Review of Wild Rose from WildCraft Cider Works. WildCraft was nice enough to send me a box full of their cider (which is especially awesome as they aren’t yet available in WA), so I have a number of varieties from them to review in the coming weeks. This was the second bottle of seven I tried.
>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by WildCraft Cider Works. Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received it for free. The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review cue. I love free stuff, especially cider! Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here? Contact me.<<
Cider: Wild Rose
Cidery: WildCraft Cider Works
Cidery Location: Eugene OR
How Supplied: 500ml bottle
Availability: Year round, but currently only in Eugene, Portland, and Medford Oregon.
Cider Description: A WildCraft exclusive! Whole wild roses undergo a lengthy cold conditioning and secondary fermentation on a unique blend of our wild fermented cider. Fresh, crisp and aromatic notes of rose petals lead to a complex cider mid-palate, finishing dry and very smooth.
They use wild foraged botanicals in this line of their ciders. This one is made from Honeycrisp apples and sweet Briar roses.
Cidery Description: At WildCraft Cider Works, we pride ourselves on developing innovative, artisanal dry ciders inspired by traditional and wild methodology. Insisting on whole fruit and botanicals grown in Oregon to create pure ciders without artificial flavorings, sulfites or added sweeteners. WildCraft cider is uniquely dry cider unpasteurized & bottle conditioned. We consider ourselves stewards of the outdoors; always acting consciously to ensure that our ingredients are regional.
WildCraft sets themselves apart from most other cideries by using mostly fruit from old homesteads that would otherwise go unused, plus unwanted fruit from community drives. All their fruit is Oregon-grown and pressed at the cidery. In addition to ciders, they also have a line of perries (made from pears). They avoid the use of sulfites in their ciders, which is quite rare and can be difficult to pull off.
WildCraft has a tap house at their Eugene OR cidery with 10 of their ciders & perries on tap at a time, plus they have a full bar (including cider cocktails), and a full farm to table restaurant! This article from Feb 2015 has a nice writeup on them.
Price: n/a (but retails for $6.99)
Where Bought: n/a
Where Drank: home
How Found: Facebook and word of mouth
First Impression: Slightly hazy light straw yellow with the slightest pink tint. Light carbonation. Smells like a dry acidic cider, wild fermented, with some floral & herbal qualities.
Opinion: Completely dry. It has some sweet floral qualities, yet it is lacking in residual sugar. Moderate acidity and astringency. Mild bitterness, sourness, tartness, and funk. Light bodied. Moderate length finish. Same as Snake River Rye, I found it a bit alcohol-forward (although it is 7.5% ABV, which is higher than average), but slightly less so.
Most Similar to: Two of the floral ciders I’ve had before have been commercial and on the sweeter side, Angry Orchard Elderflower and Woodchuck Out on a Limb Oopsy Daisy (chamomile), plus one that was craft but still on the sweeter side, Finnriver Honey Meadow (lemon balm & chamomile). This one was on the other side of the sweetness spectrum, and the floral flavor was even lighter.
Closing Notes: Wild Rose was quite an interesting cider, but it wasn’t really to my liking. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I wasn’t a huge fan, but I imagine a bit less sour, funk, & wild fermentation flavor and/or a bit more residual sugar would have helped. I don’t mind dry, but it has to be a certain type of cider for it to work for me. I did however enjoy the light floral flavor. I opened this (and four other WildCraft ciders) at a cider tasting I had, and two folks really loved it. I think people looking for a unique floral cider on the dry end of the spectrum who aren’t opposed to some sourness and funk should give this a try. Just because I wasn’t a huge fan doesn’t mean you won’t be. I think WildCraft is really on to something with making a unique local product. I look forward to trying the rest of the ciders that came in my sample box!
Have you tried any WildCraft cider? What did you think?