Review of Ulee’s Light Cider’s Dry. It is my first time trying this cider, which just launched this month. This is described as the first cidery focusing on light cider (although some other cideries also offer something similar, such as Dry 99 by Number Six.
Cidery: Ulee’s Light Cider
Cidery Location: Auburn WA (at the Schilling facility)
How Supplied: six packs of 12oz slim cans (and kegs)
Style: American craft low-calorie cider from dessert apples
Availability: Western Washington (mostly in the greater Seattle area) and Portland Oregon
Cider Description: All of Ulee’s Light Ciders are created with 100% all natural ingredients from the Northwest. Our juice is fresh-pressed from Washington apples and then fermented, filtered and blended with Cascadia water. They are vegan, naturally gluten-free and only 99 calories per can.
Cidery Description: Ulee’s Light Cider was founded in 2016 by three guys who love cider, but hate calories. The journey started ten years ago when founder Scott Gallagher first began visiting Iceland. During his trips he discovered that many of the locals drank hard cider instead of beer. Scott liked the flavor but after sampling many of the European varieties, he acquired a particular taste for Dry-Style ciders. After returning home to Portland, OR, he found that locally available ciders tended to be overly sweet with lots of calories.
Scott and his two buddies, Don Forsythe and Matt Thompson, were drinking cider around the fire-pit—the place where great ideas are born—and started brainstorming what they would like in a cider. It had to by dry but flavorful, locally sourced and all natural, gluten-free, light in calories, and very, very drinkable. It took a while but after working with expert cidermakers and experimenting with 25 different recipes, they finally came up with two ciders that exceeded their expectations.
Price: $1.83 / single can (runs $9.99 / six pack)
Where Bought: Special Brews in Lynnwood WA
Where Drank: home
How Found: On Facebook, as they had a launch party at the Schilling Cider House
First Impression: Light straw yellow. Low carbonation. Almost no scent.
Tasting Notes: Dry to semi-dry. Light bodied. Low to moderate tartness. Moderate acidity. Hints of bitterness. No tannins, sourness, or funk. Notes of green apple, citrus, and mineral. Moderate length finish. Low to moderate apple flavor. Very low flavor intensity. Low complexity. Very high sessionability.
My Opinion: Meh. This tastes like watered down cider (which it is). I’d rather drink a less of a more flavorful cider, especially considering these cost the same as other ciders yet are only 4.0% instead of 5.0-5.9%+ ABV. Its a bit more flavorful though if you drink it in gulps rather than sips.
Most Similar to: Number Six Dry 99 and Seattle Cider Dry. For a dry canned cider, my favorite is probably Original Sin Extra Dry (which isn’t yet sold in the PNW). Or, for a dry cider which is more widely distributed (and more highly carbonated), Ace Joker.
Closing Notes: I don’t really get the point of this (I bought it only out of curiosity), but it is doing pretty well on untappd and such. It also got into a lot of stores very quickly, so they must have some connections. Ulee’s also launched with a second hopped variety, called “Citra”.
Have you tried Ulee’s Light Cider? What did you think?