Moonlight Meadery How Do You Like Them Little Apples Cider

Review of “How Do You Like Them Little Apples”, a cider from Moonlight Meadery.  Note that they also offer “How Do You Like Them Apples” (without “Little”), which is quite a different cider, mostly as it has a significantly higher ABV, 13.5% instead of 6.9%.  I’ve also tried that one (at Cider Summit Seattle 2015; tasting notes here).

Cider:  How Do You Like Them Little Apples
Cidery:  Moonlight Meadery
Cidery Location:  Londonderry NH
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  draft-only (I got a half growler, 32 oz)

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Side Note:  This is the first time I’ve got a growler fill of cider!  I’ve always decided against it as 64 oz of cider is way too much for just me to drink in a short period of time, but my husband came home with a half growler of beer recently.  These half growlers (and even quarter growlers, only 16 oz) seem to be a newer thing.  Two pints of cider is more easily doable.  The place where I got it filled (see below) actually only sells half growlers, although I’m sure if you brought in a full size one they would fill it for double the cost.  Also, check out my new cider glass!

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I’ve been wanting to buy some real cider glasses for awhile, and picked up three (see above, with one of my usual cider glasses on the right for reference) at World Market, each between $2 and $4.  They are officially a goblet, brandy snifter (pictured with cider above), and sangria glass (curved).  I think the brandy one is my favorite as it isn’t as large/tall as the other two, although similar to wine glasses, none of these would be filled up all the way.

Availability:  Regional.  See the list on Moonlight Meadery’s website.

Cider Description:  A hard cider, made with the finest New Hampshire apples that were available to us, which we had fresh pressed into apple cider. This fresh cider was delivered the day it was pressed to our Meadery, where we blended it with just a touch of honey, and some brown sugar and let it ferment, then we let it age in freshly emptied rye whiskey barrels, for a minimum of 3 months.  This is a DRAFT only release.

Cidery Description:  We are a world class, cidery and meadery from Londonderry New Hampshire, specializing in meads: wines made from honey, and ciders. The diversity of the offerings often leaves people speechless, while the flavors have them asking for it at their local stores. Stop by to find out why “History never tasted so good”™. Try the oldest fermented beverage, “Romance By the Glass”®. Distributed nationwide both here in the United States, and Australia.  It all started back in 1995, when Michael, our founder and head mead maker, tried a cyser (apple and honey mead) for the first time.

Since that first sip Michael has developed a passion, and a masterful skill at making international award winning meads. Michael Fairbrother has started Moonlight Meadery®, with a mission to bring ultra premium meads to the market place.  It is more than a product and it is more than a process, it’s our obsession.  Our meads will be unique, and unlike anything you have ever tried, you will find it incredible!   We are going to embrace the unique nature of natural honey as minimally processed as possible.  Since starting production in May of 2010, we have grown beyond our wildest dreams. We hope you will stop by to hear our story and try our meads, and tell your friends.

Moonlight has a tasting room in Londonderry NH, and an online store selling their products which ships to 20 states (WA not included unfortunately).  We get a few of their bottled meads in the Seattle area, but nowhere near the full lineup.

Price:  $10 / 32 ounce half growler
Where Bought:  Around the Table Game Pub in Lynnwood WA.  This is a great option for draft craft cider in the greater Seattle area by the way, as they typically have 3 ciders and 1 mead on tap (and 8 beers, a coffee, and a soda).  Although its not really my type of atmosphere (gamer types), the cider selection is pretty awesome.  Special Brews up the street has more taps but less cider on tap (although they have a bottle shop).
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I tried this for the first time at the Schilling Cider House (see my post here).  Schilling Cider House has Moonlight Meadery’s ciders & cysers on tap pretty often.  When I saw this cider was on tap at Around the Table, I went out of my way to get a half growler of it!  Very reasonably priced too.  I’m doing a full review of it now vs. my previous one which was only a quick writeup.  I typically only do tasting notes when sampling ciders away from home as its tough to get a full picture of a cider when doing a quick tasting, and especially when trying it with other ciders.

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First Impression:  Shiney straw yellow champagne-like hue.  Large bubbles.  Complex rich sweet apple scent with a hint of oak wood.

Opinion:  Semi-sweet to sweet.  Rich ripe apple, honey, oak, brown sugar, and floral notes.  The slightest hint of whiskey from the barrel in addition to the oak flavor from the barrel itself (which is on the mild side).  Complex flavor, but low acidity, tannins, tartness, astringency, bitterness, etc.  No funk (clean).  Very low carbonation.  Medium to full bodied.  Longer finish, which is where some mild tarrtness and bitterness presents.  Very smooth.  I’d guess it was a higher ABV (maybe due to how full bodied it is), but its not really booze-forward.

Most Similar to:  Not too much.  Most barrel aged ciders don’t also have other flavors (honey & brown sugar in this case), and there aren’t too many barrel aged ciders that are this sweet (although Thistly Cross Whisky Cask comes to mind).

Closing Notes:   Awesome!  One of my favorite ciders.  Even my friend who is very new to hard cider and whose tastes haven’t extended beyond very plain sweet juice-like commercial ciders enjoyed it (I thought she might be put off by the barrel notes).  So, I can recommend this as a good introduction to barrel aged ciders (vs. some others that are very dry, strong barrel influence, lots of spirit notes, etc).  I’ve been very impressed with everything I’ve tried from Moonlight Meadery so far (a few ciders, a cyser, and a mead)!

Have you tried Moonlight Meadery How Do You Like Them Little Apples?  What did you think?

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