2 Towns Blueberry Daze

Review of 2 Towns Blueberry Daze (with blueberries, grapes, and lavender).  It is my first time trying this, although I have had most of their ciders (see here).

Photo Jun 26, 6 18 57 PM

Cider:  Blueberry Daze
Cidery:  2 Towns Ciderhouse
Cidery Location:  Corvallis OR
ABV:  5.3%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with blueberries, grapes, and lavender

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Availability:  limited release, Spring 2020 ? , in select areas where 2 Towns is typically sold (Oregon, Washington, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Chicago, and parts of Minnesota & Montana)

Cider Description:  Blueberry Daze is a rich, smooth, soft, velvety, lush, and crazy aromatic cider. Yes. All those adjectives. The unfiltered, fresh-pressed Pacific Northwest blueberry juice is dark and full of rich berry-licious flavor. The addition of Muscat grapes lend the cider an incredibly fruity and floral aroma, while the lavender finishes the cider with deep, floral, and intoxicating notes.

Cidery Description:  At 2 Towns Ciderhouse we believe that the long history of cidermaking demands respect and deserves to be done right. Starting with the highest quality whole ingredients from local farms, we take no shortcuts in crafting our ciders. We never add any sugar, concentrates or artificial flavors, and instead use slow, cold fermentation methods to allow the fruit to speak for itself. As a family-owned company, we are committed to the growth of our team and enrichment of our communities. We take pride in producing true Northwest craft cider.

Price:  ~ $6.99
Where Bought:  Costco
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing

Photo Jun 26, 6 21 17 PM

First Impression:  Deep purple-red hue.  Little to no carbonation.  Smells of lavender with a hint of berry.

Tasting Notes:  On the drier side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness.  Moderate to high acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of blueberry, lavender, tart green apple, and a hint of grape.  Moderate length tart finish.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity and overall complexity.  Moderate to high sessionability.

My Opinion:  Awesome!  The flavor was superb, with some nice complexity for a modern cider (one made from dessert apples, often with adjuncts).  I wouldn’t have minded a tad more sweetness, although as-is its super sessionable.

Most Similar to:  Finnriver Lavender Black Currant, except with blueberries & grapes instead of black currants (both are semi-dry and tart).

Closing Notes:  I wish this was a year-round canned release.

Have you tried 2 Towns Blueberry Daze?  What did you think?

Alpenfire Calypso

Review of Alpenfire Calypso.  I’ve had this previously, but never done a full review.  I’ve also had Alpenfire’s DungenessSparkEmberSimple CiderCalypso, Pirate’s Plank, GlowCindersShrubSpiced Tonic Shrub, Traditional Heirloom Cider, Flame, TempestFoxwhelp SVRosy Pommeau3 PommesKingston BlackGolden FoxSmoke, and Traditional Cuvée.

Photo Jun 12, 5 42 45 PM

Cider:  Calypso
Cidery:  Alpenfire
Cidery Location:  Port Townsend WA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  American craft cider from Newton Pippin apples and blackberries, rum barrel aged

Photo Jun 12, 5 42 53 PM Photo Jun 12, 5 43 09 PM Photo Jun 12, 5 43 03 PM

Availability:  likely only in the Northwest, plus online sales

Cider Description:  An expression of the Northwest.  Organic heirloom apples co-fermented with blackberries, then aged in rum barrels.

Cidery Description:  We invite you to experience the distinctive flavors of our estate grown heritage ciders. Shaped by our maritime climate’s mild summers and tempered by the foggy mist rolling off of Discovery Bay, our apples maintain the qualities they’ve been treasured for by generations of cider lovers.  Soft tannins, high sugars, hints of bitterness, and an incredible flavor range are the tools the apples bring us.  Slow, cool fermentation, lengthy maturation, and attention to detail is the way we say thank you!  Try Alpenfire Cider today and find your favorite expression of the Northwest.

Price:  $11.99
Where Bought:  their website – I made a large order when they had a free shipping deal during COVID-19 quarantine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  this was one of the first varieties I tried from Alpenfire

Photo Jun 12, 5 44 27 PM

First Impression:  Vibrant dark red hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells of mild tart berry.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate to high tartness and acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of tart apple reminiscent of granny smith, complex berry, and a hint of oak.  Moderate length tart finish.  Moderate sessionability, flavor intensity, and apple flavor.  Low to moderate overall complexity.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  Easy to drink, but still with some complexity.  However, I’d prefer a bit more sweetness and/or less tartness.

Most Similar to:  2 Towns Boysenbarrel, except without the red wine flavor profile

Closing Notes:  Alpenfire consistently makes excellent ciders, and has a huge range of selections too, so there is something for everyone.

Have you tried Alpenfire Calypso?  What did you think?

