Review of Alpenfire Spark!, their semi-sweet cider. I’ve tried it a couple times before, but only bottle pours. I’ve tried most of Alpenfire’s ciders–Dungeness, Spark, Smoke, ApoCalypso, Ember, Simple Cider, Calypso, Pirate’s Plank, Glow, Cinders, and Shrub.
Cidery Location: Port Townsend WA
How Supplied: 750ml bottles
Style: Organic American craft cider from heirloom & cider apple varieties, sugar added
Availability: Year round in Washington and their online store
Cider Description: Spark! is blended from Melrose, Kings, Gravenstein, Winter banana, burgundys and other heritage apples as well as traditional cider apples. This bottle conditioned, unfiltered cider has the wonderfully crisp flavor of a just picked fall apple. This semi sweet cider is delicious with a appetizers, especially cheese and fruit.
Cidery Description: Alpenfire Organic Cider is made from our estate and locally grown organic apples. We planted our WSDA certified organic orchard in 2004 with over 800 trees and 10 varieties of English, French & Early American cider specific apples. These apples have been used for hundreds of years for the unique qualities they bring to cider production. Namely the tannins and bitters not found in dessert style apples. While the juice, much less the fruit, of many of these apples would be hard to enjoy by the glass they become amazing with a little fermentation. One of our favorites, the “Muscadet de Dieppe”, has a viscous, winey, yes, even musky juice. It takes months of slow, cool fermentation for that to develop the subtle aroma and flavor you will find in our bone-dry cider. We augment our juice and mellow the flavors with organic apples from other local orchards.
Where Bought: Schilling Cider House in Seattle WA
Where Drank: home
How Found: I’ve been wanting to pick up an Alpenfire bottle, and this is one of my favorites from them (in addition to Smoke, ApoCalypso, and Glow).
First Impression: Light pumpkin amber hue. Low carbonation and foam. Smells tannic, of honey and apple pomace.
Tasting Notes: Semi-sweet. Medium bodied. Moderate tartness. Moderate to high acid. Low to moderate tannins. Hints of bitterness. No sourness or funk. Apple-forward and rich. Notes of apple pomace, honey, orange, and leather. Moderate finish length. Moderate to high apple flavor, sessionability, and flavor intensity. Moderate complexity,
My Opinion: Awesome! I forgot how much I like this cider. Its easily in my top 10 favorites, and has all my favorite cider qualities. It would be a great introduction to “real” cider (made with cider apples), as it is sweeter and doesn’t have any overwhelming qualities.
Most Similar to: English cider such as from Aspall (except a bit sweeter and less yeast-forward), Bertolinos, and E.Z. Orchards Semi-Dry.
Closing Notes: I think this cider is a great choice and a good value too. Their Smoke is my favorite, but I need to be in a certain mood for that one…Spark is way more easy drinking.
Have you tried Alpenfire Spark? What did you think?