Portland CiderAde

Review of Portland Cider’s CiderAde, a special release.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve had their Passion FruitPearfect Perry, Kinda DryHop’RageousLondon Dry GinApple, Crooked Cock Scrumpy, Strawperry, Pineapple, Sangria, Mojito, Cranberry, Concord GrapePerfect 10Pumpkin SpicePineapple Rosé, Peach Berry, and Razzberry.

>>This is a review of a sample can provided to Cider Says by Portland Cider.  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.<<

Cider:  CiderAde
Cidery:  Portland Cider
Cidery Location:  Portland Oregon
ABV:  4.0%
How Supplied:  19.2oz “proper pint” single cans (and kegs)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with lemon, lime, and salt (as electrolytes)

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Availability:  small batch special release, starting April 2020, in Oregon (including to-go at Portland Cider’s 2 taprooms), Washington, Northern Idaho, and Northern California

Cider Description:  The cider that aids you! Freshly squeezed lemons and limes brighten this cider made with 100% Northwest apples. A cider that’s refreshing & replenishes with electrolytes sourced from sea salt harvested in Netarts Bay along the Oregon coast by Jacobsen Salt Company. Rejuvenation & relaxation in a glass!

Cidery Description:  We started the Portland Cider Company in 2013 with the intent of marrying English cider traditions with the innovative Northwest micro-brewing culture.  Lynda hails from Somerset county of England, the traditional cider making region, and Jeff is a native Oregonian.  It all started from a desire to make the clean, dry cider Lynda grew to love in England, and Jeff yearned to find here.  The first batches began in our guest room closet, 5 gallons at a time, made to quench our own thirst.  We then introduced it to our friends and family, most never having drank cider before, and discovered we were on to something when our popularity soared and those small batches went fast!  That cider is what became our signature and bestselling “Kinda Dry.”  Now 6 years on, we continue to devote the same passion for 5000 gallon batches as we did for those first 5 gallon ones.  Only now we don’t worry about running out of what we love!  We hope you won’t run out of it either!

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $4 per 19.2oz can)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

Photo Apr 12, 4 40 35 PM

First Impression:  Light straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, dry, and of citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of green apple, lemon, salt, and lime.  Moderate length tart finish.  Low apple flavor, sessionability, and complexity.  Very high sessionability.

My Opinion:  I wasn’t super into this, as I tend towards slightly sweeter ciders, but my husband who is a bigger fan of dry tart ciders liked it.

Most Similar to:  Ulee’s Light Cider with some salt and lime

Closing Notes:  I’m not one to mix outdoor activities in hot weather with alcohol, so I don’t really get the appeal of this, but I can imagine others having the opposite opinion.  Good thing there is a wide range of ciders so there is something for everyone.

Have you tried Portland CiderAde?  What did you think?

Portland RazzBerry

Review of Portland Cider’s RazzBerry, a new seasonal release.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve had their Passion FruitPearfect Perry, Kinda Dry, Hop’Rageous, London Dry Gin, Apple, Crooked Cock Scrumpy, Strawperry, Pineapple, Sangria, Mojito, Cranberry, Concord Grape, Perfect 10, Pumpkin Spice, Pineapple Rosé, and Peach Berry.

>>This is a review of a sample can provided to Cider Says by Portland Cider.  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.<<

Cider:  RazzBerry
Cidery:  Portland Cider
Cidery Location:  Portland Oregon
ABV:  5.8%
How Supplied:  6-packs of 12oz cans, 19.2oz single cans, and kegs
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples with raspberries, pears, and lemon zest

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Availability:  seasonally, starting March 2020, in Oregon, Washington, Northern Idaho, and Northern California

Cider Description:  Loads of bright raspberries combine with Northwest grown apples, a touch of lemon zest, and Hood River Valley pears for a refreshing cider that everyone will love. Easy-drinking, thirst-quenching and refreshingly tart, the cider is 5.8% ABV and ideal for barbecues and outdoor adventures.

Cidery Description:  We started the Portland Cider Company in 2013 with the intent of marrying English cider traditions with the innovative Northwest micro-brewing culture.  Lynda hails from Somerset county of England, the traditional cider making region, and Jeff is a native Oregonian.  It all started from a desire to make the clean, dry cider Lynda grew to love in England, and Jeff yearned to find here.  The first batches began in our guest room closet, 5 gallons at a time, made to quench our own thirst.  We then introduced it to our friends and family, most never having drank cider before, and discovered we were on to something when our popularity soared and those small batches went fast!  That cider is what became our signature and bestselling “Kinda Dry.”  Now 6 years on, we continue to devote the same passion for 5000 gallon batches as we did for those first 5 gallon ones.  Only now we don’t worry about running out of what we love!  We hope you won’t run out of it either!

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $12.99 per 6-pack or ~ $4.29 per 19.2oz can)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

Photo Mar 20, 5 17 10 PM

First Impression:  Moderate red hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells mild, of tart raspberry.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness.  Moderate to high acidity.  No sourness, bitterness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of raspberry, green apple, and lemon (no noticeable pear).  Moderate length tart finish.  High sessionability.  Low complexity and apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity and raspberry flavor.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  Not what I’d usually pick, but tasty, on the lighter side, and super sessionable, with the low ABV, mid-level sweetness, and simpler flavor profile.

Most Similar to:  nothing I’ve tried, as the raspberry ciders I’ve had were:
– much sweeter (from Washington Gold, Woodchuck, Wyder’s, Eaglemount, One Tree, Schilling, & Doc’s Draft)
– much drier & high ABV (Blue Moon Winery), or
– had other ingredients (Apple Outlaw Chocolate Raspberry, Bauman’s Peach Raspberry, Pear Up Rasperry, & Cockrell Raspberry Habanero)

Closing Notes:  Last summer’s seasonal from Portland Cider was Pineapple Rosé, which they made a year-round release, so this is the replacement.

Have you tried Portland Cider RazzBerry?  What did you think?

Portland Cider Peach Berry

Review of Portland Cider’s Peach Berry.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had their Passion FruitPearfect Perry, Kinda DryHop’RageousLondon Dry GinApple, Crooked Cock Scrumpy, Strawperry, Pineapple, Sangria, MojitoCranberryConcord GrapePerfect 10Pumpkin Spice, and Pineapple Rosé.

>>This is a review of a sample can provided to Cider Says by Portland Cider.  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.<<

Cider:  Peach Berry
Cidery:  Portland Cider
Cidery Location:  Portland Oregon
ABV:  5.2%
How Supplied:  19.2oz single cans, 6 pack of 12oz cans, and draft
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples with berries and peaches

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Availability:  seasonal (fall), in Oregon (including their 1 taprooms) and Washington, plus limited draft availability in Northern CA bay area

Cider Description:  Bold, juicy Oregon peaches play with a blend of tart Northwest grown berries for a cider full of sunshine to drink on those grey Portland days. Lively raspberries, blackberries & blueberries burst onto your tongue, just like plucking the fruit from your own backyard. This balanced cider, with a bold peach flavor and slight tartness, pairs well with classics like fish tacos, spicy sausages and corn on the cob.

Cidery Description:  Portland Cider Company was started in October 2012 by an Oregonian and a family of British expats with the mission of bringing cider, handcrafted in the English tradition, to the Northwest. It has two taproom locations: Portland Cider House at 3638 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214; and Taproom & Cidery at 8925 SE Jannsen Rd, Bldg. F, Clackamas, OR 97015.  Visit www.PortlandCider.com and follow @PortlandCider on social media.