Ace Guava

Review of Ace’s Guava cider.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had their PineappleBlackjack 21, Pumpkin, Apple-Honey, Apple, Berry, Joker, and Space.

Cider:  Guava
Cidery:  Ace
Cidery Location:  Sebastopol CA
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz cans
Style:  American large-craft cider from dessert apples, with Brazilian guava

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Availability:  wide release; check their cider finder

Cider Description:  Fresh Pink Guava juice blended with our semi-dry apple cider. Fruit forward with semi-dry undertones. Enjoy this taste of Brazil!

Cidery Description:  California Cider Company is the first family-owned cidery in the US. We have been making ACE Cider since 1993 in the beautiful Sebastopol area of Sonoma County, just north of San Francisco.

Price:  ~ $9.99 / six pack
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Facebook

Photo May 29, 5 57 12 PM

First Impression:  Hazy orange with a hint of pink hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells of tart tropical fruit, although not specifically guava.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  No sourness, bitterness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of guava juice, tart green apple, and a hint of lemon.  Moderate length tart finish.  High sessionability.  Low apple flavor.  Low to moderate complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  I liked it, due to the great guava flavor, which is a favorite of mine.  However, I would have loved it, if only there was a touch more sweetness.  With 9g sugar per can and its tartness, this barely tasted semi-dry to me.

Most Similar to:  I’ve had four ciders with guava – Common Cider Pineapple Guava, One Tree Passionfruit Guava, Schilling Guava Mint, and Seattle Cider Strawberry Guava – but all had an additional flavor.  Ace Guava wasn’t similar to any of those, as the Common Cider and Seattle Cider selections were of a similar sweetness but mild in flavor and not guava-forward, while the One Tree and Schilling selections were much sweeter and super full-flavored.

Closing Notes:  This is a super sessionable summery cider, with the low ABV, lack of sweetness, and guava flavor profile.

Have you tried Ace Guava?  What did you think?

Tieton Hazy Strawberry

Review of Tieton’s Hazy Strawberry.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had most of their line-up (see here).

Cider:  Hazy Strawberry
Cidery:  Tieton Cider Works
Cidery Location:  Yakima WA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz cans (and kegs)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples with strawberries

Photo May 08, 6 56 49 PM Photo May 08, 6 57 25 PM Photo May 08, 6 57 13 PM

Availability:  seasonally, around May thru August, at least in AZ, CA, CO, FL, ID, IL, NJ, NM, NV, OR, TX, and WA; check their cider finder

Cider Description:  As Washington farmers we like to support local growers and Northwest strawberries are some of the very best!  This blend of hand-picked juicy strawberries and fresh-pressed cider pours as a ruby blush.  It is unfiltered for added body and accentuated flavors.  Enjoy this fruity summer beverage with smoky bar-b-que and fresh cheeses.

Cidery Description: From our orchards to your glass, TCW controls every aspect of the growing and cidermaking process. TCW boasts the largest orchard of cider apple varieties in Washington state and the largest Perry pear orchard in the United States. We blend our cider fruit with all Washington apples. We’ve been growing apples, apricots, cherries and pears on Harmony Orchards – our family farm – since the 1930’s and are thrilled to be involved in Re:interpreting the tradition of cider making.

Price:  ~ $2 / single can (runs ~ $11.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  Trader Joes (note that they will sell a single can/bottle of any multi-pack, and don’t mark it up beyond the unit price like most other stores)
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing the store, although I saw it first in the Hard Cider Appreciation Society Facebook group

Photo May 08, 6 56 23 PM

First Impression:  Deep red-pink hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells of mild sweet berry.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  No sourness, bitterness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of strawberry and granny smith apple.  Quick tart finish.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  Interestingly it tasted much drier than the stated sugar content (19g / can), I’m guessing because of the tartness.  Nice real strawberry flavor.

Most Similar to:  My list says I’ve only tried four strawberry ciders (from Bull Run, Cider Brothers – William Tell, Longdrop, and Seattle Cider), and the later 2 had additional flavors.  Tieton Hazy Strawberry is most like Bull Run Strawberry Fields, with a similar level of sweetness and flavor profile.

Closing Notes:  I like being able to pick up single cans/bottles of multipacks, so I don’t get stuck with selections I don’t like, although in this case I wouldn’t have minded having 5 more cans.

Have you tried Tieton Hazy Strawberry?  What did you think?

Alpenfire Traditional Cuvée

Review of Alpenfire Traditional Cuvée.  It is my first time trying this variety, but I have had most of their lineup (see here).

