Eve’s Albee Hill Still & Dry

Review of Eve’s Cidery’s Albee Hill, their Still & Dry cider.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had their Beckhorn HollowAutumn’s GoldKingston BlackRustica, and Scatterseed.

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Cider:  Albee Hill (2015 harvest, 2016 release)
Cidery:  Eve’s Cidery
Cidery Location:  Van Etten, NY
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  750ml corked bottles
Style:  American craft orchard-based heritage cider from heirloom, cider, & dessert apple varieties, Still (no carbonation), Dry (not sweet)

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Availability:  Mostly in New York, but also in some other states, such as Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Massachusetts, Delaware, and Washington; see this page for detailed info on distribution.  However, the easiest spot is at the cidery and their online store (check for shipping availability for states besides New York).

Cider Description:  Sweet on the nose, with honey, flowers and lychee but balanced with darker aromas like damp wood and coffee. Flavors of citrus peel and quinine hang off a taut tannic frame in the mid-palate. The finish has plenty of dusty brown tannin and bittersweet apple skin.  This dry, tannic cider should be served at cellar temperature : ~55 degrees. Pair with nutty cheeses like cave aged cheddar, savory meats like Merguez sausage, and all manner of vegetables, especially grilled.

See their page for this cider for even more info; I love that they publish specific apple varietal percentages, residual sugar & acid content, fermentation type, batch size, etc.

Cidery Description:  Eve’s Cidery is a small family run orchard and cidery located in Van Etten, in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. We grow apples and other tree fruits and ferment artisanal ciders. We believe in nature, art, good food and hard work. These beliefs influence the way we farm, make cider and sell our product. We hope you can taste some of it in the bottle.

Their official tasting room is at the Finger Lakes Cider House in Interlaken New York.

Price:  $16
Where Bought:  the cidery’s online store
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  A free shipping deal in December (2017?).  This may have sat in my cider fridge awhile.)

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First Impression:  Lovely medium caramel amber hue.  No carbonation.  Smells amazingly rich, dry but with sweet flavors like caramel, and tannins.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of Dry.  Light bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity and tannins.  Hints of bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of caramel and leather, with hints of brown sugar, orange, and earth.  Moderate length tannic finish.  High complexity.  Moderate to high flavor intensity.  Moderate sessionability and apple flavor.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed this; the flavor profile was awesome.  However, I would have preferred a bit of sweetness and carbonation.  I’d recommend this cider, especially to folks who like dry and tannic grape wine.

Most Similar to:  Eve’s Kingston Black SV, which I also found to be still and with a similar profile of “sweet” flavors, yet in a dry cider

Closing Notes:  There aren’t too many truly Still ciders out there.  I think they let the qualities of the cider apples shine even more, although many (like me) aren’t really accustomed to them.

Have you tried Eve’s cider?  What did you think?

Stone Circle Farmhouse Dry

Review of Stone Circle Cider’s Farmhouse Dry.  I’ve tried their Semi Dry and Sour Cherry.  I was introduced through Press Then Press, a new online cider store focusing on small batch ciders.  They had a soft launch Aug 19 and are officially launching 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:  Farmhouse Dry
Cidery:  Stone Circle Cider
Cidery Location:  Estacada, OR
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  American craft farmhouse style 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:  Our signature cider is a true dry “scrumpy” style cider, inspired by our favorite ciders of the English westcountry. This cider is made from a blend of over 12 varieties of cider apples. It is slow fermented and left unfitlered to retain flavor. It features a beutiful dark golden color and a rich and robust apple aroma and flavor. Pair with seafood , pork, or cheese for an unforgetably unique experience.

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.  Low carbonation with some foam.  Smells funky and sour, of rich rustic apple.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Low to moderate sourness and funk.  Low tannins.  Hints of bitterness.  Notes of cider apple juice & pomace, orange, must, and leather.  Moderate length 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?

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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?

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?

Oregon Mead & Cider Co. Free Press Dry Cider

Review of Oregon Mead & Cider Company’s Free Press Dry Cider.  It is my first time trying any of their cider.

