Eden Heritage Cider

Review of Eden Heritage Cider, their first canned product.  It is my first time trying this, although I’ve tried Eden’s Sparkling DryCinderella’s SlipperHeirloom Ice CiderSparkling Semi-DryNorthern Spy Ice CiderHoneycrisp Ice CiderImperial 11 RoséHeirloom Brandy Barrel Aged Ice CiderGuinevere’s PearlsWindfall Orchard Ice Cider, Two Ellies (collaboration with Tilted Shed), and The Falstaff.

<This is a review of a sample can provided to Cider Says by Eden.  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 que, considering it is a new release and the info may be helpful for folks deciding to purchase it.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.>

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Cider:  Heritage Cider
Cidery:  Eden Specialty Ciders
Cidery Location:  Newport VT
ABV:  6.2%
How Supplied:  four pack of 12oz cans
Style:  American craft canned heritage cider

Availability:  VT, MA, ME, NJ, NY, CO, NC, SC, and soon in NH, VA, MD, D.C., and IL, released June 2018

Cider Description:  More flavor.  Less sweet.  Harvest Pressed.  Cold fermented.  Nothing but apples.  Made like wine.  Canned for convenience.

Made from Vermont-grown heirloom & cider apples, fermented dry, aged 5 months, then blended with a touch of ice cider to 1.2% residual sugar.  It won silver in the Heritage Dry category at GLINTCAP 2018.

Cidery Description:  Eden Orchards and Eden Ice Cider began on a trip to Montreal in 2006 when we first tasted ice cider and wondered why nobody was making it on our side of the border.  We had dreamed for years of working together on a farm in the Northeast Kingdom; it was a dream that had vague outlines including an apple orchard, cider, and fermentation of some sort.  That night we looked at each other and knew ice cider was it.  In April 2007, we bought an abandoned dairy farm in West Charleston, Vermont and got to work.  Since then we have planted over 1,000 apple trees, created 5 vintages of Eden Vermont Ice Ciders, and have introduced a new line of Orleans Apertif Ciders.  Out goals are to create healthy soils and trees in our own orchard, to support out Vermont apple orchard partners who do the same, to minimize our carbon footprint, to contribute to the economic and environmental health of our employees and our Northeast Kingdom community, and most of all to make world-class unique ciders that truly reflect our Vermont terroir.

They have a tasting bar on the main floor of the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center in downtown Newport Vermont.  Their current product line includes ice ciders, Aperitif ciders, sparkling ciders, and Cellar Series releases.

Price:  n/a (runs $16 / four pack, which sounds like a lot, but is an awesome deal at just over $8 / 750ml instead of ~ $15)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  the cidermaker Eleanor Leger contacted me

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow hue.  Moderate carbonation.  Smells of acidic citrus-forward heirloom apple cider.

Tasting Notes:  Dry to semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Low tannins.  Hints of bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of heirloom apple, lemon, mineral, white grape, green apple, and floral.  Low apple flavor.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.  Moderate to high complexity.  Moderate sessionability.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it.  Lots of flavor without being sweet.  Complex.  More of the flavor profile was from the heirloom apples (acidic, citrus, floral, fruity) than the cider apples (rich, caramel); I’ve found this to be the case when both types are listed in a blend.

Most Similar to:  A mix between Eden’s Dry and Semi-Dry ciders, although slightly less complex and more sessionable.

Closing Notes:  This is a great option which would work just as well when spending time outside on a hot day as it would with a fancy dinner.

Have you tried any canned heritage ciders?  What did you think?

Portland Cider Cans – Apple, Hop’Rageous, and Sangria

Review of Portland Cider’s three current canned varieties – Apple, Hop’Rageous, and Sangria.  I’ve tried these all before, but had previously only had Hop’Rageous and Sangria in bottles (see my previous reviews of Apple, Hop’Rageous, and Sangria).  Their Sangria is new to cans (and is currently also still sold in 22oz bottles), but the Apple and Hop’Rageous have been around in cans for awhile (and “Apple” has only ever been sold in cans).  I have also tried their Passion FruitPearfect Perry, Kinda DryLondon Dry GinCrooked Cock ScrumpyStrawperryPineappleMojito, and Cranberry ciders.