Photo May 08, 4 45 58 PM

Cider: Traditional Cuvée
Cidery:  Alpenfire
Cidery Location:  Port Townsend WA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  American orchard-based cider from heirloom & cider apple varieties, dry

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Availability:  probably only through their website and in a limited number of specialty shops in WA

Cider Description:  This cider cuvée has a classic balance of traditional & heirloom apples. The cider apples are organically grown in our orchard while the heirloom apples come from two other organic growers, Lazy J Farm in Port Angeles and Heirloom Orchards in Hood River. Cider apples provide depth of flavor and a tannic sizzle while heirloom apples provide acidity and bright flavors. Cool fermentation, lengthy maturation and no filtration create complexity and rich body. Try this well rounded orchard based cider with breads & cheese, burgers, or just about everything.

Cidery Description:  We invite you to experience the distinctive flavors of our estate grown heritage ciders. Shaped by our maritime climate’s mild summers and tempered by the foggy mist rolling off of Discovery Bay, our apples maintain the qualities they’ve been treasured for by generations of cider lovers. Soft tannins, high sugars, hints of bitterness, and an incredible flavor range are the tools the apples bring us. Slow, cool fermentation, lengthy maturation, and attention to detail is the way we say thank you! Try Alpenfire Cider today and find your favorite expression of the Northwest.

Price:  $11.99
Where Bought:  Alpenfire’s online shop
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing their website when I made a large order when they were offering free shipping

Photo May 08, 4 48 12 PM

First Impression:  Medium gold hue.  Smells of dry, tart, tannic, heirloom apple with a hint of funk.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Low tannins.  Hints of bitterness and funk.  No sourness.  Notes of heirloom apple juice & pomace, wood, lemon, and floral.  Moderate length tannic finish.  Moderate apple flavor, sessionability, and overall flavor intensity.  Moderate to high complexity.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  It didn’t seem quite as tart/sharp as many other dry ciders, which I enjoyed, as I usually tend towards sweeter ciders, and tartness makes dry ciders taste even drier for me.

Most Similar to:  Eden Heritage Cider, Dragon’s Head Heritage, and also reminiscent of Snowdrift but not any 1 specific release

Closing Notes:  Alpenfire’s lineup is really wide-ranging in type, so there is something for everyone

Have you tried Alpenfire Traditional Cuvée?  What did you think?

Alpenfire Smoke

Review of Alpenfire’s Smoke Pommeau (cider + apple brandy), their barrel aged dessert cider.  I’ve had a previous version of this (see here), plus I’ve tried most of their lineup (see here).  I missed out on the only release that I knew of in between the previous one I tried years ago and this one, so I was excited to buy some.

Photo Apr 25, 5 54 29 PM

Cider:  Smoke, 2017 Harvest
Cidery:  Alpenfire
Cidery Location:  Port Townsend WA
ABV:  18%
How Supplied:  375ml bottles
Style:  American craft apple brandy-fortified barrel-aged cider from Estate-grown bittersweet cider apple varieties

Photo Apr 25, 5 54 44 PM Photo Apr 25, 5 55 03 PM

Availability:  very limited, likely mostly online, plus some specialty shops in WA

Cider Description:  A barrel aged desert cider blended for those who love a rich full bodied cider and a touch of peaty smoke in their whiskey. This after dinner tipple sits as the 2nd best cider in the world on RateBeer’s best of list….Harvested in 2017 and fermented dry, referemented and aged in a rye whiskey barrel, then matured in a peated whiskey barrel, then blended with cider aged over oak chips before estate Bittersweet apple brandy is added in to bring it up to 18%.

Cidery Description:  We invite you to experience the distinctive flavors of our estate grown heritage ciders. Shaped by our maritime climate’s mild summers and tempered by the foggy mist rolling off of Discovery Bay, our apples maintain the qualities they’ve been treasured for by generations of cider lovers.  Soft tannins, high sugars, hints of bitterness, and an incredible flavor range are the tools the apples bring us.  Slow, cool fermentation, lengthy maturation, and attention to detail is the way we say thank you!  Try Alpenfire Cider today and find your favorite expression of the Northwest.

Price:  $24.99
Where Bought:  their online shop
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  originally, browsing a shop

Photo Apr 25, 5 59 26 PM

First Impression:  Light gold hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells of rich bittersweet apple, brandy / high ABV, aged spirits (esp. scotch), and oak barrel.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Medium body.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Low bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of bittersweet cider apples, oak, smoke, scotch/whiskey, and a hint of peat.  Long warm finish.  Moderate to high complexity and flavor intensity.  Low to moderate apple flavor.  Very low sessionability.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it.  However, I have to say that it didn’t live up to the previous version I tried, which was truly epic and one of the best things I’ve ever drank.  I imagine the years I waited to buy more of this served to further elevate my opinion on the previous version.  Never the less, as a stand-alone product, this Pommeau is superb, and I’ll happily drink the 3 bottles I bought.

