Review of Tieton Cider Works Organic Hard Cider. It is my first time trying this, but I have had their Cidermaker’s Reserve, Apricot, Smoked Pumpkin, Wind (Pommeau), Wild Washington, Cherry, Blossom Nectar, Sparkling Perry, Cranberry, Bourbon Peach, Frost (ice cider), Spice Route, Russian Red, Lavender Honey, and Oak Barrel Aged Cider Summit Collaboration.
Cider: Organic Hard Cider
Cidery: Tieton Cider Works
Cidery Location: Yakima WA
How Supplied: six pack of 12oz cans
Style: American Organic craft cider
Availability: probably only in the Northwest
Cider Description: Dry and Crisp, made with 100% organic apples. Growing the fruit organically combines our farming tradition with being good stewards of the land we call home. This organic cider represents our heritage, the care that goes into the land and trees that produce it. It’s slightly tart but well balanced with a fruity nose.
Cidery Description: From our orchards to your glass, TCW controls every aspect of the growing and cidermaking process. TCW boasts the largest orchard of cider apple varieties in Washington state and the largest Perry pear orchard in the United States. We blend our cider fruit with all Washington apples. We’ve been growing apples, apricots, cherries and pears on Harmony Orchards – our family farm – since the 1930’s and are thrilled to be involved in Re:interpreting the tradition of cider making.
Price: ~$3 / can (runs ~ $9.99-11.99 / six pack)
Where Bought: The Cave in Kirkland WA
Where Drank: home
How Found: browsing; I had seen this before, but not singles
First Impression: Light amber hue. Still. Smells dry and apple-forward.
Tasting Notes: Dry to semi-dry. Light bodied. Low tartness and acidity. Hints of tannins. No bitterness, sourness, or funk. Notes of purely apple and apple juice with a hint of richness. Quick finish. High sessionability. Low flavor intensity and complexity. Moderate apple flavor.
My Opinion: I thought this was quite average. Plenty drinkable and a nice relatively easy to find in the NW drier cider option, but a tad bland, probably primarily due to the dryness and it presumably being at least mostly made from dessert apples, without any fruit/hops/spices/etc added.
Most Similar to: a drier plain apple flagship cider
Closing Notes: I was surprised to see Tieton start canning ciders, as I assumed they would keep that for their Rambling Route brand.
Have you tried Tieton Organic Apple? What did you think?
5 thoughts on “Tieton Organic”
I agree with your assessment of “average.” But if this is semi-dry, I’m thrilled I’ve not had ciders considered sweet. I found it sweet, heavy, yeasty, fruity, and not crisp at all. Definitely not my cup of . . . cider. Generally, I prefer the dry French style, hard to find the US. But some ciders come much closer. This to me is like fizzy, yeasty apple juice, quite a crude version of what can be a wonderful and sophisticated beverage.
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If you like French cider, try French Cider Inc, https://frenchcider.com/collections/all. They have an awesome selection of high end French ciders. I’ve had most and enjoyed them all. They are Seattle based so I’ve met the owner Joan. She actually goes to France and checks out the cideries and ciders, talks to the cidermakers, etc, ie. super hands-on. They ship to WA, OR, ID, CA, NV, NM, ND, NH, DC, and FL, or if you happen to live in the Seattle area, you can do a local pickup or get nearly free shipping/delivery, or places like Total Wine and Schilling Cider House carry a few of them. I’ve reviewed a bunch from them.
