Finnriver Pommeau

Review of Finnriver’s Pommeau, which is a mix of cider and apple brandy.  I tried a bottle pour of this awhile back.  I picked up this bottle in February when my husband took me to Port Townsend for cider tasting for my birthday (see here, plus posts on Finnriver, Eaglemount, and Alpenfire).  I’ve previously tried most of Finnriver’s line-up; see here.


Cider:  Pommeau
Cidery:  Finnriver
Cidery Location:  Chimacum WA
ABV:  18.5%
How Supplied:  500ml square short bottle (cork in cap)
Style:  American craft Pommeau apple wine (cider + apple brandy), oak aged

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Availability:  Likely difficult to find outside of their Port Townsend area cidery & farm and their booth at the Ballard Farmer’s Market.  In general, Finnriver ciders are sold in WA, OR, CA, AZ, NV, TX, IL, CO, and Alberta & BC Canada (detailed info here).  They also have an online store (which can ship to WA, OR, CA, AK, CO, MN, FL, & WA D.C.).

Cider Description: Fermenting at Finnriver is a process of discovery – a blend of ancient wisdom, modern chemistry, farm ingenuity, and nature’s magic.  We are inspired by the generosity of the orchard and by the possibilities of the apple.  We hope this bottle of elegant, aged apple wine gives you a rich and rewarding sip of the earth’s bounty.

Pommeau in general is made from apple juice (typically unfermented but sometimes fermented) and apple brandy.  This one was oak aged, and released in January 2016.

Cidery Description:  At Finnriver we gather and ferment the flavors of the land to offer you farmcrafted hard ciders and spirited fruit wines. We are inspired by the allure of the fruit, the ancient history of the craft of fermentation and the lively traditions we now seek to revive.  Our mission is to inspire a deeper connection to the land that sustains us….Some of these ciders are small-batch, seasonal and labor-intensive. Others are produced with contemporary methods and more readily available year-round…Finnriver grows over twenty varieties of traditional and heirloom apples in our organic orchard, to feature in our traditional and specialty ciders.  They have a tasting room open seven days a week, noon to 5pm, and are on the Olympic Pennsylvania cider route along with Eaglemount and Alpenfire cideries.

Price:  $40
Where Bought:  Finnriver’s tasting room in Chimacum WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I tried this awhile back when some friends brought it to a cider tasting party at my house.

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First Impression:  Medium amber.  Still.  Smells boozy, apple forward, and of caramelized and brown sugars.

Tasting Notes:  I preferred this with an ice cube or two.  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low tannins.  Hints of bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, honey, leather, oak, and hints of spice.  Long warming finish.  Moderate to high apple flavor.  Low sessionability.  Moderate complexity and flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  I really liked it.  However, it wasn’t nearly as good as when I tried it before; the flavor seemed muted and it had an odd texture in the mouth.  Maybe as this bottle had a lot of floating particulates (yeast?).

Most Similar to:  Other Pommeau.  Besides Finnriver, I’ve tried selections from 2 Towns (2015 release), Traditions (2 Towns, 2013 release), Etienne Dupont, and Wandering Aengus.  I’d put Finnriver’s Pommeau somewhere in the middle of the list as far as my favorites go.  I like the sweet flavorful ones best.

Closing Notes:   This was a special treat!  One of the great things about Pommeau is that due to the high alcohol content, it has a longer shelf life after opening it than other ciders, so I can enjoy this bottle for weeks to come.

Have you tried Finnriver Pommeau?  What did you think?

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