Wrangletown Cider Co. Original

Review of Wrangletown Cider Company’s “Original” cider.  This is my first time trying their cider, and the first of four reviews of their cider lineup.

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

Cider:  Original
Cidery:  Wrangletown Cider Co.
Cidery Location:  Arcata CA
ABV:  8.4%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  American craft dry farmhouse-style cider from heirloom & culinary apples

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Availability:  Only in Northern California.  They self distribute, and have a tasting room in Arcata (open Friday thru Sunday and by appointment) in Humboldt county.  The owner also said she may also be able to ship through a third party to some states if there was interest.

Cider Description:  Wrangletown’s “Original” Dry Farmhouse style cider is a combination of several Northern California Orchards.  It is a dry cider, lightly carbonated with fruit forward aroma and bright acidity.  Made from Heirloom and Culinary apples.  This cider was fermented in 74% Stainless steel and 23% used French Oak barrels. 

Cidery Description:  Wrangletown Cider Company produces small batch, dry, bottle conditioned ciders featuring family-owned orchards from Humboldt County, California.

The cidery is owned and operated by Pat Knittel, since 2015 (a one-woman show).  The cidery is named after the “wrangle” town the cidermaker grew up in, which was infamous for two women brawling in the streets.  The cidery had a Kickstarter campaign, successfully raising funds for equipment.  Ciderpress wrote an article after touring the cidery.  Here is another article on the cidery.

Price:  n/a (retails for $16)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  The owner/cidermaker contacted me.

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First Impression:  Hazy lemonade hue.  Nearly still (very low carbonation).  Smells dry, slightly sour, funky, and musty, and of citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Dry.  Very light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Low bitterness and tannins.  Hints of sourness and funk.  Notes of heirloom apples, lemon, must, mineral, yeast, and herbs.  Long finish.  Hidden ABV.  Moderate complexity and sessionability.  Low flavor intensity and apple flavor.

My Opinion:  This isn’t my favorite style of cider; I usually go for a more intensely flavored cider, and I found this a bit nuanced.  However, I certainly couldn’t find any faults, and didn’t dislike it.  This is a more introductory farmhouse-style cider, with only hints of sourness & funk.  This will likely appeal to folks who enjoy wine and milder food-friendly ciders.  I always think of my personal opinion as more of an afterthought to my reviews (which is why I don’t rate ciders here).  Everyone has a different taste in ciders, and every cider won’t appeal to every person.

Most Similar to: Alpenfire Pirate’s PlankBrooklyn Cider House Half SourNumber 12 Sparkling DryRuncible Cider Light of the MoonAngry Orchard Walden Hollow, and Sietsema Traditional Dry

Closing Notes:  (1) I look forward to trying the other three ciders that Wrangletown sent.  (2) One thing I’m a big fan of so far is that they clearly describe their cider as dry and farmhouse-style on the label.  I’ve had a number of ciders that were on the extreme end of the farmhouse-style & sour spectrum, and even they weren’t labeled as such (and sometimes I couldn’t find info online saying that either).  It is much appreciated as I enjoy being an informed consumer. (3) Cideries which focus on rustic farmhouse-style ciders seem to be on the rise (I’ve seen it first hand in Portland at Cider Rite of Spring), so there must be a demand.

Have you tried Wrangletown Cider?  What did you think?

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