Eden Beeflustered

Review of Eden Beeflustered, ice cider aged in Superstition cherry mead barrels. It is my first time trying this, but I have had much of Eden’s line-up (see here). I’m a fan of both Eden‘s ice ciders and Superstition‘s meads (see here for mead tasting notes from my 2015 visit), so this was an easy choice. Ice cider is made using apple juice which has been concentrated by cold temperatures, resulting in a sweeter higher alcohol dessert cider.

Cider:  Beeflustered
Cidery:  Eden Specialty Ciders
Cidery Location:  Newport VT
ABV:  13.0%
How Supplied:  375ml bottles
Style: American craft ice cider from heirloom apple varieties, 2014 harvest, aged 6 months in Superstition cherry mead barrels (originally used for rye whiskey)

Availability:  online only; see here

Cider Description:  Naturally cold-concentrated before fermentation in our Vermont winter weather. Arrested fermentation leaves residual sweetness. Ice cider made from heirloom apple varieties and aged 6 months in 2 barrels from Superstition Meadery – originally rye whiskey barrels that they used to aged their cherry mead.
See here for complete info.

Cidery Description:  Our mission is to support small local orchards who grow special apple varieties using environmentally sustainable practices. Together we grow a fascinating array of varieties to use in our ciders –  old New England heirlooms like Blue Pearmain and Roxbury Russet, iconic sweets and sharps like Hudson’s Gem and Esopus Spitzenburg, zingy crabapples like Dolgo, Kerr and Wickson, and historic tannic varieties, including bittersweet and bittersharp varieties that originated in France and England. We press once per year after harvest, using the natural winter cold at our farm to concentrate the flavors and sugars of the apples before fermentation. We don’t use sugar, colorings, acids, or industrial flavorings, and all of our ciders are naturally gluten-free and vegan friendly.  Welcome to cider from a wine point of view!

Price:  $35
Where Bought:  their online store
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  e-mail notification about new releases (sign up here)

First Impression:  Amber-red hue. No carbonation. Smells sweet and rich.

Tasting Notes: Full bodied. Very sweet. Moderate tartness. Low acidity. No bitterness, sourness, or funk. Hints of tannins. Notes of baked apple, cherry, and rich brown sugar, with hints of oak and vanilla. Long tart alcohol-forward finish. High complexity and overall flavor intensity. Moderate apple flavor. Low to moderate cherry flavor. Very low sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it. I was surprised how much cherry flavor was present just from aging in barrels previously used for cherry mead.

Most Similar to:  Eden’s heirloom ice cider, except with tart cherry and a hint of oak

Closing Notes:  Another awesome ice cider from Eden!

Have you tried ice cider?  What did you think?

Eden Benjamin

Review of Eden Cellar Series #16, Benjamin, a Petillant Naturel cider made from 2019 harvest apples from Eden’s own biodynamic orchard, and named after their orchardist Benjamin Applegate.  ‘Pet Nat’ is also known as Méthode Ancestrale, and is a way to make naturally sparkling cider (see here for more info on this style).  It is my first time trying this cider, but I’ve had most of their line-up (see here).

<This is a review of a sample bottle 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.>

Photo Sep 07, 5 19 34 PM

Cider:  Benjamin
Cidery:  Eden Specialty Ciders
Cidery Location:  Newport VT
ABV:  8.2%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  American craft orchard-based heritage Petillant Naturel cider from heirloom & cider apples, zero residual sugar

Photo Sep 07, 5 20 10 PM Photo Sep 07, 5 20 19 PM

Availability:  in limited markets and through their website

Cider Description:  PROFILE: Bubbly, tart, juicy
APPLE VARIETIES: Northern Spy, Golden Russet, Grimes Golden, Esopus Spitzenberg, Michelin, Ashmead’s Kernel, Baldwin, Rhode Island Greening, Egremont Russet, Stembridge Cluster, Blue Pearmain, Binet Rouge, Orleans Reinette, Calville Blanc, Rubinette
METHOD: Spontaneous fermentation, bottled in process before finishing. Not disgorged, contains residual lees
TASTING NOTES: tangerine, white roses and granite
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: oysters, charcuterie, farro bowl

For more info, see here and here.

