Eden Harvest Cider

Review of Eden Harvest Cider, their second canned cider release (see here for my review of the first).  I’ve also 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 CiderTwo Ellies (collaboration with Tilted Shed), The Falstaff, Siren Song, and Ezekiel Kingston Black.

<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:  Harvest Cider
Cidery:  Eden Specialty Ciders
Cidery Location:  Newport VT
ABV:  6.4%
How Supplied:  four pack of 12oz cans
Style:  American craft canned heritage cider from Vermong grown heirloom & cider apple varieties

Availability:  limited, to parts of CO, MA, NC, NJ, NY, SC, and VT

Cider Description:  Aromatic. Generously sparkling. Off-dry. Our new, canned Eden Harvest Cider reflects everything we care about:  High flavor, heirloom and tannic apples grown in small, regional orchards.  Fresh pressed at harvest to capture the full flavor of the fruit just as it ripens.  Fermented dry and blended with just a drop of our award-winning Eden Ice Cider to create an everyday cider with extraordinary complexity.  Contains heirloom and tannic apples varieties from local small family orchards, including: Dabinett, McIntosh, Empire, Spartan, and Esopus Spitzenburg.

See more on their website, here and here.  They amazingly only make this once a year.

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.

Price:  n/a (runs ~ $16 / four pack, which sounds like a lot, but is an awesome deal at just over $8 / 750ml, instead of $15-20)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  a cidery rep contacted me

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, of citrus and heirloom apples.

Tasting Notes:  Dry to semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low tannins.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Notes of super juicy apple and lemon with hints of floral and tropical fruit.  Quick finish.  Moderate apple flavor, flavor intensity, and complexity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  Awesome!  This went over really well with my husband and non-cider drinking house guests too.  Lots of complex flavor without being sweet.  Super refreshing and easy to drink.

Most Similar to:  A sessionable version of a drier heritage cider.

Closing Notes:  This is definitely the highest quality cider currently available in a can.  I liked it even better than last year’s version.  I’m impressed!  Too bad it doesn’t sound like it’ll be available locally, as I’d love to stock some in my cider fridge.

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

Far West Proper Dry

Review of Far West Cider’s Proper Dry.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve had their San Joaquin Sparkler and Orchard Blend No. 1.  I got this bottle through Press Then Press, a new online cider store focusing on small batch ciders.  They had a soft launch Aug 19, and will officially launch Sept 9 2019.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Press Then Press.  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:  Proper Dry
Cidery:  Far West Cider Co.
Cidery Location:  Richmond CA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  American craft cider, dry

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Availability:  only through Press Then Press (which ships to 43/50 states), unless you happen to be at a specific store in California

Distributor Description:  Don’t taste the same, taste the difference!  Press Then Press – Farm to you small batch cider.  We focus on small batch and hard to find cider.  Please visit our curated online store!  We are a mom and pop who wanted more fine cider available to everyone (over 21), so we started this up.  Press Then Press will email you when a fine cider is available for purchase.  If you want it, visit our site and purchase it!  Pick up your cider in Seattle, or we ship to you.  Sign up with your email to be included on future available ciders.  You will hear about it first!  1)Press the fruit  then  2) Press the order button

Cider Description:  Our Proper Dry cider uses a mixed blend of apples from our orchards with an emphasis on the crisp and clean acidity that gives most tart apples their zing. This blend packs a whole bunch of fruit on the nose while keeping a crispy clean and fully dry finish on the palate. We think it pairs well with your favorite fish on a dish, mornings on the sundeck, and trying hard, but not too hard.

Cidery Description:  Californian ciders from a 4th generation family farm in San Joaquin County.

Price:  $15
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found: through Press Then Press

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells of crisp citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Dry.  Low carbonation.  High tartness and acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of lemon, green apple, and mineral.  Long tart finish.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.  Moderate sessionability.

My Opinion:  This was a bit too tart and dry for my personal liking.  However, it had a nice flavor profile, similar to the Greenwood Dry I tried at the same time.  I’d recommend this to folks who like tart dry ciders, and even champagne lovers, as although this is lower carbonation, the flavor profile reminded me of champagne.

