Stem Whiskey Barrel-Aged Apricot Cider

Review of Stem Ciders’ Whiskey Barrel-Aged Apricot Cider.  I’ve previously tried their Le Chene, Malice, Blood Orange Cyser, Remedy, and Branch and Bramble.  My husband brought 4 ciders, a cyser, and a Pommeau back from Stem Ciders in Colorado for me.

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Cider:  Whiskey Barrel-Aged Apricot Cider
Cidery:  Stem Ciders
Cidery Location:  Denver Colorado
ABV:  6.8%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  special release American craft cider with dried apricots, whiskey barrel aged

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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:  Fresh pressed apple juice barrel aged for 8 months.  Dried apricot dipped in smokey butterscotch oak.

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:  $16
Where Bought:  Stem’s tasting room.
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:  Pale straw yellow.  Low carbonation.  Smells of dried apricot and apricot pit, honey, and hints of oak & whiskey.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to dry.  Light bodied.  Low tartness.  High acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of apricot pit, dried apricot, peach, honey, and lemon.  Moderate length finish with some whiskey flavor, moderate warming, and hints of smoke.  Moderate sessionability.  Low apple flavor.  Low flavor intensity.  Moderate complexity.  Low barrel and spirit influence.  I finished the bottle the following day and the flavor seemed more sharp.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  However, the flavor intensity was lower than I was expecting and I prefer.  This cider would pair well with food and is a bit wine-like.

Most Similar to:  I’ve previously had Apricot ciders from Tieton, Locust (Apricot), Anthem (Ap-Bee-Cot), Atlas (Apricot), Summit (Apricot), and Carlton (AHH!!! Apricot Honey Habanero).

Closing Notes:   I have one last selection left, Stem’s Pommeau.

Have you tried Stem Ciders?  What did you think?

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