Ratel Cider Dry Hopped

Review of Ratel Cider Dry Hopped.  It is my first time trying their cider.  See this article on Ratel Cider.

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<This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Double Cider.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received this for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review cue, considering it is a new release and the info may be helpful for folks deciding to purchase it.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.>

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Cider:  Dry Hopped
Cidery:  Ratel Cider
Cidery Location:  Monterey CA
ABV:  7.2%
How Supplied:  22oz bottles
Style:  American craft dry hopped cider from dessert apples
Ingredients:  4 varieties of apples, yeast, proprietary blend of hops (I asked, as the cider had a very unique color & flavor)

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<info sheet from Double Cider>

Availability:  Only in California (and Double Cider’s January box)

Cider Description:  Ratel Cider is a craft cider company based in Monterey, California with a tenacious desire to bring a serious, high-quality, bone-dry craft cider to the market.

Cidery Description:  Ratel Premium Craft, Dry-Hopped Cider is made with four different varietals of local apples.  We have spent three years dedicated to finding the perfect blend of tart, sweet and sharp apples to create the perfect cider.  We ferment our cider bone-dry and add rare fruity, floral premium hops. Ratel Cider is gluten-free and does not add water or any concentrates.

Ratel Premium Craft, Dry-Hopped Cider is an exciting and interesting creation that changes with age.  Like a maturing badger, as it ages it mellows becoming even more complex, taking on slight notes of citrus.  The end product is a crisp, refreshing beverage with a tart kick and a floral, fruity aroma that will change the way beer and wine drinkers think about cider.

Price:  n/a (I read it retails in restaurants in $14, so probably $7-$10 in stores)
Where Bought:  through Double Cider
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  through Double Cider

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First Impression:  Moderate pink amber hue.  Moderate carbonation.  Smells of hops, citrus, floral, and a touch of fruit.

Tasting Notes:  Dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low bitterness.  Hints of tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of hops, citrus, floral, tea?, and pomegranate.  Long finish.  Low apple.  Low to moderate sessionability.  Moderate complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  I found the flavor a bit unusual, but I guess that makes it unique.  The fruitiness and odd flavor I can best describe as tea was an interesting combination with the hops/citrus/floral.  This appears to be quite popular though.  I liked that it wasn’t sweet, but I would have preferred semi-dry.

Most Similar to:  2 Towns Hop & Stalk, which is also a fruity (rhubarb) hopped cider.  I preferred that one though, as it was less bitter, and I think the bit of sweetness helped it seem less harsh (even with its higher ABV).

Closing Notes:  I’m glad I got the chance to try Double Cider.

Have you tried Ratel Cider Dry Hopped?  What did you think?

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