BX Press The Bandit cider with cherry

Review of The BX Press’ The Bandit, cider with cherry.  It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.

Photo Feb 08, 5 36 23 PM.jpg

Cider:  The Bandit, cider with cherry
Cidery:  The BX Press
Cidery Location:  Vernon B.C. Canada
ABV:  7.2%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  Canadian craft cider from a variety of apples, with cherry

Photo Feb 08, 5 36 35 PM Photo Feb 08, 5 36 54 PM Photo Feb 08, 5 37 07 PM

Availability:  probably only in B.C. Canada (see here), plus direct sales in Canada

Cider Description:  This unique cider with cherry is fermented from over 12 varieties of apples and has natural BC cherry added to it just before bottling. Due to the added cherry, this cider is slightly sweeter than our others, but balanced with the crisp acidity of the apples, and underlying complexity from the cherry.  See here for more info.

Cidery Description:  We are 3rd-Generation Apple Growers trying something new.  Or depending how you look at it – something old.  Real Cider – made from apples, has been around for centuries – yet in North America the word cider has been so obscured that most no longer know what to expect.  We invite you to try real cider, made from apples. Not watered down, not artificially flavoured. Not sugary sweet or cloying.  Our ciders are natural, refreshing, and a true expression of the apples they are made from. They are unpretentious, yet have enough character to be served alongside the finest meal. Did we mention we grow all the apples we use in our ciders – nearly 30 varieties – right on the same orchard the cidery is located?  We hope you will come visit our tasting room and experience real cider.

Price:  ~ $10 CAN ?
Where Bought:  Victoria B.C.
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  on a cruise port stop (side note – I picked up about 2 cases of cider on that trip in Sept, and I only have 1 or 2 left now)

Photo Feb 08, 5 38 37 PM.jpg

First Impression:  Deep purple hue, reminiscent of red grape wine.  Very low carbonation.  Smells mild, dry, of cherry.

Tasting Notes:  On the drier side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Hints of tannins.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Notes of cherry with hints of tart green apple and lemon.  Moderate length finish.  Low apple flavor.  Low complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it.  A tad dry for my tastes, and drier than most other cherry ciders I’ve had, but very fruity, and not too tart.

Most Similar to:  although I’ve tried over 30 cherry ciders (see here), this one was unique, as it was drier than average, yet had more cherry flavor than average, a rarely seen combination

Closing Notes:  This was one of my favorite B.C. ciders so far, as so many I’ve tried were super dry, tart, and bland.  My absolute favorite however is probably Central City Limited Edition Imperial though.

Have you tried BX Press Bandit?  What did you think?

Windfall Jackpot

Review of Windfall Cider’s Jackpot.  It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.

Cider:  Jackpot
Cidery:  Windfall Cider
Cidery Location:  British Columbia, Canada
ABV:  7.0%
How Supplied:  473ml cans
Style:  Canadian craft cider from dessert apples, dry

Photo Feb 03, 5 46 09 PM Photo Feb 03, 5 46 20 PM

Availability:  probably only in B.C. Canada, primarily in Vancouver (see here)

Cidery Description:  Windfall is an urban cidery based in Vancouver. We believe in making your own luck, and we’re here to turn the world of cider on its head. We find the best BC apples, the purest juice, and experiment with old-world techniques to create a one-of-a-kind cider like you’ve probably never tasted before. Like a little sip of good fortune in every can.

Cider Description:  You’ve hit the big one with this dry cider, balanced and crisp with a bit of sweetness, Jackpot is made from a premium blend of BC dessert apples with a hint of tropical fruit on the palate.  Like a a little sip of good fortune in every can.

Price:  ~ $4 CAN / 1 can ?
Where Bought:  Victoria B.C. Canada
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing, while on a cruise port stop

Photo Feb 03, 5 45 54 PM.jpg

First Impression:  Very light straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells very mild, of dry tart apple.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of green apple and lemon with a hint of pineapple.  Moderate tart finish.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I thought this was average.  Nothing wrong with average though, as everybody doesn’t like every cider.  Plenty drinkable, but a bit bland, as expected for a dry cider made from dessert apples.

