I was there last Thursday, for the One Tree Crisp Apple cider release party, and enjoyed a flight of four ciders, plus One Tree’s new cider.
<left to right: Portland Pineapple, Wandering Aengus Barrel Aged Wickson, Tieton Bourbon Peach, & Locust Sweet Aged Apple>
Portland Cider Company (Portland OR) Pineapple (5.7% ABV): This draft-only pineapple cider poured foamy but settled down after awhile. This may be their “Maui Cruiser” variety, which also has coconut blossom nectar, as I couldn’t find any evidence that they have a strictly Pineapple cider. Smells of fresh pineapples. Semi-dry. Light bodied. Low to moderate tartness. Low acidity. The flavor is purely pineapple, with low flavor intensity. I felt this cider smelled much better than it tasted…it left me wanting more flavor. The pineapple aroma was so strong (especially in comparison to the cider’s flavor) that it makes me curious if it was added.
Wandering Aengus (Salem OR) Barrel Aged Wickson (8.0% ABV): This is a barrel aged draft-only version of their single varietal Wickson crab apple cider, which is available in bottles (which I tried previously and found overly harsh). Smells mild, with hints of crab apples and oak. Dry. Low flavor intensity. The barrel aging seemed to mellow the cider’s intensity compared to the original version. Light bodied. Moderate tartness and acidity. Low bitterness and tannins. Alcohol-forward with crab apple sharpness, oak, and honey notes. This is best drank cold as it becomes more harsh as it warms up. I found this more drinkable than the original version, but I still didn’t care for it.
Tieton (Yakima WA) Bourbon Peach (6.5% ABV): A draft-only bourbon barrel aged peach cider. Hazy lemonade hue. Smells of bourbon, peaches, and pineapple. Semi-sweet to semi-dry. Hints of boozy bourbon (but not overpowering) and peach & pineapple notes. Yum! Medium bodied. Moderate tartness and acidity. Moderate flavor intensity. Low apple flavor. Medium to high sessionability. I’m a fan of bourbon barrel aged ciders, but often they tend towards being overly boozy, harsh, dry, etc…this one was tasty and easy to drink.
Locust (Woodinville WA) Sweet Aged Apple (6.9% ABV): This is a barrel aged cider made from dessert apple varieties which is available on draft and in bottles. I’ve tried this previously (when it was called Aged Washington Dessert Apple; see here), but had heard they significantly changed the recipe, so I wanted to give it another try. Last time it was quite hazy and unfiltered looking, but this time there was no haziness. Smells mild and apple-forward. Semi-sweet (less sweet than the previous recipe). Less flavorful than the previous recipe, but much more sessionable. Mild tartness and acidity. Caramel, vanilla, and honey notes. Medium bodied. Moderate to high apple flavor. Moderate flavor intensity. I’m not sure which recipe I preferred, as there are pros & cons of each, but I enjoyed both versions.
<One Tree Crisp Apple>
One Tree Hard Cider (Spokane WA) Crisp Apple (6.8% ABV): This is their new flagship cider, sold in four packs of 16oz cans and on draft. Hazy. Semi-sweet to semi-dry. Medium bodied. Unfiltered baked apple flavor with honey notes. Moderate tartness and acidity. High sessionability. Strong apple flavor. I enjoyed this. I found it very similar to 2 Towns Out Cider, but slightly sweeter and slightly more flavorful. Much less sweet than any of the other ciders I’ve tried from them.
The Tieton Bourbon Peach cider was my favorite, and my favorite cider from Tieton so far.
Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says! Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?