WildCraft Flagship Dry Hard Cider

Review of WildCraft Cider Works’ flagship dry Hard Cider.  WildCraft opened in Eugene Oregon in November 2014.  They were nice enough to send me a box full of their cider (which is especially awesome as they aren’t yet available in WA), so I have a number of varieties from them to review in the coming weeks.

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

2015-11-19 17.02.08

Cider:  Hard Cider
Cidery:  WildCraft Cider Works
Cidery Location:  Eugene OR
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  500ml bottle

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Availability:  Year round, but currently only in Eugene, Portland, and Medford Oregon.

Cider Description:  Our flagship Dry Cider, made entirely from Oregon apples is locally sourced and pressed. This is a classic dry session cider with enough complexity to enjoy year round, all the time. Unpasteurized & bottle conditioned.

Made from Honeycrisp, Gala, Granny Smith, Pippen, Winesap, and/or Empire apples.

Cidery Description:  At WildCraft Cider Works, we pride ourselves on developing innovative, artisanal dry ciders inspired by traditional and wild methodology. Insisting on whole fruit and botanicals grown in Oregon to create pure ciders without artificial flavorings, sulfites or added sweeteners. WildCraft cider is uniquely dry cider unpasteurized & bottle conditioned. We consider ourselves stewards of the outdoors; always acting consciously to ensure that our ingredients are regional.

WildCraft sets themselves apart from most other cideries by using mostly fruit from old homesteads that would otherwise go unused, plus unwanted fruit from community drives.  All their fruit is Oregon-grown and pressed at the cidery.  In addition to ciders, they also have a line of perries (made from pears).  They avoid the use of sulfites in their ciders, which is quite rare and can be difficult to pull off.

WildCraft has a tap house at their Eugene OR cidery with 10 of their ciders & perries on tap at a time, plus they have a full bar (including cider cocktails), and a full farm to table restaurant!  This article from Feb 2015 has a nice writeup on them.

Price:  n/a (but retails for $5.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Facebook and word of mouth

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First Impression:  Slightly hazy straw yellow with a few large bubbles at the edge of the glass.  Slightly funky, dry, sour, and tart apple scent.

Opinion:  Completely dry.  Moderate sourness, tartness, astringency, and funk.  High acidity.  No bitterness.  Light bodied.  Moderate carbonation.  Relative quick finish, and fairly sessionable.  I detected some mild citrus and honey notes.

Most Similar to:  Nothing I have tried.  This flagship cider is definitely unique, having some of those Sidra-like notes but still having a lot of characteristic flavor of what I have come to think of as American flagship cider.  However, WildCraft uses a couple heirloom apple varieties in addition to common eating / dessert apples, which give it a touch of tannins, astringency, and depth.  This is more approachable than some ciders of a similar style (Millstone comes to mind), but may still be a big step for someone used to approachable sweet commercial cider.

Closing Notes:   This was quite an interesting cider, but it wasn’t really to my liking.  Without the sourness and with a bit more residual sugar, I think I would have found it more enjoyable.  I think they are doing some great things at WildCraft though, and are very reasonably priced.  I think folks looking for a unique cider on the dry end of the spectrum which aren’t opposed to some sourness and funk should give this a try.  I look forward to trying the rest of the ciders that came in my sample box!

Have you tried any WildCraft ciders?  What did you think?

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WildCraft Cider Works Pioneer Perry

Review of WildCraft Cider Works’ Pioneer Perry.  Perries are made entirely using pears.  In contrast, pear ciders are often an apple base with pear juice added, and cider is of course entirely made from apples.  WildCraft opened in Eugene Oregon in November 2014.  They were nice enough to send me a box full of their cider (which is especially awesome as they aren’t yet available in WA), so I have a number of varieties from them to review in the coming weeks.

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

2015-11-19 17.02.08

Cider:  Pioneer Perry
Cidery:  WildCraft Cider Works
Cidery Location:  Eugene OR
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  750ml bottle

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Availability:  Year round, but currently only in Eugene, Portland, and Medford Oregon.

Cider Description:  Our 2014 Pioneer Perry is layered with the complex flavors of hazelnut, fresh shortbread & orange blossom honey. The exquisite qualities of pre-prohibition planted American Pear varietals were allowed to reach their fullest potential. Harvested and handpicked from the founding farmlands of Lane County, this is an experience that provides unprecedented, homegrown quality. Unpasteurized & bottle conditioned.