Most Similar to:  Seattle Cider Dry, or a drier version of Far West Orchard Blend 1

Closing Notes:  This is their flagship cider, and possibly the only one currently available, per their website.

Have you tried Windfall Jackpot?  What did you think?

Fraser Valley Honey

Review of Fraser Valley Cider Co’s Honey.  It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.

Photo Jan 25, 5 33 37 PM.jpg

Cider:  Honey
Cidery:  Fraser Valley Cider Co.
Cidery Location:  Langley, British Columbia, Canada
ABV:  7.5%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  Canadian craft cider with honey

photo jan 25, 5 33 50 pm photo jan 25, 5 34 07 pm photo jan 25, 5 33 59 pm

Availability:  probably only in British Columbia (see here)

Cider Description:  Our honey cider balances fruity apple aromas with the slightly spicy notes of wildflower honey from our farm hives. Our bees have done the hard work so you don’t have to – relax and enjoy.

Cidery Description:  After a 20 year career in engineering I was looking for a new challenge.   While mulling over a few ideas I took a course on cider making to improve my home cider skills and thought ….hey wait a minute!  And so a project was born.  We found our 12 acre farm in January 2014, picked out the site of our future cidery and made an offer.  In 2015 we built the cidery and with the help of friends we planted an orchard of 1800 trees.  With over 25 different varieties of english and french cider apples our aim is to grow the types of apples that make the highest quality cider.  Now we’re in our third season of operation and what a journey!  We’ve poured a lot of cider, had some fabulous parties in the tent and made lots of new friends along the way.  Each year we increase production (and still can’t keep up!) and this year we pressed the first fruit from our own orchard for a special estate blend cider.  The days are long but we’re living our dream and we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!

Price:  ~ $16 CAN
Where Bought:  Victoria B.C.
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  during a cruise port stop

Photo Jan 25, 5 35 35 PM.jpg

First Impression:  Hazy yellow hue.  Smells mild, of honey.  Low carbonation.

Tasting Notes:  On the drier side of semi-sweet.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, tannins, or funk.  Notes of honey, sweet lemonade, and green apple.  Moderate finish length with a hint of sourness.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Low to moderate complexity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I really enjoyed this.  Nice flavor and mid-level sweetness.  So many of the other B.C. ciders I’ve tried have been rather dry, tart, and bland.

Most Similar to:  Sea Cider Birds & Bees, except lower ABV

Closing Notes:  I hope to find more ciders from this cidery next time I’m in B.C.

Have you tried Fraser Valley Honey?  What did you think?

Nomad Cider The Original

Review of Nomad Cider’s The Original.  It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.

Cider:  The Original
Cidery:  Nomad Cider
Cidery Location:  Summerland, British Columbia, Canada
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  473ml cans
Style:  Canadian craft cider from dessert & heritage apples

photo jan 04, 5 58 01 pm photo jan 04, 5 58 28 pm

Availability:  probably only in B.C. Canada (see here)

Cider Description:  Crafted with care using local, fresh-pressed heritage cider and dessert apples. An honest Okanagan-Similkameen expression with it’s crisp and refreshing fruit forward apple aroma and palate. Primarily fermented with natural wild yeast.

Cidery Description:  We are nomads, endlessly exploring food, drink and culture. Our thirst for knowledge and new experiences continually inspire us to create great tasting regional centric ciders.  We are a farm-to-glass Summerland, BC craft cidery passionate about making cider the way it was traditionally crafted; by hand with only fresh pressed apples and pears.  We are devoted to producing exceptional cider made only from local apples and pears grown by us and our dedicated farming partners in the Okanagan-Similkameen region of BC.  Our focus is to be nomadic in global cider culture by stylistically representing cider regions from around the world.

