Incline Explorer Hopped Cider

Review of Incline Cider Company’s The Explorer – Hopped Cider.  Its the first time I’ve tried their cider, and this was the first cider this company released (January 2016).

Cider:  The Explorer – Hopped Cider
Cidery:  Incline Cider Company
Cidery Location:  Auburn WA
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  six packs of 12oz cans
Style:  American craft hopped cider made from dessert apples

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Availability:  Year round in Washington and Oregon

Cider Description:  On the drier end of the scale while remaining very smooth and well balanced. The Explorer Hopped Cider is produced from our blend of Yakima apples. A hearty dose of hops is added in to create a extremely balanced, complex, and refreshing cider. NO added sugar, no concentrates, nothing funky.

Cidery Description:  On a mission to share craft cider with the nation. Incline Cider Company was established by dreamers turned cider adventurers.  Founded through a long time passion with the industry and for quality craft cider, Incline was born.  Our mission is to produce craft cider of the highest quality and share it with the world.

We stay true to “craft”.  This means no apple concentrates and no artificial additives.  To put it simply – we let the apples, yeast, and our expertise do the talking.  GMO and Gluten Free.  Family owned and operated..  

Price:  ~$2 for a single can
Where Bought:  Whole Foods
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing, although I had read about this cider online and seen full six packs in other stores

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First Impression:  Pale straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells of hops, citrus, floral, and honey.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Hop-forward (moderate).  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Low bitterness.  No tannins, sourness, or funk.  Notes of hops, citrus, floral, and honey.  Moderate finish length.  Low apple flavor.  High sessionability.  Low flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  I found this easy to drink, but its not something I’d buy again, as I prefer a higher flavor intensity and less overt hoppiness (ie. citrus & floral notes vs. actual hop flavor).  I liked that the bitterness didn’t linger, which I’ve found some some hoppier ciders.

Most Similar to:  Other moderately hopped ciders, such as Portland Cider Hop’Rageous and Tod Creek Mala-Hop.

Closing Notes:   I’m glad I got to try this.  I can no longer say that I don’t enjoy hopped ciders, although they aren’t my first choice.  I think Incline did well staying middle of the road as far as hoppiness to appeal to both cider and beer drinkers.  I’m curious what they will come out with next.  Their website lists The Scout Hopped Marionberry Cider, but I haven’t seen it yet.

Have you tried Incline Explorer?  What did you think?

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