Made from Red Bartlet pears.

Cidery Description:  At WildCraft Cider Works, we pride ourselves on developing innovative, artisanal dry ciders inspired by traditional and wild methodology. Insisting on whole fruit and botanicals grown in Oregon to create pure ciders without artificial flavorings, sulfites or added sweeteners. WildCraft cider is uniquely dry cider unpasteurized & bottle conditioned. We consider ourselves stewards of the outdoors; always acting consciously to ensure that our ingredients are regional.

WildCraft sets themselves apart from most other cideries by using mostly fruit from old homesteads that would otherwise go unused, plus unwanted fruit from community drives.  All their fruit is Oregon-grown and pressed at the cidery.  In addition to ciders, they also have a line of perries (made from pears).  They avoid the use of sulfites in their ciders, which is quite rare and can be difficult to pull off.

WildCraft has a tap house at their Eugene OR cidery with 10 of their ciders & perries on tap at a time, plus they have a full bar (including cider cocktails), and a full farm to table restaurant!  This article from Feb 2015 has a nice writeup on them.

Price:  n/a (but retails for $16.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Facebook and word of mouth

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow with a few large bubbles at the edge of the glass.  Slightly funky, dry, sour, tart, yeasty, vanilla apple scent.

Opinion:  Completely dry.  Moderate to high acidity.  Mild to moderate sourness.  Mild bitterness, funk, astringency, and tartness.  Light bodied.  Still (no carbonation).  Moderate length finish.  I picked up mild pear, citrus, vanilla, oak, and honey notes.  This was a nice light perry which would be great during summer.  It was my favorite of the six WildCraft selections I’ve had, likely as it was a bit less sour & funky.

Most Similar to:  Nothing I have tried.  Although I’ve drank a number of perries, none was this dry and complex.  This is more approachable than some ciders of a similar style (Millstone comes to mind), but may still be a big step for someone used to approachable sweet commercial cider.

Closing Notes:   This was quite an interesting perry and more likeable than the others I tried, but it wasn’t really to my taste.  Without the sourness & funk and with a bit more residual sugar, I think I would have found it more enjoyable.  I also tend to like more of a full-flavored beverage.  I think they are doing some great things at WildCraft though, and are very reasonably priced.  I think folks looking for a unique perry on the dry end of the spectrum which aren’t opposed to some sourness and funk should give this a try.  I look forward to trying the rest of the ciders that came in my sample box!

Have you tried any WildCraft ciders?  What did you think?

WildCraft Cider Works Elderberry Perry

Review of WildCraft Cider Works’ Elderberry Perry.  Perries are made entirely using pears.  In contrast, pear ciders are often an apple base with pear juice added, and cider is of course entirely made from apples.  WildCraft opened in Eugene Oregon in November 2014.  They were nice enough to send me a box full of their cider (which is especially awesome as they aren’t yet available in WA), so I have a number of varieties from them to review in the coming weeks.

wildcraft elderberry perry
(I somehow forgot to take a full photo of this lovely
wax-topped bottle, so a stock photo will have to do)

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

2015-11-19 17.02.08

Cider:  Elderberry Perry
Cidery:  WildCraft Cider Works
Cidery Location:  Eugene OR
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  750ml bottle

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Availability:  Year round, but currently only in Eugene, Portland, and Medford Oregon.

Cider Description:  These elderberries were wildcrafted in the mountains of Cottage Grove, hand destemmed and fermented whole in a red Bartlett perry. Floral, vinous, fruit-forward berries hail from the rugged Oregon wilderness into a rich & full bodied pear complexity. Unpasteurized & bottle conditioned.

Made from Red Bartlet and Comice pears.

Cidery Description:  At WildCraft Cider Works, we pride ourselves on developing innovative, artisanal dry ciders inspired by traditional and wild methodology. Insisting on whole fruit and botanicals grown in Oregon to create pure ciders without artificial flavorings, sulfites or added sweeteners. WildCraft cider is uniquely dry cider unpasteurized & bottle conditioned. We consider ourselves stewards of the outdoors; always acting consciously to ensure that our ingredients are regional.

