Review of Grand Illusion Hard Cider’s Blue Illusion, a blueberry-lavender cider. I previously tried their Mystic Citra Pineapple.
Cider: Blue Illusion
Cidery: Grand Illusion Hard Cider
Cidery Location: Carlisle PA
How Supplied: six pack of 12oz cans (and draft)
Style: American craft cider from dessert apples, with blueberries and English lavender
>>This is a review of a sample can provided to Cider Says by Grand Illustion. 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.<<
Availability: in Pennsylvania, primarily at their taproom, but soon, at some other locations
Cider Description: This well-balanced blueberry-lavender cider offers a pleasant sweetness and a light berry fruitiness; it finishes with a touch of English lavender.
Cidery Description: We are Grand Illusion, a hard cider production company located in Carlisle, PA. We use fresh pressed apples from Adams and York County to create magical ciders for all to enjoy. Our taproom in downtown Carlisle has become a destination, with 15 ciders, 5 beers, and 8 wines – all on draft and all from Pennsylvania.
Here is an article from a local newspaper on the cidery. They serve both their own ciders and ciders from other cideries at their taproom; see their tap list here.
Price: n/a (retails for ~ $44 / case, likely ~ $11 / six pack)
Where Bought: n/a
Where Drank: home
How Found: the cidery owners contacted me
First Impression: Lovely purple-blue hue. Low carbonation. Smells of lavender with a hint of berry.
Tasting Notes: Semi-dry. Light bodied. Moderate tartness. High acidity. Hints of bitterness. No sourness, funk, or tannins. Notes of citrus and a hint of berry. Moderate length finish with a hint of hops? (I had this after one of their hopped ciders, but my glass was clean, I also picked it up straight out of the can, and my husband was able to taste it too). Low apple flavor, flavor intensity, and complexity. High sessionability.
My Opinion: I liked it, but I would have liked more sweetness and flavor. I only picked up the lavender in the scent, where it was quite prevalent, so it was a bit of a letdown for it to not transfer to the flavor. However, I’ve had that happen with quite a few ciders I’ve tried. The finish with hops was unexpected. The flavor combination was nice though, and it was quite drinkable, plus for me it was more sessionable than their two hopped varieties I tried, due to the lack of bitterness.
Most Similar to: Greenwood Lavender Blackberry. Or, a less sweet and lower flavor intensity version of Finnriver Lavender Black Currant (which I really enjoy). I was surprised upon searching my list that I’ve tried at least 7 ciders with lavender and 6 ciders with blueberry; I would have guessed less.
Closing Notes: Per Cider Culture, this was Grand Illusion’s first release, in April. Next up I have their hopped grapefruit variety.
Have you tried lavender infused cider? What did you think?