Most Similar to:  a tart version of Bauman’s Dry, Seattle Cider Dry, or Original Sin Extra Dry

Closing Notes:  I look forward to trying the other ciders in Press Then Press‘ introductory lineup.  Their website is well laid out and informative, making the order process easy, and providing access to unique ciders which otherwise wouldn’t be available to most folks.

Have you tried Far West Cider?  What did you think?

Herout Pommeau

Review of Herout’s Pommeau, from France.  Pommeau is Calvados apple brandy + cider.  I sampled this at Cider Summit 2018 (see my notes here), and I’ve also had Herout’s Cotentin Extra-BrutCotentin BrutPommeauCoup de FoudreD-Day Commemorative Brut, and Micro-Cuvée No. 1,

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Cider:  Pommeau de Normandie
Cidery:  Maison Herout AOC
Cidery Location:  Cotentin Peninsula, Normandy, France
ABV:  17%
How Supplied:  750ml corked cap bottle
Style:  organic French Pommeau (1/4 apple brandy + 3/4 cider) from cider apples

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Availability:  In Washington, through Beauchamp Imports, plus online at their French Cider Inc. website (at the time of this review, they are able to ship to WA, OR, ID, CA, NV, NM, AK, ND, NH, & DC).  They also offer a number of other selections from Herout, plus ciders, Pommeaux, and Calvadoses  from many other French makers.

Cider Description:  Produced from apples in specially designated organic orchards on the Cotentin peninsula, this aperitif wine is made by mixing 3/4 fresh apple cider and 1/4 one-year-old Calvados (a cognac-style spirit made from apples) then aging it for at least 14 months in old oak barrels at the Vergers de la Chapelle estate in Normandy, France.

Cidery Description:  Since the 1940s, Hérout cidre has been produced by the Hérout family on the Cotentin Peninsula on the Northwest coast of Normandy France, in Auvers, where apples thrive in its lush and oceanic climate.  They are the newest cidre AOC in France, since May 2016.  The cidermaker Marie-Agnes Herout was awarded the highest civilian honor in France for her 16 years of work getting the AOC recognized – Le Croix de Chevalier, Legion d’Honneur (Knights Cross for the Legion of Honneur).

See here for more info on the Pommeau and here for more info on the cidery.

Price:  $40
Where Bought:  Cider Summit Seattle 2018.  Now that the 2019 event is coming up (see here), I thought it was about time I opened it!
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  sampling it at Cider Summit Seattle 2018 (see here)

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First Impression:  Caramel hue with a hint of pink.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells of apple brandy, sweet and rich.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness, acidity, bitterness, and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of bittersweet cider apples, smoke, caramel, orange, leather, brown sugar, and of course, brandy.  Long warming alcohol-forward finish.  Moderate apple flavor.  No sessionability.  Moderate to high flavor intensity.  High complexity.

My Opinion:  Awesome!  I loved how smokey it was, and the level of sweetness.  Lovely flavor profile and complexity.  Note that I prefer this cold with one ice cube, as I’m not super accustomed to drinking spirits and such straight, and the slight dilution didn’t significantly change the flavor.

Most Similar to:  Although I have tried one other French Pommeau, from Etienne Dupont, that one perceived sweeter and had a much different flavor profile, more vanilla than smoke.  Therefore, I’d say this is closest to a more complex version of 2 Towns Pommeau.  Most others I’ve tried were drier or sweeter than this.

Side Notes:  Due to the high alcohol content and being still, Pommeaux can be kept open much longer than a cider, weeks or even months, so no need to avoid purchasing (or opening) it due to the larger bottle size.  This is also an excellent value, as it is no more expensive than local Pommeaux (which run ~ $20 / 375ml, and this is ~ $40 / 750ml), but I think it is superior.

Closing Notes:  French Cider Inc has an awesome selection of French Pommeaux and ciders.  They now also have some selections available at Total Wine, at least in Washington, which makes their imports easier to buy than ever.  A favorite of mine from them is La Chouette Cidre Rosé.

Have you tried Pommeau?  What did you think?