Cidery Description:  Our specialty ciders reflect the cold winter climate and apple heritage of Northern New England. We make ciders that are unique and innovative, but that also respect the rare and expensive apples we use, and refrain from aggressive manipulation and industrial beer and wine processing techniques.

Price:  $28
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

Photo Sep 07, 5 21 57 PM

First Impression:  Hazy light pumpkin hue.  Moderate carbonation.  Smells of mild apple with hints of must and funk.

Tasting Notes:  Dry.  Light bodied.  High tartness and acidity.  Low tannins.  Hints of bitterness and funk.  No sourness.  Notes of sharp but juicy heirloom apple and lemon with hints of floral and earth/straw.  Moderate length tart finish.  Moderate apple flavor, sessionability, and flavor intensity.  High complexity.

My Opinion:  I liked it, once I got past the first mouth-puckering tart sip.  Super apple forward and juicy although without any sweetness.

Most Similar to:  Eden Deep Cut, except with more complexity, more tartness, and a hint of funk

Closing Notes:  Although this was nice to try, both my husband and I preferred Eden Deep Cut due to the lower tartness.

Have you tried Eden Benjamin?  What did you think?

Eden Deep Cut

Review of Eden’s Deep Cut, a new dry canned harvest cider offering, co-released with Peak Bloom which I reviewed here.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve had most of their line-up (see here).

<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.>

Cider:  Deep Cut
Cidery:  Eden Specialty Ciders
Cidery Location:  Newport VT
ABV:  6.2%
How Supplied:  12oz cans
Style:  American craft orchard-based heritage cider from heirloom & cider apples, dry

Photo Sep 04, 7 38 59 PM Photo Sep 04, 7 39 14 PM Photo Sep 04, 7 39 26 PM

Availability:  soon, in limited markets and through their website

Cider Description:  This is a dry, hazy, full-bodied 6.2% ABV cider made from Golden Russet, Somerset Redstreak, Dabinett, Yarlington Mill, McIntosh and Empire apples that were harvested in 2019.  Slow cold fermentation and no filtering means lots of layered, rich flavor, with tasting notes of peach, black tea and citrus. Eden suggests pairing Deep Cut with fried chicken, tacos and grilled anything!

For more info, see here.

Cidery Description:  Our specialty ciders reflect the cold winter climate and apple heritage of Northern New England. We make ciders that are unique and innovative, but that also respect the rare and expensive apples we use, and refrain from aggressive manipulation and industrial beer and wine processing techniques.

Price:  ~ $3-4 / can
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

Photo Sep 04, 7 38 41 PM

First Impression:  Hazy light yellow hue.  No carbonation.  Smells mild, of apple and must.

Tasting Notes:  Fully dry.  Light bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of juicy heirloom apple and lemon with hints of earth and herbs.  Moderate tart finish.  Moderate apple flavor, overall flavor intensity, and complexity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  Awesome!  Ciders like this could turn a sweeter cider lover like me onto dry ciders.  I think it was because of the lower tartness, which seemed to make it easier to drink, as it was less sharp.

Most Similar to:  Nothing I’ve had.  The less filtered style was reminiscent of ciders from Downeast, but that is not at all dry, and a completely opposite style (modern not heritage).

Closing Notes:  Usually when I drink a dry cider like this I’ll think about how just a touch of sweetness would have made it better, and more flavorful, but I truly don’t think it would have worked for this cider.

Have you tried Eden Deep Cut?  What did you think?

Eden Peak Bloom

Review of Eden’s Peak Bloom, a new semi-dry canned harvest cider offering, co-released with Deep Cut (dry), which I’ll review soon.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve had most of their line-up (see here).

