Cider Brothers William Tell Dry Hard Apple Cider with Strawberry

Review of Cider Brothers’ William Tell Dry Hard Apple Cider with Strawberry.  This is one of the ciders in Cider Brothers’ new line of flavored canned William Tell ciders.  They started with only William Tell Dry Hard Apple with Pinot Grigio and Pacific Coast Cider Hard Apple Cider.  Now the William Tell line also includes this one, Apple Mango Muscat, and Cherry.

>>This is a review of a sample can provided to Cider Says by Cider Brothers.  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:  William Tell Dry Hard Apple Cider with Strawberry
Cidery:  Cider Brothers
Cidery Location:  Lodi CA
ABV:  6.0%
How Supplied:  four pack of 16oz cans
Style:  American commercial cider made from dessert apples, with strawberry concentrate

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Availability:  National distribution (although the bottled William Tell Dry Hard Apple with Pinot Grigio and Pacific Coast Cider Hard Apple Cider are probably more commonly seen).  We get both of those in the Seattle area, but I haven’t seen these canned William Tell ciders yet.

Apple Varieties:  Granny smith, golden russet, gala, fuji, and red delicious (sourced from Washington).

Cider Description:  Resembles a crisp Rose wine in color and taste. Fruity aromas of fresh strawberries, vanilla cream and honey lead to sweet citrus, melon and mineral flavors. Medium bodied and very well balanced. Starts slightly sweet but finishes dry, soft and lingering.  Pairings: Fresh Fruit, Goats Milk Cheeses, Spicy Latin and Asian Appetizers.

Cidery Description:  From early morning through late afternoon, we bring a winemaker’s approach to producing small batches of handcrafted hard apple ciders. It starts with cold fermenting small lots of fresh apple juice to capture the delicate flavors and complex balance that makes this Mother Nature’s most refreshing adult beverage. The result is our refreshing, lightly carbonated artisan cider, produced at our Lodi winery.

The cider brothers are Michael and Paul Scotto.  The Scotto family has been in the wine industry for five generations, and Scotto Cellars is among the 30 largest wineries in California.  They used their wine background when starting to make cider, and by mistake developed a method they call “frost fermentation”.  They put the fresh apple juice into the refrigerated fermenter, as they would do for Chardonnay.  They next morning there was a layer of ice on the inside edges and top of the tank.  They remove the ice (water) and the result was a sweeter cider with more concentrated and rich flavor.  This is more labor and time intensive, but they feel the result is worth it.  (it reminds me of the process for ice cider)

Price:  n/a (runs ~$3 / can)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Light red hue.  Very low carbonation with foam upon pouring.  Smells of candied strawberry.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Still.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Moderately flavored, primarily strawberry with some cherry, watermelon, and hints of green apple.  Quick finish.  Low apple influence.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I found this plenty drinkable, but the flavor didn’t excite me, and it was a bit candied tasting (although not overly sweet).  Higher carbonation probably would have helped.  I didn’t pick up all the flavor notes mentioned in the description (vanilla cream, honey, citrus, melon, mineral).

Most Similar to:  The only other strawberry cider I’ve had is Bull Run Strawberry Fields.  I prefer the flavor on that one.  Both are semi-dry to semi-sweet and quite similar, but the Bull Run cider flavor seems more “real”.

Closing Notes:   So far of the William Tell line I prefer the Apple Mango Muscat, although I have three more to try.

Have you tried William Tell cider?  What did you think?

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