Carlton Cyderworks Carry Nation

Review of Carlton Cyderworks’ Carry Nation.  It is my first time trying this cider, although I have tried their Black Currant Scrumpy, Sugar and Spice, Slake, First Fruits, AHH!!! Apricot Honey Habanero, Bourbon Barrel Peachy Keen, Citizen, and Impearial.

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Cider:  Carry Nation
Cidery:  Carlton Cyderworks
Cidery Location:  McMinnville OR
ABV:  6.25%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles (and draft)
Style:  American craft semi-sweet cider, with cane sugar added to backsweeten

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Availability:  Only in Oregon and Washington

Cider Description:  In honor of the resolute and tenacious Carry Nation, we craft this refreshing and unique Northwest cider. Made from a blend of apples grown in the fertile soils of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, our cider is approachable, sprightly, with a hint of sweetness – the exact opposite of the original Carry Nation. So drink to the memory of a woman who smashed bars with a hatchet – while carrying a bible. Drink to the memory of this leader who was banned from Kansas City for life. Honor her memory in the best way possible – with a bottle of Carry Nation!

Cidery Description:  Family-owned Micro Cidery. We make some traditional cider. We make some modern cider. It’s all good stuff. 

They have a taproom in McMinnville Oregon with their ciders and many others.

Price:  $8.00
Where Bought:  Schilling Cider House
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  Its one of the few ciders from them I hadn’t tried.

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells apple-forward, with a hint of tannins.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  Hints of tannins and bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  This apple-forward cider also has notes of mango, pineapple, green apple, honey, and mineral.  Quick finish.  High sessionability.  Moderate apple flavor, complexity, and flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  This is an above average flagship semi-sweet cider.  I liked that it had a bit more complexity and was very flavorful without being overly sweet.

Most Similar to:  Soultree Authentic Dry Cider, Vermont Cider Co. Addison and William Tell Dry Hard Apple Cider.

Closing Notes:  This is probably tied with their Bourbon Barrel Peachy Keen for my favorite Carlton cider.  However, I think it is more suited for a multipack than $8 / 500ml.

Have you tried Carlton Carry Nation?  What did you think?

Carlton Cyderworks AHH!!! Apricot Honey Habanero

Review of AHHH!!! Apricot Honey Habanero from Carlton Cyderworks in McMinnville Oregon.  I’ve tried a few of their other ciders–Black Currant Scrumpy, Sugar and Spice, Slake, and First Fruits.

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Cider:  AHHH!!! Apricot Honey Habanero
Cidery:  Carlton Cyderworks
Cidery Location:  McMinnville Oregon
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  22oz bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples infused with apricot, honey, and habanero peppers

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Availability:  Oregon and Washington

Cider Description:  The award winning AHH!!! starts with tangy Oregon grown apricots and fresh NW apple juice.  Whole habanero peppers are added to the ferment, and when it is ready to bottle, we sweeten with honey from the Willamette Valley.  Take one sip and you’ll know why we call this cyder “AHH!!!”.

Cidery Description:  Family-owned Micro Cidery. We make some traditional cider. We make some modern cider. It’s all good stuff. 

Price:  $7.50
Where Bought:  Full Throttle Bottles in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I saw this was available in the Seattle area on Full Throttle Bottles’ Facebook feed, and decided to give it a try, despite usually not liking spicy ciders, as it sounded really interesting.

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First Impression:  Hazy straw yellow lemonade hue.  Low carbonation with some foam upon pouring.  Smells sour, of citrus, honey, and stone fruit.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low sourness.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, tannins, or funk.  Notes of honey, then stone fruit / apricots, green apple, citrus, and yeast, and finishing with a bit of habanero flavor & heat.  The spiciness started rather mild and enjoyable, but the second half of the bottle was more in-line with what I’ve tasted with other spicy ciders, and too much for me and my friend I shared it with.  Medium to long finish length.  Low to moderate apple influence.  Moderate sessionability.

My Opinion:  I wasn’t a fan.  I was pleased with the low level of spice (more flavor than heat) at first, but it became disappointing.  I imagine lightly shaking the bottle before pouring would have more evenly distributed the spice.  Also, I think a bit more sweetness and less sourness would have been nice.

Most Similar to:  Other spicy ciders such as Sonoma Crowbar, Finnriver Habanero, and Schilling Siracha Lime.  My favorite spicy cider remains Elemental Hard Cider’s Margarita (Jalapeno Lime Cilantro), which has only the flavor but not spice from the jalapeno.  I’ve had plenty of other light semi-dry ciders with honey, stone fruit, citrus, and green apple notes though.

Closing Notes:   I’m glad I tried this one, but its not something I enjoyed.  My favorites from Carlton so far are Sugar and Spice and First Fruits.

Have you tried Carlton AHH!!!?  What did you think?

Carlton Cyderworks Slake

Review of Carlton Cyderworks’ Slake barrel aged cider.  Carlton was founded in 2009, and this cider appear to have been released for the first time in September 2015.

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Cider:  Slake
Cidery:  Carlton
Cidery Location:  McMinnville OR
ABV:  6.75%
How Supplied:  22oz bottle

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Availability:  Limited release in OR & WA

Cider Description:  Slake: (verb) to cool or refresh.  Slake your thirst! Aged in whiskey barrels, this crisp apple cyder features notes of vanilla and oak and just a touch of sweetness.

Cidery Description:  Family-owned Micro Cidery. We make some traditional cider. We make some modern cider. It’s all good stuff. 

Price:  $6.50
Where Bought:  Full Throttle Bottles in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I’m a big fan of barrel aged ciders, and pretty much buy every one I see.

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells of tannins, oak, honey, yeast, acidity, vanilla, and mild apple.

Opinion:  Semi-dry.  The oak, honey, and vanilla notes continue.  Mild whiskey and mild barrel influence.  Low acidity, tartness, bitterness, and tannins.  No funk or sourness.  Light bodied.  Quick finish.  Very mild flavored, almost sessionable.  Some warmth at the end.

Most Similar to:  Mildly flavored barrel aged ciders.  A lot of the flavor notes (vanilla, oak, honey) and that it is semi-dry and still reminds me of 2 Towns’ The Bad Apple, although that is over 10% ABV and more fully flavored.  I also find some comparisons to Tieton Cidermaker’s Reserve.

Closing Notes:   Pretty tasty, but it left me wanting more flavor in general.  However, I’m a fan of very full-flavored ciders.  I think the price was very reasonable though.

Have you tried Carlton Slake?  What did you think?