Greenwood Cider Dry

Review of Greenwood Cider’s Dry.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve had their HuckleberrySweet Orange CinnamonCedar CiderLavender Blackberry, Cherry, Red River Wolf CrabBlush, Peach, and Lingonberry varieties.  I got this through Press Then Press, a new online cider store focusing on small batch ciders.  They are having a soft launch today, Aug 19, and an official launch Sept 9 2019.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Press Then Press.  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:  Dry
Cidery:  Greenwood Cider
Cidery Location:  Seattle WA
ABV:  7.8%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  American craft cider, dry

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Availability:  only through Press Then Press (which ships to 43/50 states), unless you happen to be at a specific store in Western Washington

Distributor Description:  Don’t taste the same, taste the difference!  Press Then Press – Farm to you small batch cider.  We focus on small batch and hard to find cider.  Please visit our curated online store!  We are a mom and pop who wanted more fine cider available to everyone (over 21), so we started this up.  Press Then Press will email you when a fine cider is available for purchase.  If you want it, visit our site and purchase it!  Pick up your cider in Seattle, or we ship to you.  Sign up with your email to be included on future available ciders.  You will hear about it first!  1)Press the fruit  then  2) Press the order button

Cider Description:  Our signature dessert apple blend finished with heirloom and wild apples picked from local farms, small homesteads, and abandoned orchards. Hand-pressed and unfiltered, this modern style dry cider sits just above complete dryness, with hints of apple peel, lime, and fresh straw.

Cidery Description:  Andy and Ryan Short (yep, brothers) and Marshall Petryni of Greenwood Cider make their cider in Seattle! They got their start with apples leftover from a CSA that didn’t get picked up. A few fermenting sessions later, they were selling their ciders & Greenwood Cider was born. Nowadays the fruit supply they work with is more consistent, and it shows up in the two ciders we are featuring. Something I really enjoy about these guys is their sense of humor and style. And that sometimes you need a cider with breakfast.

Price:  ~ $9.00
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  through Press Then Press

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First Impression:  Hazy light straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, and tart,

Tasting Notes:  Dry.  Light bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of crisp tart green apple, lemon, and mineral.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate apple flavor.  High sessionability.  Low to moderate flavor intensity and complexity.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  However, I personally prefer a bit sweeter.  This wasn’t as tart as many dry ciders, and I think that made it seem less dry.  I was surprised that the higher ABV (7.8%) wasn’t more apparent.

Most Similar to:  Bauman’s Dry, Seattle Cider Dry, and Original Sin Extra Dry

Closing Notes:  I look forward to trying the other ciders in Press Then Press‘ introductory lineup.  Their website is well laid out and informative, making the order process easy, and providing access to unique ciders which otherwise wouldn’t be available to most folks.

Have you tried Greenwood cider?  What did you think?

Far West Cider Orchard Blend No. 1

Review of Far West Cider’s Orchard Blend No. 1.  I’ve previously sampled a different vintage of this cider (see here), plus Far West’s San Joaquin Sparkler.  I got this bottle through Press Then Press, a new online cider store focusing on small batch ciders.  I got a sneak peak, but they are planning to launch late Aug / early Sept 2019 having a soft launch Aug 19 and an official launch Sept 9 2019; sign up for e-mails to be first in the know.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Press Then Press.  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:  Orchard Blend No. 1
Cidery:  Far West Cider Co.
Cidery Location:  Richmond CA
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples

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Availability:  only through Press Then Press (which ships to 43/50 states), unless you happen to be at a specific store in California

Distributor Description:  Don’t taste the same, taste the difference!  Press Then Press – Farm to you small batch cider.  We focus on small batch and hard to find cider.  Please visit our curated online store!  We are a mom and pop who wanted more fine cider available to everyone (over 21), so we started this up.  Press Then Press will email you when a fine cider is available for purchase.  If you want it, visit our site and purchase it!  Pick up your cider in Seattle, or we ship to you.  Sign up with your email to be included on future available ciders.  You will hear about it first!  1)Press the fruit  then  2) Press the order button

Cider Description:  This cider uses a combination of GoldRush, Cripps Pink and Granny Smith apples grown on Chinchiolo Family Farms. It is fermented with Champagne yeast at very low temperatures and aged to develop more complexity than your typical cider. Fruit-forward, sparkling, and just barely semi-sweet with great acid balance

Cidery Description:  Californian ciders from a 4th generation family farm in San Joaquin County.

