Atlas Pineapple Mango

Review of Atlas Cider’s Pineapple Mango, a summer seasonal release.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve previously sampled their AppleBlackberryApricotCinnamon PearPom-CherrySession Cider, and Dragonfruit cider.

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Cider:  Pineapple Mango
Cidery:  Atlas Cider
Cidery Location:  Bend Oregon
ABV:  6.0%
How Supplied:  22oz bottles
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples with pineapple and mango

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Availability:  Since May 2017, in ID, OR, NV, and WA (summer seasonal).

Cider Description:  Warning: You will become spellbound by this Siren’s irresistible blend of tropical pineapple and mango.  The tart pineapple is skillfully balanced with the mangos sweetness and flavor.  And although she looks like a sweet treat, we targeted an off-dry but fruit-forward profile that showcases the aromas and flavors of the fruit.  A non-cloying clean finish leaves all mortals lusting for more.

Here is a funny video they made about it.

Cidery Description:  ATLAS Cider Co. produces authentic hard cider fermented from 100% fresh pressed fruit from our region. Partnering with Northwest farmers to source our fruit has been a priority of ours from the beginning. Our ciders start with a base of NW fruit that are pressed to achieve a balance of sweetness, tartness, and dryness. We forge our ciders in the heart of the NW in Bend, OR.

Price:  $6.99
Where Bought:  The Cave in Kirkland WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I saw Atlas’ Facebook post in May and had been looking out for it, but didn’t spot any in the wild until this month.

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Low to moderate carbonation.  Smells of tart tropical fruit.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, tannins, sourness, or funk.  Notes of pineapple, mango, and citrus.  Quick finish.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Low complexity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  Yum!  This is a perfect sessionable but flavorful summer cider.  I liked that this was a bit less sweet than their year round cider line up (its most similar to their Apricot, but still a tad drier).  However, I wouldn’t have minded this being a semi-sweet either.

Most Similar to:  Most of the other tropical fruit ciders I’ve tried have been sweeter, such as Jester & Judge Pineapple Express, Locust Chili Pineapple, Schilling Pineapple Passion, Schilling Trouble in Paradise, Locust MangoBull Run MangoReverend Nat’s The Passion, and Reverend Nat’s Viva La Pineapple.  However, Portland Cider Pineapple and Elemental Mango were the most similar in level of sweetness, but less flavorful.

Closing Notes:  I imagine this will be a hit, probably more so than their last seasonal release, Dragonfruit (which I didn’t think was as likely to be a crowd-pleaser as it had an unexpected bitterness).

Have you tried Atlas Pineapple Mango?  What did you think?

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Atlas Dragonfruit Cider

Review of Atlas Cider’s Dragonfruit Cider.  This is their newest summer seasonal release, made with dragonfruit (which is the fruit of certain types of cactus, said to taste like kiwi and pear).  I’ve tried most of their line-up; see here for previous reviews.

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Cider:  Dragonfruit Cider
Cidery:  Atlas Cider
Cidery Location:  Bend Oregon
ABV:  6.0%
How Supplied:  22oz clear glass bottles
Style:  American craft cider made from dessert apples, infused with dragon fruit and prickly pear juice

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Availability: Seasonably in ID, OR, NV, and WA.

Cider Description:  A long time ago when dragons roamed the land, soldiers were sent out to bring back one thing for their emperor – the prized Dragon Fruit. Legend has it that as he thrust his sword in the heart of the dragon, fire and fruit was breathed out in his last breath. The fruits cactus like neon-magenta skin and lime green scales very closely resemble the flesh of a mythical dragon. It is believed that those who feast on the flesh, which has a mild kiwi/sorbet flavor, will be endowed with the strength and ferocity of the dragon. Side effects might include breathing fire and other unknowns.

Cidery Description:  ATLAS Cider Co. produces authentic hard cider fermented from 100% fresh pressed fruit from our region. Partnering with Northwest farmers to source our fruit has been a priority of ours from the beginning. Our ciders start with a base of NW fruit that are pressed to achieve a balance of sweetness, tartness, and dryness. We forge our ciders in the heart of the NW in Bend, OR.

