Review of Atlas Hard Blackberry Cider. This cider appears to be made from fermented apple juice, then blackberry, elderberry, & black currant juices are added after fermentation.
Cider: Hard Blackberry Cider
Cidery: Atlas Cider Co.
Cidery Location: Bend OR
How Supplied: 22oz clear glass bottle
Availability: Year-round in OR, WA, & ID.
Cider Description: Oregon has a state flag, song, flower, and this my friends is our nomination for a state cider. A deep hue of purple fills the glass as we took zero short-cuts with this fine blend of blackberries and elderberries. The tartness of the blackberries is rounded out by the complex characteristics of the elderberries. Filled with tannins this cider leaves a delightful fry and rich finish. Cheers to NW berries.
Cidery Description: ATLAS Cider Co. produces authentic hard cider fermented from 100% fresh pressed fruit from our region. Partnering with Northwest farmers to source our fruit has been a priority of ours from the beginning. Our ciders start with a base of NW varieties that are pressed to achieve a balance of sweetness, tartness, and dryness. We forge our ciders in the heart of the NW in Bend, OR. Fermented from 100% fresh pressed fruit. All fruit from our local OR/WA region. No use of anything artificial or colorings. Balanced with just a touch of sweetness. Naturally Gluten free. 22oz bottles and kegs available.
Price: $5.50 (usually runs $7 though)
Where Bought: My husband picked this up for me at Albertsons. Actually, he brought home all three Atlas varieties they had! Apple, Apricot, and Blackberry. I did a review of the flagship Apple variety awhile back. Atlas also makes a fourth variety, Pomegranate-Cherry.
Where Drank: home
How Found: It showed up in the fridge lol.
First Impression: Deep berry purple red. Foam rim. Little carbonation. Strong berry-grape scent.
Opinion: Semi-sweet. Fairly tart, especially to finish. Dan at Atlas told me the majority of the apples used in their ciders are granny smith, which I find quite interesting (they say it gives their ciders “a nice flavorful punch that are lacking in many”). I pick up the berry notes (blackberries & elderberries), but the black currant tastes more like grape to me. I found this cider to be quite simple and juice-like. Thin bodied and quick finishing. I think I would have liked more carbonation and acidity. It was however refreshing and flavorful.
Most Similar to: Other berry-forward ciders. Finnriver Lavender Black Currant is a favorite of mine.
Closing Notes: I look forward to trying their Apricot variety I already have at home; apparently it is their driest offering. I enjoyed the Apple better than the Blackberry. I think its awesome that Atlas uses only 100% Northwest juice and no artificial ingredients, and can still be sold at a very reasonable price point. Plus they are family owned and operated (I give them major kudos on that one especially as family is tough enough to get along with at home sometimes!). They have a huge almost cult-like following, especially on Facebook. Overall Atlas Blackberry a solid berry cider but I’m not truly impressed. However, I’ve discovered I’m not a huge fruity cider fan…I tend to like a richer bold flavor, unique, barrel aged, etc.
Check out their Vimeo site. It currently includes three videos, including a behind the scenes look at the details to operating a cider company.
Have you tried Atlas Blackberry? What did you think?