Grand Illusion Street Magic

Review of Grand Illusion Hard Cider’s Street Magic, a hopped grapefruit cider.  I have previously tried their Mystic Citra Pineapple and Blue Illusion.

Cider:  Street Magic
Cidery:  Grand Illusion Hard Cider
Cidery Location:  Carlisle PA
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz cans (and draft)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with Citra & Centennial hops and grapefruit

>>This is a review of a sample can provided to Cider Says by Grand Illustion.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received it 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.<<

Photo Jul 21, 5 35 56 PM Photo Jul 21, 5 36 07 PM Photo Jul 21, 5 36 14 PM

Availability:  in Pennsylvania, primarily at their taproom, but soon, at some other locations

Cider Description:  This mouth-puckering, subtropical grapefruit cider is pure sunshine. The balance achieved between tart and sweet complement the citrus and floral notes provided by Citra and Centennial hops.

Cidery Description:  We are Grand Illusion, a hard cider production company located in Carlisle, PA.  We use fresh pressed apples from Adams and York County to create magical ciders for all to enjoy.  Our taproom in downtown Carlisle has become a destination, with 15 ciders, 5 beers, and 8 wines – all on draft and all from Pennsylvania.

Here is an article from a local newspaper on the cidery.  They serve both their own ciders and ciders from other cideries at their taproom; see their tap list here.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $44 / case, likely ~ $11 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  the cidery owners contacted me

Photo Jul 21, 5 35 42 PM.jpg

First Impression:  Light yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells of hops with hints of lemon, orange, and grapefruit.

Tasting Notes:  On the drier side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Moderate bitterness.  Hints of sourness.  No funk or tannins.  Notes of hops, citrus, and grapefruit.  Long bitter hoppy finish.  Moderate hops intensity and overall flavor intensity.  Low to moderate complexity.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate to high sessionability.

My Opinion:  I wasn’t personally a fan.  It was too bitter for my liking, without enough sweetness to counter it.  My husband liked it better, but we both preferred the pineapple hopped one (Mystic Citra Pineapple), as it was less bitter, more sweet, and more complex.  Same as Mystic Citra Pineapple, I think this would appeal best to beer drinkers, and tasted less sweet than the labeled 17 grams of sugar.  The great thing about the cider industry right now is that there are so many options; every cider or cidery won’t appeal to everyone, but there will be others out there that will.  Grand Illusion’s ciders are doing well on untappd and such, so there are definitely plenty of folks who enjoy their ciders even if they weren’t my personal favorite.

Most Similar to:  a hopped version of Cascadia Grapefruit Tangerine

Closing Notes:  Of the three I tried, their Mystic Citra Pineapple was my favorite.  I’m curious to see the evolution of their cidery and ciders over time.

Have you tried hopped cider?  What did you think?

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Grand Illusion Blue Illusion

Review of Grand Illusion Hard Cider’s Blue Illusion, a blueberry-lavender cider.  I previously tried their Mystic Citra Pineapple.

Cider:  Blue Illusion
Cidery:  Grand Illusion Hard Cider
Cidery Location:  Carlisle PA
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz cans (and draft)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with blueberries and English lavender

>>This is a review of a sample can provided to Cider Says by Grand Illustion.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received it 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.<<

Photo Jul 20, 7 08 26 PM Photo Jul 20, 7 08 51 PM Photo Jul 20, 7 09 02 PM

Availability:  in Pennsylvania, primarily at their taproom, but soon, at some other locations

Cider Description:  This well-balanced blueberry-lavender cider offers a pleasant sweetness and a light berry fruitiness; it finishes with a touch of English lavender.

Cidery Description:  We are Grand Illusion, a hard cider production company located in Carlisle, PA.  We use fresh pressed apples from Adams and York County to create magical ciders for all to enjoy.  Our taproom in downtown Carlisle has become a destination, with 15 ciders, 5 beers, and 8 wines – all on draft and all from Pennsylvania.