Price:  $6.50
Where Bought:  Special Brews in Lynnwood WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing, although I had been on the look out for it since reading online about its release

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First Impression:  Orange-pink hue.  Nearly still.  Smells of strawberry-watermelon-candy.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Mild tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Mild to moderate bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  A hint of tannins.  Strawberry, kiwi, passionfruit, lime, and pineapple notes.   Quick finish of the flavor, but some lingering bitterness.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  Although I enjoyed this cider, the taste was a bit of a let down after the intensely fruity scent.  I was surprised by the bitterness, although that did add some depth to the flavor.  There was even a hint of tannins/astringency.

Most Similar to:  Other exotically fruity ciders.  Ciders with quince come to mind, such as from Eaglemount and Cider Head.

Closing Notes:   This is a unique cider.  Although its quite common to add fruit, hops, spices, etc, to ciders made from dessert apples, this is the first I’ve heard of with dragon fruit (at least in the U.S….I see one mention online of a cider with dragonfruit in Cambodia).  I’m surprised they were able to keep it so affordable.

Have you tried Atlas Dragonfruit Cider?  What did you think?

Atlas Session Cider

Review of Atlas Cider Company’s Session Cider.  I’ve tried most of their lineup (see here).  This is their newest release, their first canned cider, and their first available in a multipack.

Cider:  Session Cider
Cidery:  Atlas Cider Company
Cidery Location:  Bend Oregon
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz cans
Style:  American craft sessionable cider made from dessert apples

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Availability:  Year round in ID, OR, NV, and WA.

Cider Description:  During WW1 British legislation limited drinking to 2 sessions, lunch from 11am-3pm and evening from 7pm -11pm. During these 4 hour sessions workers wanted a highly drinkable beer with a lower abv, around 4-5%, so they could return to work without being drunk and disorderly. Some workers are said to have up to 8 pints per session. A true session drink also does not necessarily mean it will have less flavor like a light beer. We are aware that our session cider does contain 5.5% abv; this is above the threshold of a session beer, but being a cider it is still significantly lighter, just as flavorful, and more drinkable than other craft ciders with higher ABV’s. Thus we thought our apple in 6 pack-cans was the perfect “session cider” Enjoy.

Cidery Description:  ATLAS Cider Co. produces authentic hard cider fermented from 100% fresh pressed fruit from our region. Partnering with Northwest farmers to source our fruit has been a priority of ours from the beginning. Our ciders start with a base of NW fruit that are pressed to achieve a balance of sweetness, tartness, and dryness. We forge our ciders in the heart of the NW in Bend, OR.

Price:  <$2 / single can (retails for $10.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  Special Brews in Lynnwood WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I had read about its release through Atlas Cider Co.’s Facebook page, but this was the first time I saw single cans available, so I picked one up.

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First Impression:  Pale straw yellow.  Low carbonation upon pouring.  Smells like crisp apples, citrus, honey, and apricots.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Nearly still.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Notes of honey, citrus, tropical fruit, green apple, and muscat grapes.  Quick finish.  Moderate apple influence.  Very high sessionability.  Best enjoyed very cold.

My Opinion:  One of my favorite sessionable/canned ciders so far.  It is more flavorful than many are, probably as it is a bit on the sweeter side, and was back sweetened (but avoids the overly apple juice flavor which I’ve often found).  For being medium bodied, it still tasted very light (probably due to its crispness and light flavors).  It also had some nice complexity and flavor notes, which surprised me.  I also found it lacked the watered down type flavor which I often taste with similar ciders.

Most Similar to:  Other slightly sweeter flagship/sessionable ciders, such as Atlas Hard Apple Cider (in 22oz bottles, and slightly different than this one…sweeter, less complex, and higher carbonation, Crispin Original, Flatbed Cider Crisp Apple, and Henry Hotspur’s Hard Pressed for Cider.