Price:  ~$4 / 19.2oz can, or ~$12 / 6 pack of 12oz cans
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

Photo Sep 20, 5 49 49 PM.jpg

First Impression:  Deep purple-red hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells mild, tart and fruity.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of berry, stone fruit, and green apple.  Moderate length finish.  Low complexity and apple flavor.  Moderate to high flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I really enjoyed it.  Super fruity and flavorful, without too much sweetness.

Most Similar to:  Portland Cider Sangria (except more rich berry than light tropical fruit) and Bauman’s Peach Raspberry (except more berry than peach)

Closing Notes:  I received both a 19.2oz can and a 12oz can, and oddly enough the batch in the smaller can was a bit drier and more tart than this 19.2oz can that I reviewed was.  A great example of craft cider – there will always be some variability batch-to-batch.

Have you tried Portland Cider Peach Berry?  What did you think?

Cider Summit Seattle 2019 Post 2/2 – Tasting Notes

This is post 2/2 on Cider Summit Seattle 2019, with tasting notes on 21 ciders.  Post 1/2 covered the event.

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The Tasting Notes

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2 Towns Ciderhouse (Corvallis OR) Kingston Black – A draft-only special release.  Semi-dry, tannic, lower acid, with a woody earthy flavor.

Alpenfire Cider (Port Townsend WA) Kingston Black – A small batch bottled release.  Semi-dry, with a lighter flavor than expected for a KB single varietal, with notes of citrus and wood, and mild tannins.

Archibald James (Leavenworth WA) Smash Apple – Their sweeter (1.5% residual sugar) flagship canned/bottled offering.  Semi-dry and very apple forward.  High level of flavor for the lower sweetness.

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Bauman’s Cider (Gervais OR) Kir Royale – A black currant and cherry barrel aged cider.  Semi-sweet to semi-dry, with bold cherry and oak flavor.

Bembel with Care (Germany) Apfelwein Pure – A flagship canned release.  Dry to semi-dry.  Yeast-forward, and reminiscent of beer.

Chatter Creek Cider (Woodinville WA) Kingston Black – A special bottled released.  Dry and acidic, with citrus and wood notes, but less complexity.

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Cider Riot (Porland OR) Kingston Black – A special bottled release.  On the sweeter side of dry.  Rich bitter tannic flavor with caramel, leather, and orange.

Herb’s Cider (Bellingham WA) Forte – A keeved golden russet single varietal (which is unique as typically only French bittersweet apple juice is keeved), Cognac barrel aged.  Semi-dry but tastes even sweeter, smooth, and apple-forward with hints of tropical fruit.

Herb’s Cider (Bellingham WA) Fruit Challenge – A one-off Foeder aged bittersweet plum jerkum.  Dry but fruity, more berry than plum (but I’ve never been able to pick out plum flavor in a cider).

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Manchester Road Cider (Chelan WA) Apple Sox Red – A flagship bottled offering with beets added for color.  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Apple forward and non-specifically fruity.

Newtopia Cyder (San Diego CA) Passionate Mishap – A draft-only cider with passionfruit.  Semi-dry to semi-sweet, with notes of tart passionfruit and some citrus.

One Tree Cider (Spokane WA) Passionfruit Guava – A one-off fruit cider challenge entry.  Semi-sweet to sweet, and full flavored, with more passionfruit than guava.

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Pear UP (East Wenatchee WA) Peargria II – Take two on a one-off margarita-inspired perry (from 100% pears, no apples) for the fruit cider challenge.  Semi-dry to semi-sweet, with notes of lime, pear, and other fruit.

Pierre Huet (France) Calvados This apple brandy is aged 5-10 years, and imported by French Cider Inc.  I’m not big on spirits, especially served neat, so I’ll defer to my husband, who loved it.  I can however say it was smooth for the high ABV.  However, I think I’ll stick to cider and Pommeau.

Portland Cider (Portland OR) Peach Berry – A new canned release.  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  More generally fruity than specific peach & berry, reminiscent of their Sangria, but slightly drier and less complex.  Speaking of their Sangria, I heard it will be going to draft-only for awhile due to lower sales, which is sad as its my favorite from them.

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Reverend Nat’s (Portland OR) Saint Citron – A new canned release.  Semi-dry and citrus-forward, primarily grapefruit, with a hint of ginger.

Seattle Cider Company (Seattle WA) Strawberry Guava – A limited release with strawberries and guava.  Dry, with mild fruitiness, but low flavor intensity.

Soundbite Cider (Everett WA) Two Plums Up – A limited release with plums.  Semi-dry and fruity, more strawberry-rhubarb than plum I thought.

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Union Hill Cider (East Wenatchee WA) Pinkheart – A blend with Red Fleshed, Cripps Pink, and Dabinett apples.  Semi-dry, with subtle fruity citrus flavor.

Union Hill Cider (East Wenatchee WA) Hard Harvest – A blend with Cripps Pink, Dabinett, Porters Perfection, Kingston Black, and Snowdrift Crab apples.  Dry to semi-dry, with subtle earthy citrus flavor.

Wildcraft Cider Works (Eugene OR) Rome Beauty – A single varietal of Rome Beauty apples.  Measurably dry but it tastes sweeter, apple-forward (cooked) and non-specifically fruity, and completely clean.  I liked the level of flavor (high) vs. sweetness (low).

I also had some 2 Towns Pommeau and Eden Heirloom Blend Ice Cider, because we still had tickets left, and they are awesome.

In Summary

It was impossible to taste all the ciders at the event, or even one from each producer, so I’d also like to share previous tasting notes and reviews of ciders from the other cideries I didn’t get to highlight:  Alter EgoAnthemAvid (previously Atlas)Bad Granny, Brownrigg, Browar Polska Imports (PossmannRuwet), Capitol Cider, Caple Road, d’s WickedDouble MountainDragon’s HeadEaglemountEdenFinnriver, Greenwood, Idun, Independent CiderInclineJester & Judge, J. Seeds, Liberty, Locust, Longdrop, MiloslawskiSamuel Smiths, Schilling, Sea Cider, Snowdrift, Swift, Tieton, Ulee’s, Virtue, Wandering Aengus, and Washington Gold.

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My favorites were Schilling Guava Mint (which I actually tried the night before but I’ll count as it was made for this event), Herb’s Forte, 2 Towns Kingston Black, and Alpenfire Kingston Black.  Two of those were draft only, but I picked up bottles of the other two.  Speaking of Kingston Black, single varietals from KB were popular, with at least 5 cideries offering them.

This event is always the highlight of Washington Cider Week, and the biggest and best cider event of the year in Western Washington.

Portland Cider Pineapple Rosé

Review of Portland Cider’s Pineapple Rosé.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had much of their line-up (see here).

>>This is a review of a sample can provided to Cider Says by Portland Cider.  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.<<

Cider:  Pineapple Rosé
Cidery:  Portland Cider Company
Cidery Location:  Portland Oregon
ABV:  5.2%
How Supplied:  12oz cans (and draft, plus 19.2oz cans are coming in mid-April)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with pineapple and blueberry

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Availability:  seasonal, March thru August 2019, in Oregon, Washington, and Northern California

Cider Description:  The juicy and delicate pineapple fruit works beautifully with a hint of blueberry juice, creating an elegant cider on par with the rosé wine that so many love.

Cidery Description:  Portland Cider Company was started in October 2012 by an Oregonian and a family of British expats with the mission of bringing cider, handcrafted in the English tradition, to the Northwest. It has two taproom locations: Portland Cider House at 3638 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214; and Taproom & Cidery at 8925 SE Jannsen Rd, Bldg. F, Clackamas, OR 97015.  Visit www.PortlandCider.com and follow @PortlandCider on social media.