If you are in a different state though, not all hope is lost, as I’ve found 2 U.S.-made French-style ciders I truly enjoyed (most cideries don’t use the correct bittersweet apples and/or keeving process):
– 2 Towns Ciderhouse Traditions Cidre Bouche, https://2townsciderhouse.com/cider-shop/ (my review: https://cidersays.com/2017/10/13/2-towns-traditions-cidre-bouche-2016-vintage/)
– Liberty Ciderworks Lafayette, https://www.libertycider.com/shop (my review: https://cidersays.com/2019/08/02/preview-of-washington-cider-week-2019/)
Liberty is also available through this neat also Seattle-based site which ships to 49 of 50 states and offers ciders from numerous cideries with only 1 shipping cost (as they ship from their place instead of from each cidery): https://press-then-press-llc.myshopify.com/products/liberty-ciderworks-lafayette-750-ml-5-5-abv
Plus, if you like French cider, you may also like its “cousin”, English cider. Alpenfire makes an awesome English-style cider called ‘Ember’, available at https://press-then-press-llc.myshopify.com/products/alpenfire-ember-750-ml-7-5-abv, or https://www.alpenfirecider.com/store (although I think the cidery can’t ship to as many states). Alpenfire is probably my favorite local heritage cidery, and they have a huge range of options. Imported English cider is actually more difficult to find near me than French cider though.
Thanks for all the tips! I live just south in Portland — delivery is not usually a problem.
I’m just starting to explore. The ones I’ve liked so far have been Incline Blood Orange (now out of season) and Double Mountain Dry. Many more to try! Unfortunately, many of the local offerings are more notable for variety (berries, cherries, mangos, etc.) than refinement.
My wife doesn’t care for cider, and for me, a 12 oz bottle is usually enough at one sitting. Leftover cider is probably better than leftover beer, but by much?
I’ll try your suggestions, and if you think of a cider in this style in 12 oz 6-packs, please let me know.
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I’ve found cider keeps fairly well. They make bottle stoppers that minimize carbonation loss. A lot of the large format bottles can take a champagne bottle stopper (the metal kind that clamps on), which is best. Nearly all French ciders use champagne style bottles. There is actually quite a difference in selection in Seattle/WA vs. Portland/OR, as each has a lot of smaller cideries that only get distributed locally.
However, note that in general if you want something available in multi-packs, this usually means its a modern cider (made from common apples, often flavored), instead of a heritage cider (made from cider-specific apples, less likely to be flavored), which typically come in 500 or 750 ml bottles. The later are going to have more complexity and natural flavor, but the former are more likely to be easier to drink / crowd-pleasers.
I noticed they have Daufresne Brut at theplacepdx.com that you mentioned – its a good drier French cider option and a bit less spendy then some (https://cidersays.com/2017/11/08/cidrerie-daufresne-brut/), and even Bordelet (they run a bit sweeter though). By the way, for French cider, usually Extra Brut is full fry, Brut is semi-dry, Demi-Sec is semi-sweet, and Doux is semi-sweet to sweet.
If you end up liking English cider (usually characterized by bittersweet cider apple flavor, on the drier side, with some funk (which is difficult to describe, but some French ciders have it too, especially the Normandy vs Brittany region varieties): They also have Dunkertons – their Dry is of course dry, but I prefer the flavor of the semi-dry to semi-sweet Black Fox, and did not like the perry at all as its sour like Spanish sidra – I see they even have a Dunkertons Breackwell Seedling variety I’ve never seen (https://cidersays.com/category/dunkertons/). And my favorite, which I’ve never found in Seattle, Henney’s Vintage Still (https://cidersays.com/2017/05/15/henneys-vintage-still-cider-2014/). I might have to try to order some actually, as I’ve never found anywhere online, only in Portland years ago.
You might like some of Bouman’s drier selections (they are only in OR I think but I tried some at an event, https://cidersays.com/2019/08/02/preview-of-washington-cider-week-2019/). On the modern cider front, 2 Towns is a favorite of mine, although they usually run semi-dry not full dry (https://cidersays.com/tag/2-towns/). I don’t tend to drink much dry cider, usually semi-dry with some semi-sweet. This summer I’ve also really been into Ace Guava (semi-dry with lots of tart guava flavor, https://cidersays.com/2020/06/01/ace-guava/). I actualy haven’t tried too many of the theplacepdx U.S. made ciders though, as most are OR-only. Cheers!
Again — THANKS! A lot to explore, and a lot of great tips.