Closing Notes:   I wouldn’t mind keeping this cider in the fridge.  Session Cider is a probably a close second to their Apricot as far as my favorite Atlas cider.  The only thing I would change is to increase the carbonation.

Have you tried Atlas Session Cider?  What did you think?

Schilling Cider House Visit 7 Tasting Notes

Yes, I made yet another trip to the Schilling Cider House!  Check out my past posts here.  This time it was for a monthly potluck, with a “Thanksgiving Recipe Trial Run” theme.  I actually opted out of the potluck as I’m not a big Thanksgiving type food fan (and it ended up having a low turnout anyways), but there were plenty of folks at the cider house.

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I started with a flight of six ciders.

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<from left to right: 2 Towns Nice & Naughty, Atlas Cinnamon Pear, Portland London Dry Gin, Julian Apple Pie, Attila Rapture, Schilling Grumpy Bear>

2 Towns Ciderhouse Nice & Naughty, 10.5% ABV:  I started off not really liking this one much at all, but it became one of my favorites of the night once it warmed up to closer to room temperature.  This one had less spice scent than the other two spiced ciders I had in this flight.  Semi-dry.  The spice hit more at the back of the palate, and wasn’t so much cinnamon as it was clove and nutmeg.  I bet this would be amazing served warm.  The alcohol remained pretty well-hidden, and it reminded me of Imperial-style cider.

Atlas Hard Cider Company Cinnamon Pear, 8.5% ABV:  Very mild cinnamon scent, and I don’t detect any pear scent.  This one is an apple-based cider with some pear juice (not perry).  Semi-sweet.  A bit boozy (alcohol-forward).  Only a hint of pear flavor.  The cinnamon came across more in the finish.  This one remained rather mild flavored.

Portland Cider Company London Dry Gin, 6.8% ABV:  Dry.  Smells like tannins, spice, herb, and dry cider.  Quick finish.  Acidic with some bitterness.  Higher tannins but light bodied, which is an interesting and rare combination.  Quite herbal.  This one grew on me a bit and I ended up liking it.  It reminds me of Liberty Ciderworks Abbess, which used gin botanicals.

Julian Hard Cider Apple Pie, 6.9% ABV:  Very strong cinnamon scent, but less so in the flavor.  Semi-sweet.  I was surprised with the moderate tartness.  I’m not a huge spiced cider fan to begin with, but this was my least favorite of the three spiced ciders I tried in this flight.  Its fairly popular though.

Attila Hard Apple Cider Rapture (Concord Grape), 6.5% ABV:  Deep berry color with foam from the Nitro process.  Semi-sweet to sweet.  I pick up grape, with hints of pomegranate, cranberry, and huckleberry.   Juice-like and the apple is well-hidden, but it was tasty and full flavored.

Schilling Cider Company Grumpy Bear Cold Brew Coffee Nitro, 5.0% ABV:  Another very unique cider.  Deep hazy amber with froth from the Nitro process.  Semi-sweet.  Smells mildly of coffee grounds, and I don’t pick up any apple.  Moderate to full bodied.  Some spice and herbal qualities.  The coffee comes across more in the scent than the flavor, but still, the apple remains hidden.  Its a bit like an iced coffee drink with some alcohol.  This one became a bit more bitter as it warmed up.  Its not really my thing, but not as bad as I was expecting.

I got handed a sample of Greenwood Sweet Orange Cinnamon.  This batch ended up having the carbonation really mellow out the flavor (per the cidermaker), so it mostly had a hint of spice in the scent and that was it.  They put together a Randall while I was there to add additional orange and cinnamon flavor, using ingredients from the cidery.

Next I got tastes from some sample bottles.

I had a few sips of Locust Washington Dessert Apple Aged Hard Cider.  I had this one a few months ago (review here), but this batch definitely was a bit wonky, as it continued to aggressively bottle condition.  Like my bottle, it was very fizzy, even after being open for awhile.  However, the additional time in the bottle had made it significantly drier than mine.

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William’s Excalibur:  This one tastes like a typical sweet commercial cider (and has an ingredient list to confirm this).  It had the slightest bittersweet flavor, but was otherwise quite disappointing.  I can’t believe they import this type of cider!