Price:  n/a (although it’ll probably run ~ $10.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

Photo Mar 24, 5 39 40 PM

First Impression:  Smells sweet and fruity.  Very low carbonation.  Hint of peach hue.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of pineapple with hints of green apple and strawberry (I didn’t really pick up any blueberry).  Quick finish.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  Significantly more pineapple than berry.  Super easy to drink.  I was surprised to see the can say 20 grams of sugar, as it tasted less sweet (although the body was what I’d expect for that level of sweetness).  It was a bit less intensely flavored than I prefer and I’d expect with a sweeter cider.

Most Similar to:  a sweeter but less intensely flavored version of 2 Towns Pacific Pineapple plus a hint of strawberry

Closing Notes:  Rosé sure is the hottest cider trend – seems like nearly every cidery has one now.  On that note, I’m surprised they didn’t add a bit more blueberry if they were trying to go for a rosé look, as it was barely rosé.

Have you tried Portland Cider Pineapple Rosé?  What did you think?

My Favorite Ciders of 2018

Happy New Year!  Now that it is nearly 2019, it is time for a list of some of my favorite ciders of 2018.  This is a tradition here at Cider Says; see here for my list from 2017, here for my list from 2016, and here for my list from 2015.  To make it a bit different and easier, I put them into categories instead of trying to do a top ten list or similar.

Note that I wouldn’t try to make a list of the best ciders, just those I enjoy, as it would be an impossible task to try every cider out there and be impartial.  The cider world is very regional, so likely only readers in the NW would have a similar selection.  My only criteria for this list is that I drank the cider in 2018.  Some of the categories overlap.  However, I cheated a bit, as I made the list first, then determined categories to put them in!

barrel aged:  Tieton Bourbon Peach – This has more juicy peach flavor than bourbon, but the two go well together, and there is some nice complexity for being made from dessert apples.

botanical-infused:  Finnriver Lavender Black Currant – This mouth-puckering tart cider is primarily black currant flavored, but also has hints of lavender.

brewery-made:  Central City Limited Edition Imperial Cider – Most ciders I’ve tried that were made by breweries were disappointing, but this one was awesome, complex, imperial-style, and bourbon barrel aged.

canned commercial:  Woodchuck 802 Collection ‘Lil Dry – Many commercial ciders are overly sweet and uninspired, but this was semi-dry, flavorful, and craft tasting.

cyser:  Merridale Cyser – This cyser was imperial style and had some nice flavor and complexity, beyond just tasting like apple and honey.

draft commercial:  Somersby Apple Cider – As much as I enjoy craft cider, sometimes a commercial cider really hits the spot, plus often that is all you can find.  This cider is from Denmark but I tried it in Canada on vacation.  Apple forward and not too sweet.

everyday English cider:  Newton Court Gasping Goose – I’m a huge fan of English cider, and this was a go-to of mine, although unfortunately it is no longer available.  Tannic, rich, flavorful, clean, and sessionable.

fancy English cider:  Oliver’s Gold Rush batch #2 – This cider is crazy rich and complex, and a lovely deep hue too.  A steal at $15/bottle.  Wish I could find more.  I picked some up on vacation, and got lucky when I returned the next year and they still had 1 bottle left, but haven’t seen it locally.

French cidre:  Eric Bordelet Sidre Brut Tender and Ferme de Beau Soleil Cidre Fermier Bio Brut – I’m also a big French cider fan, and tried a number of great selections this year, but these stood out.

French perry:  Pierre Huet Poire Demi-Sec – This French perry is unique, with its fluffy texture, tartness, great real pear flavor, and a bit less sweet.  I haven’t found any American perries like the French ones I’ve had.

French Pommeau:  Hérout à Auvers Pommeau de Normandie AOC – I tried this awesome Pommeau (cider + apple brandy) at Cider Summit.  I’m looking forward to opening the bottle of it that I bought.

fruity:  Portland Sangria – Very fruity, with unexpected complexity, a fruit salad sort of cider.

ginger-infused:  Kystin Kalysie – I’m not a ginger fan, but I actually enjoyed the hint of ginger in this French perry.

ice cider:  Woodbox Double Barrel – This is a less sweet ice cider, with rich concentrated flavor, and a twist, having been whiskey barrel aged.

large craft cider made with cider apples:  Schilling Excelsior – This was made using bittersweet cider apples in addition to regular varieties, but remains beginner-friendly, staying a bit sweeter and clean and such.  I’m seeing more mainstream ciders being made using cider apples, although often it seems like it must have been a small amount.  The cider apple influence was definitely noticeable in Excelsior though.

New England style:  Alpenfire Tempest – The style is characterized by the use of brown sugar and raisins, and this is a great example.  It even reminded me of English cider.

pineapple cider:  2 Towns Pacific Pineapple – This cider is bursting with real fresh pineapple flavor, yet its less sweet.

Pommeau:  Phillippi Fruit Snow Dance – This U.S.-made Pommeau is super flavorful and complex, and reminiscent of cyser.

rosé:  Manoir du Parc Authentic Rosé and La Chouette Cidre Rosé – Both of these sweet French rosés are made from red-fleshed apples plus pears, and have a lovely fluffy texture.  I’m not sure if I could even tell them apart in a taste comparison, they are so similar.

single varietal:  Liberty Kingston Black – Made from only Kingston Black cider apples.  Tart, rich, and complex, with a hint of sweetness, which I appreciated, as often these sorts of ciders go completely dry.

tannic cider:  Finnriver Fire Barrel version 1 – Super tannic, flavorful, and complex, reminiscent of English cider.  I wasn’t as much of a fan of their more recent version 2 of it though.

tropical:  One Tree Staycation – I loved the complexity of this, which was unexpected for a cider from dessert apples.  I drank way too much of this over the summer!

unexpected:  Fresh Cut Watermelon Cider – Based on the can design and flavor, I was expecting this Canadian cider to be fake and syrupy, but this was superbly done, real tasting and semi-dry.

unique:  Kystin Cuvée XVII – 16 varieties of apples plus chestnuts are used in this unique, complex, tannic, and nutty French cider.

Well, there you have it, a list of 26 of my favorite ciders from 2018.  They have a lot in common – most are mid-level sweetness, rich, complex, and full-flavored.  What are some of your favorite ciders?

Portland Cider Cranberry 2018

Review of Portland Cider Company’s Cranberry seasonal cider.  I had this last year, plus I’ve had their Passion FruitPearfect PerryKinda DryHop’RageousLondon Dry GinAppleScrumpyStrawperryPineappleSangriaMojitoConcord GrapePerfect 10, and Pumpkin Spice.

<This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Portland Cider.  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 que, considering it is a new release and the info may be helpful for folks deciding to purchase it.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.>

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Cider:  Cranberry
Cidery:  Portland Cider Co.
Cidery Location:  Portland OR
ABV:  6.0%
How Supplied:  22oz clear bottles (and draft)
Style:  seasonal American craft cider from dessert apples, with cranberries

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Availability:  seasonably (~ Nov-Jan), in Oregon and Washington

Cider Description:  Our cranberry cider is a blend of fresh NW grown cranberries & apples, Slightly tart & semi-sweet, with a rich apple taste at its core. Tastes like fresh cranberry relish!

Cidery Description:  Authentically crafted Cider with quality Northwest ingredients.  Our business is based on the belief that good cider comes from good fruit, honest practices, and attention to detail.  Our cider starts with fresh pressed juice from 100% Northwest grown apples.  We then carefully ferment it, using yeast that protects the delicate characteristics of the fruit.  The results are ciders that are high quality – easy to drink, refreshing, and downright delicious.  That’s why we say, Drink it, it’s Good!