Most Similar to:  a slightly lighter (less rich) and less sweet version of their previous Smoke, or a typical Pommeau with added barrel/smoke flavor

Closing Notes:  Alpenfire is a favorite of mine, and a highlight is their vast lineup, with offerings from dry to semi-sweet, fruity to rich, sessionable to not, and everything in between, all of which are exceptional.

Have you tried Alpenfire Smoke?  What did you think?

Portland CiderAde

Review of Portland Cider’s CiderAde, a special release.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve had their Passion FruitPearfect Perry, Kinda DryHop’RageousLondon Dry GinApple, Crooked Cock Scrumpy, Strawperry, Pineapple, Sangria, Mojito, Cranberry, Concord GrapePerfect 10Pumpkin SpicePineapple Rosé, Peach Berry, and Razzberry.

>>This is a review of a sample can provided to Cider Says by Portland Cider.  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:  CiderAde
Cidery:  Portland Cider
Cidery Location:  Portland Oregon
ABV:  4.0%
How Supplied:  19.2oz “proper pint” single cans (and kegs)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with lemon, lime, and salt (as electrolytes)

Photo Apr 12, 4 41 04 PM Photo Apr 12, 4 41 14 PM Photo Apr 12, 4 41 21 PM

Availability:  small batch special release, starting April 2020, in Oregon (including to-go at Portland Cider’s 2 taprooms), Washington, Northern Idaho, and Northern California

Cider Description:  The cider that aids you! Freshly squeezed lemons and limes brighten this cider made with 100% Northwest apples. A cider that’s refreshing & replenishes with electrolytes sourced from sea salt harvested in Netarts Bay along the Oregon coast by Jacobsen Salt Company. Rejuvenation & relaxation in a glass!

Cidery Description:  We started the Portland Cider Company in 2013 with the intent of marrying English cider traditions with the innovative Northwest micro-brewing culture.  Lynda hails from Somerset county of England, the traditional cider making region, and Jeff is a native Oregonian.  It all started from a desire to make the clean, dry cider Lynda grew to love in England, and Jeff yearned to find here.  The first batches began in our guest room closet, 5 gallons at a time, made to quench our own thirst.  We then introduced it to our friends and family, most never having drank cider before, and discovered we were on to something when our popularity soared and those small batches went fast!  That cider is what became our signature and bestselling “Kinda Dry.”  Now 6 years on, we continue to devote the same passion for 5000 gallon batches as we did for those first 5 gallon ones.  Only now we don’t worry about running out of what we love!  We hope you won’t run out of it either!

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $4 per 19.2oz can)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

Photo Apr 12, 4 40 35 PM

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

Tasting Notes:  Dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of green apple, lemon, salt, and lime.  Moderate length tart finish.  Low apple flavor, sessionability, and complexity.  Very high sessionability.

My Opinion:  I wasn’t super into this, as I tend towards slightly sweeter ciders, but my husband who is a bigger fan of dry tart ciders liked it.

Most Similar to:  Ulee’s Light Cider with some salt and lime

Closing Notes:  I’m not one to mix outdoor activities in hot weather with alcohol, so I don’t really get the appeal of this, but I can imagine others having the opposite opinion.  Good thing there is a wide range of ciders so there is something for everyone.

Have you tried Portland CiderAde?  What did you think?

Double Mountain Wickson Crab Cider

Review of Double Mountain Brewery’s Wickson Crab cider.  It is my second time trying this (see here for the first).  I’ve also had their Jumpin Jack Heirloom CiderDry, and Arkansas Black.

Photo Mar 28, 5 29 39 PM

Cider:  Wickson Crab
Maker:  Double Mountain
Location:  Hood River Oregon
ABV:  8.2%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  American craft cider from Wickson crabapples

Photo Mar 28, 5 29 45 PM Photo Mar 28, 5 30 07 PM Photo Mar 28, 5 29 57 PM

Availability:  likely only in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia

Cider Description:  This late season variety is tiny on the tree, but big on flavor. Sweet, tart, and earthy, this scrappy little apple makes for a robust cider. Honeydew, ripe kiwi, and big juicy apple fill the mouth, finishing less tart and a hint of sweetness.  There is nothing small about this variety of crabapple.  Wickson is bringing the sweet to balance it’s tart kick.

Cidery Description:  Double Mountain Brewery and Taproom was established in 2007 in the heart of downtown Hood River, OR.  Founder, Matt Swihart, opened the brewery with a clear mission: make great beer for craft beer fans. The unique location of Double Mountain provides the use of pure and clean glacial water for beers and ciders, while also take advantage of regionally grown hops. Reusable bottles allow customers to partake in a softer environmental footprint, affirming they are part of a sustainable future. Double Mountain may be found on tap and in bottles throughout the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia.

