!  I read up a bit more, and learned they were thought to help spread a fungus that threatened the timber industry, so black and red currants were federally banned in 1911.  By 1966, disease-resistant varieties were developed, and the government left it up to the states as to whether to keep them banned.  Although most states eventually lifted the ban (some quite recently), black and red currant is still banned in some states.

Cidery Description:  Balance is everything . . . In life, and in great ciders.  Number 12 is no different.  We are continuously experimenting to achieve a perfect balance.  Number 12 gets its namesake from the 12th recipe developed in 2011.  It became our first award winner and the beginning of our recognition from the cider community.  Since then, it has become more of a concept, our ideal if you will.  Number 12 represents the idea that greatness in cider is out there somewhere . . . To strive for, to create, to perfect!

They have a tap room in Buffalo Minnesota.

Price:  n/a (retails for $11)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Deep purple-red hue.  Moderate carbonation.  Smells of sour black currant and cherry.

Tasting Notes:  Dry.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Low to moderate astringency.  Low bitterness and funk.  Low to moderate sourness.  Notes of lack currant, cherry, red wine, blackberry, lemon, mineral, and sharp crabapples.  Moderate length finish.  No apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity, complexity, and sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked the jam-like black currant flavor, but it was a bit too sour, dry, and acidic for my personal tastes.  However, it is well-made and unique.  It had a lot of black currant flavor for how dry it is.

Most Similar to:  Virtue Cider Cherry Mitten.  I found Black Currant Dry to have almost as much cherry flavor as black currant.  Black currant is a popular flavor addition for cider (especially here in the PNW), and I’ve tried a number of them, although none that were of this style (they have all been sweeter and tart but not sour): 2 Towns Dark Currant, Finnriver Black Currant & Lavender Black Currant & Oak Aged Crew Selection Black Currant & Black Currant Brandywine, Carlton Black Currant Scrumpy, Moonlight Meadery Crimes of Passion, and Reverend Nat’s Whiskey Barrel Aged Golden Russet with Black Currant.

Closing Notes:   To be honest, I didn’t really care for any of the three ciders I tried from Number 12, although the Chestnut Semi-Dry was probably my favorite (and the most approachable).  However, fans of dry farmhouse-style ciders with a bit of sourness & funk likely will enjoy them.  Everyone doesn’t like every cider, and there are styles which appeal to each person.  They are a great value too, at $11-$13 for a 750ml bottle.  Side note – Number 12 uses malolactic fermentation in their secondary fermentation stage (see here), which converts lactic acid to carbon dioxide, reducing acid and smoothing out the flavor, but this process also adds a bit of sourness.  Many people really enjoy that flavor in their cider (or beer or wine), but some like me haven’t yet acquired the taste for it.

Have you tried Number 12 Ciders?  What did you think?

Stem Ciders Blood Orange Cyser

Review of Stem Ciders’ Blood Orange Cyser (a cross between cider and mead, made from both apples and honey).  I’ve previously tried their Le Chene and Malice.  My husband brought this and 4 of their other ciders (plus even some Pommeau!) back from Colorado for me.

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Cider:  Blood Orange Cyser
Cidery:  Stem Ciders
Cidery Location:  Denver Colorado
ABV:  10%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  American craft apple-honey wine with blood orange

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Availability:  Their ciders are available only in Colorado, at these retailers, but this is a special release which may only be found at the cidery.

Cider Description:  Apple-honey wine with blood orange.  Rosy in hue with light notes of honey and citrus zest on the nose.  Acidity from the blood orange plays off the sweetness of the honey, allowing an off-dry yet refreshing beverage.  Light apple tannins fill out the finish.

Cidery Description:  At Stem Ciders, we are committed to creating ciders of the highest quality that honor the purity and complexity that is inherent to the apple. We can’t wait to introduce you to your perfect cider match. We are dedicated to reviving the cider tradition, which goes far beyond what you enjoy in your glass. We hold our growers in the highest regard, and by fostering relationships with them we reward their hard work and promote the regrowth of heirloom apple cultivation. We love our home-base in Denver, and embrace the Colorado lifestyle that makes us lug a bottle to share up a mountain to enjoy a drink with a view. Most importantly, we love nothing more than seeing that smile on your face when you have your first sip of one of our crisp, refreshing ciders.

Price:  $18
Where Bought:  Stem Ciders tasting room in Denver
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I read about Stem Ciders online.  Last time my husband was in Colorado, he picked me up a bunch of ciders, including Stem Le Chene.  I keep hearing about their Banjo special release cider, but I’m 0/3 as far as finding it (apparently its only available about 1 month a year; its currently still barrel aging).  This time around I thought I’d make it easier on my husband and give him a shopping list all from the same cidery, so he could just stop by the tap room (vs. trying to find ciders at multiple bottle shops).  I e-mailed the cidery ahead of time and they were nice enough to send me a list of what they had in stock.

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First Impression:  Light orange-pink hue.  Very low carbonation upon pouring.  Smells mild, of honey and tart blood orange.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Moderate carbonation.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Low bitterness.  Low tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of blood orange, honey, honeycomb, grapefruit, lemon, mineral, and green apple.  Quick to moderate length finish, with less warming than expected for 10% ABV.  Low apple flavor.  Low to moderate honey and blood orange flavor.  Moderate sessionability.  Moderate complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it.  Unique citrus champagne-like flavor.  I imagine if I actually liked blood orange I would have loved it.  I’m a fan of high ABV cider, citrus notes in cider, and cyser & mead though, which is why I wanted to try it.

Most Similar to:  I’ve had various cysers (such as Finnriver Cyser CiderEaglemount Cyser, Moonlight Meadery Last Apple, and Sea Cider Birds and the Bees), as well as two blood orange ciders (Elemental Calcium and Ace Space), and this is a bit of a cross between the two, and much drier than any of those.  It also reminds me a bit of a mimosa, with the citrus, higher ABV, and higher carbonation.

Closing Notes:   This cyser is a great value, between it being small batch, blood orange & honey being expensive, and its high ABV.  I look forward to trying my other selections from Stem Ciders.

Have you tried anything from Stem Ciders?  What did you think?