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Cider:  Free Press Dry Cider
Cidery:  Oregon Mead & Cider Company
Cidery Location:  Portland Oregon
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  American craft cider

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Availability:  Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin

Cider Description:  Hard Cider Made Easy. Our ciders were born from the bounty of the Northwest and the pioneering spirit of our grandparents. A perfect balance of dry and tart, our ciders are made by the people, for the people. Press on.

Cidery Description:  Oregon Mead & Cider Co. creates award-winning, dry, sparkling meads and ciders from premium Northwest ingredients. All of our beverages are gluten-free, unfiltered, and completely dry. Oh, and we never use sulfites. Ever.

They have a tasting room in Portland (see here).

Price:  $6.99
Where Bought:  The Cave in Kirkland WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  It was my first time seeing anything from this brand, although I had heard of them.

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First Impression:  Light amber hue.  Moderate carbonation with a large amount of foam (the photo above was about 30 seconds after pouring).  Smells mild, apple-forward and of peach.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to dry.  Light bodied with a frothy texture.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low bitterness.  Hints of tannins.  No sourness or bitterness.  Notes of yeast, peach, and a hint of hops.  Quick finish.  Low flavor intensity, complexity, and apple flavor.  Moderate sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked the level of carbonation and the frothy texture.  However, the hint of hops and flavor profile was odd, and I didn’t really like the bitterness.  It was almost beer-like.

Most Similar to:  Double Mountain Jumpin Jack Heirloom Cider

Closing Notes:  I also picked up this cidery’s hopped cider (the only other cider from the cidery the bottle shop had).

Have you tried Oregon Mead & Cider Company’s Free Press Dry Cider?  What did you think?

Cascadia Ciderworkers United Dry

Review of Cascadia Ciderworkers United’s Dry cider, produced by Reverend Nat’s in Portland Oregon.

Cider:  Dry
Cidery:  Cascadia Ciderworks United
Cidery Location:  Portland OR
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  four pack of 16oz cans
Style:  American New World Style dry canned cider

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Availability:  Year round in limited markets, such as OR, WA, & CA

Cider Description:  This is a true dry cider, made with the finest American dessert apples and crafted with Belgian beer yeast. Cloudy and golden colored, it is best served chilled, not ice cold. The next time you’re in Portland Oregon, stop by for a pint. Our Ciderworkers will be glad to share one with you.

Cidery Description: The Pacific Northwest grows more apples than anywhere else in the country, so we make hard cider here.  Our ciderworkers use only Cascadia-grown whole apples, never juice from concentrate.

Price:  $9.50 for a four pack (although I got a single can for under $3)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I had seen this on the shelves for awhile, and now that I’m open to drier ciders, I thought I might as well give it a try.  Also, I’ve been wanting to find a local canned craft cider I like, and not having much luck.

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First Impression:  Light amber.  Moderate carbonation.  Smells acidic, tart, slightly rich, and of caramel, honey, and vanilla.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Moderate acidity.  Low tartness and tannins.  A hint of bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  The flavor is a bit yeasty and slightly apple forward, with a slight richness.  It almost tastes barrel aged.  Caramel and vanilla notes.  Medium to high sessionability.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate to full flavored.  Moderate carbonation, which is rare to find.  Moderate length finish, with some lingering booziness.

My Opinion:  Yum!  I enjoyed this cider, and think its a great value too.  It was nice to have something that was drier but still fairly full flavored.  I think its impressive they even got some tannins in there.  Its actually the best local canned cider I’ve tried (my favorite canned cider so far is Downeast Original).

Most Similar to:  This reminded me a bit of French cider, such as Celt, as it had a richer flavor and was carbonated (although its a bit drier than most ciders I’ve had from Brittany France).

Closing Notes:  I think this would be a great everyday canned cider to keep in my house.  Cascadia also makes a Granny Smith variety, and have a winter seasonal (at a whopping 9.5% ABV).

Update:  Since I liked this so much I bought a four pack, and it was unfortunately undrinkable.  It was like it was a completely different cider (a fruity cider gone bad).  I e-mailed the cidery, but didn’t receive a response.  Disappointing.

Have you tried Cascadia cider?  What did you think?