Stem Ciders Blood Orange Cyser

Review of Stem Ciders’ Blood Orange Cyser (a cross between cider and mead, made from both apples and honey).  I’ve previously tried their Le Chene and Malice.  My husband brought this and 4 of their other ciders (plus even some Pommeau!) back from Colorado for me.

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Cider:  Blood Orange Cyser
Cidery:  Stem Ciders
Cidery Location:  Denver Colorado
ABV:  10%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  American craft apple-honey wine with blood orange

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Availability:  Their ciders are available only in Colorado, at these retailers, but this is a special release which may only be found at the cidery.

Cider Description:  Apple-honey wine with blood orange.  Rosy in hue with light notes of honey and citrus zest on the nose.  Acidity from the blood orange plays off the sweetness of the honey, allowing an off-dry yet refreshing beverage.  Light apple tannins fill out the finish.

Cidery Description:  At Stem Ciders, we are committed to creating ciders of the highest quality that honor the purity and complexity that is inherent to the apple. We can’t wait to introduce you to your perfect cider match. We are dedicated to reviving the cider tradition, which goes far beyond what you enjoy in your glass. We hold our growers in the highest regard, and by fostering relationships with them we reward their hard work and promote the regrowth of heirloom apple cultivation. We love our home-base in Denver, and embrace the Colorado lifestyle that makes us lug a bottle to share up a mountain to enjoy a drink with a view. Most importantly, we love nothing more than seeing that smile on your face when you have your first sip of one of our crisp, refreshing ciders.

Price:  $18
Where Bought:  Stem Ciders tasting room in Denver
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I read about Stem Ciders online.  Last time my husband was in Colorado, he picked me up a bunch of ciders, including Stem Le Chene.  I keep hearing about their Banjo special release cider, but I’m 0/3 as far as finding it (apparently its only available about 1 month a year; its currently still barrel aging).  This time around I thought I’d make it easier on my husband and give him a shopping list all from the same cidery, so he could just stop by the tap room (vs. trying to find ciders at multiple bottle shops).  I e-mailed the cidery ahead of time and they were nice enough to send me a list of what they had in stock.

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First Impression:  Light orange-pink hue.  Very low carbonation upon pouring.  Smells mild, of honey and tart blood orange.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Moderate carbonation.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Low bitterness.  Low tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of blood orange, honey, honeycomb, grapefruit, lemon, mineral, and green apple.  Quick to moderate length finish, with less warming than expected for 10% ABV.  Low apple flavor.  Low to moderate honey and blood orange flavor.  Moderate sessionability.  Moderate complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it.  Unique citrus champagne-like flavor.  I imagine if I actually liked blood orange I would have loved it.  I’m a fan of high ABV cider, citrus notes in cider, and cyser & mead though, which is why I wanted to try it.

Most Similar to:  I’ve had various cysers (such as Finnriver Cyser CiderEaglemount Cyser, Moonlight Meadery Last Apple, and Sea Cider Birds and the Bees), as well as two blood orange ciders (Elemental Calcium and Ace Space), and this is a bit of a cross between the two, and much drier than any of those.  It also reminds me a bit of a mimosa, with the citrus, higher ABV, and higher carbonation.

Closing Notes:   This cyser is a great value, between it being small batch, blood orange & honey being expensive, and its high ABV.  I look forward to trying my other selections from Stem Ciders.

Have you tried anything from Stem Ciders?  What did you think?

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