>>This is a review of sample cans provided to Cider Says by Portland Cider.  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.<<

Cider:  Apple, Hop’Rageous, and Sangria
Cidery:  Portland Cider
Cidery Location:  Portland Oregon
ABV:  5.5% or 6.5%
How Supplied:  four or six pack of 12oz cans of a single variety (it appears they are moving from four packs to boxed six packs)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with nothing (Apple), Citra hops (Hop’Rageous), or fruit added (Sangria)

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Availability:  year round, in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado

Apple –  An authentic medium-dry cider classic, bursting with juicy crisp apple taste.
Hop’Rageous –  Dry hopped with Citra Hops then infused with bitter orange peel to reinforce the citrus notes. Delicious & Hop’Rageous!
Sangria –  Blend our delicious cider with the juices of orange, strawberry, pear, passionfruit, elderberry, and lime, to get our Sangria cider. It’s your new favorite fruit punch, for grown-ups!

Cidery Description:  Portland Cider Company was started in October 2012 by an Oregonian and a family of British expats with the mission of bringing cider, handcrafted in the English tradition, to the Northwest.

They have two tap rooms in the Portland area.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $7.99 / four pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

Apple:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, of tart apples with a hint of honey.  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low to moderate tartness and acidity.  No sourness, bitterness, funk, or tannins.  The flavor was pure apple with hints of honey & citrus.  Quick finish.  Mild to moderate flavor intensity.  Low complexity.  Moderate apple flavor.  High sessionability.  I liked how this had a lot of juicy apple flavor without tasting like alcoholic apple juice (which I think many commercial ciders do) or being too sweet.  Most similar to Jester & Judge American Apple.

Hop’Rageous:  Light straw yellow hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells mild, of citrus and floral with a hint of hops.  On the drier side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No sourness, bitterness, funk or tannins.  The flavor was very citrus (orange and lemon) with hints of hops and floral.  Moderate length finish with more citrus than hops.  Mild to moderate flavor intensity, complexity, and apple flavor.  High sessionability.  I liked how refreshing it was, with only a mild hops flavor, and lacking bitterness.  I used to think I didn’t like hopped ciders, as I don’t like beer and the first couple hopped ciders I tried were very intense, but since then I’ve found a few hopped ciders I enjoy, like this one.  Most similar to Tod Creek Mala-Hop and Incline The Explorer.

Sangria:  Pink hue.  Moderate carbonation.  Smells deliciously fruity.  On the drier side of semi-sweet.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  No sourness, bitterness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of strawberry, kiwi, white grape, lime, and passion fruit.  Moderate length finish.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.  Low complexity.  I liked the flavor variety and complexity, with all the different fruit flavors.  This would be perfect in summer!  Most similar to Bull Run Strawberry Fields and Portland Cider Strawperry.

Closing Notes:  Canned cider is becoming popular, and I’m seeing a lot of cideries launch with only canned products, add cans to their lineup, or switch to cans, even cideries that you’d never expect to.

Have you tried Portland Cider’s canned ciders?  What did you think?

Strongbow Limited Edition Minis

Review of Strongbow’s Limited Edition Minis.  I’ve previously tried their British Dry (original version), Gold (U.S. version), and Red Berries, Ginger, and Honey Apple.

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Cider:  Limited Edition Minis
Cidery:  Strongbow
ABV:  4.5-6.0%
How Supplied:  four pack of 5.1oz cans
Style:  American commercial cider (with color and flavor)

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Availability:  wide release, in the U.S. (see here)

Gold Apple Description:  Crisp, refreshing taste with a hint of golden apple and a smooth, elegant finish.
Orange Blossom Description:  Spring-like fresh orange blossom aroma with a touch of sweetness and a juicy apple finish.
Cherry Blossom Description:  A cherry blossom aroma with a subtle sweetness and a ripe apple finish.
Artisanal Blend Description:  Crafted with semi-sweet, cold-pressed heirloom apples.

Price:  $0.99
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I had read about these online, but only saw them at Total Wine, several months after other folks talked about it.

Artisanal Blend Notes:  Hazy hue.  Low carbonation.  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness and acid.  Apple-forward but mildly flavored, with hints of honey and citrus.  I didn’t get any sort of heirloom apple flavor or complexity out of this.