Price:  $15
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  originally browsing when in a bottle shop in San Francisco CA, now through Press Then Press

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

Tasting Notes:  On the drier side of semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness.  Moderate to high acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of green apple, lemon, pineapple, and honey.  Moderate length tart finish.  Low to moderate apple flavor, complexity, and overall flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  Tasty and easy to drink.  This perceives a bit drier (less sweet) than the last vintage I tried, possibly because it is more tart & acidic than that version.  Overall I’d expect this to have wide appeal.

Most Similar to:  Seattle Cider Semi-Sweet and Scandinavian Green Apple Craft Cider

Closing Notes:  I look forward to trying the other ciders in Press Then Press‘ introductory lineup.  Their website is well laid out and informative, making the order process easy, and providing access to unique ciders which otherwise wouldn’t be available to most folks.

Have you tried Far West Cider?  What did you think?

Westons Caple Rd Blend No. 3

Review of Westons Caple Rd Blend No. 3 cider.  It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.

Cider:  Blend No. 3
Cidery:  Westons Caple Rd
Cidery Location:  Ledbury, Herefordshire, England
ABV:  5.3%
How Supplied:  four pack of 500ml cans
Style:  English cider, craft per their website, although per the ingredient list, they add water & sugar, presumably to obtain their desired sweetness and ABV levels (note in the U.S. it would instead be more common to backsweeten with unfermented juice)

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Availability:  semi wide release

Cider Description:  The UK’s first canned cider produced with genuine craft credentials.  Slowly fermented fresh pressed English apple juice – no concentrate.  Small batch production.  Matured for up to 18 months in both oak and stainless steel vats.  Produced by an independent cider maker.  An uncompromising and challenging cider, with taste and flavour at its heart.  Matured in both oak and steel for a refined, full-bodied flavour.  Full bodied dark straw / amber sparkling cider.  Oaky, smoky, with subtle notes of leather…Fresh English apple juice.  A first for canned cider.  Unique authentic provenance.  Genuine, true cider.

Cidery Description:  Being the fifth generation of the Weston family line, Guy inherited a fine cider making heritage, which he uses to create contemporary and pioneering ciders. Try as he might, Guy can’t help but go against the grain, determined to challenge cider-lovers palates.  —  Great ciders are in my blood, Caple Rd is no different. I demand the finest yeast and fresh bittersweet English apple juice to craft ciders I am proud of.  My patience for a slow fermentation and up to 18 months maturation, is challenged with the anticipation to taste the complex, full-bodied cider I have crafted and nurtured.

Price:  $9.49 / four cans
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing; I was excited to see a new-to-me English cider available

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First Impression:  Light gold hue.  Moderate carbonation.  Smells musty, of rich sweet apple.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Hints of tannins, bitterness, and funk.  No sourness.  Notes of juicy apple, lemon, caramel, and leather.  Moderate length tart finish.  Moderate apple flavor and flavor intensity.  High sessionability.  Low to moderate complexity.

My Opinion:  Great!  I liked the flavor profile.  It is more fitting for warm weather than most other English ciders, being more fruity than rich.  It still has plenty of characteristic English cider flavor, and more complexity than I expected for a canned cider.  From the taste I’d believe this was craft, and in a much higher price range than under $2.50 / pint.

Most Similar to:  a higher quality version of Crispin Browns Lane, one of the fruitier Aspall varieties, or Sheppy’s Somerset Draught if it was more fruity (as its one of the least rich English ciders I’ve tried)

Closing Notes:  I hope this will continue to be available.  Seems like all my favorite English ciders are no longer sold locally.

Have you tried Caple Rd?  What did you think?

Stone Circle Farmhouse Semi-Dry

Review of Stone Circle Cider’s Farmhouse Semi-Dry.  It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.  I was introduced through Press Then Press, a new online cider store focusing on small batch ciders.  I got a sneak peak, but they are planning to launch late Aug / early Sept 2019 having a soft launch Aug 19 and an official launch Sept 9 2019; sign up for e-mails to be first in the know.