Price:  ~ $3-4 canadian / 1 can?
Where Bought:  some bottle shop in downtown Victoria B.C.
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  We were on a cruise port stop and visited a number of bottle shops while walking around downtown.

photo jan 04, 5 57 39 pm

First Impression:  Low carbonation.  Light straw yellow.  Smells of sharp dry apple.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate to high tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of sharp apple, lemon, and a hint of pineapple, with a bit of a chemical-like taste mid-sip.  Moderate length finish.  Low apple flavor.  Low to moderate complexity.  Moderate sessionability.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  meh.  This was plenty drinkable, but I didn’t really enjoy it.  The non-specific chemical-like taste was off-putting.  Maybe its from the wild fermentation?  It didn’t have that funky and sour sort of flavor I’d expect though.  In contrast it was very undrinkable for my husband.

Most Similar to:  Dominion Magic Hour

Closing Notes:  There is also an unrelated Nomad Cidery in Michigan in the U.S.

Have you tried British Columbia Canadian cider?  What did you think?

Dominion Magic Hour

Review of Dominion’s Magic Hour.  It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.

Cider:  Magic Hour
Cidery:  Dominion Cider
Cidery Location:  Summerland British Columbia Canada
ABV:  6.6%
How Supplied:  16oz cans
Style:  Canadian craft cider from heirloom, bittersweet, & crab apples

Photo Dec 15, 5 47 23 PM Photo Dec 15, 5 47 39 PM Photo Dec 15, 5 47 55 PM

Availability:  probably only in parts of B.C. (they have a list here), year round, since summer 2018

Cider Description:  A refreshing session cider made with our first-press of early season apples blended with French bittersweets and foraged crabapples. Featuring bright acidity and mellow tannins, this cider is best shared with friends in the afternoon sun.

Cidery Description:  Dominion is a name that means heritage, collaboration, and innovation — values that inspire us in our orcharding and cidermaking.

Price:  ~ $4 CAN / 1 can ?
Where Bought:  Victoria B.C.
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing, on a cruise port stop

Photo Dec 15, 5 47 08 PM

First Impression:  Light straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, of tart heirloom apple.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of dry.  Light bodied.  High tartness and acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of sharp & tart green apple and crab apple, lemon, mineral, and pineapple.  Moderate length finish.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Moderate sessionability.

My Opinion:  I wasn’t a fan of this, but only because I don’t like super dry & tart ciders.  My husband enjoyed this though, as he loves those types of ciders.

Most Similar to:  a more tart version of Eden Heritage Cider

Closing Notes:  My husband and I visited several shops in the tourist area of Victoria, and I picked up a number of single cans, so I’ll have more reviews of Canadian ciders soon.

Have you tried Dominion cider?  What did you think?

Merridale Cyser

Review of Merridale Cyser (made from apple juice and honey).  It is my first time trying this, but have previously had their Scrumpy and House Craft Cider.

Photo Feb 11, 5 01 55 PM

Cider:  Cyser
Cidery:  Merridale
Cidery Location:  Cobble Hill, B.C., Canada
ABV:  10%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  Canadian cyser

Photo Feb 11, 5 02 06 PM Photo Feb 11, 5 02 17 PM Photo Feb 11, 5 02 27 PM

Availability:  mostly in Southwest British Columbia (see here)

Cider Description:  A rich blend of aromatic cider apples and local wildflower honey from our own orchard. Inspired by the finest tradition of Medieval England, where the Normans and Celts credited cyser with magical powers. Aged for several months to a year after bottling…Winner of Silver Medal at the North American Beer Awards, and won ‘Best in Show’ at the 2013 Portland International Cider Cup.

Cidery Description:  Since 1990, we have been making our unique ciders from heritage varieties of English, French, and German cider apples. These apples have been used in the cider regions of Europe for many hundreds of years.  Each of our ciders is a blend of apples aimed at a particular palate. Our orchard has a wide range of bittersharp and bittersweet apples allowing us to create our distinctive family of products.  Some, like the House, Merri Berri and Traditional are designed to be enjoyed as a glass or a pint, with or without food. Others, like our Scrumpy and Cyser are rich in history from medieval times of Olde England.  As always, our cider is made without artificial flavours or colours and no added sulphites.