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William’s Sir Perry:  A bit more drinkable than Excalibur, but its still a sweet commercial cider.  I don’t pick up much pear flavor at all.  Slightly less sweet than Excalibur.

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Locust Bittersweet Reserve:  This is a special release cider for them which benefits Hydrocephalus (which the owner’s daughter and 1/1,000 babies has).  Only 1,000 bottles and some kegs were released Nov/20/2015.  Made from French and English bittersweet apple varieties.  Bittersweet apple scent with hints of orange and spice.  Semi-sweet to sweet.  Rich, smooth, and luscious!  Caramel notes, full flavored, and medium bodied.  Lovely mild to moderate tannins.  This reminds me of English-style cider, but its a bit more approachable than some, and the hints of orange and spice are nice (even though I usually don’t like those sorts of flavors).  No bitterness, which can be difficult to pull off.  This was definitely my favorite cider of the evening!  I’m happy I was able to pick up a bottle (so look for a future full review of it here).  $18 for 750ml, likely only found in the Seattle WA area.  Oddly enough I was told it must stay refrigerated (although it didn’t say that on the bottle)?

I definitely tried a lot of cider and had a blast, as always.  Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says!  Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?

Atlas Cider Company Hard Apricot Cider

Review of the Hard Apricot variety from Atlas Cider Company.  I’ve now tried all four of their varieties which are available by the bottle, Apple, Blackberry, Pom-Cherry, and Apricot.

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Cider:  Hard Apricot Cider
Cidery:  Atlas Cider Company
Cidery Location:  Bend OR
ABV:  6.2%
How Supplied:  22oz clear glass bottle

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Availability:  Year-round in OR, WA, & ID.

Cider Description:  Pressed golden orange apricots dominate this uniquely tart cider. The Apricots add a subtle flavor that is like combining a peach and a plum but not quite as sweet. The Romans and Greeks had it right when they used apricots as a main ingredient of their drink known as the “Nectar of the Gods”. The driest of our ciders leaves a lasting round finish that calls for more. May the Gods be appeased.

Cidery Description:  ATLAS Cider Co. produces authentic hard cider fermented from 100% fresh pressed fruit from our region. Partnering with Northwest farmers to source our fruit has been a priority of ours from the beginning. Our ciders start with a base of NW varieties that are pressed to achieve a balance of sweetness, tartness, and dryness. We forge our ciders in the heart of the NW in Bend, OR.  Fermented from 100% fresh pressed fruit.  All fruit from our local OR/WA region.  No use of anything artificial or colorings.  Balanced with just a touch of sweetness.  Naturally Gluten free.  22oz bottles and kegs available.

Price:  $6
Where Bought:  My husband picked this up for me at Albertsons.  Actually, he brought home all three Atlas varieties they had there!  Apple, Apricot, and Blackberry.
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  It showed up in the fridge (although I’ve seen them at almost every bottle shop in my area).

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First Impression:  Straw yellow with a hint of orange.  Light carbonation and foam.  Smells like apple, apricot, peach, and tropical/pineapple juices.

Opinion:  Semi-sweet.  Bold apple, apricot, peach, and tropical/pineapple flavors.  Very juice-like.  Well-hodden alcohol.  Light tartness and sourness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, astringency, tannins, etc.  Light bodied. Almost no carbonation. Quick finish.  Crisp and refreshing.  A bit one-dimensional.

Most Similar to:  Woodinville Ciderworks Tropical, which I tried at Cider Summit Seattle 2015 (tasting notes here).  It also had bold fruitiness and was juice-like but I was a big fan.

Closing Notes:   I’m not a huge fruity juice-like cider fan, but I quite liked this.  Its an easy drinking cider which would be especially nice in summer.  My husband was also a huge fan.  I can see why Atlas is so popular!  They have tons of Facebook fans at least.  I think this cider had the best flavor of the four Atlas varieties, but overall I think I liked the Apple best as it was a touch more complex.  Maybe someday I’ll get to try some of their special releases, which mostly seem to be available at their taproom.