They were founded in 2012 and have tap rooms in Hawthorne and Clackamas in Portland Oregon.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $6.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  the cidery contacted me

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First Impression:  Red-pink hue.  Nearly still (very low carbonation).  Smells mild – fruity and tart.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate to high tartness and acidity.  Low bitterness.  No tannins, sourness, or funk.  Notes of berry and citrus to start, then distinctive tart cranberry on the long finish.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Moderate sessionability.  Moderate to high flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  This had some great real cranberry flavor.  However, due to that, if you are like me and not really a fan of cranberry, it may not be appealing.  If you like cranberry, you are likely to enjoy it.

Most Similar to:  Tieton Ciderworks CranberryApple Outlaw Cranberry Jewel, and d’s Wickled Cranny Granny (which is sweeter).

However, I prefer the less intensely cranberry ciders, like Downeast Cranberry BlendFinnriver Cranberry Rosehip, and Schilling Mischief Maker Pom-Cran,

Closing Notes:  The cidery has three suggested cocktail recipes – one with vodka (similar to a Cosmo)a cranberry Sangria, and another with Vodka & ginger.

Do you like cranberry cider?  What did you think?

Portland Cider Pumpkin Spice

Review of Portland Cider’s Pumpkin Spice, a seasonal spiced cider (no pumpkin, just pie spices).  It is my first time trying this, although I have had their Passion FruitPearfect Perry, Kinda DryHop’RageousLondon Dry GinAppleCrooked Cock ScrumpyStrawperryPineappleSangriaMojitoCranberry, and Concord Grape.

Photo Sep 17, 5 33 24 PM.jpg

>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Portland Cider.  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.<<

Cider:  Pumpkin Spice
Cidery: Portland Cider
Cidery Location:  Portland OR
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  22oz bottles (and draft)
Style:  craft cider from dessert apples with pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, clove, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg)

Photo Sep 17, 5 33 38 PM Photo Sep 17, 5 33 49 PM Photo Sep 17, 5 34 04 PM

Availability:  seasonally, in fall (Sept-Nov), in Oregon and Washington

Cider Description:  Take the flavors of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Allspice, and Ginger, blend them in just the right proportions, and you get our Pumpkin Spice cider. Full of all the spices of your favorite pumpkin pie, this cider is a delicious tribute to the flavors of autumn.  A familiar Fall spice blend blended to pair perfectly with a classic American semi-sweet apple cider made with 100% Northwest apples.

Cidery Description:  Portland Cider Company was started in October 2012 by an Oregonian and a family of British expats with the mission of bringing cider, handcrafted in the English tradition, to the Northwest. It has two taproom locations: Portland Cider House at 3638 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214; and Portland Cider Co. Taproom & Cidery at 8925 SE Jannsen Rd, Bldg. F, Clackamas, OR 97015.

Price:  unknown
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

Photo Sep 17, 5 35 37 PM.jpg

First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells of sweet apple juice and spice.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness.  Low acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, tannins, or funk.  Notes of tart apple, pie spices, and citrus.  Moderate length finish with a hint of ginger.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity and sessionability.  Low to moderate spice level.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  Definitely drier than expected based on the style and the scent.  It also interestingly seemed to have more of a fresh tart apple flavor than the baked apple flavor which I more often pick up with spiced ciders, although maybe that is more of a perceived thing?  Spiced cider isn’t my favorite, but my husband enjoys it, and was especially a fan of this one, due to it being on the drier side.

Most Similar to:  Elemental Seasonal Spiced Apple

Closing Notes:  I always find it interesting when products are labeled as “pumpkin spice”, as I think pumpkin + spice, when the convention is just referring to the spices that go with pumpkin pie.  There are a handful of ciders that actually add pumpkin though, like Tieton Smoked Pumpkin, Woodchuck Pumpkin, Doc’s Pumpkin, Locust Pumpkin, and 2 Towns Hollow Jack.

Have you tried spiced cider?  What did you think?

Portland Cider Perfect 10 Imperial Apple

Review of Portland Cider’s Perfect 10 Imperial Apple, an imperial-style (high ABV) cider.  It is my first time trying this, although I have had their Passion FruitPearfect Perry, Kinda DryHop’RageousLondon Dry GinAppleCrooked Cock ScrumpyStrawperryPineappleSangriaMojitoCranberry, and Concord Grape.

Photo Sep 15, 6 39 17 PM.jpg

>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Portland Cider.  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.<<

Cider:  Perfect 10 Imperial Apple
Cidery: Portland Cider
Cidery Location:  Portland OR
ABV:  10%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles (and draft)
Style:  imperial-style craft cider

Photo Sep 15, 6 39 27 PM Photo Sep 15, 6 39 37 PM Photo Sep 15, 6 39 45 PM

Availability:  year-round in Oregon and Washington

Cider Description:  Crafted in the style of a traditional English Scrumpy or Imperial Cider, with a clean Northwest finish. It’s a blend of 100% NW apples, fermented cold and slow to preserve fresh apple flavors and aromas. The cider makers allow the cider to rest for more than two months to further develop the rich flavors. The cider is then sweetened with a touch of juice and balanced with a little acidity to round out the higher tannin profile. 

Cidery Description:  Portland Cider Company was started in October 2012 by an Oregonian and a family of British expats with the mission of bringing cider, handcrafted in the English tradition, to the Northwest. It has two taproom locations: Portland Cider House at 3638 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214; and Portland Cider Co. Taproom & Cidery at 8925 SE Jannsen Rd, Bldg. F, Clackamas, OR 97015.

Price:  unknown
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

Photo Sep 15, 6 41 08 PM.jpg

First Impression:  Light gold hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells of high-ABV apple-forward cider.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness.  Low acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of alcohol and apple juice, with hints of wood and citrus.  Long finish.  Moderate apple flavor and overall flavor intensity.  Low to moderate complexity.  Low sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it, but it was a bit alcohol-forward for my tastes, as expected with an imperial style cider.  My husband was a bigger fan, as this is one of his favorite styles.  I recommend drinking this cider very cold.

Most Similar to:  2 Towns Bad Apple, although that is a bit more complex, with some honey & vanilla, while Perfect 10 is more apple-forward

Closing Notes:  This is a neat addition to their line-up, and the first imperial-style cider I can remember them releasing in bottles.  My favorite Portland Cider selection probably remains Sangria, which has a ton of different fruity notes.

Have you tried imperial style cider?  What did you think?

Portland Cider Cans – Apple, Hop’Rageous, and Sangria

Review of Portland Cider’s three current canned varieties – Apple, Hop’Rageous, and Sangria.  I’ve tried these all before, but had previously only had Hop’Rageous and Sangria in bottles (see my previous reviews of Apple, Hop’Rageous, and Sangria).  Their Sangria is new to cans (and is currently also still sold in 22oz bottles), but the Apple and Hop’Rageous have been around in cans for awhile (and “Apple” has only ever been sold in cans).  I have also tried their Passion FruitPearfect Perry, Kinda DryLondon Dry GinCrooked Cock ScrumpyStrawperryPineappleMojito, and Cranberry ciders.

