Avid Watermelon Rhubarb

Review of Avid (previously Atlas) Cider’s Watermelon Rhubarb.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve previously had their Hard Apple CiderHard Blackberry CiderPom-CherryHard Apricot CiderCinnamon PearSession CiderDragonfruit, and Pineapple Mango.

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Cider:  Watermelon Rhubarb
Cidery:  Avid Cider
Cidery Location:  Bend, Oregon
ABV:  6.0%
How Supplied:  22oz bottles
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with watermelon & rhubarb, and beet juice for color

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Availability:  seasonal, special release, probably only in the Northwest

Cider Description:  The simple and natural flavors of fresh pressed watermelon and the fleshy stalks of Michigan grown Rhubarb complement each other in this clean, crisp and refreshing cider.

Cidery Description:  Inspired by the landscape, culture, and the abundance of fruit in the North West, AVID Cider Company, a family run business, is dedicated to creating hard cider using sustainably sourced and local ingredients. AVID Cider Co. was founded as a result of the dissatisfaction with the lack of variety and excessively dry or cloyingly sweet ciders available in the market place in 2013. We saw the opportunity to create hard cider that better balances the elements of a flavor profile, and satiates our thirst for a cider that is “just right.” 

They have a cider house in Portland Oregon.

Price:  $7.49
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing – I’m a fan of watermelon (although admittedly not of rhubarb), so I wanted to give it a try

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First Impression:  Medium red hue.  No carbonation.  General fruity scent.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  Hints of bitterness.  No sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of watermelon, strawberry, and rhubarb.  Moderate length finish.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  Fruity, but not too tart or sweet.

Most Similar to:  Fresh Cut Watermelon or Locust Watermelon, but with rhubarb added

Closing Notes:  I would have been a bigger fan of this without the bitterness of the rhubarb.

Have you tried Avid Watermelon Rhubarb?  What did you think?

Atlas Pineapple Mango

Review of Atlas Cider’s Pineapple Mango, a summer seasonal release.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve previously sampled their AppleBlackberryApricotCinnamon PearPom-CherrySession Cider, and Dragonfruit cider.

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Cider:  Pineapple Mango
Cidery:  Atlas Cider
Cidery Location:  Bend Oregon
ABV:  6.0%
How Supplied:  22oz bottles
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples with pineapple and mango

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Availability:  Since May 2017, in ID, OR, NV, and WA (summer seasonal).

Cider Description:  Warning: You will become spellbound by this Siren’s irresistible blend of tropical pineapple and mango.  The tart pineapple is skillfully balanced with the mangos sweetness and flavor.  And although she looks like a sweet treat, we targeted an off-dry but fruit-forward profile that showcases the aromas and flavors of the fruit.  A non-cloying clean finish leaves all mortals lusting for more.

Here is a funny video they made about it.

Cidery Description:  ATLAS Cider Co. produces authentic hard cider fermented from 100% fresh pressed fruit from our region. Partnering with Northwest farmers to source our fruit has been a priority of ours from the beginning. Our ciders start with a base of NW fruit that are pressed to achieve a balance of sweetness, tartness, and dryness. We forge our ciders in the heart of the NW in Bend, OR.

Price:  $6.99
Where Bought:  The Cave in Kirkland WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I saw Atlas’ Facebook post in May and had been looking out for it, but didn’t spot any in the wild until this month.

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Low to moderate carbonation.  Smells of tart tropical fruit.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, tannins, sourness, or funk.  Notes of pineapple, mango, and citrus.  Quick finish.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Low complexity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  Yum!  This is a perfect sessionable but flavorful summer cider.  I liked that this was a bit less sweet than their year round cider line up (its most similar to their Apricot, but still a tad drier).  However, I wouldn’t have minded this being a semi-sweet either.

Most Similar to:  Most of the other tropical fruit ciders I’ve tried have been sweeter, such as Jester & Judge Pineapple Express, Locust Chili Pineapple, Schilling Pineapple Passion, Schilling Trouble in Paradise, Locust MangoBull Run MangoReverend Nat’s The Passion, and Reverend Nat’s Viva La Pineapple.  However, Portland Cider Pineapple and Elemental Mango were the most similar in level of sweetness, but less flavorful.

