Sancho Libre Peach Sangria

Review of Bite Hard’s Sancho Libre Peach Sangria.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve had their regular Bite Hard cider.

Cider:  Sancho Libre Peach Sangria
Cidery:  Bite Hard Cider
Cidery Location:  Boonville CA
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  four pack of 12 or 16oz cans (I got a single 16oz can, but they appear to have since moved on to 12oz cans)
Style:  peach flavored cider-based beverage

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Availability:  unknown

Cider Description:  Crisp and refreshing, Sancho Libre Peach blends citrus tang with stone fruit sweetness.  Slightly sparkling and refreshing.

Cidery Description:  Welcome to the world of Sancho! It gives me great pleasure to know you want to learn more about my sangria.  I have crafted them special just for you.  Be sure to tell your friends just how much you enjoy your Sancho.

Price:  ~ $12.99 / four 12oz cans
Where Bought:  a bottle shop in San Francisco CA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing

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First Impression:  Pale peach hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells of peach-flavored candy.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of peach, mango, lime, and strawberry.  Quick finish.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  However, this is something best drank quickly on a hot day, not savored in the evening with dinner.  It tastes rather commercial, which is how I’d describe it, as they add sugar and flavor.

Most Similar to:  Portland Cider’s Sangria, although that is more natural tasting, and I preferred its flavor.

Closing Notes:  They also have a “Red” variety of this sangria.

Have you tried Sancho Libre?  What did you think?

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Boonville Bite Hard – Updated Review

Review of Bite Hard from the Boonville Cider House.  I actually reviewed this cider about a month ago (see here), but Roger Scommegna, founder of Boonville Cider House, contacted me on Facebook and asked me to give it another try.  He sent me a lovely sample box with not one but three bottles of Bite Hard, a t-shirt, and a fact sheet.  This time around the cider is bottled not canned, so I’m curious to see if I spot any differences.

He said: “Same variety, but I think I need to explain why it is terrific cider. We use apples and yeast, nothing else. Most cider is made from concentrate and flavoring. It’s truly just a soda. Cider is wine, and you would never drink a wine made from concentrate, and it’s illegal to add flavors to wine, so we make our cider like wine. We ferment dry with two different champagne yeasts, then finish it like Sauvignon Blanc. Our cider is delicate and clean. It’s actually harder to make it that way. I’ll send you a bomber and try it out of a wine glass. Thanks!”

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This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by the Boonville Cider House.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received this 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.

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Cider:  Bite Hard
Cidery:  Boonville Cider House
Cidery Location:  Boonville CA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  22oz glass bottle

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Availability:  CA, AZ, WA, MN, WI, IL, MI, NY, IN, CO, and MO

Cider Description:  Bite Hard Apple Cider is a crisp, semi dry cider, slow fermented from heirloom apples in an English tradition. Made from tannic and full bodied fruit, this cider carries its distinctive BITE with a clean and unique apple finish and citrus notes. We take the time to seek out and preserve the best that Autumn has to offer. 

Cidery Description:  MAKING CIDER & TAKING NAMES SINCE 2010!  With an orchard first mentality, Boonville Cider House uses its favorite varieties of apples to put the finest cider into every can, bottle, and keg. Made with gumption, and drank with gusto, the Boonville Cider House is less a place and more a state of mind. So crack a can and taste Autumn in Boonville, taste us wassailing beneath the stars, and taste the hard work and great times that go into every gallon.

Additional Information from Boonville:  We started in a small town in Northern California called Boonville. Home to Anderson Valley Brewing Co, Roederer Estates and ever growing list of fantastic wineries…We use a blend of Pippins and Russets mostly – hand picked, no windfalls. The goal has been to make a simple and pure cider. Pick apples, squeeze into juice, add yeast, ferment dry, enjoy heartily. We believe the best ciders have a short list of ingredients. 

They also shared this blog post written by the founder & cider maker (titled Ruminations on Our Ethics of Fermentation).

Price:  n/a
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Straw yellow, no haze.  Little carbonation with medium sized bubbles.  Light dry apple scent.

Opinion:  Dry to semi-dry.  High acidity.  Moderate tartness.  Light astringency.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Low carbonation.  Light bodied.  Clean and refreshing taste.  Moderate length finish with acidity & tartness.  I pick up citrus, green apple, and tropical notes.  I definitely recognize it was made using champagne yeast.  I’m surprised how different this tastes than I remember (and noted before).  I didn’t pick up any bitterness this time, the tartness level seems higher, and it even seems a touch sweeter.  I suspect it may be a different batch.  Craft cider can vary significantly batch to batch.  I wonder if bottle vs. can makes a difference too.  Also, I’ve always noticed that free beverages/food taste better!