Here is an article from a local newspaper on the cidery.  They serve both their own ciders and ciders from other cideries at their taproom; see their tap list here.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $44 / case, likely ~ $11 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  the cidery owners contacted me

Photo Jul 20, 7 08 01 PM.jpg

First Impression:  Lovely purple-blue hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells of lavender with a hint of berry.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Hints of bitterness.  No sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of citrus and a hint of berry.  Moderate length finish with a hint of hops? (I had this after one of their hopped ciders, but my glass was clean, I also picked it up straight out of the can, and my husband was able to taste it too).  Low apple flavor, flavor intensity, and complexity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it, but I would have liked more sweetness and flavor.  I only picked up the lavender in the scent, where it was quite prevalent, so it was a bit of a letdown for it to not transfer to the flavor.  However, I’ve had that happen with quite a few ciders I’ve tried.  The finish with hops was unexpected.  The flavor combination was nice though, and it was quite drinkable, plus for me it was more sessionable than their two hopped varieties I tried, due to the lack of bitterness.

Most Similar to:  Greenwood Lavender Blackberry.  Or, a less sweet and lower flavor intensity version of Finnriver Lavender Black Currant (which I really enjoy).  I was surprised upon searching my list that I’ve tried at least 7 ciders with lavender and 6 ciders with blueberry; I would have guessed less.

Closing Notes:  Per Cider Culture, this was Grand Illusion’s first release, in April.  Next up I have their hopped grapefruit variety.

Have you tried lavender infused cider?  What did you think?

Grand Illusion Mystic Citra Pineapple

Review of Grand Illusion Hard Cider’s Mystic Citra Pineapple, a hopped pineapple cider.  It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.

Cider:  Mystic Citra Pineapple
Cidery:  Grand Illusion Hard Cider
Cidery Location:  Carlisle PA
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz cans (and draft)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with Citra & Cascade hops and pineapple

>>This is a review of a sample can provided to Cider Says by Grand Illustion.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received it 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.<<

Photo Jul 20, 5 57 01 PM Photo Jul 20, 5 57 30 PM Photo Jul 20, 5 57 21 PM

Availability:  in Pennsylvania, primarily at their taproom, but soon, at some other locations

Cider Description:  Has a pineapple ever played tricks on you? This cider will. Floral and fruity with passion fruit, grapefruit, pineapple and lemongrass overtones. Dry hopped with a combination of Cascade and Citra hops.

Cidery Description:  We are Grand Illusion, a hard cider production company located in Carlisle, PA.  We use fresh pressed apples from Adams and York County to create magical ciders for all to enjoy.  Our taproom in downtown Carlisle has become a destination, with 15 ciders, 5 beers, and 8 wines – all on draft and all from Pennsylvania.

Here is an article from a local newspaper on the cidery.  They serve both their own ciders and ciders from other cideries at their taproom; see their tap list here.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $44 / case, likely ~ $11 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  the cidery owners contacted me

Photo Jul 20, 5 56 34 PM.jpg

First Impression:  Light yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells of hops, pineapple, and stone fruit.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Low bitterness.  Hints of sourness.  No funk or tannins.  Notes of hops, pineapple, apricot/peach, and grapefruit.  Long slightly bitter hoppy finish.  Moderate hops intensity and overall flavor intensity.  Low to moderate complexity.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate to high sessionability.

My Opinion:  I would have liked it better with less bitter of a finish, but overall the flavor combination and level of sweetness were nice.  My husband was a bigger fan.  It was neat how many extra flavors there were.  Also, more fruity than citrus or floral, which I’d expect from Citra hops (they did say Cascade were also used though).  I think this would appeal well to beer drinkers.  It tasted less sweet than the labeled 17 grams of sugar; possibly as the acidity and bitterness helped cut that, or else this was less sweet of a batch.

Most Similar to:  Swift Pineapple Hop

Closing Notes:  Next up I have their blueberry-lavender and hopped grapefruit varieties.

Have you tried hopped cider?  What did you think?