In addition to cider, they also run a farm and distillery under the same name.

Price:  $9.49 CAN (~$7.55 USD)
Where Bought:  Liquor Express in Victoria B.C.
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing

Photo Feb 11, 5 04 11 PM

First Impression:  Dark straw yellow hue.  High carbonation.  Smells of acidic apples and honey.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  Moderate to high acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of baked apple, honey & honeycomb, floral, lemon, and butterscotch.  Long boozy finish.  Moderate apple flavor, honey flavor, flavor intensity, and complexity.  Low sessionability.

My Opinion:  I really liked it.  Great apple and honey flavor with a bit of an extra kick with the high ABV.  However, it was a tad harsh due to that higher ABV; I think barrel aging this would have been awesome.

Most Similar to:  Moonlight Last Apple, Eaglemount Cyser, Finnriver Cyser, and Finnriver Honey Meadow

Closing Notes:  This was an excellent value.  I look forward to trying more from them.

Have you tried Merridale Cyser?  What did you think?

Salt Spring Wild Cider Semi-Dry

Review of Salt Spring Wild Cider’s Semi-Dry.  It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.

Photo Feb 09, 7 49 16 PM

Cider:  Semi-Dry
Cidery:  Salt Spring Wild Cider
Cidery Location:  Salt Spring Island, B.C., Canada
ABV:  6.8%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  Canadian craft cider from heirloom apples

Photo Feb 09, 7 49 30 PM Photo Feb 09, 7 49 45 PM Photo Feb 09, 7 49 58 PM

Availability:  In B.C. Canada, such as in Salt Spring, Pender, Victoria, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, and Okanagan Valley (see here)

Cider Description:  Our ciders are made with the wild apples and pears that grow on Salt Spring Island, and with apples from regional organic orchards.  We never add any water. Our process involves slow-fermenting single varieties and allowing each to mature until it has fully developed. The ciders are then carefully blended for complexity and depth of flavor; our Dry and Semi-Dry ciders are each blends of over 10 different apple varieties!  While the blending process is crucial (and arduous), the special character of our cider is due to the wealth of heritage cider apples that grow on Salt Spring, and to our commitment to making fully organic ciders.  In general, you’ll find that we tend to make our ciders quite dry, with delicate flavors (including our berry and plum ciders), and that’s the way we like them!

Cidery Description:  Crafted from handpicked Salt Spring Apples, this refreshing cider brings just a touch of sweetness to brighten up your day. Light-hearted citrusy notes are offset by earthy undertones, making this a well balanced cider that’s great for any occasion. Viva la Cidré!

They have a tasting room on Salt Spring Island.

Price:  $14.19 CAN (~$11.28 USD)
Where Bought:  Liquor Express in Victoria B.C.
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing, while we were in port during a cruise

Photo Feb 09, 7 51 57 PM

First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells of acidic heirloom apples and citrus.

Tasting Notes:  On the drier side of semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Hints of tannins and bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of baked apple, lemon, herbs, and straw.  Moderate apple flavor, complexity, and sessionability.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  However, it was fairly simple and more acidic than I prefer.  I was hoping for a bit of cider apple flavor based on the bottle label description, but I just picked up the heirloom apples.  I’d recommend this for folks who like drier acidic unflavored ciders, but want something a bit more complex than the more commonly found ciders from dessert apples.

Most Similar to:  Wandering Aengus Cellar Door, Montana Ciderworks Spartan Dry-Style, and Seattle Cider Washington Heirloom

 Closing Notes:  Salt Spring has a large lineup of ciders I’d be interested in trying if I spot them on a future trip to B.C.

Have you tried Salt Spring Wild Cider?  What did you think?