I was there on a Monday during Washington Cider Week. They had a Finnriver event with cider trivia that evening, but I left before it got underway. I got a flight, as usual. Four were new to me, and the two Alpenfire ciders were repeats that I’m always happy to retry.
<left to right: Greenwood Wild Blush, Hi Five Hop Hearder, Greenwood Peach, Schilling Boysenberry Pommeau, Alpenfire Apocalypso, and Alpenfire Glow>
Greenwood (Seattle WA) Blush (7.3% ABV): Hazy orange hue. This is also newly available in bottles (as well as their Dry, Hopped, and Huckleberry ciders). Smells of citrus, specifically, tangerine. Semi-sweet to semi-dry. Low sourness, tartness, and acidity. Low to moderate flavor intensity. The flavor was odd for me, sour tangerine with a hint of berry, but my palate doesn’t like sour / it tends to overwhelm the other flavors for me.
^ Five (Portland OR) Hop Hearder (6.5% ABV): Hi Five is newly distributed to the Seattle area, and this cider is also available in cans (including at the Schilling Cider House). Dry. Moderate to strong hops flavor, plus citrus. Moderate tartness and acidity. Low to moderate bitterness. Moderate flavor intensity. I’ve been getting more into hopped ciders, but I think this was a bit much for me, between it being fully dry and quite hoppy.
Greenwood (Seattle WA) Peach (7.8% ABV): Another likely tap only release, left over from the Greenwood tap night. Semi-dry. Low tartness, acidity, and sourness. More citrus and general stone fruit than specific peach flavor. Low flavor intensity. It was a popular option for folks who like sour ciders, but I don’t.
Schilling (Auburn WA) Boysenberry Pommeau (21.5% ABV): This is a tap-only special release, probably from the Schilling Cider House’s 3rd birthday party the previous week. Pommeau is a mix of apple brandy (distilled) and apple cider (either fermented or non-fermented). Semi-sweet to semi-dry. Medium bodied. Low tartness, acidity, bitterness, and tannins. Intense berry and rich red wine flavor (I wouldn’t be surprised if it was apple brandy + apple juice + boysenberry juice, then red wine barrel aged). Long warming finish. High flavor intensity. This was really unique and tasty, and the first flavored Pommeau I can remember trying or even hearing about.
I’ve had the two Alpenfire ciders a number of times, but I always order their ciders if I see them on draft, as they don’t do many kegs (mostly Apocalypso and their Traditional Heirloom Cider series, plus some Glow every so often).
Alpenfire (Port Townsend WA) Apocalypso (6.9% ABV): This is a tap-only version of their Calypso rum barrel aged blackberry cider which has extra blackberries. Semi-sweet. Moderate tartness and acidity. Hints of tannins. Compared to other batches I’ve tried (like this one), it seems like it had less rum & oak influence, but more berry flavor. I liked it, but I wish it had been the other way around.
Alpenfire (Port Townsend WA) Glow (6.8% ABV): This cider is made from red-fleshed Hidden Rose apples. Semi-sweet to semi-dry. Less flavorful than I remember, likely as this batch is drier than I remember as well. Small cideries often have some variation in their ciders batch to batch. However, it still had the characteristic strawberry and watermelon notes from the special apples, and maybe even a hint of kiwi type flavor and extra tartness this time around. See my previous review here.
My favorites were the Pommeau and the two Alpenfire ciders. I didn’t really care for the other three, as two were sour and the other was a bit too hoppy.
Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says! Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?