Square Mile The Original Hard Apple Cider

Review of Square Mile Cider Company’s “The Original Hard Apple Cider”.  I tried this a couple years ago and remember after two sips thinking I got a bad bottle (re-fermented?), and pouring it down the drain.  They did have a re-fermenting recall in 2013, but apparently only 22oz bottles, not 12oz.  After seeing singles on sale, I decided to give it another try.  On the same day as I bought it, the checker at the store said she thought it was pretty good, as did a blog reader.  Will I like it better this time around?

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Cider:  The Original Hard Apple Cider
Cidery: Square Mile Cider Co.
Cidery Location: Portland OR
ABV:  6.7%
How Supplied: 12oz (or 22oz) glass bottles

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Availability:  WA, OR, CA, HI, AK, NV, AZ, TX, MT, ID, MI, & CO

Cider Description:  The Original is a classic American hard cider.  Our cider is made from three apple varieties rooted in American culture – Red Delicious, Yellow Delicious and Jonagolds – picked and pressed by hand in Oregon.  We chose a lager beer yeast for fermentation to create a cider that perfectly balances sweet and tart with a light, crisp apple flavor and a clean, refreshing finish.  The Original is best over ice to complement the cool, crisp apple flavor.

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Cidery Description: Inspired by the pioneering spirit of those who traveled the Oregon Trail in the pursuit of a dream, we offer Square Mile Hard Cider.  We set out to reinvigorate an enduringly classic American beverage with a blend of apples hand-selected for the perfect balance of sweet and tart.  Our hard cider pays homage to the fortitude and perseverance of the original pioneers.

Price:  $1.49 for a single bottle (a six pack runs about $8)
Where Bought:  Whole Foods, although I’ve also seen it at Fred Meyer & Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  And, browsing again.  I gotta stop doing that, as I keep buying cider!

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First Impression: Moderate carbonation.  Clear yellow amber.  Smells of sweet apples with a hint of honey.

Opinion:  Semi dry.  My nose deceived me!  To me this cider has a bitter & acidic appley bite, not a sweet apple-honey flavor.  I pick up a hint of pear.  It is very beer-like, especially to start.  I find the finish on the longer side, drawing out the bitterness.  Its interesting it isn’t more sweet, as they use both pear & apple concentrates.  Unfortunately I am quite sensitive to bitterness and found it overwhelming to my palate, and wasn’t able to perceive any other discernible flavors.  Interestingly I wouldn’t describe this cider as very tart, although the bitterness again may have been overwhelming my palate.  Everyone has different tastes, so just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean you won’t (and it appears Square Mile has plenty of fans).  Also, note that I definitely didn’t drink this over ice…although I’m not a cider traditionalist, that is something I haven’t ever felt a need to try!

Most Similar to:  Kölsch beer (per my hubby).  He rather liked this cider.

Recommended For:  The beer fan who is interested in getting into ciders but doesn’t want to stray too far or have an overly sweet cider.

Closing Notes:   Square Mile was started in 2013 by the Craft Brew Alliance (who also owns Redhook).  So, unfortunately its just another cider by “Big Beer”.  They also offer “Spur & Vine” (hopped cider, 12 & 22oz bottles), and over the holidays they offered “Cranberry Hard Cider” (750ml bottle special release).  This reviewer liked their hopped cider even though they don’t like beer!  Apparently though they have recently switched to a sweeter version for both their ciders, and started using concentrates when they didn’t before? (check out the comments on their Facebook page which unfortunately they didn’t respond to)

Have you tried Square Mile The Original Hard Apple Cider?  What did you think?

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