WildCraft sets themselves apart from most other cideries by using mostly fruit from old homesteads that would otherwise go unused, plus unwanted fruit from community drives.  All their fruit is Oregon-grown and pressed at the cidery.  In addition to ciders, they also have a line of perries (made from pears).  They avoid the use of sulfites in their ciders, which is quite rare and can be difficult to pull off.

WildCraft has a tap house at their Eugene OR cidery with 10 of their ciders & perries on tap at a time, plus they have a full bar (including cider cocktails), and a full farm to table restaurant!  This article from Feb 2015 has a nice writeup on them.

Price:  n/a (but retails for $16.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Facebook and word of mouth

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First Impression:  Light elderberry-grape type hue with a few large bubbles at the edge of the glass.  Slightly funky, dry, sour, and tart apple-berry scent.  This one had the most funky scent of the six I’ve tried from WildCraft.

Opinion:  Completely dry.  Moderate acidity, sourness, tartness, astringency, and funk.  No bitterness.  Light bodied.  Moderate carbonation.  Relative quick finish.  The elderberry influence remained quite mild, but added a nice fruitiness and a bit of tannins.  This was a crowd favorite at my cider tasting, but my least favorite, as it was a bit more funky than the others.

Most Similar to:  Nothing I have tried.  Although I’ve had a number of berry ciders and a handful of perries, none was this dry, and I haven’t had a berry perry.  This is more approachable than some ciders of a similar style (Millstone comes to mind), but may still be a big step for someone used to approachable sweet commercial cider.

Closing Notes:   This was quite an interesting perry, but it wasn’t really to my liking.  Without the sourness & funk and with a bit more residual sugar, I think I would have found it more enjoyable.  I also tend to like more of a full-flavored beverage.  I think they are doing some great things at WildCraft though, and are very reasonably priced.  I think folks looking for a unique perry on the dry end of the spectrum which aren’t opposed to some sourness and funk should give this a try.  I look forward to trying the rest of the ciders that came in my sample box!

Have you tried any WildCraft ciders?  What did you think?

WildCraft Cider Works Blue River Blueberry

Review of WildCraft Cider Works’ blueberry cider.  WildCraft opened in Eugene Oregon in November 2014.  They were nice enough to send me a box full of their cider (which is especially awesome as they aren’t yet available in WA), so I have a number of varieties from them to review in the coming weeks.

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

2015-11-19 17.02.08

Cider:  Blue River Blueberry
Cidery:  WildCraft Cider Works
Cidery Location:  Eugene OR
ABV:  6.3%
How Supplied:  500ml bottle

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Availability:  Year round, but currently only in Eugene, Portland, and Medford Oregon.

Cider Description:  Bright whole blueberries from Organic Redneck Farm in Leaburg are fermented on skin, in a blend of Willamette Valley apples & wild yeast strains. Grown by our community, for our community. All Oregon grown, all the time.

Made from Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples.

Cidery Description:  At WildCraft Cider Works, we pride ourselves on developing innovative, artisanal dry ciders inspired by traditional and wild methodology. Insisting on whole fruit and botanicals grown in Oregon to create pure ciders without artificial flavorings, sulfites or added sweeteners. WildCraft cider is uniquely dry cider unpasteurized & bottle conditioned. We consider ourselves stewards of the outdoors; always acting consciously to ensure that our ingredients are regional.

WildCraft sets themselves apart from most other cideries by using mostly fruit from old homesteads that would otherwise go unused, plus unwanted fruit from community drives.  All their fruit is Oregon-grown and pressed at the cidery.  In addition to ciders, they also have a line of perries (made from pears).  They avoid the use of sulfites in their ciders, which is quite rare and can be difficult to pull off.

WildCraft has a tap house at their Eugene OR cidery with 10 of their ciders & perries on tap at a time, plus they have a full bar (including cider cocktails), and a full farm to table restaurant!  This article from Feb 2015 has a nice writeup on them.

Price:  n/a (but retails for $7.25)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Facebook and word of mouth

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First Impression:  Light blueberry-grape type hue with a few large bubbles at the edge of the glass.  Slightly funky, dry, sour, and tart apple-blueberry scent.

