I was there on a Thursday night when they had Schilling Cider’s 4th anniversary party. I started with half a flight, waiting for them to put more on tap once the event started.
Snowdrift (Wenatchee WA) Orchard Select (7.3% ABV): The scent has hints of funk. Fully dry. Moderate tartness. High acidity. Low to moderate bitterness, especially on the finish. Low funk. Hints of sourness. Low to moderate tannins. Sharp flavor with citrus, herbal, and possibly crab apple notes. I found this a bit harsh for my liking between the dryness, sharpness, and acidity. I think their Cliffbreaks Blend is more likable, although that is significantly sweeter. Fans of dry cider from cider apples will likely really enjoy it; I think it reminds me of a lot of ciders I’ve had from the Northeast.
Locust Cider (Woodinville WA) Hibiscus (5.0% ABV): This appears to be a draft-only special release. Pink hue. Smells floral and fruity. Semi-sweet. Medium bodied. Low to moderate tartness. Moderate acidity. No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins. More fruity than floral, with notes of rhubarb, strawberry, and watermelon. I really enjoyed it. I’m curious what they added to this.
Eric Bordelet (Normandy France) Nouvelle Vague Sidre (5.0% ABV): This is the first time I’ve seen this variety in the U.S. (although we get a handful of their ciders in bottles). Semi-dry. Light bodied. Low carbonation. Low tartness and acidity. Low to moderate tannins. Low bitterness. No sourness or funk. Simple but tasty flavor profile, apple and yeast forward. This reminded me a bit of English cider in addition to French cider, with a higher level of tannins, clean flavor (no funk), and lower carbonation (although likely to it being on draft vs. bottled). I enjoyed it, especially as it warmed up.
Next Sarah shared some of a Hogan’s 3 liter bag-in-box variety (retails for $33, which works out to $8.25 / 750ml).
Hogan’s Cider (Alcester United Kingdom) Hazy Daisy (3.9% ABV): I’ve only seen this in the 3L bag-in-box in the U.S. Semi-dry. Still. Light to medium bodied. Low tartness, acidity, and tannins. Hints of bitterness, funk, and sourness. The flavor is very mild, apple and citrus forward. This would be a perfect summer session cider, and possibly my favorite from Hogan’s so far oddly enough (I’ve also tried Medium Cider and Picker’s Passion), as it had a bit less sourness (especially compared to the Medium). I enjoyed it.
The full event lineup was finally on tap a bit after the event started at 6pm. It ended up being a lot of the usual suspects, sours, and high ABV barrel aged spirit-style ciders. I ended up only ordering one more thing, as it was getting late for me and very very busy.
Schilling Cider (Auburn WA) French Bittersweet (unknown ABV): A draft-only special release from French bittersweet apple juice. Very dark hazy brown hue, like unfiltered non-alcoholic cider. On the sweeter side of semi-dry. Medium bodied. Low tartness and acidity. Moderate tannins and bitterness. No sourness or funk. The flavor was very cider apple juice forward–it really didn’t taste alcoholic. I think this may have been the same cider I tried at Cider Rite of Spring which tasted just like juice to me (maybe it was there?).
My favorites were the Locust, Eric Bordelet, and Hogan’s.
Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says! Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?