Review of Cider Riot Black Bloc series San Patricios Tequila Barrel Aged Irish Cider. It is my first time trying this, but I have had their Never Give An Inch Oregon Blackberry, 1763, Champeg X-17, Burn Cider, and Everyday Semi-Dry.
Cider: San Patricios
Cidery: Cider Riot
Cidery Location: Portland OR
How Supplied: 500ml bottles
Style: American craft cider from dessert apples, Irish-style, tequila barrel aged
Availability: Limited release of 100 cases, at least 1 year ago. In general their ciders are sold in Oregon, Washington, and California in the U.S., British Columbia in Canada, plus Norway and Japan (see here).
Cider Description: After 6 months in a fresh Mexican tequila barrel our Irish-Style cider is revved up and ready for action. Dedicated to those who fight for freedom and against injustice, this cider allies spicy, fresh tequila notes with stalwart French and American oak tannins from the barrel. Born a rebel, the San Patricios will die just the same. With less than 100 cases produced be sure to get yours before the battle is over.
I sent them an e-mail asking about apple varieties, and they said dessert (supermarket) apples, then fermented warm with Australian white wine yeast, with the tannins coming from the American and French oak mezcal tequila barrels.
Cidery Description: Cider Riot! is dedicated to producing high quality ciders from Cascadian grown apples. With tradition as our guide and our roots firmly planted in the rich soils of our bioregion, our urban cidery produces refreshing, flavorful ciders.
They have a “pub” in the Portland area.
Where Bought: Schilling Cider House in Seattle WA
Where Drank: home
How Found: browsing
First Impression: Light amber hue. Very low carbonation. Smells mild, of cider apples.
Tasting Notes: On the sweeter side of dry. Light bodied. Low tartness. Moderate acidity. Low bitterness and tannins. No sourness or funk. Notes of rich tannic apples & pomace, oak, caramel, and earth. Long warm finish with a hint of tequila. Moderate barrel influence, flavor intensity, and complexity. Low tequila influence, apple flavor, and sessionability.
My Opinion: I was a bit ambivalent about this one. I liked the flavor, and was very surprised to hear it was only dessert apples, as it was rich & tannic (plus darker in color). However, I think it was a bit too dry for my personal liking, which also made the bitterness prevalent, plus the tequila flavor was very mild. I think this would have been awesome if they went a bit sweeter and added some tequila and lime to up the flavor profile.
Most Similar to: The only tequila barrel aged cider I’ve had is Wyder’s Pear Reposado, which in contrast to this one is sweeter and more tequila-forward, plus was from pears not apples. I also read that Austin Eastciders, Blake’s, Downeast, and Xylem make tequila barrel aged ciders.
Closing Notes: I think this is the richest / most tannic cider from only dessert apples that I’ve tried. Its crazy that just the barrel aging did that.
Have you tried any tequila barrel aged cider? What did you think?