They have 2 taprooms, in Hood River and Portland Oregon.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $6.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

Photo Mar 28, 5 31 25 PM

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

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

My Opinion:  I wasn’t into this cider, but my husband was a big fan, as its his favorite style (dry, tart, and higher ABV).  This was drier, more tart, and higher ABV than their previous version.

Most Similar to:  Dragon’s Head Columbia Crab and Greenwood Red River Wolf Crab

Closing Notes:  Its unique to see a brewery make cider, especially heritage (vs. modern) cider.

Have you tried crabapple cider?  What did you think?

Portland RazzBerry

Review of Portland Cider’s RazzBerry, a new seasonal release.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve had their Passion FruitPearfect Perry, Kinda Dry, Hop’Rageous, London Dry Gin, Apple, Crooked Cock Scrumpy, Strawperry, Pineapple, Sangria, Mojito, Cranberry, Concord Grape, Perfect 10, Pumpkin Spice, Pineapple Rosé, and Peach Berry.

>>This is a review of a sample can provided to Cider Says by Portland Cider.  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:  RazzBerry
Cidery:  Portland Cider
Cidery Location:  Portland Oregon
ABV:  5.8%
How Supplied:  6-packs of 12oz cans, 19.2oz single cans, and kegs
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples with raspberries, pears, and lemon zest

Photo Mar 20, 5 17 39 PM Photo Mar 20, 5 17 53 PM

Availability:  seasonally, starting March 2020, in Oregon, Washington, Northern Idaho, and Northern California

Cider Description:  Loads of bright raspberries combine with Northwest grown apples, a touch of lemon zest, and Hood River Valley pears for a refreshing cider that everyone will love. Easy-drinking, thirst-quenching and refreshingly tart, the cider is 5.8% ABV and ideal for barbecues and outdoor adventures.

Cidery Description:  We started the Portland Cider Company in 2013 with the intent of marrying English cider traditions with the innovative Northwest micro-brewing culture.  Lynda hails from Somerset county of England, the traditional cider making region, and Jeff is a native Oregonian.  It all started from a desire to make the clean, dry cider Lynda grew to love in England, and Jeff yearned to find here.  The first batches began in our guest room closet, 5 gallons at a time, made to quench our own thirst.  We then introduced it to our friends and family, most never having drank cider before, and discovered we were on to something when our popularity soared and those small batches went fast!  That cider is what became our signature and bestselling “Kinda Dry.”  Now 6 years on, we continue to devote the same passion for 5000 gallon batches as we did for those first 5 gallon ones.  Only now we don’t worry about running out of what we love!  We hope you won’t run out of it either!

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $12.99 per 6-pack or ~ $4.29 per 19.2oz can)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

Photo Mar 20, 5 17 10 PM

First Impression:  Moderate red hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells mild, of tart raspberry.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness.  Moderate to high acidity.  No sourness, bitterness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of raspberry, green apple, and lemon (no noticeable pear).  Moderate length tart finish.  High sessionability.  Low complexity and apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity and raspberry flavor.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  Not what I’d usually pick, but tasty, on the lighter side, and super sessionable, with the low ABV, mid-level sweetness, and simpler flavor profile.

Most Similar to:  nothing I’ve tried, as the raspberry ciders I’ve had were:
– much sweeter (from Washington Gold, Woodchuck, Wyder’s, Eaglemount, One Tree, Schilling, & Doc’s Draft)
– much drier & high ABV (Blue Moon Winery), or
– had other ingredients (Apple Outlaw Chocolate Raspberry, Bauman’s Peach Raspberry, Pear Up Rasperry, & Cockrell Raspberry Habanero)

Closing Notes:  Last summer’s seasonal from Portland Cider was Pineapple Rosé, which they made a year-round release, so this is the replacement.

Have you tried Portland Cider RazzBerry?  What did you think?

Eden Claudine Keeved Cider

Review of Eden’s Claudine, a French-style keeved cider.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had their Sparkling DryCinderella’s SlipperHeirloom Blend Ice CiderSparkling Semi-DryNorthern Spy Ice CiderHoneycrisp Ice CiderImperial 11 RoséHeirloom Blend Barrel AgedGuinevere’s PearlsWindfall Orchard Ice CiderTwo Ellies, The FalstaffHeritageSiren SongEzekiel Kingston BlackHarvest, and Extra Sec.