Closing Notes:  I imagine this will be a hit, probably more so than their last seasonal release, Dragonfruit (which I didn’t think was as likely to be a crowd-pleaser as it had an unexpected bitterness).

Have you tried Atlas Pineapple Mango?  What did you think?

Atlas Dragonfruit Cider

Review of Atlas Cider’s Dragonfruit Cider.  This is their newest summer seasonal release, made with dragonfruit (which is the fruit of certain types of cactus, said to taste like kiwi and pear).  I’ve tried most of their line-up; see here for previous reviews.

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Cider:  Dragonfruit Cider
Cidery:  Atlas Cider
Cidery Location:  Bend Oregon
ABV:  6.0%
How Supplied:  22oz clear glass bottles
Style:  American craft cider made from dessert apples, infused with dragon fruit and prickly pear juice

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Availability: Seasonably in ID, OR, NV, and WA.

Cider Description:  A long time ago when dragons roamed the land, soldiers were sent out to bring back one thing for their emperor – the prized Dragon Fruit. Legend has it that as he thrust his sword in the heart of the dragon, fire and fruit was breathed out in his last breath. The fruits cactus like neon-magenta skin and lime green scales very closely resemble the flesh of a mythical dragon. It is believed that those who feast on the flesh, which has a mild kiwi/sorbet flavor, will be endowed with the strength and ferocity of the dragon. Side effects might include breathing fire and other unknowns.

Cidery Description:  ATLAS Cider Co. produces authentic hard cider fermented from 100% fresh pressed fruit from our region. Partnering with Northwest farmers to source our fruit has been a priority of ours from the beginning. Our ciders start with a base of NW fruit that are pressed to achieve a balance of sweetness, tartness, and dryness. We forge our ciders in the heart of the NW in Bend, OR.

Price:  $6.50
Where Bought:  Special Brews in Lynnwood WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing, although I had been on the look out for it since reading online about its release

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First Impression:  Orange-pink hue.  Nearly still.  Smells of strawberry-watermelon-candy.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Mild tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Mild to moderate bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  A hint of tannins.  Strawberry, kiwi, passionfruit, lime, and pineapple notes.   Quick finish of the flavor, but some lingering bitterness.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  Although I enjoyed this cider, the taste was a bit of a let down after the intensely fruity scent.  I was surprised by the bitterness, although that did add some depth to the flavor.  There was even a hint of tannins/astringency.

Most Similar to:  Other exotically fruity ciders.  Ciders with quince come to mind, such as from Eaglemount and Cider Head.

Closing Notes:   This is a unique cider.  Although its quite common to add fruit, hops, spices, etc, to ciders made from dessert apples, this is the first I’ve heard of with dragon fruit (at least in the U.S….I see one mention online of a cider with dragonfruit in Cambodia).  I’m surprised they were able to keep it so affordable.

Have you tried Atlas Dragonfruit Cider?  What did you think?

Atlas Session Cider

Review of Atlas Cider Company’s Session Cider.  I’ve tried most of their lineup (see here).  This is their newest release, their first canned cider, and their first available in a multipack.

Cider:  Session Cider
Cidery:  Atlas Cider Company
Cidery Location:  Bend Oregon
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz cans
Style:  American craft sessionable cider made from dessert apples

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Availability:  Year round in ID, OR, NV, and WA.

Cider Description:  During WW1 British legislation limited drinking to 2 sessions, lunch from 11am-3pm and evening from 7pm -11pm. During these 4 hour sessions workers wanted a highly drinkable beer with a lower abv, around 4-5%, so they could return to work without being drunk and disorderly. Some workers are said to have up to 8 pints per session. A true session drink also does not necessarily mean it will have less flavor like a light beer. We are aware that our session cider does contain 5.5% abv; this is above the threshold of a session beer, but being a cider it is still significantly lighter, just as flavorful, and more drinkable than other craft ciders with higher ABV’s. Thus we thought our apple in 6 pack-cans was the perfect “session cider” Enjoy.

