Fox Tail Fuzzy Haven

Review of Fox Tail’s Fuzzy Haven cider, a dry peach cider I tried on tap.  This is the first time I’ve tried a cider from Fox Tail, although I’ve seen their flagship Sir Issac variety in bottles (at Full Throttle Bottles in Seattle).  I believe that is currently their only bottled cider, although they have expansion plans, and they offer a number of varieties on tap.

Cider:  Fuzzy Haven
Cidery:  Fox Tail
Cidery Location:  Hood River OR
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  on tap

fox tail logo

Availability:  regional, only North & Central OR and Western WA

Cider Description:  Named for everyone’s favorite peach variety the Red Haven. It has great notes and flavor of peach mixed with apples. (Dry to Semi-Dry)
[Fox Tail’s website says 6.2% ABV, but this was listed as 5.5% ABV on the menu board.  I imagine it may vary batch to batch, and I’m more likely to believe the menu board as listing what the keg said.]

Cidery Description:  Fox-Tail Cider comes with a long history of family farming in Oregon. It all started in the late 1800’s with a German immigrant who planted apple trees to export apples back to Europe. August Paasch created the Paasch packing label for domestic and export. He continued farming with his sons into the 20th century.  Every fall August would crush up a few barrels of raw squeezed apple cider and let it naturally ferment. He was always a big hit when he’d bring the barrels back out for the New Years Eve party that following winter. Five generations later, his Great Great Grandsons still work the land. Growing not only apples, but pears, cherries, peaches and more. In 2009 Bob and long time friend Justin Cardwell began doing test batches of hard cider. Foreseeing that in the next few years there would be a reemergence of the cider industry. (Cider was America’s drink of choice before prohibition.) In 2013, Fox-Tail opened its doors next to Smiley’s Red Barn in the heart of the fruit growing area of the valley. Now distributing throughout the Pacific Northwest, Fox-Tail Cider has only begun to tell its tale.

They have a taproom open seasonally with 10 hard cider selections (5 of theirs and 5 others),plus non-alcoholic cider.

2015-09-04 16.41.48
<tap list at ‘Round the Table Gamer Pub in Lynnwood WA>

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<my selection>

Price:  $5.50 / pint on tap
Where Drank:  ‘Round the Table Gamer Pub in Lynnwood WA.  I heard about them on Facebook and visited just for the cider, as they have three on tap and a few bottle selections as well.  Their other cider tap selections that day were Finnriver Habanero and Tieton Cider Works Dry Apple.  They even had a mead (Kurt’s Apple Pie from Moonlight Meadery).  It wasn’t really the type of scene my husband and I like on a Friday night though…lots of teenagers, and everyone was very into the games they were playing, but apparently their typical scene is more family-like.  It wasn’t so much a place to hang out and just have a drink (no bar, and it was library type tables & chairs to accommodate game play).

However, I wasn’t really expecting a bar type atmosphere (for that sort of vibe in the same area, my vote is definitely Special Brews, which has a larger tap list but less cider, and a huge bottle selection).  I imagine ‘Round the Table is a really good family place though, which is what they cater to (vs. a 21+ bar).  They sell all types of games, have a selection of games which you can test play for free, and a community puzzle.  The prices were reasonable, they had a small food selection (toaster oven type stuff), and about a dozen varieties of Full Tilt ice cream.  There were also specialty sodas, including on tap.  They even do growler fills (32oz).  Check out this article about their opening last year.  The co-owner even got in touch with me and mentioned they really want to do a cider event, so I look forward to coming back for anything cider-related!

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First Impression:  Yellow hue.  Light foam ring.  No visible bubbles/carbonation.  Mild apple-peach slightly earthy scent.

Opinion:  Dry to semi-dry.  Hints of peach and citrus, but I found Fuzzy Haven to be a very mild flavored cider.  Crisp tasting and fairly easy to drink.  Moderate acidity.  Mild bitterness,  Mild to moderate tartness.  Light bodied.  Very little carbonation.  Quick finishing.  Slightly earthy but not funky.  I looked it up before ordering a pint, so I was expecting it to be dry, but I’d thought there would be more peach flavor.

Most Similar to:  Other mild fruity ciders.  I’ve tasted this most often with cherry (of which I’ve had at least 8 types), but I’ve also had one peach cider, which I found to be mild, from Blue Mountain.

Closing Notes:   I’d recommend Fox Tail Fuzzy Haven for someone who likes drier fruity but mild ciders.  Although it was a very solid cider, I didn’t especially enjoy it…I usually go for ciders which are more boldly flavored.  However, I’d be interested to try other varieties from them.

Have you tried any ciders from Fox Tail?  What did you think?

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