Red Branch Hard Black Cherry

Review of Red Branch Hard Black Cherry cider.  It is my first time trying this, although I have had their Peach cider.

Cider:  Hard Black Cherry
Cidery:  Red Branch
Cidery Location:  Sunnyvale CA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with honey, sugar, and cherry

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Availability:  likely only in Northern California, plus online sales

Cider Description:  Our most popular cider, our Black Cherry is the perfect balance between sweet and tart and delicious. When we made the first batch we didn’t know what to think – now we can’t make enough of the stuff. Be a hero, bring this to the next party you attend. Trust us!

Cidery Description:  We believe that producing a quality hard cider of any variety is 90% art and 10% science. Toss in a bit of sweat and heartburn for good measure and you’ll have a typical small cidery. Crafting cider is a lot like crafting many other beverages, and our love of quality ingredients drives us to produce more than just an average cider, but what we believe, is the finest cider possible. Our passion is to create something special from one of the most natural substances on earth, and share it with everyone.

Quality and consistency are the most important aspects of our products, if they aren’t good enough for us to drink or offer to our own friends and family, then we won’t sell it to you!  Red Branch Cider Company offers both traditional and seasonal ciders with an innovative honey twist.

They were established in 1995 and have a tap room in Sunnyvale CA.

Price:  ~ $7-8 / bottle
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  at my in-laws
How Found:  I got this as a Christmas gift

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First Impression:  Smells of fake cherry flavor.  Medium cherry red hue.  Nearly still (very low carbonation).

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, tannins, or funk.  Notes of fake cherry flavor with a hint of cranberry.  Moderate length finish.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity and sessionability.

My Opinion:  I didn’t like this, and neither did any of the other folks I shared it with.  The cherry flavor was too artificial / cough-syrup-like.  It was borderline undrinkable for me.

Most Similar to:  Wards and Strongbow cherry ciders, both of which also had a similar medicinal cherry flavor

Closing Notes:  I’m surprised this is their most popular, as no one I tasted it with enjoyed it.  I think cherry ciders are one of the more difficult flavors to pull off.  However, I didn’t really like Red Branch’s peach cider either, so maybe their cidermaking style just isn’t for me.  That is ok though, as everyone won’t like every cider.

Have you tried Red Branch cider?  What did you think?

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Red Branch Peach Cider

Review of Red Branch Cider Company’s Peach Cider (actually technically a cyser as it has honey added).  It is my first time trying this cider, and any cider from this cidery.

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Cider:  Peach Cider
Cidery:  Red Branch Cider Co.
Cidery Location:  Sunnyvalle CA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  American cider with honey, peach juice, carbonated water, and sugar

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Availability:  A small batch release.  Red Branch cider appears to only be available in California, plus through their online store.

Cider Description:  We take great care in producing this hard peach cider from the finest ingredients available. We only use premium fruit juices and honey. This one has a twist though, we’ve added peach juice to give it a great flavor with a terrific peach aroma. If you love peaches, then this is for you. Try our other flavors, too and you might just find your favorite beverage choice is something new. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do. If you don’t, tell us and we’ll make it right. Mike & Maria

Cidery Description:  We believe that producing a quality hard cider of any variety is 90% art and 10% science. Toss in a bit of sweat and heartburn for good measure and you’ll have a typical small cidery. Crafting cider is a lot like crafting many other beverages, and our love of quality ingredients drives us to produce more than just an average cider, but what we believe, is the finest cider possible. Our passion is to create something special from one of the most natural substances on earth, and share it with everyone.

Quality and consistency are the most important aspects of our products, if they aren’t good enough for us to drink or offer to our own friends and family, then we won’t sell it to you!  Red Branch Cider Company offers both traditional and seasonal ciders with an innovative honey twist.

They were established in 1995 and have a tap room in Sunnyvale CA.

Price:  $8.49
Where Bought:  a natural grocery store in a small town in Northern California
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  They had an impressive cider selection.

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First Impression:  Light peach hue.  Nearly still (very low carbonation).  Smells of peach candy.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Low to moderate acidity.  Low bitterness.  No tannins, sourness, or funk.  Notes of peach candy at the beginning with a hint of nectarine, lemon, & honey, and a medicinal flat metallic bitter peach flavor at the end.  Moderate length finish.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Low to moderate complexity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I found this cider odd.  I think without the weird finish and with some carbonation it wouldn’t have been too bad.

Most Similar to:  I’ve previously had the following peach ciders:  Blue Mountain Peach, Blackfin Pacific Peach, Carlton Bourbon Peachy Keen, Finnriver Country Peach, Number 6 Peach FuzzPeach Grapefruit Habanero, and Tieton Bourbon Peach.  This one was quite different than all the others – the sweetest and most candied tasting.  My favorite of those is probably the Tieton one.

Closing Notes:  Hopefully I have a chance to try something else from Red Branch in the future.

Have you tried Red Branch Peach Cider?  What did you think?