Wrangletown Cider Co. Fieldbrook Nursery Orchard

Review of Wrangletown Cider Company’s Fieldbrook Nursery Orchard cider.  I’ve previously tried their “Original“, Oak Barrel Aged, and Monument Apples Orchard ciders.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Wrangletown.  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:  Fieldbrok Nursery Orchard
Cidery:  Wrangletown Cider Co.
Cidery Location:  Arcata CA
ABV:  8.3%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  American craft dry farmhouse-style cider from heirloom & culinary apples

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Availability:  Only in Northern California.  They self distribute, and have a tasting room in Arcata (open Friday thru Sunday and by appointment) in Humboldt county.  The owner also said she may also be able to ship through a third party to some states if there was interest.

Cider Description: Wrangletown Cider’s Fieldbrook Nursery Orchard is a dry Farmhouse style Cider.  It is sourced from a blend of Heirloom and Culinary apples grown in Fieldbrook, California.  This cider from Fieldbrook Nursery Orchard is bold, refreshing and full of fresh apple flavor.  It has strong apple aromas and a fruity and full mouthfeel.   This cider was fermented in stainless steel barrels.  Varieties include Spartan, Glowing Coal, Pink Pearl, King and Cortland. 

Cidery Description:  Wrangletown Cider Company produces small batch, dry, bottle conditioned ciders featuring family-owned orchards from Humboldt County, California.

The cidery is owned and operated by Pat Knittel, since 2015 (a one-woman show).  The cidery is named after the “wrangle” town the cidermaker grew up in, which was infamous for two women brawling in the streets.  The cidery had a Kickstarter campaign, successfully raising funds for equipment.  Ciderpress wrote an article after touring the cidery.  Here is another article on the cidery.

Price:  n/a (retails for $18)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  The owner/cidermaker contacted me.

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First Impression:  Hazy lemonade hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells dry, slightly sour, funky, and musty, and of citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Dry.  Very light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Low bitterness and tannins.  Hints of sourness and funk.  Notes of heirloom apples, lemon, must, mineral, yeast, and honey.  Long finish.  Hidden ABV.  Moderate complexity and sessionability.  Low flavor intensity and apple flavor.

My Opinion:  This isn’t my favorite style of cider; I usually go for a more intensely flavored cider, and I found this a bit nuanced.  However, I certainly couldn’t find any faults, and didn’t dislike it.  This will likely appeal to folks who enjoy wine and milder food-friendly ciders.  I always think of my personal opinion as more of an afterthought to my reviews (which is why I don’t rate ciders here).  Everyone has a different taste in ciders, and every cider won’t appeal to every person.

Most Similar to: Runcible Cider Light of the MoonAlpenfire Pirate’s PlankBrooklyn Cider House Half SourNumber 12 Sparkling DryAngry Orchard Walden Hollow, and Sietsema Traditional Dry

Closing Notes:  All in all, Wrangletown’s lineup is on the entry level end of the farmhouse-style spectrum, with only a touch of sourness & funk, so they remain rather easy to drink / consumer-friendly.  However, the flavor intensity was lower than I prefer, very nuanced, and all four ciders were quite similar (and the other four folks I shared the ciders with also agreed on all those points).

I think their ciders would especially appeal to wine drinkers, and are food-friendly.  My favorite of the four was the Oak Barrel Aged, as I found it to be the most flavorful and unique.  Also, although the labels look really cool, I think they could be a detriment in the long term, as it is very difficult to tell the varieties apart (as only the name varies, on the bottom left), so a consumer could assume they only make one variety.

Have you tried Wrangletown Cider?  What did you think?

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