Red Tank Roughneck

Review of Red Tank’s Roughneck.  Its my second time trying it (I previously tried it on draft; see here), and I’ve also tried their Happy Cider, Yukon Cornelius, Sour CherryTropical, and Pear Bear.

Cider:  Roughneck
Cidery:  Red Tank
Cidery Location:  Bend Oregon
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  four pack of 16oz cans (and draft)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples

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Availability:  Year round in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Northern California

Cider Description:  A powerfully complex cider blending all elements into each storied sip. Hints of yeast, earthy sour notes and an almost dry profile keep you wanting more.Our Roughneck Cider is for the hard working people of the NW who know that you can’t have the “sweet” without the “dry”. This is serious cider for a good time.

Cidery Description:  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.

They have a tasting room in Bend Oregon.

Price:  ~$2.50 / single can
Where Bought:  Special Brews in Lynnwood WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Nearly still (very low carbonation).  Smells like acidic apple juice.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of apple juice, green apple, and a hint of floral.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate apple flavor.  High sessionability.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  This is a typical flagship apple-forward semi-dry cider.  I thought it was rather average.

Most Similar to:  2 Towns Bright Cider, Seattle Cider Semi-Sweet, Rambling Route Yakima Cider, Portland Cider Kinda Dry, and Zeffer Crisp Apple.

Closing Notes:   I think I prefer their Happy Cider; it seemed more flavorful and complex (also, slightly sweeter).

Have you tried Red Tank Roughneck?  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?

10 Barrel Brewing Company Bubbly Hard Apple Cider

Review of 10 Barrel Brewing Company’s “Bubbly” Hard Apple Cider, from Bend Oregon.  This is made by a brewery and is their first cider.

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Cider:  Bubbly Hard Apple Cider
Cidery:  10 Barrel Brewing Company (owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev)
Cidery Location:  Bend Oregon
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American craft hard cider made by a brewery from dessert apples

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Availability:  Oregon and Washington

Cider Description:  Fix the paper jam in the printer? Finally topped your moms candy crush score? Time to break out the bubbly! The perfect complement to celebrate anything in life.

Bubbly is the creation of 10 Barrel brewer Tonya Cornett, who handpicked Pink Lady and Granny Smith apples from a small farm in Yakima, Washington, to create a blend of juice. Tonya then fermented it out with a wine yeast to create strong champagne characteristics. Hence the name Bubbly.

Made from Pink Lady and Granny Smith apples.

Price:  runs $10.99 / six pack
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I had read about this online awhile back, but my husband spotted it and brought a bottle home.

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First Impression:  Very pale straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation upon pouring.  Smells very mild, of apple juice, citrus, and a mild chemical type smell.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Still (no carbonation).  Medium bodied.  Mild tartness, acidity, and bitterness.  No sourness, funk, or tannins.  Juice-like and yeast forward, with hints of honey, citrus, and green grape notes.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate sessionability.  Low apple influence.

My Opinion:  Unfortunately this was undrinkable for me and two others who tried it.  The end of the flavor was just very “off”…it didn’t particularly taste like it had gone bad, but was just very weird and chemical.  Plus I was expecting more carbonation.

Most Similar to:  Nothing I’ve tried.

Closing Notes:   Disappointing, although I didn’t have too high of expectations for a cider made by a brewery.  There aren’t too many reviews online, but they don’t seem to be glowing.

Have you tried Bubbly?  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?

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?