Cherry Blossom Notes:  Light pink/red hue.  On the sweeter side of semi-sweet.  Slightly cherry cough syrupy, with a moderate flavor intensity, and little to no apple flavor.

Orange Blossom Notes:  Light orange hue.  Semi-sweet.  Reminiscent of orange soda, with a moderate flavor intensity, and little to no apple flavor.

Gold Apple Notes:  Light gold hue.  Sweet.  Medium bodied.  Overly apple juice like, with a moderate to strong flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  The Artisanal was my favorite by far, and something I actually wouldn’t mind drinking again, unlike everything else Strongbow makes.  However, it wouldn’t be anywhere near my first choice.

Most Similar to:  The overall style/flavor and sweetness of Strongbow Artisanal reminded me of Angry Orchard Easy Apple, but Easy Apple was significantly more complex.

Closing Notes:  I’d recommend these for folks who typically drink sweet commercial cider, like Angry Orchard or Woodchuck.

Have you tried the U.S. version of Strongbow?  What did you think?

Original Sin Extra Dry

Review of Original Sin’s newest cider, Extra Dry, from York, New York.  It launched last month.  This is their first canned cider (previously most of their ciders were sold in six packs of 12oz bottles, and a couple special releases in 750ml bottles) and celebrates their 20th! anniversary.  I’ve previously tried their Cherry Tree, Elderberry, Pear and Northern Spy ciders.

>This is a review of a sample can provided to Cider Says by Original Sin.  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.<<

Cider:  Extra Dry
Cidery:  Original Sin
Cidery Location:  York NY
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  four pack of 16oz cans
Style:  American sessionable canned craft cider made from dessert apples

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Availability:  Currently sold year round in FL, IL, MD, NC, OH, PA, and WA D.C.  In April it will launch nationally to more than 30 states (everywhere its ciders are currently distributed).

Cider Description:  Original Sin Extra Dry Cider contains a distinct blend of New York apples including Ida Red, MacIntosh, Cortland, and several russeted apples. The cider is complex, balanced, and sessionable with a minimal level of residual sugar.

Made from 100% fresh pressed New York apples, champagne yeast, and nothing else.  Their suggested pairings are ripe camembert, roasted oysters, and anything else you might enjoy on a back patio.

Cidery Description:  Established in 1996, Original Sin is one of the original modern-day U.S. cider companies. With a mere $5,000 in funding, founder Gidon Coll began making cider in Upstate New York and spent two years going bar to bar in New York City to develop his early market base. Today, Original Sin is still 100% independent and now distributed in 32 U.S. States, The United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Japan.

Original Sin started a New York State test orchard five years ago, which now features over 100 rare, cider and contemporary apple varieties. Each year, the company adds interesting and historically significant varieties to the Original Sin orchard’s genetic pool.

Price:  n/a (suggested retail price of $10.49 / 4 cans)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I had read about this release online.  The founder of Original Sin, Gidon Coll, e-mailed and asked if he could send a sample, and I never turn down free cider…

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First Impression:  Pale straw yellow hue.  Moderate carbonation with tiny bubbles upon pouring, which quickly dissipated.  Smells dry, of tart green apples, yeast, and citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Dry.  High acidity.  Mild tartness.  Mild astringent tannins.  Hints of bitterness and sourness.  Light bodied.  Low carbonation.  Notes of juicy apple to start, then citrus, and hints of green apple, floral (I think I taste a hint of lavender of all things?), mineral, and yeast.  Moderate length finish.  Mild apple flavor.  Moderate sessionability.

My Opinion:  Enjoyable, although its not something I’d usually drink (I go more for full flavored then sessionable ciders).  It seems more flavorful than many sessionable ciders.  I think I’ve got more accustomed to dry ciders, as even 6 months ago I wouldn’t have liked a cider this dry.

Most Similar to:  Ace Joker (although this cider has more apple flavor), Farnum Hill Extra Dry (although this cider is less tannic and less bitter), and Alpenfire Pirate’s Plank (although this cider is less tannic and sweeter).

Closing Notes:   This probably ties with their Northern Spy for my favorite Original Sin cider so far.  I usually go for sweeter ciders, but it won me over.  Thankfully I have a second can to drink as well.

Have you tried Original Sin Extra Dry?  What did you think?