>>This is a review of sample cans provided to Cider Says by Portland Cider.  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.<<

Cider:  Apple, Hop’Rageous, and Sangria
Cidery:  Portland Cider
Cidery Location:  Portland Oregon
ABV:  5.5% or 6.5%
How Supplied:  four or six pack of 12oz cans of a single variety (it appears they are moving from four packs to boxed six packs)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with nothing (Apple), Citra hops (Hop’Rageous), or fruit added (Sangria)

Photo Jan 16, 3 41 19 PM (1) Photo Jan 16, 3 42 10 PM (1)

Availability:  year round, in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado

Descriptions:
Apple –  An authentic medium-dry cider classic, bursting with juicy crisp apple taste.
Hop’Rageous –  Dry hopped with Citra Hops then infused with bitter orange peel to reinforce the citrus notes. Delicious & Hop’Rageous!
Sangria –  Blend our delicious cider with the juices of orange, strawberry, pear, passionfruit, elderberry, and lime, to get our Sangria cider. It’s your new favorite fruit punch, for grown-ups!

Cidery Description:  Portland Cider Company was started in October 2012 by an Oregonian and a family of British expats with the mission of bringing cider, handcrafted in the English tradition, to the Northwest.

They have two tap rooms in the Portland area.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $7.99 / four pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

Apple:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, of tart apples with a hint of honey.  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low to moderate tartness and acidity.  No sourness, bitterness, funk, or tannins.  The flavor was pure apple with hints of honey & citrus.  Quick finish.  Mild to moderate flavor intensity.  Low complexity.  Moderate apple flavor.  High sessionability.  I liked how this had a lot of juicy apple flavor without tasting like alcoholic apple juice (which I think many commercial ciders do) or being too sweet.  Most similar to Jester & Judge American Apple.

Hop’Rageous:  Light straw yellow hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells mild, of citrus and floral with a hint of hops.  On the drier side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No sourness, bitterness, funk or tannins.  The flavor was very citrus (orange and lemon) with hints of hops and floral.  Moderate length finish with more citrus than hops.  Mild to moderate flavor intensity, complexity, and apple flavor.  High sessionability.  I liked how refreshing it was, with only a mild hops flavor, and lacking bitterness.  I used to think I didn’t like hopped ciders, as I don’t like beer and the first couple hopped ciders I tried were very intense, but since then I’ve found a few hopped ciders I enjoy, like this one.  Most similar to Tod Creek Mala-Hop and Incline The Explorer.

Sangria:  Pink hue.  Moderate carbonation.  Smells deliciously fruity.  On the drier side of semi-sweet.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  No sourness, bitterness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of strawberry, kiwi, white grape, lime, and passion fruit.  Moderate length finish.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.  Low complexity.  I liked the flavor variety and complexity, with all the different fruit flavors.  This would be perfect in summer!  Most similar to Bull Run Strawberry Fields and Portland Cider Strawperry.

Closing Notes:  Canned cider is becoming popular, and I’m seeing a lot of cideries launch with only canned products, add cans to their lineup, or switch to cans, even cideries that you’d never expect to.

Have you tried Portland Cider’s canned ciders?  What did you think?

Portland Cider Concord Grape

Review of Portland Cider’s new seasonal Concord Grape cider.  This was a follow up to a Concord grape cider they made for the Willamette Week Beer & Cider Pro-Am in October 2017.  It was my first time trying this, but I have had their Passion FruitPearfect Perry, Kinda DryHop’RageousLondon Dry GinAppleCrooked Cock ScrumpyStrawperryPineappleSangriaMojito, and Cranberry.

>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Portland Cider.  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 Jan 18, 3 49 39 PM.jpg

Cider:  Concord Grape
Cidery:  Portland Cider
Cidery Location:  Portland Oregon
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  22oz bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with Concord grapes

Photo Jan 18, 3 48 19 PM  Photo Jan 18, 3 49 03 PM Photo Jan 18, 3 48 44 PM

Availability:  Seasonally, January thru April, in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado

Cider Description:  A deliciously tart bend of 100% NW apple cider and fresh pressed Concord Grapes. The result is a delightful treat, reminiscent of your childhood grape juice box.
Apple Varieties:  gala, honeycrisp, golden delicious, and fuji

Cidery Description:  Portland Cider Company was started in October 2012 by an Oregonian and a family of British expats with the mission of bringing cider, handcrafted in the English tradition, to the Northwest.

They have two tap rooms in the Portland area.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $6.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

Photo Jan 19, 4 58 06 PM.jpg

First Impression:  Light purple-red hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells mild, of grape juice.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of tart green apple (although that wasn’t listed as a variety), purple grape juice, lemon, and pomegranate.  Quick finish.  Moderate apple flavor and flavor intensity.  High sessionability.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it – flavorful and refreshing without much sweetness.  The grape flavor was real, but more present in the scent than flavor, and I would have preferred a bit more (I actually picked up more tart apple than grape).

Most Similar to:  Nothing I’ve tried, as it was cider not perry (vs. Elk Horn Brewing Grape Perry), and wasn’t very sweet (vs. Attila Rapture).

Closing Notes:  I prefer Portland Cider’s Sangria, which has more variety in the flavor and is slightly sweeter.

Have you tried Portland Cider Concord Grape?  What did you think?

Portland Cider Cranberry

Review of Portland Cider Company’s Cranberry seasonal cider.  It is my first time trying this, although I’ve had their Passion FruitPearfect Perry, Kinda Dry, Hop’Rageous, London Dry Gin, Apple, Scrumpy, Strawperry, Pineapple, Sangria, and Mojito.

<This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Portland Cider.  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 que, considering it is a new release and the info may be helpful for folks deciding to purchase it.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.>

Photo Nov 28, 3 45 48 PM

Cider:  Cranberry
Cidery:  Portland Cider Co.
Cidery Location:  Portland OR
ABV:  6.0%
How Supplied:  22oz clear bottles (and draft)
Style:  seasonal American craft cider from dessert apples, with cranberries

Photo Nov 28, 3 45 59 PM Photo Nov 28, 3 46 11 PM Photo Nov 28, 3 46 31 PM

Availability:  seasonably (~ Nov-Jan), in Oregon (especially in the Portland area, including at all Safeways, and some Fred Meyers, New Seasons, Whole Foods, and Market of Choices) and Washington

Cider Description:  Get into the Holiday Season (which is somehow already here – crazy!!) with our Cranberry cider! A blend of freshly pureed cranberries from local Everest Farms in Bandon, Ore., with our 100% NW apple cider, this cider is brilliantly red in color and incredible to drink. Tastes just like Cranberry relish, making it the perfect pairing for the Thanksgiving table!

Ingredients:  apples (honeycrisp, pink lady, golden delicious, fuji), cranberries, and orange zest

Cidery Description:  Authentically crafted Cider with quality Northwest ingredients.  Our business is based on the belief that good cider comes from good fruit, honest practices, and attention to detail.  Our cider starts with fresh pressed juice from 100% Northwest grown apples.  We then carefully ferment it, using yeast that protects the delicate characteristics of the fruit.  The results are ciders that are high quality – easy to drink, refreshing, and downright delicious.  That’s why we say, Drink it, it’s Good!

They were founded in 2012 and have tap rooms in Hawthorne and Clackamas in Portland Oregon.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $6.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  the cidery contacted me

Photo Dec 01, 6 40 20 PM.jpg

First Impression:  Pink hue.  Nearly still (very low carbonation).  Smells mild – fruity and tart.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate to high tartness and acidity.  Low bitterness.  No tannins, sourness, or funk.  Notes of berry and citrus to start, then distinctive tart cranberry on the long finish.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Moderate sessionability.  Moderate to high flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  This had some great real cranberry flavor.  However, due to that, if you are like me and not really a fan of cranberry, it may not be appealing.  If you like cranberry, you are likely to enjoy it.

