Snowdrift Cornice

This is an interesting barrel aged special release from Snowdrft, and my first time trying anything from them.

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Cider:  Cornice
Cidery:  Snowdrift
Cidery Location:  East Wenatchee WA
ABV:  7.3%
How Supplied:  750ml bottle
Availability:  This appears to be a special release.  Although they could have done another run, the last run of this I see info about online was in 2013!  So, this may be an old bottle.

Description on Bottle:  In our region, winter tends to whip layers of snow into majestic formations called cornices.  They hang in a gravity-defying balance – ready to cascade at any moment into a rushing avalanche.  We wanted to craft a cider to carry these traits…So we aged cider in oak barrels, knitting tannins and aromas into an avalanche of flavors.  Notes of bourbon vanilla, fall fruit, and toffee coalesce into this off-dry cider.  60% culinary cider, 40% bittersharp cider, aged 12 months in oak barrels.  Bottle 107.  Batch 113.

Price:  $16.99 (yeah, ouch, but it is a large bottle of specialty local cider)
Where Bought:  The Wine Shop in Arlington WA (interesting place by the way, which out of about 10 ciders they had, I hadn’t seen 4 or 5 of them anywhere else!)
How Found: Browsing.  I had wanted to try something by Snowdrift, but was still deciding.
Where Drank:  home

Opinion:  This is a unique cider, quite different than what I usually try, although barrel aged varieties are my favorite.  It is more dry than I usually like, but I’d still only call it semi-dry.  The flavor is well-balanced, not too much oak taste, and some vanilla.  It is a bit on the tart side for my taste, but I imagine some of that is the dryness.  Very low carbonation, and a nice hue.  The label on the bottle and even the cork itself is well-designed and has their pretty logo.  I’m glad I tried this one, and I can definitely see how their ciders are very well received, but I don’t think its quite for me, mostly due to the dryness (or at least not worth the additional cost in my eyes).  I’d recommend it for those who like drier barrel aged ciders and who like to try what awesome craft ciders Washington has to offer.  It would be a good intro to barrel aged ciders as the barrel taste isn’t too strong.

Update:  In case anyone is curious, day 2 of being open was the sweet spot for this cider for me.  On the first day it had a bit more bite / tartness.  On the second day it seemed to have lost some of that.  By the third day however it was flat and pretty tasteless.  I imagine the flip closed stopper I have helped though.  Guess I need to drink quicker, or find someone to share it with!

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