Cidery Description:  ATLAS Cider Co. produces authentic hard cider fermented from 100% fresh pressed fruit from our region. Partnering with Northwest farmers to source our fruit has been a priority of ours from the beginning. Our ciders start with a base of NW fruit that are pressed to achieve a balance of sweetness, tartness, and dryness. We forge our ciders in the heart of the NW in Bend, OR.

Price:  <$2 / single can (retails for $10.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  Special Brews in Lynnwood WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I had read about its release through Atlas Cider Co.’s Facebook page, but this was the first time I saw single cans available, so I picked one up.

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First Impression:  Pale straw yellow.  Low carbonation upon pouring.  Smells like crisp apples, citrus, honey, and apricots.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Nearly still.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Notes of honey, citrus, tropical fruit, green apple, and muscat grapes.  Quick finish.  Moderate apple influence.  Very high sessionability.  Best enjoyed very cold.

My Opinion:  One of my favorite sessionable/canned ciders so far.  It is more flavorful than many are, probably as it is a bit on the sweeter side, and was back sweetened (but avoids the overly apple juice flavor which I’ve often found).  For being medium bodied, it still tasted very light (probably due to its crispness and light flavors).  It also had some nice complexity and flavor notes, which surprised me.  I also found it lacked the watered down type flavor which I often taste with similar ciders.

Most Similar to:  Other slightly sweeter flagship/sessionable ciders, such as Atlas Hard Apple Cider (in 22oz bottles, and slightly different than this one…sweeter, less complex, and higher carbonation, Crispin Original, Flatbed Cider Crisp Apple, and Henry Hotspur’s Hard Pressed for Cider.

Closing Notes:   I wouldn’t mind keeping this cider in the fridge.  Session Cider is a probably a close second to their Apricot as far as my favorite Atlas cider.  The only thing I would change is to increase the carbonation.

Have you tried Atlas Session Cider?  What did you think?

Atlas Cider Company Hard Apricot Cider

Review of the Hard Apricot variety from Atlas Cider Company.  I’ve now tried all four of their varieties which are available by the bottle, Apple, Blackberry, Pom-Cherry, and Apricot.

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Cider:  Hard Apricot Cider
Cidery:  Atlas Cider Company
Cidery Location:  Bend OR
ABV:  6.2%
How Supplied:  22oz clear glass bottle

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Availability:  Year-round in OR, WA, & ID.

Cider Description:  Pressed golden orange apricots dominate this uniquely tart cider. The Apricots add a subtle flavor that is like combining a peach and a plum but not quite as sweet. The Romans and Greeks had it right when they used apricots as a main ingredient of their drink known as the “Nectar of the Gods”. The driest of our ciders leaves a lasting round finish that calls for more. May the Gods be appeased.

Cidery Description:  ATLAS Cider Co. produces authentic hard cider fermented from 100% fresh pressed fruit from our region. Partnering with Northwest farmers to source our fruit has been a priority of ours from the beginning. Our ciders start with a base of NW varieties that are pressed to achieve a balance of sweetness, tartness, and dryness. We forge our ciders in the heart of the NW in Bend, OR.  Fermented from 100% fresh pressed fruit.  All fruit from our local OR/WA region.  No use of anything artificial or colorings.  Balanced with just a touch of sweetness.  Naturally Gluten free.  22oz bottles and kegs available.

Price:  $6
Where Bought:  My husband picked this up for me at Albertsons.  Actually, he brought home all three Atlas varieties they had there!  Apple, Apricot, and Blackberry.
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  It showed up in the fridge (although I’ve seen them at almost every bottle shop in my area).

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First Impression:  Straw yellow with a hint of orange.  Light carbonation and foam.  Smells like apple, apricot, peach, and tropical/pineapple juices.