Most Similar to:  Tieton Ciderworks Cranberry, Apple Outlaw Cranberry Jewel, and d’s Wickled Cranny Granny (which is sweeter).

However, I prefer the less intensely cranberry ciders, like Downeast Cranberry BlendFinnriver Cranberry Rosehip, and Schilling Mischief Maker Pom-Cran,

Closing Notes:  The cidery has three suggested cocktail recipes – one with vodka (similar to a Cosmo), a cranberry Sangria, and another with Vodka & ginger.

Do you like cranberry cider?  What did you think?

Schilling Cider House Visit 28 Tasting Notes

Tasting notes from my 28th visit to the Schilling Cider House in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle WA.  Check out my past posts with tasting notes here.

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I was there on a random Friday afternoon.  There were only 2 ciders on the board out of 32 that I hadn’t tried, so that meant I got to order some of my favorites.

2017-06-23 15.54.27
<left to right:  Incline Rosé, Finnriver Lavender Black Currant, Portland Sangria, NV Cider Watermelon Pear, Aspall Dry, and Snowdrift Cornice>

Incline (Auburn WA) Compass Rosé (6.5% ABV):  This was the only new-to-me cider in my flight.  It appears to be a year round release, and is also available in cans.  Like all their ciders, it is hopped, plus hibiscus, elderflower, ginger, and rose petals were added (no grape, which is typical for a rosé).  Pale pink hue.  Very mild fruity scent.  Notes of grape, watermelon, and strawberry to start.  As it warmed up, I got a hint of hops and some floral & herbal flavor.  I didn’t pick up any ginger (which is good, as I don’t like it).  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied. Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, tannins, or funk.  Mild flavor intensity.  Interesting that I found it more fruity than floral, but maybe I was tasting what I expected (I only found out later what was added).  I enjoyed it.

Finnriver (Chimacum WA) Lavender Black Currant (6.9% ABV):  This is a special release, also available in bottles, which I’ve tried previously (see here), similar to their regular Black Currant (see here).  This batch seemed a bit less sweet, with more lavender.  Too bad it wasn’t on one of their 2 Nitro taps, as that is a special treat.  I enjoyed it.

Portland Cider (Portland OR) Sangria (5.5% ABV):  This is a relatively new year round release, also available in bottles, which I’ve tried previously (see here).  This batch was a bit less flavorful and a bit fuller bodied, but still plenty fruity.  I enjoyed it.

Pear Up / NV Cider (East Wenatchee WA) Watermelon Pear (5.3% ABV):  This is a year round release, also available in bottles, which I’ve tried previously (see here).  This batch had much more pear than watermelon flavor, and had a hint of vinegar flavor & sourness.  I didn’t really care for it this time around with the slightly off flavor.  Their raspberry perry is my favorite so far (see here).

Aspall (Suffolk England) Dry (6.8% ABV):  This is an English import, available year round, also in bottles, which I’ve tried previously (see here).  Their Dry is actually my least favorite of their line-up, but still plenty good.  Their Imperial is my favorite so far (see here); too bad they stopped selling the black label version of it though, as that was a truly amazing cider.

Snowdrift (Wenatchee WA) Cornice (7.5% ABV):  This is a year round release, also available in bottles, which I’ve tried previously see here).  This batch of this barrel agsed cider was a bit more fruity / less rich.  I enjoyed it.

Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says!  Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?

Schilling Cider House Visit 23 Tasting Notes

Tasting notes from my 23rd visit to the Schilling Cider House in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle WA.  Check out my past posts with tasting notes here.

taplist

I was there on a Thursday for a Portland Cider tap takeover / luau / potluck.  I started with a flight.

flight.jpg
<left to right:  Alpenfire Glow, Sandford The General, Liberty Cellar Series, Bad Granny Green Apple, Portland Mojito, and Tieton Russian Red>

Alpenfire Cider (Port Townsend WA) Glow (6.8% ABV):  This is a drier version of their Glow (made from red fleshed apples) than is found in bottles (which I’ve reviewed here), apparently as it had to be significantly more filtered when kegged.  Semi-dry, compared to the bottled version which is semi-sweet to sweet.  Compared to the bottled version, its not nearly as flavorful (strawberry and watermelon notes) or complex, and is more tart and lighter bodied.  Very nice, but I prefer the intensely flavorful and sweet bottled version (which I have a bottle of in the fridge that my husband got me for Valentine’s Day).

Sandford Orchards (Crediton UK) The General (8.4% ABV):  This is the first time I’ve seen any cider from this English cidery.  This variety is made from Devon cider apples, then spirit-aged and casked.  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness, acidity, and bitterness.  Low tannins.  Apple-forward flavor with some sharpness.  Moderate to long finish.  Low to moderate complexity.  Moderate apple flavor, sessionability, and flavor intensity.  This tasted like a typical English cider, although more bitter and less complex than I prefer.  Its good to see an international cider on tap, and made from cider apples too.

Liberty Ciderworks (Spokane WA) Cellar Series (8.0% ABV):  This is an unknown variety of their Cellar Series (they are usually named with a letter and two numbers), draft only.  Most of their cellar series ciders are wild yeast fermented and barrel aged.  Orange amber hue.  Dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness.  Moderate to high acidity.  Hints of sourness and funk.  Low bitterness.  Sharp flavor with crabapple notes and hints of oak.  Moderate to long finish length.  Moderate apple flavor.  Low to moderate sessionability.  Low flavor intensity.  Moderate complexity.  I didn’t really like this one, as I found it a bit harsh.

Bad Granny (Lake Chelan WA) Green Apple (6.9% ABV):  This cider is made from dessert apples and sold both in tallboy cans and on draft.  Nearly clear hue.  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Definite green apple flavor, plus some white grape.  Moderate apple flavor.  Low complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.  I liked it.

Portland Cider (Portland OR) Mojito (6.7% ABV):  This draft-only limited release cider had mint, lemon, and lime added.  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  Notes of mint, citrus, and a hint of soap?  Low apple flavor.  Moderate sessionability, flavor intensity, and complexity.  The flavor of this seemed weird, but maybe it is just me.

Tieton Ciderworks (Yakima WA) Russian Red (6.9% ABV):  This draft-only special release cider is made from red fleshed apples (like Snowdrift Red and Alpenfire Glow).  Bright red hue.  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low to moderate tartness and acidity.  Notes of cranberry and cherry.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate to high flavor intensity and sessionability.  Moderate complexity.  I liked it.

They also had Portland’s Sangria and Pineapple ciders on tap.  The Sangria is especially awesome by the way.

Sarah also shared a new Snowdrift release with me:

Snowdrift Cider (East Wenatchee WA) Cidermakers Reserve (8.3% ABV):  They have had this Méthode Champenoise cider listed on their website for awhile, but I haven’t ever seen it, so I think they took a few years off from production (or else it was very limited release).  This batch is only available in bottles.  Odd scent which none of us could accurately describe, but it didn’t transfer to the flavor.  Semi-dry.  High carbonation.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Hints of tannins and bitterness.  Fruity, with notes of sharp pomegranate and some crabapple.  I really liked the flavor and the bubbles, but the scent was bizarre.

My favorites were the Alpenfire Glow, Tieton Russian Red, and Snowdrift CIdermakers Reserve.  The Bad Granny was good too, especially for its simplicity.  I really wanted to like Sandford Orchards The General as I’m an English cider fan, but it was quite bitter.

Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says!  Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?

Portland Cider Sangria

Review of Portland Cider’s Sangria, released last month.  It is my first time trying it, although I have tried their Passion Fruit, Pearfect Perry, Kinda Dry, Hop’Rageous, London Dry Gin, Apple, Crooked Cock Scrumpy, Strawperry, and Pineapple ciders.

