Finnriver Black Currant

Review of Finnriver’s Black Currant cider.  I’ve had this a few times, but this is the first time I’ve had it since starting Cider Says.  I picked up a growler of this cider at a Finnriver cider tasting at Around the Table in Lynnwood WA.  They were pouring their Pear, Cranberry Rosehip, and Black Currant ciders, and offering a free glass growler with fill.

(stock photo as I got a half growler)

Cider:  Black Currant
Cidery:  Finnriver
Cidery Location:  Chimacum WA (near Port Townsend)
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles and on tap

Availability:  Year round in WA, OR, CA, AZ, NV, TX, IL, CO, and Alberta & BC Canada (detailed info here).  They also have an online store (which can ship to WA, OR, CA, AK, CO, MN, FL, & WA D.C.)

Cider Description:  A light, lovely cider, with a purple blush, that blends heirloom and organic dessert apples with the tart mysteries of organic black currant. Immensely drinkable.

Made from Gala, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady apples, which is the base that Finnriver uses for the majority of their ciders.

Cidery Description:  At Finnriver we gather and ferment the flavors of the land to offer you farmcrafted hard ciders and spirited fruit wines. We are inspired by the allure of the fruit, the ancient history of the craft of fermentation and the lively traditions we now seek to revive.  Our mission is to inspire a deeper connection to the land that sustains us….Some of these ciders are small-batch, seasonal and labor-intensive. Others are produced with contemporary methods and more readily available year-round…Finnriver grows over twenty varieties of traditional and heirloom apples in our organic orchard, to feature in our traditional and specialty ciders.  They have a tasting room open seven days a week, noon to 5pm, and are on the Olympic Pennsylvania cider route along with Eaglemount and Alpenfire cideries.

Price:  $9 / 32oz (usually runs $9 / 500ml, or 16.9oz bottle, so this was a great deal even before the free glass growler)
Where Bought:  Around the Table in Lynnwood WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Finnriver tasting, although I’ve had it a few times

2015-11-26 13.44.47

First Impression:  Deep purple grape juice-like hue.  Nearly still (no carbonation) with a few large bubbles.  Smells amazing, of grape, black currant, and cranberry.  This was the type of cider where I sat and smelled it for quite awhile before diving in.

Opinion:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Moderate acidity and tartness.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Very fruity and full-flavored, with the same grape, black currant, and cranberry flavors.  The apple however remained pretty well-hidden.  The flavor was overall nice, not overpowering or overly juice-like, which often happens with fruity ciders.  Light to medium bodied.  Medium length finish.

Most Similar to:  Other fruity ciders.  This is the only black currant cider I’ve had, but I know Doc’s Draft and Slyboro also make one.

Closing Notes:   Quite tasty, but a bit tart for my liking, especially having most of this growler myself over the course of the afternoon & evening.  It went really well with Thanksgiving dinner, kinda akin to a cranberry sauce.  However, I liked this better bottled as it seemed to have a higher carbonation level (I’m a big fan of carbonation).  Even better is Finnriver’s Lavender Black Currant variety (part of their Botanicals line), which was especially amazing on Nitro at the Schilling Cider House in Seattle WA.

Have you tried any Finnriver ciders?  What did you think?

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