Photo Feb 15, 6 45 53 PM (1)

Cider:  Claudine (Cellar Series)
Cidery:  Eden Specialty Ciders
Cidery Location:  Newport VT
ABV:  4.0%
How Supplied:  375ml bottles
Style:  American craft French-style keeved cicder

Photo Feb 15, 6 46 06 PM Photo Feb 15, 6 46 17 PM Photo Feb 15, 6 46 29 PM

Availability:  online only, limited release

Cider Description:  Normandy-style keeved cider, made from 3 bittersweet apple varieties. This is a special version of a petillant naturel that retains residual sweetness, balanced by tannin rather than acidity. Its delicious, rich flavor is a fantastic accompaniment to traditional Normandy foods. Enjoy with a plate of cider-braised mussels, a bowl of pork stew, or a slather of Camembert cheese.

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:  $36 / 3 bottles (currently no single bottle option) + shipping
Where Bought:  their website
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  e-mail from the cidery

Photo Feb 15, 6 49 03 PM

First Impression:  Medium orange amber hue.  Moderate carbonation.  Smells sweet, of rich apple and yeast.

Tasting Notes:  On the drier side of semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No funk or sourness.  Notes of rich complex apple pomace & juice and orange.  Quick finish with a hint of bitterness and tannins.  High apple flavor, sessionability, and overall flavor intensity.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  I really liked it.  On the simpler side, but most French and French-style ciders are, and its far from boring.  Sweeter than most other offerings from Eden, which I like, as my favorite non-ice cider from them is probably their semi-sweet Guinevere’s Pearls.  I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between this and a French cider.  I think it would be perfect for a weekend brunch.

Most Similar to:  a number of cleaner French ciders (no funk or sourness); see here for some of my past French cider reviews

Closing Notes:  Interesting they are only selling this in half-size 375ml bottles, especially with the low ABV.  From the price and style I’m guessing this cider cost them a lot to make, and the smaller bottle size kept the price much lower (vs. $24 / 750ml bottle assuming double the price of one 375ml bottle).

Have you tried Eden Claudine?  What did you think?

Kite & String Royal Cider

Review of Kite & String’s Royal Cider, ice cider fortified with apple brandy then oak barrel aged.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had their Baldwin and Honeoye.

Photo Jan 24, 8 47 08 PM

Cider:  Royal Cider
Cidery:  Kite & String (Finger Lakes Cider House)
Cidery Location:  Interlaken NY
ABV:  18%
How Supplied:  375ml bottles
Style:  American craft barrel-aged brandy-fortified ice cider

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Availability:  limited, probably only in the Northeast, plus online sales

Cider Description:  Fortified desert cider. A cold concentrated ice cider partially fermented then blended with a young apple brandy. Aged briefly in American oak. Deeply textured layers of caramel and vanilla balanced with refreshing acidity. Unfiltered and unfined.

Cidermaker’s Notes:  Following a passion for port wines, Royal Cider was born.  Beginning with a a high acid blend of heirloom apples cold concentrated in the winter of 2015 to 40+ brix. Fermented to 13% ABV then fermentation was arrested via fortification with apple brandy to 18% ABV. Then barrel aged to soften the edges and allow the brandy to settle in. Naturally clarifying, requiring no filtration.

Apple Varieties:  Newtown Pippin, Northern Spy, Honeycrisp, & Baldwin

Cidery Description:  ‘Kite’ means light, playful, balanced, fun.  ‘String’ means grounded to a place, our small farm.  Kite & String Ciders are produced at Finger Lakes Cider House on our organic and diversified farm in Interlaken, New York.  Please come visit us in the tasting room any time of year.

Price:  $28
Where Bought:  their website
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  online discussion

Photo Jan 24, 8 51 18 PM

First Impression:  Medium caramel amber hue.  No carbonation.  Smells sweet, high ABV, and of caramel & spice.

Tasting Notes:  Sweet.  Medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of rich baked apple, caramel,  vanilla, and spice.  Long warm finish.  High apple flavor, overall flavor intensity, and complexity.  Low sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  More ice cider than Pommeau.

Most Similar to:  ice cider + a bit of Pommeau

Closing Notes:  I think Eden ice ciders are still my favorite so far.  My favorites from Eden are are The Falstaff and Brandy Barrel Aged Heirloom.

Have you tried Kite & String Royal Cider?  What did you think?

 

Schilling Cider House Visit 36 Tasting Notes

Tasting notes #36 from the Schilling Cider House in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle WA.  Check out my past posts from the cider house here.

Photo Jan 27, 2 02 48 PM

I was here on a Monday afternoon with my husband and a friend from out of town.  We skipped work to hang out with our friend at Pike Place and the cider bar.  I ordered most of the ciders they had that I hadn’t previously tried.  It appears that most if not all of these are draft-only.