<This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Portland Cider.  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 que, considering it is a new release and the info may be helpful for folks deciding to purchase it.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.>

2017-02-03 17.12.20.jpg

Cider:  Sangria
Cidery:  Portland Cider
Cidery Location:  Portland Oregon
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  22oz bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples with 7 fruit juices

2017-02-03-17-12-49 2017-02-03-17-12-57 2017-02-03-17-13-03

Availability:  year round, in California (Los Angeles), Colorado, Oregon, and Washington

Cider Description:  Blend our delicious cider with the juices of orange, strawberry, pear, passionfruit, elderberry, and lime, to get our Sangria cider. It’s your new favorite fruit punch, for grown-ups!

Cidery Description:  Authentically crafted Cider with quality Northwest ingredients.  Our business is based on the belief that good cider comes from good fruit, honest practices, and attention to detail.  Our cider starts with fresh pressed juice from 100% Northwest grown apples.  We then carefully ferment it, using yeast that protects the delicate characteristics of the fruit.  The results are ciders that are high quality – easy to drink, refreshing, and downright delicious.  That’s why we say, Drink it, it’s Good!

They were founded in 2012 and have tap rooms in Hawthorne and Clackamas in Portland Oregon.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~$6.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  contacted by the cidery

2017-02-03 17.14.09.jpg

First Impression:  Pink hue.  Moderate carbonation.  Smells deliciously fruity.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of strawberry, kiwi, white grape, lime, and passion fruit.  Moderate length fruity acidic finish.  Low apple flavor.  High flavor intensity.  High sessionability.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  Yum!  I really enjoyed it.  This would be especially great in summer.  The notes of kiwi were interesting considering they didn’t add kiwi juice, but I imagine it was the combination of juices.  I liked the higher carbonation level.  The acidity helped balance the sweetness.

Most Similar to:  Bull Run Strawberry Fields cider also had some great strawberry notes, but didn’t have any other fruits.  Portland Cider Strawperry had some similar strawberry notes, but wasn’t nearly as flavorful as their Sangria.  Cider Brothers William Tell Dry Hard Apple Cider with Strawberry also had strawberry, but Portland Cider’s Sangria had a more real flavor.  As for strawberry (and watermelon) flavor without any strawberries added, Alpenfire Glow is an amazingly complex cider made from red-fleshed apples.

Closing Notes:  This is my favorite cider so far from Portland Cider.

Have you tried Portland Cider Sangria?  What did you think?

Schilling Cider House Visit 18 Tasting Notes

Tasting notes from my eighteenth visit to the Schilling Cider House in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle WA.  Check out my past posts with tasting notes here.

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I was there last Thursday, for the One Tree Crisp Apple cider release party, and enjoyed a flight of four ciders, plus One Tree’s new cider.

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<left to right: Portland Pineapple, Wandering Aengus Barrel Aged Wickson, Tieton Bourbon Peach, & Locust Sweet Aged Apple>

Portland Cider Company (Portland OR) Pineapple (5.7% ABV): This draft-only pineapple cider poured foamy but settled down after awhile.  This may be their “Maui Cruiser” variety, which also has coconut blossom nectar, as I couldn’t find any evidence that they have a strictly Pineapple cider.  Smells of fresh pineapples.  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  Low acidity.  The flavor is purely pineapple, with low flavor intensity.  I felt this cider smelled much better than it tasted…it left me wanting more flavor.  The pineapple aroma was so strong (especially in comparison to the cider’s flavor) that it makes me curious if it was added.

Wandering Aengus (Salem OR) Barrel Aged Wickson (8.0% ABV): This is a barrel aged draft-only version of their single varietal Wickson crab apple cider, which is available in bottles (which I tried previously and found overly harsh).  Smells mild, with hints of crab apples and oak.  Dry.  Low flavor intensity.  The barrel aging seemed to mellow the cider’s intensity compared to the original version.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Low bitterness and tannins.  Alcohol-forward with crab apple sharpness, oak, and honey notes.  This is best drank cold as it becomes more harsh as it warms up.  I found this more drinkable than the original version, but I still didn’t care for it.

Tieton (Yakima WA) Bourbon Peach (6.5% ABV): A draft-only bourbon barrel aged peach cider.  Hazy lemonade hue.  Smells of bourbon, peaches, and pineapple.  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Hints of boozy bourbon (but not overpowering) and peach & pineapple notes.  Yum!  Medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Low apple flavor.  Medium to high sessionability.  I’m a fan of bourbon barrel aged ciders, but often they tend towards being overly boozy, harsh, dry, etc…this one was tasty and easy to drink.

Locust (Woodinville WA) Sweet Aged Apple (6.9% ABV): This is a barrel aged cider made from dessert apple varieties which is available on draft and in bottles.  I’ve tried this previously (when it was called Aged Washington Dessert Apple; see here), but had heard they significantly changed the recipe, so I wanted to give it another try.  Last time it was quite hazy and unfiltered looking, but this time there was no haziness.  Smells mild and apple-forward.  Semi-sweet (less sweet than the previous recipe).  Less flavorful than the previous recipe, but much more sessionable.  Mild tartness and acidity.  Caramel, vanilla, and honey notes.  Medium bodied.  Moderate to high apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  I’m not sure which recipe I preferred, as there are pros & cons of each, but I enjoyed both versions.

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<One Tree Crisp Apple>

One Tree Hard Cider (Spokane WA) Crisp Apple (6.8% ABV): This is their new flagship cider, sold in four packs of 16oz cans and on draft.  Hazy.  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Unfiltered baked apple flavor with honey notes.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  High sessionability.  Strong apple flavor.  I enjoyed this.  I found it very similar to 2 Towns Out Cider, but slightly sweeter and slightly more flavorful.  Much less sweet than any of the other ciders I’ve tried from them.

The Tieton Bourbon Peach cider was my favorite, and my favorite cider from Tieton so far.

Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says!  Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?

Portland Cider Company Strawperry

Review of Portland Cider Company’s Strawperry, a perry (made from 100% pears, no apples) with strawberries.  This is a summer seasonal for them (2nd year).  I’ve previously tried a number of their ciders; see here.

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>>This is a review of a sample provided to Cider Says by the Portland Cider Company.  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.<<

Cider:  Strawperry
Cidery:  Portland Cider Company
Cidery Location:  Portland OR
ABV:  5.4%
How Supplied:  draft only
Style:  American craft perry (made from 100% pears) with fresh strawberries

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Availability:  Summer seasonal, limited release, draft only.  In general, their ciders are available in Oregon, Washington, California, and Colorado (see here), but this draft-only cider likely has less availability then their bottled varieties.

I have been able to determine it is currently on tap at least at the following places:  Schilling Cider House in Seattle WA, Portland Cider House (Hawthorne Portland OR), Portland Cider Company Taproom (Clackamas Portland OR),  Liberty Tapworks (Dalles OR), Oly Taproom (Olympia WA), and The Growlerie (Beaverton OR).

Cider Description:  With a base of our award-winning 100% pear juice Perry, we have blended NW strawberries to create a delicate, delightful cider for the summer.

Cidery Description:  Drink it, it’s good!  Portland Cider Company was started in the fall of 2012 by an Oregonian and a family of British expats with the mission of bringing handcrafted cider in the English tradition to the northwest. We don’t use concentrates, flavorings, colorings, or anything you wouldn’t want in your cider.  We just use the finest Northwest grown fruit. Always gluten free.