Check out their Vimeo site.  It currently includes three videos, including a behind the scenes look at the details to operating a cider company.

Have you tried Atlas Apricot?  What did you think?

Schilling Cider House Visit 5 Tasting Notes

This time an event brought me to the Schilling Cider House in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle WA, a great excuse to drink cider on a weeknight if you ask me.  It was their monthly potluck, which this month had a “sweet” theme, for both cider and food.  There were still plenty of drier cider options on tap too (and with 32 tap selections and hundreds of bottles, there is something for everyone).  I even found out there is one hush-hush bottled beer selection at Schilling.

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I started with a flight of six.  However, I ended up staying there for over 4 hours, so it definitely wasn’t the only thing I drank!  I picked up a nice weird dinner at PCC of some coleslaw, cheese, and pretzel bread (which is one of my favorite things to have with cider, unsalted though).

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<left to right: Fox Tail Sweet Tooth, Carlton Black Currant Scrumpy, Cragie’s Ballyhook Flyer, Bull Run Strawberry Fields, Finnriver Pear, and Elemental Atomic Root Beer>

Fox Tail Sweet Tooth, 5.0% ABV:  This is the second cider I’ve had from this Hood River OR cidery (the first was Fuzzy Haven, tasting notes here).  This was an interesting selection as they called it sweet, but it was more semi-dry?  Probably more that it was sweet for their cidery.  Straw yellow hue, no haziness.  Rather plain and on the mild & boring side, but I don’t have any complaints.  Mild tartness and acidity.  Nicely balanced.

Carlton Black Currant Scrumpy, 4.4% ABV:  This is the first cider I’ve had from this McMinnville OR cidery, although I have a bottle of their Slake at home to try.  Rich black currant scent and a lovely deep berry hue.  Semi-dry.  Sour!  Definitely wasn’t expecting that.  Unfortunately I’m not a fan of sour cider so I didn’t have more than a couple sips.

Cragie’s Ballyhook Flier, 5.8% ABV:  This is an Irish cider which I’ve seen in bottles and have wanted to try, so here was my chance.  Hazy yellow-orange hue.  Dry cider apple and yeast scent.  Dry.  Moderate bitterness.  Mild sourness, funkiness, tartness, and astringency.  Moderate tannins.  Complex and unique.  However, it was too bitter for my liking.  I think some additional sweetness to balance it would have been nice.  I’ve had some ciders made from higher tannin cider apples which weren’t bitter, but it appears to be difficult to pull off.

Bull Run Strawberry Fields, 6.5% ABV:  This is the first cider I’ve had from this Forest Grove OR cidery, although I’ve been meaning to try their ciders for awhile (way too much good stuff available around here).  Light cherry color.  Lovely real sweet strawberry scent.  On the drier side of semi-sweet.  Moderate strawberry flavor.  I imagine it was difficult to develop this cider, to get a true strawberry flavor without seeming fake or being too sweet.  I have found very few fruity ciders that were full flavored without being very sweet or overpowering the apple (Snowdrift Red and Eaglemount Quince are two I love, but they are on the more spendy side).  I’m a fan!

Finnriver Pear, 6.5% ABV:  I’ve had a number of Finnriver selections, but hadn’t had this one before (Chimacum WA).  This is a cider (apple juice) with pear juice added (ie. its not perry, which are made only using pear juice).  Straw yellow, no haze.  Light clean pear scent.  On the drier side of semi-sweet.  Plain, but it had a nice real pear flavor.  Quite good, but not my favorite from them (I’d recommend Lavender Black Currant, Honey Meadow, and Fire Barrel).

Elemental Atomic Root Beer, 6.5% ABV:  I’ve tried a couple of their ciders, but I was curious about this new one (Woodinville WA).  Its a hard root beer, but in contrast to other products (such as Not Your Father’s Root Beer), it is cider instead of malt based!  Nice caramely root beer hue.  Smells of root beer with a hint of baked apple.  Tastes like a nice mild root beer with a hint of baked apple at the core.  Only semi-sweet, which I appreciated.  It could have used some additional carbonation, but I say that about most ciders.  Tasty!  I can see why this one has been a huge hit for them.

