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.

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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

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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)

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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

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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

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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?

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

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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.

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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?

Cidrerie Milton CID Original Cider

Review of Cidrerie Milton’s CID Original Cider.  It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.

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Cider:  CID Original Cider
Cidery:  Cidrerie Milton
Cidery Location:  Quebec Canda
ABV:  4.5%
How Supplied:  four pack of 355ml bottles
Style:  Canadian cider from heirloom apples

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Availability:  unknown

Cider Description (translated):   Developed from Mcintosh and Spartan apples, our Cid Original is the essential cider to keep the doctor away! Gerald the moose, the biggest animal in the province, must consume 30 bottles of original cid per day to satisfy his needs!  Refreshing.  Light.  Fresh apples.  Perfect balance of acidity and sweetness.

Price:  ~$4 / bottle?
Where Bought:  The Jug Shop in San Francisco CA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing – this was a random selection as I couldn’t read the bottle (I assume its in French), but I thought I might as well give it a try

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells very mild, of sweet apple.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No sourness, bitterness, tannins, or funk.  Notes of non-specific apple with some pineapple and lemon.  Quick finish.  Low apple flavor, complexity, and apple flavor.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it.  I had been expecting something more commercial tasting, but this was quite nice, with some light flavor.

Most Similar to:  a more refined and light version of Woodchuck 802 Collection ‘Lil Dry

Closing Notes:  I think this may be the first regular Quebec cider I’ve tried (although I think I had some ice cider from there).  Also, their website shows updated bottle labels, so who knows how old this bottle is.

Have you tried Canadian cider?  What did you think?

Central City Limited Edition Imperial Cider

Review of Central City Brewers and Distillers’ Brewer’s Reserve Small Batch Series Limited Edition Imperial Cider.  It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.  I picked it up in Victoria in September, when we were in port for a cruise.

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Cider:  Limited Edition Imperial Cider
Cidery:  Central City Brewing
Cidery Location:  Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
ABV:  11.0%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  Canadian cider from local apples, bourbon barrel aged

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Availability:  limited seasonal release, since fall 2016, only in British Columbia (although in general their products are available throughout Canada; see here)

Cider Description:  Central City Brewers & Distillers’ Oak Aged Craft Cider is a limited edition, small batch apple cider. Made from 100% Okanangan Valley apples, oak aged with subtle bourbon tones. The resulting flavour is complex with notes of vanilla bringing balance to a rich, crisp apple character. The effervescent finish makes for a refreshing and flavourful cider experience.

Cidery Description:  This brewery opened in 2003.  In addition to beer, they also produce spirits and cider.

Price:  $16.44 CAD (~ $13.00 U.S.)
Where Bought:  The Strath in Victoria B.C.
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I had never heard of this producer, and it sounded like a cider I’d like.

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells of alcohol, oak, and honey.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Light to medium bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low tannins.  Hints of bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of honey, lemon, bourbon, oak, and caramelized sugar.  Long boozy finish.  Low oak influence, apple flavor, and sessionability.  Moderate bourbon flavor, flavor intensity, and complexity.

My Opinion:  Awesome!  I loved the flavor profile of this cider.  It was quite alcoholic, but well balanced and tasty.  The bourbon was definitely noticeable, which I liked, but not overwhelming.  I shared it with a friend on Christmas day, and it was a great choice.  The high quality surprised me, as I haven’t enjoyed too many ciders from breweries.  Often they are rather beer-like.

Most Similar to:  (1) Moonlight Meadery Little Apples (the new canned version like this, but without the first batch can liner issue; it remains much drier than their previous draft version); (2) Eden Specialty Ciders Cellar Series Guinevere’s Pearls (except it lacks bourbon); and (3) 2 Towns Bad Apple (except it also lacks bourbon)

Closing Notes:  I hope to be able to find this again.  It was an awesome value too!

Have you tried Central City’s Imperial Cider?  What did you think?

Rock Creek Dry Cider

Review of Big Rock Brewery’s Rock Creek Dry Cider.  It is my first time trying this Canadian cider, and I had some on draft while in Victoria B.C.

Cider:  Rock Creek Dry Cider
Cidery:  Big Rock Brewery
Cidery Location:  Calgary, Alberta, Canada
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  six packs of 12oz cans, and draft
Style:  Canadian commercial cider from cider apples

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Availability:  only in Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan)

Cider Description:  One day back in 1993, Chris Turton drove 590 kilometers from Kelowna to Calgary, to show Ed McNally some apples.  As soon as he surveyed the apples, Ed saw the possibilities. Chris grows apples you don’t see in the supermarket. The fragrant, sweet and succulent European varieties grown in Chris Turton’s orchards are fine examples of classic English-style cider apples. At the end of that meeting Ed and Chris shook hands. A year later, Big Rock’s first cider was in the keg.

Cidery Description:  Big Rock Brewery is a Canadian public company with offices and a brewery located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Big Rock distributes its products in Alberta and several other Canadian provinces.  The brewery was founded in 1985 by Ed McNally.

Price:  ~ $7 CAN
Where Bought & Drank:  Yates Street Taphouse in Victoria B.C.
How Found:  They had this and Strongbow (British Dry), and I gave this one a try as I hadn’t had it previously (or even heard of it).

First Impression:  Light amber hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, clean, and apple-forward.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Hints of tannins and bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of apple juice with a bit of citrus and apple pomace on the finish.  Quick to moderate length finish.  Moderate to high apple flavor.  High sessionability.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  This was plenty drinkable and something I wouldn’t hesitate to order if it was the best option, but nothing special.  I didn’t really pick up the cider apple flavor, but I imagine it was because it wasn’t bittersweet cider apple flavor, which has a very unique and prominent flavor (and darker hue).

Most Similar to:  Strongbow British Dry (the original recipe, no longer offered in the U.S., but still available in Canada, and very commonly found in Victoria B.C. at least)

Random Note:  Victoria bartenders seem to like garnishing cider with a slice of lime, as that happened with both ciders I ordered that day.  The second cider order (at a different place) was even worse, as they served me a can of cider (Tod Creek’s Tod Cider) with a glass of ice with a lime, so I asked for a glass without ice (that has never made sense to me, unless it was a very sweet cider I wanted to water down).  I’ve never been offered lime or ice in the U.S.

I picked up a number of bottles of cider that day as well, many of which were a great value as the exchange rate was $1.00 CAN to $0.80 US.

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Closing Notes:  They also offer Pear, Peach, and Strawberry-Rhubarb flavored ciders, but I only saw six packs, which was a bit too much of a commitment for me.

Have you tried Rock Creek cider?  What did you think?