<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.>

Cider:  Peak Bloom
Cidery:  Eden Specialty Ciders
Cidery Location:  Newport VT
ABV:  6.2%
How Supplied:  12oz cans
Style:  American craft orchard-based heritage cider from heirloom & cider apples, semi-dry

Photo Aug 29, 5 52 05 PM Photo Aug 29, 5 52 13 PM Photo Aug 29, 5 52 21 PM

Availability:  soon, in limited markets and through their website

Cider Description:  This is an off-dry, clean and refreshing cider made from a blend of Dabinett, McIntosh, Empire, Spartan and Esopus Spitzenburg apples harvested in 2018. Like Deep Cut, Peak Bloom was also fermented slow and cold, blended with a few drops of ice cider, and then filtered, before being carbonated and pasteurized. Tasting notes include applesauce, honey, white grape and slate. Pairing suggestions include curries, barbecue and outdoor fun!

For more info, see here and here.

Cidery Description:  Our specialty ciders reflect the cold winter climate and apple heritage of Northern New England. We make ciders that are unique and innovative, but that also respect the rare and expensive apples we use, and refrain from aggressive manipulation and industrial beer and wine processing techniques.

Price:  ~ $3-4 / can
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

Photo Aug 29, 5 51 43 PM

First Impression:  Light straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, clean, of acidic citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Hints of tannins.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Notes of complex heirloom apple, citrus, honey, and floral.  Moderate length tart finish.  Moderate apple flavor and overall flavor intensity.  High sessionability and complexity.

My Opinion:  Great!  I enjoyed the flavor profile, and found it super sessionable, but with plenty of complexity to keep my interest.  I’d personally prefer a bit more sweetness, although I say that about most heritage ciders.

Most Similar to:  Eden’s 2019 Harvest Cider

Closing Notes:  This is yet another excellent cider option from Eden.

Have you tried Eden Peak Bloom?  What did you think?

Eden Ezekiel Kingston Black

Review of Eden’s Cellar Series #8 ‘Ezekiel’ Kingston Black.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had many varieties from Eden – Sparkling DryCinderella’s SlipperHeirloom Blend Ice CiderSparkling Semi-DryNorthern Spy (Barrel Aged) Ice CiderHoneycrisp Ice CiderImperial 11 RoséHeirloom Blend Apple Brandy Barrel AgedGuinevere’s PearlsWindfall Orchard Ice CiderTwo Ellies (collaboration with Tilted Shed), The FalstaffHeritage (canned), and Siren Song.

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Cider:  Cellar Series #9, Ezekiel
Cidery:  Eden Specialty Ciders
Cidery Location:  Newport, VT
ABV:  8.0%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  American heritage cider, Kingston Black single varietal

Photo Dec 14, 6 25 31 PM Photo Dec 14, 6 25 51 PM

Availability:  probably just online, although their regular ciders are sold in stores

Cider Description:  This cellar series cider is named after Ezekiel Goodband, the orchardist at Scott Farm who grew the apples from which it is made. 100% Kingston Black apples – a classic British cider variety that is known as one of the few apples that has sufficient sugar, acid and tannin to make a balanced single variety cider. Rare apples, pressed at harvest, carefully fermented and bottle-conditioned with our ice cider produce a cider that is exquisitely delicious and unique.

Winner: 2017 Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition, Silver Medal.  2016 Harvest.  100% Kingston Black, grown at Scott Farm in Dummerston, Vermont.  Bottle-conditioned, naturally sparkling, residual lees…Limited run: Only 100 cases produced

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.

They have a Tasting Bar in Newport VT, and a Boutique Taproom & Cheese Bar in Winooski VT.  Their current product line includes ice ciders, Aperitif ciders, sparkling ciders, and Cellar Series releases.

Price:  $20
Where Bought:  their online store
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing, as I wanted to check if they had any new varieties since I last looked, and they did, so I ordered some, then they e-mailed to say they were offering free shipping! (through Dec 20 2018, on 3 or more bottles)

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Moderate carbonation.  Smells mild, of sharp tart apple.

