There was recently a cherry cider tasting at my house (thanks Sarah, Merce, Kevin, and Si from Cider Log for sharing all the ciders!). I took a few tasting notes.
<Woodchuck Sour Cherry, Anthem Cherry, Julian Cherry Bomb, Reverend Nat’s Sacrilege Sour Cherry, Finnriver Chimacum Kriek, Griffin Cider Works Strong Woman, Doc’s Draft Sour Cherry, and Greenwood Cherry>
With all of these I didn’t pick up any flavor besides cherry, and maybe a bit of green apple or citrus. The apple flavor was also none to mild.
Woodchuck (Middlebury VT) Sour Cherry (6.9% ABV): This was part of their Cellar Series (since discontinued) and hasn’t been sold since July 2014, but this bottle held up better flavor-wise than the bottle I had that I opened a year ago (review here). Semi-sweet to sweet. Mild to moderate slightly cherry flavor. Still. Medium bodied. Mild tartness. Moderate acidity. Not bad.
Anthem (Salem OR) Cherry (6.2% ABV): This is sold year round and now also available in cans. Semi-dry. Mild cherry flavor. Low carbonation. Light bodied. Moderate tartness. High acidity. Mild apple flavor. I didn’t find it flavorful enough.
Julian (Julian CA) Cherry Bomb (6.99% ABV): This is sold year round. Semi-sweet to sweet. Moderate real cherry flavor. Low carbonation. Medium bodied. Moderate tartness. Moderate acidity. I liked it.
Reverend Nat’s (Portland OR) Sacrilege Sour Cherry (6.5% ABV): This is a seasonal release. Semi-dry to semi-sweet. Moderate cherry flavor, slightly sour. Low carbonation. Medium bodied. Moderate tartness. Moderate acidity. I thought it was pretty average; I’d prefer no sourness.
Finnriver (Chimacum WA) Chimacum Kriek (6.0% ABV): This sour cherry cider is part of their Crew Selection series, a limited release in May 2016. Semi-dry. Mild to moderate cherry flavor, moderately sour. Still. Medium to full bodied. Moderate tartness. Moderate acidity. I didn’t care for this at all, due to the sourness.
Griffin Cider Works (Westlake OH) Strong Woman (6.5% ABV): This is an English-style cider finished with cherry, sold March thru October, whose proceeds go towards fighting breast cancer. Semi-sweet. Moderate cherry flavor. Low carbonation. Medium bodied. Moderate tartness. Moderate acidity. Mild tannins. I thought it was pretty average. There was an additional flavor in this that none of us could identify. The tannins were unique.
Doc’s Draft (Warwick NY) Sour Cherry (6.0% ABV): This is sold year round. Semi-sweet. Moderate to strong real cherry flavor. Low carbonation. Medium bodied. Mild tartness. Moderate acidity. I really liked it.
Greenwood Cider (Seattle WA) Cherry (unknown ABV): This appears to be draft only. Semi-dry to semi-sweet. Mild weird cherry flavor. Low carbonation. Light bodied. Low tartness. Moderate acidity. I thought this one was a bit strange, but ok.
Between the six of us at the tasting, the clear winner of the evening was from Doc’s. Unfortunately this variety isn’t sold in Washington in bottles, but can be found in Oregon, or sometimes on draft here. My second favorite was from Julian. What both of these had in common was they were a bit sweeter, more intense cherry flavor, and more “real” flavor (not medicinal). The least favorites were the Anthem, Greenwood, and Griffin varieties.