Boonville Bite Hard – Updated Review

Review of Bite Hard from the Boonville Cider House.  I actually reviewed this cider about a month ago (see here), but Roger Scommegna, founder of Boonville Cider House, contacted me on Facebook and asked me to give it another try.  He sent me a lovely sample box with not one but three bottles of Bite Hard, a t-shirt, and a fact sheet.  This time around the cider is bottled not canned, so I’m curious to see if I spot any differences.

He said: “Same variety, but I think I need to explain why it is terrific cider. We use apples and yeast, nothing else. Most cider is made from concentrate and flavoring. It’s truly just a soda. Cider is wine, and you would never drink a wine made from concentrate, and it’s illegal to add flavors to wine, so we make our cider like wine. We ferment dry with two different champagne yeasts, then finish it like Sauvignon Blanc. Our cider is delicate and clean. It’s actually harder to make it that way. I’ll send you a bomber and try it out of a wine glass. Thanks!”

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This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by the Boonville Cider House.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received this 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.

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Cider:  Bite Hard
Cidery:  Boonville Cider House
Cidery Location:  Boonville CA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  22oz glass bottle

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Availability:  CA, AZ, WA, MN, WI, IL, MI, NY, IN, CO, and MO

Cider Description:  Bite Hard Apple Cider is a crisp, semi dry cider, slow fermented from heirloom apples in an English tradition. Made from tannic and full bodied fruit, this cider carries its distinctive BITE with a clean and unique apple finish and citrus notes. We take the time to seek out and preserve the best that Autumn has to offer. 

Cidery Description:  MAKING CIDER & TAKING NAMES SINCE 2010!  With an orchard first mentality, Boonville Cider House uses its favorite varieties of apples to put the finest cider into every can, bottle, and keg. Made with gumption, and drank with gusto, the Boonville Cider House is less a place and more a state of mind. So crack a can and taste Autumn in Boonville, taste us wassailing beneath the stars, and taste the hard work and great times that go into every gallon.

Additional Information from Boonville:  We started in a small town in Northern California called Boonville. Home to Anderson Valley Brewing Co, Roederer Estates and ever growing list of fantastic wineries…We use a blend of Pippins and Russets mostly – hand picked, no windfalls. The goal has been to make a simple and pure cider. Pick apples, squeeze into juice, add yeast, ferment dry, enjoy heartily. We believe the best ciders have a short list of ingredients. 

They also shared this blog post written by the founder & cider maker (titled Ruminations on Our Ethics of Fermentation).

Price:  n/a
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Straw yellow, no haze.  Little carbonation with medium sized bubbles.  Light dry apple scent.

Opinion:  Dry to semi-dry.  High acidity.  Moderate tartness.  Light astringency.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Low carbonation.  Light bodied.  Clean and refreshing taste.  Moderate length finish with acidity & tartness.  I pick up citrus, green apple, and tropical notes.  I definitely recognize it was made using champagne yeast.  I’m surprised how different this tastes than I remember (and noted before).  I didn’t pick up any bitterness this time, the tartness level seems higher, and it even seems a touch sweeter.  I suspect it may be a different batch.  Craft cider can vary significantly batch to batch.  I wonder if bottle vs. can makes a difference too.  Also, I’ve always noticed that free beverages/food taste better!

Most Similar to:  Some other drier flagship ciders.  This actually reminds me of Attila Scourge of God that I had recently (review here).

Closing Notes:   I was more impressed this time around.  I liked the acidity level and tartness, that it lacked bitterness, and that it isn’t very sweet.  However, this still isn’t my favorite type of cider…I usually like bolder flavors and some richness in a cider (such as found with English, French, barrel aged, etc, ciders).  I think bottles instead of cans is a good route for them, as they seem to be going a bit more higher end, comparing to wine, drier, etc.  However, a lot of craft ciders are going the can route, and it seems to be popular.  I look forward to enjoying the other two bottles!

Have you tried Boonville Bite Hard?  What did you think?