Opinion:  Semi-sweet.  Bold apple, apricot, peach, and tropical/pineapple flavors.  Very juice-like.  Well-hodden alcohol.  Light tartness and sourness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, astringency, tannins, etc.  Light bodied. Almost no carbonation. Quick finish.  Crisp and refreshing.  A bit one-dimensional.

Most Similar to:  Woodinville Ciderworks Tropical, which I tried at Cider Summit Seattle 2015 (tasting notes here).  It also had bold fruitiness and was juice-like but I was a big fan.

Closing Notes:   I’m not a huge fruity juice-like cider fan, but I quite liked this.  Its an easy drinking cider which would be especially nice in summer.  My husband was also a huge fan.  I can see why Atlas is so popular!  They have tons of Facebook fans at least.  I think this cider had the best flavor of the four Atlas varieties, but overall I think I liked the Apple best as it was a touch more complex.  Maybe someday I’ll get to try some of their special releases, which mostly seem to be available at their taproom.

Check out their Vimeo site.  It currently includes three videos, including a behind the scenes look at the details to operating a cider company.

Have you tried Atlas Apricot?  What did you think?

Atlas Blackberry

Review of Atlas Hard Blackberry Cider.  This cider appears to be made from fermented apple juice, then blackberry, elderberry, & black currant juices are added after fermentation.

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Cider:  Hard Blackberry Cider
Cidery:  Atlas Cider Co.
Cidery Location:  Bend OR
ABV:  6.2%
How Supplied:  22oz clear glass bottle

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Availability:  Year-round in OR, WA, & ID.

Cider Description:  Oregon has a state flag, song, flower, and this my friends is our nomination for a state cider.  A deep hue of purple fills the glass as we took zero short-cuts with this fine blend of blackberries and elderberries.  The tartness of the blackberries is rounded out by the complex characteristics of the elderberries.  Filled with tannins this cider leaves a delightful fry and rich finish.  Cheers to NW berries.

Cidery Description:  ATLAS Cider Co. produces authentic hard cider fermented from 100% fresh pressed fruit from our region. Partnering with Northwest farmers to source our fruit has been a priority of ours from the beginning. Our ciders start with a base of NW varieties that are pressed to achieve a balance of sweetness, tartness, and dryness. We forge our ciders in the heart of the NW in Bend, OR.  Fermented from 100% fresh pressed fruit.  All fruit from our local OR/WA region.  No use of anything artificial or colorings.  Balanced with just a touch of sweetness.  Naturally Gluten free.  22oz bottles and kegs available.

Price:  $5.50 (usually runs $7 though)
Where Bought:  My husband picked this up for me at Albertsons.  Actually, he brought home all three Atlas varieties they had!  Apple, Apricot, and Blackberry.  I did a review of the flagship Apple variety awhile back.  Atlas also makes a fourth variety, Pomegranate-Cherry.
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  It showed up in the fridge lol.

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First Impression:  Deep berry purple red.  Foam rim.  Little carbonation.  Strong berry-grape scent.

Opinion:  Semi-sweet.  Fairly tart, especially to finish.  Dan at Atlas told me the majority of the apples used in their ciders are granny smith, which I find quite interesting (they say it gives their ciders “a nice flavorful punch that are lacking in many”).  I pick up the berry notes (blackberries & elderberries), but the black currant tastes more like grape to me.  I found this cider to be quite simple and juice-like.  Thin bodied and quick finishing.  I think I would have liked more carbonation and acidity.  It was however refreshing and flavorful.

Most Similar to:  Other berry-forward ciders.  Finnriver Lavender Black Currant is a favorite of mine.

Closing Notes:   I look forward to trying their Apricot variety I already have at home; apparently it is their driest offering.  I enjoyed the Apple better than the Blackberry.  I think its awesome that Atlas uses only 100% Northwest juice and no artificial ingredients, and can still be sold at a very reasonable price point.  Plus they are family owned and operated (I give them major kudos on that one especially as family is tough enough to get along with at home sometimes!).  They have a huge almost cult-like following, especially on Facebook.  Overall Atlas Blackberry a solid berry cider but I’m not truly impressed.  However, I’ve discovered I’m not a huge fruity cider fan…I tend to like a richer bold flavor, unique, barrel aged, etc.