I then realized I had finished my first flight and the actual event hadn’t started yet, as I got there so early (due to my work schedule).  So, I ordered a half flight.  Without realizing it I got three berry ciders (they were about the only ones left on the board I hadn’t tried, besides ginger & hops & such that I don’t care for).

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<left to right: Atlas Pom-Cherry, Cider Riot Never Give An Inch Oregon Blackberry, and Elemental Oxygen (Pomegranate)>

Atlas Pom-Cherry, 5.8% ABV:  I’ve had the Apple and Blackberry selections (reviews here and here) from this Bend OR cidery.  I also have their Apricot variety at home to try.  Tart cherry scent.  Semi-sweet to sweet.  Lots of pomegranate flavor.  Only mild tartness and the slightest hint of sour.  Thin bodied.  Bold flavored.  It was my favorite of these three, but I still think I like their plain apple best of the three varieties I’ve tried from them so far, and overall its not a favorite of mine or anything.

Cider Riot Never Give An Inch Oregon Blackberry, 6.9% ABV:  This is the first cider I’ve had from this Portland OR cidery, although I have a bottle of their 1763 at home to try.  Dry.  Very tart.  Only mild berry flavor.  I found it kinda unremarkable, and my least favorite of these three.  It was too tart for my liking and I don’t think I finished it.  Tart fans who like berry ciders but find them all too sweet may want to give this one a try though.

Elemental Oxygen (Pomegranate), 6.5% ABV:  I’ve had a number of ciders from this Woodinville WA cidery.  Poured very foamy.  On the drier side of semi-sweet.  Tart.  Thin bodied.  Rather mild flavor, which appears typical for them.  Their Atomic Root Beer is definitely my favorite from them so far.

During this time the actual potluck started (5pm), and it got busy (for awhile I was the only customer!).  I got to see Mick from Click Distributing again, meet two guys from D’s Wicked Cider (Kennewick WA), meet Sarah’s mom, and see Merce from Cider Log again.  Plus I nimbled on some tasty treats.

I sampled D’s Wicked Baked Apple, their new 6.9% instead of 8.5% ABV variety.  Apparently most folks won’t be able to taste the difference.  One of the reasons they did this was because there is an apparent WA state rule against doing growler fills above 7% ABV.  This is the first cider I’ve tried from them.  I had avoided buying a bottle of this one as I assumed it would be too spiced for my liking (not a spiced cider fan, or any spices in general…not even pepper on food).  However, the cinnamon was quite mild (at least when the keg wasn’t fully cold yet), and it had more baked apple flavor.  Quite tasty actually.  They said the cinnamon showed up more when it was fully cold though.  Nice and frothy and on the unfiltered side.  Semi-sweet.  Medium to heavy bodied.  Its not something I’d buy, but I was pleasantly surprised, and definitely see why they are so popular.

Also, Sarah remembered about a bottle of Eric Bordelet Poire Authentique in the cool room (I think this was a sample or something, as its not one of the Bordelet varieties they carry).  It was definitely flat after being open about a week (apparently its typically quite sparkling), but we all found it tasty (there was enough for a couple sips each).  At only 3.5% ABV, this French perry is easy drinking at its finest.  I have only heard rave reviews about Bordelet and they’ve been on my want to try list.  Bold flavor, but clean, unlike some perries.  On the drier side of semi-sweet.  Rich flavor and very balanced.  I really enjoyed this one, but I’m not sure I could bring myself to pay $15-20 for a 750ml bottle of a sub 4% ABV cider.  This reminded me of the bottle pour of another Poire I had here, Domaine Pacory Poire Domfront (tasting notes here).

They also had a Randall going that night where they infused Schilling Gold cider with oranges, coconut, and Chai tea.  An interesting combination, as always!  It was pretty tasty, although I would have preferred no tea and lots more coconut.  The tea seemed to make the cider seem drier than I remembered Gold tasting (which is one of Schilling’s sweeter varieties, and their only plain cider I believe).  Sarah said this was her favorite Randall so far.

