Tasting notes from my eleventh visit to the Schilling Cider House in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle WA. Check out my past posts here. I was there mostly as I wanted to pick up a couple bottles (Schilling’s new seasonal King’s Shilling brandy barrel aged & fortified cider and this year’s version of Two Towns’ Pommeau), but this isn’t exactly the kind of place where I can stop in without having some cider!
I got there after work, around 4pm, and started with a flight of five ciders (I had tried everything else so skipped out on #6). I brought some take out food I picked up from PCC (the Caprese sandwich went well with 101 Cider House Piña Mint).
<left to right: Schilling Blackberry Pear, Schilling London Dry, Sonoma Cider Dry Fuji, Original Sin Northern Spy, and 101 Cider House Piña Menta>
Schilling Blackberry Pear (Auburn WA), 5.5%: This is a new draft-only release. I believe it is apple cider with blackberry and pear juice infused after fermentation (vs. being a blackberry flavored perry). Semi-sweet. Full flavored with blackberry and a hint of pear. Fruity, refreshing, and flavorful without being over the top sweet. The apple remains pretty well hidden. Medium bodied. This was pretty good (and I’m usually not a big berry cider fan), although maybe I was just underwhelmed with most of the rest of the flight. It reminded me of Atlas Blackberry (although less tart) and Crispin Blackberry Pear (although sweeter).
Schilling London Dry (Auburn WA), 6.5%: Described as an English pub style cider, sold in four packs of 16oz cans and kegs. Somehow I had never tried this one even though its been out awhile. Dry. High acidity. Moderarate tartness. Light bodied. It was lacking the richness of English cider, likely as I doubt they used high tannin cider apples. I thought this was a pretty average cider, but many people ordered pints of it while I was there (although maybe because it was the most inexpensive drier cider by far?).
Sonoma Cider Dry Fuji (Healdsburg CA), 6.5%: This is a reserve series release from Sonoma Cider, an organic Fuji apple single varietal, oak barrel aged, sold in 22oz paper wrapped bottles and kegs. Nearly clear hue. Completely Dry (0 residual sugar). High acidity. Moderate sourness. Mild tartness. Light bodied. Kinda Sidra-like due to the sourness, although it also reminded me of white grape wine. Mildly flavored. I wasn’t a fan at all, mostly due to the sourness.
Original Sin Northern Spy (York NY), 6.9%: This Northern Spy single varietal is part of Original Sin’s Heirloom series. This appears to be tap-only at this time (although they had similar heirloom series releases in 750ml bottles, like Newtown Pippin). Semi-dry. Low acidity. Low tartness. A hint of sourness. Citrus notes. Light bodied. Overall mildly flavored. Average.
101 Cider House Piña Menta (Los Angeles CA), 6.9%: This is a new 101 Cider House release, a pineapple mint cider. Smells of citrus and mint. On the sweeter side of Dry. A hint of sourness. Citrus and mint notes. I didn’t really pick up pineapple? Moderately flavored. Light bodied. Unique with the mint flavor, but overall I thought it was average.
They also put Honey Moon CiderHead Quince on tap while I was there.
Honey Moon CiderHead Quince (Bellingham WA), 8.3%: This is described as their Quince mead with cider, so that would make it a cyser. Semi-dry. Mild tannins, tartness, and acidity. Mildly fruity. Light and refreshing. Mild to moderate flavored. Tropical notes, passion fruit and pineapple. This was good, but I prefer Eaglemount Quince, which was more complex and flavorful.
I wanted a little something else, but didn’t feel the need for another pint, so I bought a bottle of Celt for $3 and drank it there. The Cider House is pretty awesome as they don’t charge extra to drink their bottled cider there (vs. taking it home). An awesome cider for an awesome price! Its the only French cider I’ve seen that comes in a multipack (4 bottles). Check out my previous review here. I had forgotten how I much I enjoy this cider, and picked up a couple more bottles to take home.
I’m excited to compare the last two years of Two Towns’ Pommeau in a vertical pour, now that I have a bottle of each. I highly recommend it by the way, and if anyone is in the Seattle area, at $25 for an amazing 375ml bottle of 19% ABV Pommeau at the Schilling Cider House, its also a good buy. I also spotted it at The Cave in Kirkland.
Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says! Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?