Tasting Notes:  Dry to semi-dry.  Light bodied.  High tartness and acidity.  Low tannins and bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of sharp apple and pomace, lemon, mineral, and honey.  Moderate length tart finish.  Moderate apple flavor, complexity, flavor intensity, and sessionability.

My Opinion:  This was a bit too tart and sharp for my liking.  Also, less rich than all the other five Kingston Black SVs I’ve tried, but the KB is a bittersharp not a bittersweet cider apple variety, so rich flavor notes shouldn’t be a given.  My husband was a big fan though, and happy to finish the bottle.

Most Similar to:  many of the drier tart heritage ciders from heirloom cider apples available in the NE

Closing Notes:  My favorite Kingston Black SV so far is from Liberty, although I’ve also tried ones from Farnum Hill, Eve’s, Dragon’s Head, and Whitewood.

Have you tried a Kingston Black single varietal?  What did you think?

Eden Cellar Series #9 Siren Song

Review of Eden Cellar Series #9, Siren Song.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had many varieties from Eden – Sparkling DryCinderella’s SlipperHeirloom Blend Ice CiderSparkling Semi-DryNorthern Spy (Barrel Aged) Ice CiderHoneycrisp Ice CiderImperial 11 RoséHeirloom Blend Apple Brandy Barrel AgedGuinevere’s PearlsWindfall Orchard Ice CiderTwo Ellies (collaboration with Tilted Shed), The Falstaff, and Heritage (canned).

Photo Dec 07, 7 01 44 PM.jpg

Cider:  Cellar Series #9, Siren Song
Cidery:  Eden Specialty Ciders
Cidery Location:  Newport, VT
ABV:  7.5%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  American craft orchard-based heritage cider

Photo Dec 07, 7 01 44 PM - Copy Photo Dec 07, 7 02 24 PM

Availability:  probably just online, although their regular ciders are sold in stores

Cider Description:  In Greek mythology the songs of the Sirens were enough to entice a Mariner to jump off his trireme, only to meet his end in the depths of the Adriatic Sea. This cider will beguile you with fruit, spice and smoke, cradled in an illusion of residual sweetness. As you follow it down to the depths of your glass, the tannins reveal themselves in astringency rather than bitterness. The complexity derives from a mix of over 20 apple varieties, harvest-pressed and fermented slow and cold as are all our heritage ciders. The curvaceous balance derives from skillful blending by our enraptured Cider team. Another glassful calls.

Limited run: Only 80 cases produced.  Winner 2018 Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP) Gold: Heritage Dry Cider.  2017 Harvest.  20 variety blend of tannic cider apples, including Kerr and Dolgo crabs, Russets and high acid heirlooms.  Filtered and carbonated.  7.5% ABV, 1.2% residual sweetness.

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.

They have a Tasting Bar in Newport VT, and a Boutique Taproom & Cheese Bar in Winooski VT.  Their current product line includes ice ciders, Aperitif ciders, sparkling ciders, and Cellar Series releases.

Price:  $20
Where Bought:  their online store
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing, as I wanted to check if they had any new varieties since I last looked, and they did, so I ordered some, then they e-mailed to say they were offering free shipping! (through Dec 20 2018, on 3 or more bottles)

Photo Dec 07, 7 03 44 PM.jpg

First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells of tart tannic rich apple.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Low to moderate tannins.  Hints of bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of sharp apple, caramel, lemon, mineral, earth, and butterscotch.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate flavor intensity, sessionability, and apple flavor.  High complexity.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it.  Nice complexity with a unique flavor profile, a little of everything.  I definitely picked up more influence from crab and heirloom apples than bittersweet apples though.  I had this after dinner, but I think it would be even better suited to pair with a meal, nearly anything.

Most Similar to:  Liberty Ciderworks Hewe’s Crab SV

Closing Notes:  I also purchased Eden’s newish Extra Sec and Cellar Series Ezekiel (Kingston Black SV), both of which I’ll review soon, and another bottle of Guinevere’s Pearls, which I have to say I prefer over Siren Song.

Have you tried Eden Siren Song?  What did you think?