Photo Jan 27, 2 02 25 PM<left to right:  Schilling Brut, Independent Barreled Blackberry Perry, Channel Marker Quince, Finnriver Bourbon Barrel Aged Heritage, and Cider Riot New Wave>

Schilling (Auburn WA) Imperial Brut (8.5% ABV):  On the sweeter side of dry, tart, with rich bittersweet cider apple flavor

Independent Cider (Dryden WA) Barreled Blackberry Perry (5.9% ABV):  On the sweeter side of semi-dry, with berry, and a hint of oak (barrel), but no detectable pear

Channel Marker Cider (Seattle WA) Quince (7.8% ABV):  Dry to semi-dry, tart, with mild general fruitiness

Finnriver (Port Townsend WA) Bourbon Barrel Aged Heritage (9.5% ABV):  Semi-dry, with heirloom apple flavor with some tannins and bitterness

Cider Riot (Portland OR) New Wave (5.1% ABV):  Dry to semi-dry with sharp heirloom apple flavor

I liked the Blackberry Perry, but wasn’t too into the others, mostly as they were on the drier / tart / sharp / bitter side.  I probably should have just ordered something I knew I would like, but I like to try new ciders, especially at the lower price of a taster.  I was more excited about the bottle shopping I did – I picked up a bunch of Dunkertons (an English cider which is a favorite of mine that hasn’t been available for quite awhile) and Alpenfire (a local favorite), plus a few others.

Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says.  Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?

Eden Extra Sec

Review of Eden’s Extra Sec, their dry sparkling methode champenoise cider made from heirloom and bittersweet apple varieties grown in Vermont and New Hampshire.  It is my first time trying this, although I have had their Sparkling DryCinderella’s SlipperHeirloom Blend Ice CiderSparkling Semi-DryNorthern Spy Ice CiderHoneycrisp Ice CiderImperial 11 RoséHeirloom Blend Apple Brandy Barrel AgedGuinevere’s PearlsWindfall Orchard Ice CiderTwo Ellies, FalstaffHeritage 2018Siren SongEzekiel Kingston Black, and Harvest 2019.

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Cider:  Extra Sec
Cidery:  Eden Specialty Ciders
Cidery Location:  Newport VT
ABV:  8.0%
How Supplied:  375ml & 750ml bottles
Style:  American craft cider from heirloom & cider apples, methode champenoise, dry

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Availability:  limited, although they have online sales

Cider Description:  Champagne-method cider made from heirloom and bittersweet apple varieties grown in Vermont and at Poverty Lane Orchards in New Hampshire. It is naturally sparkling and clean – we hand-disgorge the yeast from every bottle! Beautifully balanced between fruit, acid, and tannin. The barely perceptible dosage serves to bring forth the fruit character of the cider. Perfect with roast pork, turkey and vegetable gratin dishes.

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:  ~ $15
Where Bought:  their website
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing

Photo Dec 31, 5 27 28 PM.jpg

First Impression:  Light gold hue.  Low to moderate carbonation.  Smells mild, of dry acidic heirloom apple cider.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate to high tartness and acidity.  Low bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of complex tart heirloom apples, lemon, wood/earth, and pineapple.  Long tart finish.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it, especially as it isn’t fully dry, and has some complexity, but this isn’t my favorite style of cider.  My husband was predictably even a big fan, as its a favorite style of his.  I recommend this to fans of complex dry tart sparkling ciders; its very well made and an excellent value.

Most Similar to:  Eden Harvest cider, but sparkling, a touch drier, and more complex

Closing Notes:  Awhile back Eden replaced their flagship ‘Dry’ and ‘Semi-Dry’ ciders with ‘Brut Nature’ and ‘Extra Sec’, all of which are sparkling, with the former at 0% residual sugar and the later (reviewed here) at 0.9% residual sugar.  I think I preferred the ‘Semi-Dry’ a bit over Extra Sec, as it was a touch sweeter and richer, but anything from Eden is a good choice.

Have you tried Eden Extra Sec?  What did you think?

Tieton Single Varietal Harrison

Review of Tieton’s single varietal cider from Harrison apples.  I first sampled this at a tasting event in August (see here), but this time I’m doing a detailed review of a bottle.  I’ve also had their Apricot, Smoked Pumpkin, Wind (Pommeau), Wild Washington, Cherry, Blossom Nectar, Cidermaker’s ReserveSparkling PerryCranberryBourbon PeachFrost (ice cider), Spice RouteRussian RedLavender HoneyOak Barrel Aged Cider Summit Collaboration, and Organic.

Photo Dec 24, 4 53 57 PM

Cider:  Single Varietal Harrison
Cidery:  Tieton Cider Works
Cidery Location:  Yakima WA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American craft cider from heirloom Harrison apples

Photo Dec 24, 4 54 03 PM Photo Dec 24, 4 54 16 PM Photo Dec 24, 4 54 26 PM

Availability:  special release, at least in AZ, CA, CO, FL, ID, IL, NJ, NM, NV, OR, TX, and WA; check their cider finder

Cider Description:  This is our second cider in our single varietal series. We use Harrison apples it in our ciders often because its great for blending with other apples, but since it makes such good cider on it’s own, we chose too make a single variety cider. It is golden colored, with spiced apple, honey notes and a deeply rich mouthfeel finished by a lingering hint of ginger.