Photo Jul 31, 6 23 17 PM

>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Press Then Press.  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:  Farmhouse Semi-Dry
Cidery:  Stone Circle Cider
Cidery Location:  Estacada, OR
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  American craft farmhouse style semi-dry cider from heirloom & bittersweet cider apples

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Availability:  probably only though Press Then Press (which ships to 43/50 states), unless you live near Portland Oregon

Distributor Description:  Don’t taste the same, taste the difference!  Press Then Press – Farm to you small batch cider.  We focus on small batch and hard to find cider.  Please visit our curated online store!  We are a mom and pop who wanted more fine cider available to everyone (over 21), so we started this up.  Press Then Press will email you when a fine cider is available for purchase.  If you want it, visit our site and purchase it!  Pick up your cider in Seattle, or we ship to you.  Sign up with your email to be included on future available ciders.  You will hear about it first!  1) Press the fruit  then  2) Press the order button

Cider Description:  With all of the rich apple character of our Farmhouse Dry, this cider features just a splash of sweetness to enhance the fruit flavor. Made with real cider apples pressed in the fall, this cider is slow fermented all winter, yielding a smooth mostly dry cider that is as drinkable as they come.

Cidery Description:  We own a 36 acre farm, just outside of Estacada, Oregon. It’s a beautiful property that offers lovely views of the Willamette Valley and Coastal Range Mountains. The farm had been exclusively Christmas trees, but we began the transition to heirloom variety cider apples in the winter of 2015. We’ve continued to transition more and more space into cider apples every year since.

Price:  ~ $9.00
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  through Press Then Press

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First Impression:  Hazy orange hue.  Very little carbonation.  Smells funky, of rich rustic apple with some orange.

Tasting Notes:  On the drier side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate to high tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low sourness, tannins, and funk.  Hints of bitterness.  Notes of cider apple juice & pomace, orange, must, leather, and a hint of floral.  Long lightly sour finish, at the back of the palette.  Moderate flavor intensity, complexity, sessionability, and apple flavor.

My Opinion:  I loved the profile of this cider, with the big cider apple flavor, but unfortunately I’m super sensitive to sourness, so due to its presence, I wasn’t personally a fan.  Everyone has different tastes – good thing there are more cider options than ever.  I’d suggest this selection to fans of farmhouse-style / rustic ciders, who like a bit of sourness & funk.  However, overall the levels of both were low, so some may not even notice.  Sourness & funk often occur together, and typically result from wild yeast fermentation, which uses natural yeast in the juice which was on the skin of the apples from the environment, which is typical for a farmhouse-style cider, same with haziness.

I liked that the bottle was clearly labeled ‘farmhouse’, and their website discusses their methods, as I’ve had some surprise bottles I’ve bought that have had even more sourness, but neither the bottle or their website had noted the style.  To be honest I wouldn’t have bought this cider myself due to the style, but I’m glad I got to try it, and I think my personal opinions in a review are more of an afterthought than a focus.

Side Note:  This is an excellent price point for the type of cider, and I liked seeing it available in smaller bottles, as it reduces the price point further, making it an easier buying decision than a $15+ bottle.  This appears to be a current trend, with more heritage cideries using 500 ml instead of 750 ml bottles like they used to do.  I think this helps them be more competitive with smaller modern cideries, making their ciders closer in price to them (and in this case, actually about equivalent).

Most Similar to:  This reminded me a lot of some Normandy France ciders I’ve tried, with rich bittersweet cider apple flavor and some sourness & funk, as well as U.S. ciders of a similar rustic style, like Runcible Old Hoot.

Closing Notes:  I look forward to trying the other ciders in Press Then Press‘ introductory lineup.  Their website is well laid out and informative, making the order process easy, and providing access to unique ciders which otherwise wouldn’t be available to most folks.  Note that they offer 2 other varieties from Stone Circle, their Dry and Sour Cherry, which I will be reviewing soon.

Have you tried Stone Circle cider?  What did you think?