Tasting notes from my 34th visit to the Schilling Cider House in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle WA. Its actually been a few times more than that as sometimes I just pop in to buy bottles. Check out my past posts with tasting notes here.
<“firkin” options from Wildcraft Ciderworks – my husband tried both and liked them, but I don’t do 20% ABV at room temperature>
I was there on a Friday afternoon with my husband and two out of town friends, after taking the day off and visiting Pike Place market. I got another awesome poke (sushi) bowl from Just Poke a few doors down to share with my husband. I ordered a couple flights for our friends and a few tasters for me, getting about half of the 32 ciders on tap (basically everything but the driest and sweetest ones).
Its awesome even with how many ciders I’ve tried, they always have at least a few new to me selections. And they always have some really interesting stuff too, like Earl Grey tea infused, rhubarb-hops, and grapefruit gin, plus occasionally some imported selections (this time they had Louis Raison – see my previous tasting notes here). I only have tasting notes on the few I ordered just for myself though.
<left to right: Moonlight Meadery Last Apple, Cider Riot La Luna, Liberty Kingston Black>
Moonlight Meadery (Londonderry NH) Last Apple (16% ABV): A barrel aged cyser (cider from apples + mead from honey). Also available in bottles, such as on their website, $27-28 / 375ml. See my previous full review here. Sweet. Full bodied. Full flavored sweet rich apple and honey notes with a quick finish. I didn’t detect any barrel influence this time, but I’m guessing it smoothed out the flavor and contributed to the well-hidden ABV. I may have drank it a bit too cold – warmed may have maximized its complexity.
Cider Riot! (Portland OR) La Luna (7.0% ABV): Made from bittersweet cider apples with some dessert apples, then oak barrel aged. Also available in bottles, but probably only in their taproom. Completely dry. Predominately oaky (more so than most barrel aged ciders I’ve had) with a hint of rich bittersweet cider apple flavor. Low tartness and tannins. I think I would have liked this more with some sweetness, as it had a low flavor intensity, especially in comparison to the next selection – the oak was my favorite part.
Liberty Ciderworks (Spokane WA) Kingston Black (8.0% ABV): A single varietal from Kingston Black cider apples. Previously available in bottles for ~ $15, although they don’t have any current availability on their website, and I haven’t seen it locally, so this specific batch may be draft-only. On the sweeter side of semi-dry. Lovely bold bittersweet cider apple flavor with hints of honey and oak. High tartness and moderate tannins. I liked that they went a tad sweeter with this, as often they seem to go full dry, which can make a cider seem a bit harsh, especially if it is tart.
Both me and my husband loved the Liberty Kingston Black – its probably my favorite Kingston Black single varietal to date (including from Farnum Hill, Eve’s, Whitewood, and Dragon’s Head). So, we split a pint.
I picked up some awesome bottles to take home, and even an Eric Bordelet (French cidre) 5L mini keg! A bit spendy, but a rare opportunity. Unfortunately it is getting more difficult to get English ciders, like Newton’s Court Gasping Goose and Dunkertons Black Fox, due to distributors going out of business or dropping cideries, but at least I was able to pick up some Worley’s Mendip Hills, my favorite of their four varieties available in the U.S.
Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says. Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?