I was there on a random Thursday. I started with a flight.
<left to right: Locust Winter Banana, Liberty McIntosh, Pilton English Keeved, Golden State Dry, Christian Drouin Poire, and Greenwood Red River Wolf Crab>
Locust (Woodinville WA) Winter Banana (6.0% ABV): No, this isn’t a banana cider…it is a single varietal made from the Winter Banana apple. Draft-only. Semi-dry to semi-sweet. Medium bodied. Moderate tartness. High acidity. Apple-forward flavor with honey and citrus. Nice flavor.
Liberty (Spokane WA) McIntosh (8.1% ABV): Another single varietal, this time of a more common apple, the McIntosh (which is actually the spelling for the apple pronounced MAK-in-tosh). Also available in bottles. Dry to semi-dry. Medium bodied. Higher carbonation. Moderate tartness. High acidity. For its dryness, it remained rather apple-forward, with some honey and citrus notes too. I think this is one of their better dry acidic ciders. I liked this, especially at first when it was cold (it got a bit harsh when it warmed up with the higher ABV).
Pilton (Somerset England) English Keeved (5.0% ABV): This is my first time trying any cider from Pilton, as well as my first time trying an English cider which is made using the keeving process, which is much more common for French cider. Keeving starves the cider of nutrients so it creates a naturally sweet apple-forward cider. Hazy hue. Dry to semi-dry. Medium bodied. Low tartness and acidity. Low sourness. Low tannins. Moderate funk. Notes of apple pomace, yeast, and citrus. This is rather dry for a keeved cider, which usually average semi-sweet. I wasn’t a fan of this due to the sourness; it reminded me more of a Normandy France style cider (due to the sourness & funk) than an English cider (which often have higher tannins & bitterness).
Golden State (Sebastopol CA) Mighty Dry (6.9% ABV): It is my first time trying their cider, which is newish to the Seattle area. Also available in cans. Semi-dry. Medium bodied, and a bit syrupy, which is interesting for the level of dryness. Moderate tartness. High acidity. Apple-forward with some pineapple and green apple notes. This is a nice flagship cider.
Christian Drouin (Normandy France) Poire (4.0% ABV): This is a French perry. Its nice to see these types of high end ciders on draft, as the bottles are expensive. Semi-sweet. Moderate to full bodied. Higher level of carbonation. Low tartness, acidity, and tannins. More pear fruit than pear juice forward, with notes of pineapple and mango as well. I loved this.
Greenwood (Seattle WA) Red River Wolf Crab (7.4% ABV): The interesting title for this draft-only cider refers to the use of red-fleshed crab apples as well as forraged apples from the Wolf River region. Dry to semi-dry. Light bodied. Moderate tartness. High acidity. Hints of sourness & funk. Apple-forward, with notes of sharp crabapples and citrus. Of a sad note, I was told they lost their lease, so they are no longer operating from Greenwood, but Lake City (both in Seattle); I imagine they will keep the name though. I thought this was pretty average.
Sarah also shared another cider with me:
Alpenfire (Port Townsend WA) Spiced Tonic Shrub (6.0% ABV): This interesting draft-only concoction is made using cider, vinegar, and spices. “Shrub” typically refers to a vinegared cocktail. This one definitely wasn’t to my liking, between the vinegar, saltiness, and pepper. Apparently it is selling really well though.
Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says! Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?