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

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First Impression:  Light pink-orange hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, fruity and tart.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of strawberry, kiwi, and honey.  Quick finish.  Low pear flavor.  High sessionability.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  This is a great summer cider…fruity and sessionable (low ABV and easy to drink).

Most Similar to:  I’ve had two strawberry ciders, from Bull Run (Strawberry Fields) and Cider Brothers (William Tell Dry Hard Apple Cider with Strawberry).  I find this similar to the Bull Run Strawberry Fields, except Strawberry Fields had a more intense flavor, and Strawperry is more complex.  I also find Strawperry similar to Atlas Dragonfruit, which also had strawberry & kiwi notes (but also a weird bitterness).

Random Side Note:  This cider holds the record as my most unique sample so far…I received it in a recycled swing-top bottle (its draft only so they didn’t have a typical capped & labeled bottle) and picked it up locally.

Closing Notes:  I’m glad I got a chance to try Strawperry–its a unique summer sipper.  I think this is one of my favorite Portland Cider Company ciders so far, along with their London Dry Gin.

Have you tried Portland Cider Strawperry?  What did you think?

Schilling Cider House Visit 13 Tasting Notes

Tasting notes from my thirteenth visit to the Schilling Cider House in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle WA.  Check out my past posts with tasting notes here.  I was there on a random Friday, as I was in the mood for some cider shopping and had some extra time as my hubby was out of town (I may have also gone to three other bottle shops that week…).

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I brought some dinner with me from the PCC down the street, and ordered a flight of six ciders–Elemental Margarita Randall, Schilling Vanilla Clove, Liberty Cellar Series #G15, AEppelTreow Sparrow Spiced, Portland Cider Crooked Cock Scrumpy, and Zeffer Crisp Apple (left to right in photo below).

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Elemental Margarita (Jalapeno Lime Cilantro) Randall with Strawberries, Mango, and Lime, 6.5% ABV, Woodinville WA:  Schilling took Elemental’s Margarita (Jalapeno Lime Cilantro) cider and put it through a Randall (flavor infuser) with fresh strawberries, mango, and lime.  The Cider House does a Randall most weekends.  I’ve had this cider before, and its nice and flavorful without a real discernible spiciness when drinking small quantities.  The additional lime and fruitiness was tasty, and would be awesome in summer.  The additional ingredients however took away the cilantro and jalapeno flavor notes of the base cider.  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Moderate tartness from the added lime.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate to strong acidity.  This one really hit the spot as we’ve been having summer-like heat in Seattle.

Schilling Vanilla Clove, 6.3% ABV, Auburn WA:  I’ve had a lot of ciders from Schilling.  This appears to be a tap-only release (weird time of year for a spiced cider though?).  Smells rather strongly of vanilla with a hint of clove spice.  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Mild acidity and tartness.  Very vanilla with hints of spice.  It tastes dessert-like without being overly sweet.  Moderate length finish.

Liberty Cellar Series #G15, 8.6% ABV, Spokane WA:  I’ve tried a number of their ciders.  This is a special tap-only release.  Its made from Golden Russet, Chisel Jersey, and Empire apples, wild-yeast fermented, then barrel-aged.  Semi-dry to dry.  Light bodied.  Mild acidity, tartness, bitterness, and tannins.  A hint of sourness, but not as much as I’ve found with other wild yeast ciders.  Notes of oak, spice, honey, stone fruit, and hops?.  Moderate length finish.

AEppelTreow Sparrow Spiced, 5.8% ABV, Burlington WI:  I’ve had a few ciders from them.  This one is made from Red Delicious, Cortland, McIntosh, and Greenings apples, with mace, cinnamon, star anise, and cardamon.  Its also available in bottles.  It smells of cinnamon.  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Mild to moderate tartness.  Low acidity.  A hint of bitterness.  More cinnamon flavor than anything else, but the base cider had a bit of richness to it.  There were also notes of oak (although not barrel aged), vanilla, and other spices.  Moderate length finish.

Portland Cider Crooked Cock Scrumpy, 13.5% ABV, Portland OR:  Wow!  Quite boozy, without much else going for it.  I think with some sweetness or flavor (richness or tannins) this would have been better.  I wonder where the pinkish hue came from?  Semi-dry to dry.  Light bodied.  Low acidity and tartness.  Moderate bitterness.  Long warming boozy finish.

Zeffer Crisp Apple, 5.0% ABV, Matakana New Zealand:  This is my first time trying anything from this brand.  I found it rather bland and apple juice-like.  Semi-dry.  Low tartness and acidity.  Light to medium bodied.  I didn’t really pick up any flavor notes besides apple juice, apple pomace, and yeast.  I’d guess this is made with dessert apples and back sweetened.  Quick finish.

My favorites of the evening were the Elemental Margarita Randall, plus Liberty #G15 and AEppelTreow Sparrow Spiced.  I really didn’t like the Portland Scrumpy one though, and especially once it warmed up, didn’t feel like finishing it.

On my way out I picked up bottles of Aspall Imperial (blue instead of black label this time…I’m curious whether they are different) and E.Z. Orchards Poire (French-style perry).

Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says!  Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?

Portland Cider Company “Apple”

Review of Portland Cider Company’s canned cider dubbed “Apple”.

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Cider:  Apple
Cidery:  Portland Cider Company
Cidery Location:  Oregon City, Oregon (near Portland)
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  four pack of 12oz cans
Style:  American craft canned cider made from dessert apples

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Availability:  OR & WA

Cider Description:  Medium-dry classic bursting with juicy crisp apple taste and a tart finish.

This cider was released in late 2015 for the first time, and I couldn’t find much information or a detailed description.

Cidery Description:  What do you do when you’re frustrated by the quality of the commercial cider available?  You start making your own!  What do you do when friends and family keep telling you it’s the best cider they’ve ever had?  You start a business!  That is the essence of how the Portland Cider Company got its start.  Founded by Jeff Parrish, an Oregon native, and his wife Lynda, an ex-patriot from the Somerset region of England (the Mecca of cider), the Portland Cider Company is based on the belief that good cider comes from good fruit, honest practices, and attention to detail. Our cider starts with fresh pressed juice from Northwest grown apples.  We then carefully ferment it using yeast that protects the delicate characteristics of the fruit.  The results are cider blends that are easy to drink, refreshing, and downright delicious.  Drink it, it’s good!

Portland Cider was started in 2012, and they have a taproom in the Portland area (with their ciders and some others).  They have four ciders available in 22oz bottles (Kinda Dry, Sorta Sweet, Hop’Rageous, and Pearfect Perry), plus Apple and Hop’Rageous in four packs of 12oz cans, and other ciders that are tap only.

Price:  ~$2.50 for a single can (runs around $8 for a four pack of 12oz cans)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing, although I had seen a release announcement on Facebook from them.

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow.  Light carbonation upon pouring with large bubbles.  Smells of tart apples with a hint of honey.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Low acidity and tartness.  No sourness, bitterness, funk, or tannins.  I didn’t really pick up any other flavor notes besides apple, which was on the strong side.  No carbonation in the mouthfeel despite the visible bubbles.  Light bodied.  Quick finish.  Mildly flavored.  Highly sessionable.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed how much apple flavor this had without the apple juice type flavor that is common with sweeter commercial ciders which backsweeten.  I also liked that although it was light bodied and mildly flavored, it didn’t have a watered down tasting flavor.

Most Similar to:  Other semi-dry apple-forward flagship craft ciders, such as Jester & Judge American Apple.  However, although they are quite similar, I enjoyed this cider more.

Closing Notes:   This is a great basic cider option for folks who want a canned craft cider, but I prefer more flavor and complexity.

Have you tried Portland Cider Company ciders?  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?