Check out their Vimeo site.  It currently includes three videos, including a behind the scenes look at the details to operating a cider company.

Have you tried Atlas Blackberry?  What did you think?

Red Tank Happy Cider

Review of Red Tank Happy Cider.  This is currently Red Tank’s only cider available outside of kegs.  However, they have numerous varieties available on tap, and plan to have their Roughneck Cider available in cans in November.  What vibrant packaging!

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Cider:  Happy Cider
Cidery:  Red Tank
Cidery Location:  Bend OR
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  16oz cans (four pack, although I bought this one individually)

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There is a lack of information on the can, although unfortunately that is quite common.  Actually, I couldn’t even find much information online on this cider.  So, I e-mailed the cidery.

Availability:  Limited to OR and WA (ID and Northern CA soon)

Information from Drew Wilson at Red Tank Cider Company:

Cider Description:  An authentic, powerful apple profile with a crisp, clean acid background. Balanced with just enough sweetness to bring it all together. We wanted a cider that made us Happy, so we made one. We’re not making any health claims, it’s just really good.  Made only from 100% fresh-pressed NW apples.
Happy Cider is currently our only packaged product because we thought it a very approachable cider.  It is fruit forward and clean. Fresh pressed apple juice and yeast are our only ingredients in Happy Cider. Our juice is made up of a blend of table apple juice (Red and Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, etc.)

Cidery Description:  Northwest craft cider.  Born from years of industry experience, Red Tank Cider creates real North West hard cider. We make cider because we have a serious, uncontrollable passion for it. We won’t stop. It’s not supposed to be easy. That’s why it tastes so good. We practice sustainable techniques in our cider house. We use only apples, yeast, and natural sulfites to make our cider. We do not put in any chemical additives and present our craft in its natural form.

Red Tank Cider is the first cider company in Bend Oregon.  We started this company with knowledge and sweat.  We have not taken out any loans or taken on any investors in our effort to bring the people cider.  From the people for the people.  We currently produce around 700 barrels a year with our eye on expanding that to over 2,000 within the next 18 months.

Additional Notes:  Bend OR has two cideries, Red Tank and Atlas.  Red Tank has a tasting room open Friday 4-6pm and by appointment.  Atlas has a tasting room open Wed-Sat 11am-11pm and Sun-Tues 11am-7:30pm.  I reviewed Atlas’ flagship cider awhile back.  Atlas has an especially large following online for their size.

Price:  $3.79 / can (runs about $14 for a full four pack)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I’d seen this variety for awhile but skipped buying it due to the price.  However, I saw some talk online that it was good, and I was curious.

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First Impression:  Medium amber.  Moderate carbonation upon pouring.  Sweet cooked apple scent.

Opinion:  Between semi-dry and semi-sweet.  Clean, smooth, crisp, and refreshing.  Moderate tartness, bitterness, and acidity levels.  This cider seemed to go almost flat quite quickly.  Medium length finish with some lingering bitterness (although I’ll admit I’m sensitive to bitterness).  Some caramel and vanilla notes.  However, I found the flavor overall to be quite mild, almost watered down tasting.  Also, it was on the boring side for my tastes.  I tend to like bold & unique ciders though, and this is more of a plain flagship type cider.  Additionally, it seemed to have a lot of apple “juice” flavor for not being made from concentrate.  Overall I think its commendable that Red Tank is making a cider with 100% fresh pressed local juice without additives and without too much sweetness.  It just didn’t wow me, especially for the cost.

Most Similar to:  Other local flagship ciders I’ve tried.  The one that especially comes to mind is from HUB, which I have also reviewed here, probably due to the sweetness level and the lingering bitterness.  Another one is 2 Towns Bright Cider.

Closing Notes:   Although it didn’t impress me, Happy Cider is however a solid choice and I’d be very interested to try some of their other ciders in the future.

Have you tried Red Tank Happy Cider?  What did you think?