I recently attended an Apple Outlaw cider tasting at Around the Table, a game pub in Lynnwood Washington, North of Seattle. Its a unique game shop with tables to play at, snacks, and beer/cider/mead/soda/etc on tap. They have quite a tap list, which usually includes a few ciders and a mead (which is more ciders than most places with even more taps have). They’ve had a few other cider tastings prior to this, which include having a mini cider tap takeover and bringing in a cidery representative to pour them and chat.
They had Apple Outlaw’s Ginger Bite, Original, and Tangerine Twist on tap. The rep Meghan also opened a bottle of their Cranberry Jewel while I was there. I met up with Nathan from The Cider Chronicles, who now also works part time for Elemental Hard Cider. He brought a growler of their Pomegranate-Rose cider with him. Around the Table also had Elemental’s NW Atomic Root Beer cider on tap (a cider-based hard root beer, which I reviewed here), and Moonlight Meadery’s Sumptuous Mango mead.
<the full tap list that evening>
Apple Outlaw is an orchard-based cidery in Applegate Oregon, in the Applegate Valley in the Southern portion of the state. They actually sold non-alcoholic cider (juice) for quite awhile before starting to sell hard cider, which they make from dessert apples. Oddly enough they no longer sell their unfermented juice. Although the place was rather busy, the cider tasting wasn’t, so Nathan and I got to chat with Meghan for awhile. We learned that Apple Outlaw is still on the small side, and mainly family-run. They don’t currently have a tasting room, but their bottled (and draft) ciders have been sold since 2013, and are available in Oregon and Washington.
Elemental Hard Cider Pomegranate-Rose, 6.5% ABV: Light cherry pink hue. Semi-dry to semi-sweet. Mild to moderate tartness. I mostly tasted pomegranate, but it was smoother than typical, presumably from the infusion of rose petals (although I didn’t pick up any floral notes). Elemental has infused rose petals with other ciders as well, such as Lavender-Rose (which I reviewed here).
Apple Outlaw Tangerine Twist, 5.5% ABV: Cider with tangerines and hops. It is their Spring/Summer seasonal. Semi-dry. Light bodied. The flavor started distinctly citrus and tart, and the finish was hopped (light bitterness and floral notes).
Apple Outlaw Original Hard Cider, 5.5% ABV: This is their flagship cider. Semi-sweet. Medium bodied. Mild tartness. Easy to drink and sessionable. Very apple forward (back sweetened).
Apple Outlaw Ginger Bite, 5.5% ABV: Made with Peruvian yellow ginger. Moderate to strong ginger scent. Semi-sweet. I’m not a ginger fan, but this was definitely more approachable for me than most ginger ciders, as most of the ginger remained in the scent…I really didn’t pick up too much ginger flavor. Most of all, it didn’t have any sinus burn. I think the sweetness also helped its approachability. This was described as being great for food pairings.
Apple Outlaw Cranberry Jewel, 5.5% ABV: This was a bottle pour. Made with cranberries, rose hips, and orange peel. I didn’t pick up the rose hips or orange peel (which I only read about later). It was definitely very cranberry (moderate to strong) and tasted juice-like to me. Semi-dry. Moderate tartness. Medium bodied.
Moonlight Meadery Sumptuous Mango Mead, 13.6% ABV: Nathan let me taste the glass he ordered. Very fruity and alcohol-forward, but the mango flavor isn’t particularly strong. Sweet. Moderate tartness. Full bodied. This was the first beverage from Moonlight Meadery that I didn’t think was amazing…I think I much prefer their ciders, meads, and cysers which are more honey-forward, with richer brown sugar type notes (see my prior reviews here). The fruitiness just didn’t seem to mesh with the whole 14% ABV mead vibe. I think as a lower ABV cyser (apple + honey) it would have worked better.
Of the Apple Outlaw selections, I liked the Original best. I’ve previously tried their Oaked Sweet Dark Cherry and Blackberry Bounty ciders on tap. However, none of the Apple Outlaw ciders are really a style I enjoy (and I’m not really a fan of hops, ginger, or cranberry). My favorite ciders are typically richer and/or made from cider apples. Its always fun to try new ciders though!