Tasting notes from my sixteenth visit to the Schilling Cider House in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle WA. Check out my past posts with tasting notes here. I was there on a Tuesday evening for a tasting event with Alpenfire Cider (from Port Townsend WA). Its pretty rare they do events, besides some pricey (but awesome sounding) dinners with cider pairings.
Philippe (Nancy & Bear’s son) was there from Alpenfire. The Cider House was featuring a flight of six ciders from Alpenfire (five of which were bottle pours, which was a first for the Cider House, and Apocalypso on draft, which is a rarity for Alpenfire) plus a Shrub cider cocktail.
I arrived early so I tried a few ciders before the event. I had been there just a week earlier, but quite a few of the taps turned over (although there weren’t too many I hadn’t tried).
<left to right: Eaglemount Perry, Locust Apricot, and Carlton Bourbon Peachy Keen>
Eaglemount (Port Townsend WA) Perry (8.0% ABV): Smells of pear and citrus, slightly sour. Semi-dry. Medium bodied. Mild to moderate tartness and acidity. Mild bitterness. Hints of sourness, funk, and tannins. Notes of pear, citrus, spice, and vanilla. Alcohol-forward and sharp. Moderate length finish.
Locust Cider (Woodinville WA) Apricot (6.0% ABV): Smells sweet, of apricot and peach. Semi-dry to semi-sweet. Light to medium bodied. Moderate tartness and acidity. A hint of bitterness. No sourness, funk, or tannins. Medium flavor intensity with simple but real tasting apricot flavor. Quick finish.
Carlton Cider (McMinnville OR) Bourbon Peachy Keen (6.5% ABV): Foamy. Smells of bourbon and fruitiness (peach and apricot). Semi-dry to dry. Very light bodied with a frothy mouthfeel. Low tartness. Moderate acidity. Low bitterness. No sourness, funk, or tannins. Low barrel influence. Moderate spirit influence. Medium to long length finish. They also make a non barrel aged version of this cider.
<Alpenfire cider tasting>
The Alpenfire ciders were ready as it got closer to 6pm. I’ve previously tried all the ciders they were offering in the flight, so I decided to just order a pint of Apocalypso (a draft-only version of their Calypso blackberry rum barrel aged cider with double the blackberries and barrel aged 4 instead of 2 months).
Alpenfire (Port Townsend WA) Apocalypso (6.5% ABV): Semi-sweet to semi-dry. Medium bodied. Mild to moderate tartness. Mild acidity. Mild tannins. No bitterness, sourness, or funk. Mild rum influence. Moderate barrel (oak) influence. Moderate blackberry flavor. Moderate length finish.
I also tried a couple sips of the Shrub cocktail, made with Alpenfire bittersweet cider, Alpenfire apple cider vinegar, blackberry puree, and sparkling water.
Alpenfire (Port Townsend WA) Shrub: Semi-dry to semi-sweet. Medium bodied. Vinegar more in the scent than flavor. There is tartness and a hint of vinegar flavor, but not any sourness like I was expecting. No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins. Moderate blackberry flavor. Moderate length finish. Unique, but not my thing.
My favorite of the night was the Alpenfire Apocalypso cider. I liked this batch even better than the last one I tried for WA cider week 2015 at the Burgundian Bar (see here), as it was slightly sweeter, more fruity, and more oaky.
They even got in some bottles of Alpenfire Cinders (the Méthode Champenoise version of Glow, their rosé cider made with red-fleshed apples). Its a rare find outside of the Alpenfire tap room (which I visited in February; see here). I actually prefer Glow though, as its sweeter and more flavorful.
Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says! Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?