Opinion:  Completely dry.  Moderate acidity, sourness, tartness, astringency, and funk.  No bitterness.  Light bodied.  Moderate carbonation.  Relative quick finish, and fairly sessionable.  The blueberry influence remained quite mild, but added a nice fruitiness and a bit of tannins (blueberry skin type flavor).  You can definitely tell they add real blueberries, not just blueberry juice (or worse, flavoring).

Most Similar to:  Nothing I have tried.  Although I’ve had a number of berry ciders, none was this dry.  This is more approachable than some ciders of a similar style (Millstone comes to mind), but may still be a big step for someone used to approachable sweet commercial cider.

Closing Notes:   This was quite an interesting cider, but it wasn’t really to my liking.  Without the sourness and with a bit more residual sugar, I think I would have found it more enjoyable.  I also tend to like more of a full-flavored cider.  I think they are doing some great things at WildCraft though, and are very reasonably priced.  I think folks looking for a unique cider on the dry end of the spectrum which aren’t opposed to some sourness and funk should give this a try.  I look forward to trying the rest of the ciders that came in my sample box!

Have you tried any WildCraft ciders?  What did you think?

WildCraft Snake River Rye Barrel Aged Hard Cider

Review of Snake River Rye, a barrel aged cider from WildCraft Cider Works.  WildCraft opened in Eugene Oregon in November 2014.  They were nice enough to send me a box full of their cider (which is especially awesome as they aren’t yet available in WA), so I have a number of varieties from them to review in the coming weeks.  Barrel aged is my favorite cider variety, so I figured it was a good place to start.  Aren’t their labels beautiful?  I especially like the uneven edges.

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

2015-11-19 17.02.08

Cider:  Snake River Rye
Cidery:  WildCraft Cider Works
Cidery Location:  Eugene OR
ABV:  7.5%
How Supplied:  500ml bottle

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Availability:  Year round, but currently only in Eugene, Portland, and Medford Oregon.

Cider Description:  Dry settler style Cider aged 3 months in American Oak Stein Rye Whiskey barrels from eastern Oregon. Deep whiskey notes and a full oak finish compliment smooth vanilla flavor & apple aromatics. Unpasteurized & bottle conditioned.

Made from Jonagold  apples.

Cidery Description:  At WildCraft Cider Works, we pride ourselves on developing innovative, artisanal dry ciders inspired by traditional and wild methodology. Insisting on whole fruit and botanicals grown in Oregon to create pure ciders without artificial flavorings, sulfites or added sweeteners. WildCraft cider is uniquely dry cider unpasteurized & bottle conditioned. We consider ourselves stewards of the outdoors; always acting consciously to ensure that our ingredients are regional.

WildCraft sets themselves apart from most other cideries by using mostly fruit from old homesteads that would otherwise go unused, plus unwanted fruit from community drives.  All their fruit is Oregon-grown and pressed at the cidery.  In addition to ciders, they also have a line of perries (made from pears).  They avoid the use of sulfites in their ciders, which is quite rare and can be difficult to pull off.

WildCraft has a tap house at their Eugene OR cidery with 10 of their ciders & perries on tap at a time, plus they have a full bar (including cider cocktails), and a full farm to table restaurant!  This article from Feb 2015 has a nice writeup on them.

Price:  n/a (but retails for $7.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Facebook and word of mouth

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First Impression:  Slightly hazy straw yellow with a few large bubbles at the edge of the glass.  Slightly funky, dry, sour, tart, oaky apple scent.  Surprisingly I didn’t pick up much barrel or spirit influence in the scent.

Opinion:  Completely dry.  Moderate sourness, tartness, acidity, astringency, funk, spirit (whiskey), and barrel influence.  No to low bitterness.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate carbonation.  Relative quick finish with the flavor of the cider, but there is lingering warmth and sourness.  I found citrus, herbal, oak, and smoke notes with this unique alcohol-forward cider.

Most Similar to:  A barrel aged Spanish Sidra?  I found some of the aspects I’ve come to associate with Sidra and Sidra-like rustic ciders, such as sourness, astringency, dryness, and citrus notes.  Yet it had definite barrel and spirit influence.  It is more approachable than some ciders of a similar style (Millstone comes to mind), but may be a big leap for someone used to approachable sweet commercial cider.

