Cockrell Colonial Winter

Review of Cockrell Brewing’s Colonial Winter, a New England style cider.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve previously had their Valley RedOriginalEdgewood HeirloomPub CiderJohanna StarCall Me Dusty, and Raspberry Habanero.

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Cider:  Colonial Winter
Cidery:  Cockrell Brewing
Cidery Location:  Puyallup WA
ABV:  9.5%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  American craft New England style cider (fermented with brown sugar and raisins)

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Availability:  seasonably, in winter, likely only in WA (in general their ciders are sold at locations such as these)

Cider Description:  This traditional New England cider is produced with brown sugar and raisins for a full bodied winter warmer.  Think of our forefathers and enjoy!

Cidery Description:  Hand crafted Hard Apple Cider from our farm to your table.
They have a tasting room on their farm in Puyallup WA.  Also, here is an article on their opening in 2014.

Price:  ~ $11 ?
Where Bought:  Schilling Cider House in Seattle WA

Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing, last year (this year’s release is available now).

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First Impression:  Moderate caramel amber hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells rich and sweet, of caramel, brown sugar, and raisins.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry (but I’m guessing it would measure higher and the acidity is balancing some of the sugar).  Medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Hints of tannins and bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of caramel, brown sugar, baked apple, raisins, orange, and a hint of oak.  Long warming acidic finish.  Moderate to high flavor intensity.  Moderate complexity and apple flavor.  Low sessionability.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it.  The flavor was especially awesome.  My only note would be that I would have preferred less tartness, but I think then the perceived sweetness would have ticked up.

Most Similar to:  Seattle Cider’s New England style cider, although that one wasn’t as intensely flavorful.  Also, Reverend Nat’s Winter Abbey Spice, although it had a bit of an odd sourness.  Or, for a much drier, modern, and subtle example of the style, Tilted Shed’s Barred Rock Barrel Aged.

Closing Notes:  This was a great cider choice for winter, and an excellent value too.  The next New England style cider I’d like to try is Alpenfire’s new release, “Tempest”.

Have you tried a New England style cider?  What did you think?

Cockrell Original Hard Cider

Review of Cockrell Original Hard Cider from Puyallup WA.  They started making cider in late 2014, and so far I have only previously tried their Valley Red (raspberry).  Here is an article on their release.

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Cider:  Original Hard Cider
Cidery:  Cockrell
Cidery Location:  Puyallup WA
ABV:  6.2%
How Supplied:  22oz bottle
Style:  American flagship craft hard cider

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Availability:  Only in Washington.  See this list.

Cider Description:  This is the cider that started our journey. Our Original is a semi-sweet cider made with local fruit. We age this cider for months to bring out a smooth taste with just the right amount of tartness. Our Original is a crowd pleaser and winner of many competitions including the Cascade Cup and Washington State Fair. 

Cidery Description:  Cockrell Hard Cider is the longtime dream of two Puyallup brothers, Richard and John Cockrell. The brothers have been making hand crafted beer and cider for over 25 years. Their creations have won many local, state and national awards and accolades resulting in the encouragement of friends and family to consider sharing their creative talents with a larger audience.

As the brothers began planning for their retirement, they contemplated turning their hobby into a second career. The Pacific Northwest is home to many quality microbreweries but few artisan cider houses. The sophisticated range of flavors crafting ciders offers provides the brothers with the experimentation and creativity they crave. 

The brothers began formulating a plan which included searching for the perfect cider apple. For over 100 years the Puyallup Valley, has been an agriculture leader in Washington State. The brother’s quest brought them to Gwyndon Farms. The farm was established in 1967 by Don and Gwendolyn Dewey. The Dewey’s operated the family farm for decades growing apples, cherries, raspberries and rhubarb. At its peak, the farm had over 1500 apple tress offering two dozen varieties. 

The ability to utilize local fruit in the production process of their cider cinched the deal. Gwyndon Farms was purchased and Cockrell Hard Cider was launched. Cockrell Hard Cider’s production facility is located on the farm mere footsteps from the apple trees and raspberries utilized in the production process. The farm provides a peaceful setting for visitors to enjoy roaming the apple orchard and viewing the production process. 

They have a tasting room open Fridays and Saturdays on their farm in Puyallup WA.

Price:  $7.50

Where Bought:  Full Throttle Bottles in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing, although I had heard of them online and tried their Valley Red (raspberry) twice.

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First Impression:  Very light peach amber.  Low carbonation upon pouring, with medium sized bubbles.  Smells of rich bittersweet apples and honey.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Moderate acidity.  Mild tartness.  A hint of tannins.  Almost still (very low carbonation).  Honey, caramel, and vanilla notes.  Slight richness.  Medium bodied.  Quick finish.  Moderate apple flavor.  Moderate sessionability.

My Opinion:  This cider was definitely to my liking.  It has more flavor than a lot of flagship ciders and is reasonably priced too.

Most Similar to:  Richer ciders, such as those from Brittany France (like Celt, although Cockrell has significantly lower carbonation), and Cascadia Ciderworks United Dry.

Closing Notes:   This was a very enjoyable cider.  I’m curious what else from them I’ll like.

Have you tried Cockrell ciders?  What did you think?