I was there on a random Tuesday afternoon and enjoyed a flight of six ciders. Even though I had just been there the week before, a good portion of the taps had turned over and there were plenty of ciders to choose from which were new to me.
<left to right: Schilling Rhubarb Pear, Finnriver Pear Wood, Greenwood Cedar, AEppelTreow Blackbird Berry, Cider Head Bourbon Barrel, and Cockrell Pub Cider>
Schilling (Auburn WA) Rhubarb Pear (6.0% ABV): I thought I hadn’t tried this one, but I actually had (its an apple cider with rhubarb & pear, also called Lumberjack and available in cans); see here. I’ve tried many of their ciders previously (see here). Pale peach hue. Smells sweet, fruity, and mild. Semi-dry. Medium bodied. Moderate tartness and acidity. Mildly flavored–rhubarb, strawberry, pear, and peach. Easy to drink. I think I liked it better canned, as it was higher carbonation and more tart.
Finnriver (Port Townsend WA) Pear Wood (6.9% ABV): This is a Crew Selection keg-only release, a rendition of their Pear cider (which I reviewed here). Its made from bittersweet apples with Malo-Lactic Fermentation and aged with oak staves, mixed with barrel aged cider, then backsweetened with pear juice. I’ve tried many of their ciders previously (see here). Semi-sweet to semi-dry. Medium bodied. Moderate tartness and acidity. Hints of bitterness. Notes of bittersweet apple, pear, and oak. Fairly simple.
Greenwood (Seattle WA) Cedar Cider (6.5% ABV): This is a keg-only release. I’ve tried a couple of their ciders previously (see here). Mild scent. Dry. Light bodied. Mild to moderate tartness, acidity, and bitterness. Earthy wood flavor with some bite that reminds me of crabapples. A hint of vinegar. Citrus and vanilla. Unique.
AEppelTreow (Burlington WI) Blackbird Berry-Apple (5.5% ABV): This cider is available in kegs and bottles, and is apple cider with black currant and elderberries. I’ve tried a few of their ciders previously (see here). Deep berry hue. Smells of raspberries and blackberries. Semi-sweet to semi-dry. Light to medium bodied. Moderate berry flavor, more raspberry than anything else. I didn’t really detect black currant or elderberries. Moderate tartness. Low acidity. Hints of tannins and bitterness. Not overly juice-like which I notice often happens with sweeter berry ciders. I found it to be very well-balanced and its one of my favorite berry ciders.
Honey Moon (Bellingham WA) CiderHead Bourbon Barrel (5.5% ABV): This is a keg-only release. I’ve tried a couple of their ciders previously (see here). Smells sour. Dry to semi-dry. Light bodied. Mild sourness and bitterness. Moderate tartness and acidity. Vinegar and citrus notes. Mild barrel and bourbon influence.
Cockrell (Puyallup WA) Pub Cider (6.2% ABV): This is a keg-only release. I’ve tried a couple of their ciders previously (see here). Smells sweet and rich. Semi-dry to semi-sweet. Frothy. Very mildly flavored and it kinda tasted watered down, although it was medium bodied. Apple-forward.
The AEppelTreow Blackbird Berry-Apple was oddly enough my favorite, probably as it was the most flavorful. I would have guessed that I’d prefer the Bourbon Barrel or Pub Cider based on my typical preferences, but I didn’t really like either (especially the Bourbon Barrel, as I don’t like sour ciders).
Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says! Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?