Most Similar to:  Some other drier flagship ciders.  This actually reminds me of Attila Scourge of God that I had recently (review here).

Closing Notes:   I was more impressed this time around.  I liked the acidity level and tartness, that it lacked bitterness, and that it isn’t very sweet.  However, this still isn’t my favorite type of cider…I usually like bolder flavors and some richness in a cider (such as found with English, French, barrel aged, etc, ciders).  I think bottles instead of cans is a good route for them, as they seem to be going a bit more higher end, comparing to wine, drier, etc.  However, a lot of craft ciders are going the can route, and it seems to be popular.  I look forward to enjoying the other two bottles!

Have you tried Boonville Bite Hard?  What did you think?

Boonville Bite Hard

Review of Bite Hard from Boonville Cider House.  This appears to be the only cider they currently make.

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Cider:  Bite Hard
Cidery:  Boonville Cider House
Cidery Location:  Boonville CA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  16oz tallboy can

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Availability:   CA, AZ, WA, MN, WI, IL, MI, NY, IN, CO and MO

Cider Description:  Bite Hard Apple Cider is a crisp, semi dry cider, slow fermented from heirloom apples in an English tradition. Made from tannic and full bodied fruit, this cider carries its distinctive BITE with a clean and unique apple finish and citrus notes. We take the time to seek out and preserve the best that Autumn has to offer. 

Cidery Description:  MAKING CIDER & TAKING NAMES SINCE 2010!  With an orchard first mentality, Boonville Cider House uses its favorite varieties of apples to put the finest cider into every can, bottle, and keg. Made with gumption, and drank with gusto, the Boonville Cider House is less a place and more a state of mind. So crack a can and taste Autumn in Boonville, taste us wassailing beneath the stars, and taste the hard work and great times that go into every gallon.

Additional Information from Boonville:  We started in a small town in Northern California called Boonville. Home to Anderson Valley Brewing Co, Roederer Estates and ever growing list of fantastic wineries…We use a blend of Pippins and Russets mostly – hand picked, no windfalls. The goal has been to make a simple and pure cider. Pick apples, squeeze into juice, add yeast, ferment dry, enjoy heartily. We believe the best ciders have a short list of ingredients. 

They also shared this blog post written by the founder & cider maker (titled Ruminations on Our Ethics of Fermentation).

Price:  ~$3 for a single 16oz can (runs about $10 for a four pack)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing.  The bright yellow can really stands out.  I’ve seen it before, but have been on a kick trying to find a good affordable everyday drinking craft cider (ie. something that comes in a multi pack), so I thought I’d give it a try.  I’ve honestly never been all that impressed by a canned cider, but most of them are plain flagship types that aren’t my favorite anyways.

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First Impression:  Light amber yellow.  Very little carbonation.  Light dry apple scent.

Opinion:  Dry.  High acidity.  Moderate bitterness, tartness, and tannins.  Light bodied.  The acidity and tannins linger for a longer finish.  Green apple and crabapple notes with a hint of citrus.  I’d guess they use champagne yeast.  Clean and refreshing.  I find it interesting they say this is English style; I think it had some of those qualities, but was lacking the richer flavor.  You can definitely tell they used heirloom (not dessert / common eating) apples.  In this case I think more sweetness and carbonation would have made this cider more balanced.  I did however enjoy the higher acidity.

Most Similar to:  Some other drier flagship ciders.  I haven’t had one this dry, but I found it similar to offerings from HUB, Square Mile, and Red Tank, due to the bitterness and tartness.

Closing Notes:   I found the flavor a bit boring and unimpressive for my tastes.  I am however impressed that they have made a truly dry canned craft cider with higher tannins, all fresh pressed juice, no additives, etc, at a reasonable price point.  Going the drier, bitter, and tannic route seems a bit risky as it seems a lot of folks looking for canned cider especially like the sweet stuff, although trends seem to be moving a bit drier lately.  I just like a different more bold flavor profile, high carbonation, etc.  I’m intrigued to see if they come out with any other offerings.

Have you tried Boonville Bite Hard?  What did you think?