I spent another afternoon in Woodinville Washington, cider tasting at the tap rooms for Locust and Elemental. See my notes here from my last visit.
<tap list at Locust Cider>
<left to right: Locust Mango, Elder & Oak, and Wabi Sabi>
Locust Mango, 6.0% ABV: Yellow dark straw gold hue. Mild fruity mango scent. Semi-sweet to sweet. Low carbonation with some foam. Medium bodied. Mild tartness and acidity. No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins. Real mango flavor with some tropical and honey notes. Quick finish length. Fairly simple, but I liked the moderately intense real mango flavor (although it was a sweet cider, it didn’t have a mango candy flavor).
Locust Elder & Oak, 7.0% ABV: Deep berry hue. Mild scent with hints of berry and oak. Semi-dry. Light bodied. Moderate tartness and acidity. Mild tannins. No bitterness, sourness, or funk. Very textural with berry tannins. Earthy and wine-like. Moderate length finish. Mild to moderate barrel influence. Very low apple influence. Although I’m a fan of barrel aged ciders, I wasn’t into this. I think it was too tannic (although it tasted like that was only from the elderberries, not applies) oddly enough.
Locust Wabi Sabi, 6.9% ABV: Yellow dark straw gold hue. Low carbonation with some foam. Smells mild, acidic, and of citrus. Semi-sweet to semi-dry. Medium bodied. Mild tartness and acidity. No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins. Apple-forward and a bit juice-like. Notes of fresh apple, honey, citrus (although less than the scent), and apple pomace. Quick finish length. I found this to be a very typical sweeter flagship cider.
<tap list at Elemental Cider; sorry for the blur>
<left to right: Blackberry Cobbler, Pom-Rose, Root Beer, and Carbon>
Elemental Blackberry Cobbler, 6.5% ABV: Deep blackberry hue. Sweet to very sweet. The flavor is very blackberry, but I also picked up a carbohydrate component in the scent and texture (kinda like “cobbler”, although I was told the only other addition was pie spices, which I didn’t pick up). Medium bodied. Moderate tartness. Mild acidity. No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins. Quick finish length. I wasn’t really into this, but I imagine it will sell very well. It was a one-off keg as they came into some blackberry concentrate (which I learned is about the most expensive flavor), but they plan to make some other blackberry ciders in the future.
Elemental Pomegranate-Rose, 6.5% ABV: Light pink hue with some foam. Semi-sweet to semi-dry. Light bodied. Moderate tartness. Mild acidity. No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins. Very mild and smooth with some mild fruitiness. I tried this before too. Its well balanced and refreshing.
Elemental NW Atomic Root Beer, 6.5% ABV: This is a cider-based hard root beer (vs. making an alcoholic root beer with a malt base). I’ve had this a few times before. This time I really enjoyed it…I think its the best batch yet…I tasted more apple than previously, but apparently it was less. The “root beer” is stronger in the scent than the flavor. This doesn’t taste exactly like root beer, but it has a great flavor. Oddly enough this is my favorite cider that Elemental makes. Probably as it has a rich full flavor (I tend towards English & French ciders).
Elemental ‘Carbon’ Dry, 6.5% ABV: Semi-dry to dry. Light bodied. Apple-forward. Moderate tartness and acidity. Citrus notes with some mineral. A hint of tannins. This tasted between that that of the first two times I tried it. I liked the previous batch a bit more, as it was richer and less tart. Elemental is unique in that they continue to tweak their ciders after release, so although it has the same name, it may be different.