Mick also decided to pick up a bottle of Millstone Farmgate Dry and share it with us.  I had this one at Cider Summit Seattle 2015 (tasting notes here), in an attempt to see if there was any variety from Millstone I’d enjoy (as I definitely didn’t like their Cobbler).  This variety is definitely sour & funky, but less harsh than Cobbler by a few times probably.  I’m always surprised to see Cobbler make cider lists without any notes of its sour flavor, but apparently a lot of folks like that sort of thing (like sour beer I guess).  Its a good thing they make so many ciders, so there is something for everyone.

I definitely tried a lot of cider and had a blast, as always.  Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says!  Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?

Atlas Blackberry

Review of Atlas Hard Blackberry Cider.  This cider appears to be made from fermented apple juice, then blackberry, elderberry, & black currant juices are added after fermentation.

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Cider:  Hard Blackberry Cider
Cidery:  Atlas Cider Co.
Cidery Location:  Bend OR
ABV:  6.2%
How Supplied:  22oz clear glass bottle

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Availability:  Year-round in OR, WA, & ID.

Cider Description:  Oregon has a state flag, song, flower, and this my friends is our nomination for a state cider.  A deep hue of purple fills the glass as we took zero short-cuts with this fine blend of blackberries and elderberries.  The tartness of the blackberries is rounded out by the complex characteristics of the elderberries.  Filled with tannins this cider leaves a delightful fry and rich finish.  Cheers to NW berries.

Cidery Description:  ATLAS Cider Co. produces authentic hard cider fermented from 100% fresh pressed fruit from our region. Partnering with Northwest farmers to source our fruit has been a priority of ours from the beginning. Our ciders start with a base of NW varieties that are pressed to achieve a balance of sweetness, tartness, and dryness. We forge our ciders in the heart of the NW in Bend, OR.  Fermented from 100% fresh pressed fruit.  All fruit from our local OR/WA region.  No use of anything artificial or colorings.  Balanced with just a touch of sweetness.  Naturally Gluten free.  22oz bottles and kegs available.

Price:  $5.50 (usually runs $7 though)
Where Bought:  My husband picked this up for me at Albertsons.  Actually, he brought home all three Atlas varieties they had!  Apple, Apricot, and Blackberry.  I did a review of the flagship Apple variety awhile back.  Atlas also makes a fourth variety, Pomegranate-Cherry.
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  It showed up in the fridge lol.

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First Impression:  Deep berry purple red.  Foam rim.  Little carbonation.  Strong berry-grape scent.

Opinion:  Semi-sweet.  Fairly tart, especially to finish.  Dan at Atlas told me the majority of the apples used in their ciders are granny smith, which I find quite interesting (they say it gives their ciders “a nice flavorful punch that are lacking in many”).  I pick up the berry notes (blackberries & elderberries), but the black currant tastes more like grape to me.  I found this cider to be quite simple and juice-like.  Thin bodied and quick finishing.  I think I would have liked more carbonation and acidity.  It was however refreshing and flavorful.

Most Similar to:  Other berry-forward ciders.  Finnriver Lavender Black Currant is a favorite of mine.

Closing Notes:   I look forward to trying their Apricot variety I already have at home; apparently it is their driest offering.  I enjoyed the Apple better than the Blackberry.  I think its awesome that Atlas uses only 100% Northwest juice and no artificial ingredients, and can still be sold at a very reasonable price point.  Plus they are family owned and operated (I give them major kudos on that one especially as family is tough enough to get along with at home sometimes!).  They have a huge almost cult-like following, especially on Facebook.  Overall Atlas Blackberry a solid berry cider but I’m not truly impressed.  However, I’ve discovered I’m not a huge fruity cider fan…I tend to like a richer bold flavor, unique, barrel aged, etc.

Check out their Vimeo site.  It currently includes three videos, including a behind the scenes look at the details to operating a cider company.

Have you tried Atlas Blackberry?  What did you think?