Closing Notes:   Snake River Rye was quite an interesting cider, but it wasn’t really to my liking.  Without the sourness and with a bit more residual sugar, I think I would have found it more enjoyable…the aspects I enjoyed reminded me of a barrel aged Imperial-style cider (typically characterized by a high ABV).  I think folks looking for a unique cider on the dry end of the spectrum which aren’t opposed to some sourness and funk should give this a try.  I look forward to trying the rest of the ciders that came in my sample box!

Have you tried any WildCraft ciders?  What did you think?

WildCraft Cider Works Wild Rose

Review of Wild Rose from WildCraft Cider Works. WildCraft was nice enough to send me a box full of their cider (which is especially awesome as they aren’t yet available in WA), so I have a number of varieties from them to review in the coming weeks.  This was the second bottle of seven I tried.

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

2015-11-19 17.02.08

Cider:  Wild Rose
Cidery:  WildCraft Cider Works
Cidery Location:  Eugene OR
ABV:  7.5%
How Supplied:  500ml bottle

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Availability:  Year round, but currently only in Eugene, Portland, and Medford Oregon.

Cider Description:  A WildCraft exclusive!  Whole wild roses undergo a lengthy cold conditioning and secondary fermentation on a unique blend of our wild fermented cider.  Fresh, crisp and aromatic notes of rose petals lead to a complex cider mid-palate, finishing dry and very smooth.

They use wild foraged botanicals in this line of their ciders.  This one is made from Honeycrisp apples and sweet Briar roses.

Cidery Description:  At WildCraft Cider Works, we pride ourselves on developing innovative, artisanal dry ciders inspired by traditional and wild methodology. Insisting on whole fruit and botanicals grown in Oregon to create pure ciders without artificial flavorings, sulfites or added sweeteners. WildCraft cider is uniquely dry cider unpasteurized & bottle conditioned. We consider ourselves stewards of the outdoors; always acting consciously to ensure that our ingredients are regional.

WildCraft sets themselves apart from most other cideries by using mostly fruit from old homesteads that would otherwise go unused, plus unwanted fruit from community drives.  All their fruit is Oregon-grown and pressed at the cidery.  In addition to ciders, they also have a line of perries (made from pears).  They avoid the use of sulfites in their ciders, which is quite rare and can be difficult to pull off.

WildCraft has a tap house at their Eugene OR cidery with 10 of their ciders & perries on tap at a time, plus they have a full bar (including cider cocktails), and a full farm to table restaurant!  This article from Feb 2015 has a nice writeup on them.

Price:  n/a (but retails for $6.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Facebook and word of mouth

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First Impression:  Slightly hazy light straw yellow with the slightest pink tint.  Light carbonation.  Smells like a dry acidic cider, wild fermented, with some floral & herbal qualities.

Opinion:  Completely dry.  It has some sweet floral qualities, yet it is lacking in residual sugar.  Moderate acidity and astringency.  Mild bitterness, sourness, tartness, and funk.  Light bodied.  Moderate length finish.  Same as Snake River Rye, I found it a bit alcohol-forward (although it is 7.5% ABV, which is higher than average), but slightly less so.

Most Similar to:  Two of the floral ciders I’ve had before have been commercial and on the sweeter side, Angry Orchard Elderflower and Woodchuck Out on a Limb Oopsy Daisy (chamomile), plus one that was craft but still on the sweeter side, Finnriver Honey Meadow (lemon balm & chamomile).  This one was on the other side of the sweetness spectrum, and the floral flavor was even lighter.

Closing Notes:   Wild Rose was quite an interesting cider, but it wasn’t really to my liking.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I wasn’t a huge fan, but I imagine a bit less sour, funk, & wild fermentation flavor and/or a bit more residual sugar would have helped.  I don’t mind dry, but it has to be a certain type of cider for it to work for me.  I did however enjoy the light floral flavor.  I opened this (and four other WildCraft ciders) at a cider tasting I had, and two folks really loved it.  I think people looking for a unique floral cider on the dry end of the spectrum who aren’t opposed to some sourness and funk should give this a try.  Just because I wasn’t a huge fan doesn’t mean you won’t be.  I think WildCraft is really on to something with making a unique local product.  I look forward to trying the rest of the ciders that came in my sample box!

Have you tried any WildCraft cider?  What did you think?