Cidery Description: From our orchards to your glass, TCW controls every aspect of the growing and cidermaking process. TCW boasts the largest orchard of cider apple varieties in Washington state and the largest Perry pear orchard in the United States. We blend our cider fruit with all Washington apples. We’ve been growing apples, apricots, cherries and pears on Harmony Orchards – our family farm – since the 1930’s and are thrilled to be involved in Re:interpreting the tradition of cider making.

Price:  $7.99

Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  initially at a tasting event

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First Impression:  Light gold hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild and slightly rich.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of heirloom & green apples, honey, pear, lemon, and an overall flavor which I would best describe as creamy.  Moderate length tart finish.  Moderate apple flavor, sessionability, overall flavor intensity, and complexity.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it.  Very approachable for an heirloom apple cider, as many tend towards super dry and tart.  Its at a nice price point too.

Most Similar to:  Snowdrift Forefathers and Locust Honey Pear

Closing Notes:  I always like finding ciders from heirloom and/or cider apples which are a bit sweeter, as I’m not usually into fully dry ciders, but like their flavor and complexity.

Have you tried Tieton Harrison?  What did you think?

2 Towns Branch & Barrel

Review of 2 Towns Branch & Barrel, an Imperial-style cider made from heirloom apples, then barrel aged.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve had most of their line-up (see here).

Photo Dec 14, 5 10 59 PM

Cider:  Branch & Barrel
Cidery:  2 Towns Ciderhouse
Cidery Location:  Corvallis OR
ABV:  8.2%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American craft Imperial-style cider from heirloom apples, barrel aged

Photo Dec 14, 5 11 12 PM Photo Dec 14, 5 11 42 PM Photo Dec 14, 5 12 18 PM

Availability:  seasonal, in fall, in select states where 2 Towns is typically sold (Oregon, Washington, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Chicago, and parts of Minnesota & Montana)

Cider Description:  Pomona, goddess of orchards, blessed our crop this year with a bounty of eclectic heirloom apples which, when fermented & aged in French oak foeders, yield a deliciously aromatic cider fit for the gods!

Cidery Description:  At 2 Towns Ciderhouse we believe that the long history of cidermaking demands respect and deserves to be done right. Starting with the highest quality whole ingredients from local farms, we take no shortcuts in crafting our ciders. We never add any sugar, concentrates or artificial flavors, and instead use slow, cold fermentation methods to allow the fruit to speak for itself. As a family-owned company, we are committed to the growth of our team and enrichment of our communities. We take pride in producing true Northwest craft cider.

Price:  $6.99
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing; I was surprised to see this on shelves vs. usually receiving samples of their new releases in the mail (they did however send me an awesome holiday gift – a bottle of their Pommeau!)

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, dry, of complex heirloom apples.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  Notes of heirloom apple, stone fruit, and honey.  Moderate length tart finish.  Moderate apple flavor, sessionability, flavor intensity, and complexity.

My Opinion:  I liked it, especially because they went a bit sweeter with this one than their others and its flavor profile.  It tasted sweeter than it smelled.  My husband was also a fan, especially due to it being Imperial-style (higher ABV), which is his favorite.

Most Similar to:  Tieton SV Harrison and Snowdrift Forefathers

Closing Notes:  2 Towns is always a good choice, as they make so many different varieties of ciders, and they are all pretty middle of the road, to appeal to the masses.

Have you tried 2 Towns Branch & Barrel?  What did you think?

Angry Orchard Unfiltered Crisp Apple

Review of Angry Orchard’s newest regular release, an unfiltered less sweet version of their Crisp Apple.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve had a number of their other selections (see here).

Photo Nov 28, 3 45 09 PM

Cider:  Unfiltered Crisp Apple
Cidery:  Angry Orchard
Cidery Location:  Walden NY (their R&D facility)
Cider Production Locations:  Cincinnati OH & Breingsville PA
ABV:  6%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American commercial cider from dessert & bittersweet apple varieties, unfiltered, less sweet

Photo Nov 28, 3 45 29 PM Photo Nov 28, 3 45 54 PM

Availability:  wide release

Cider Description:  Crisp Apple Unfiltered is an homage to traditional cider with a natural, less sweet, fresh apple taste.  It is made with bittersweet apples, the gold standard in cider making.

Ingredients:  hard cider, water, cane sugar, apple juice from concentrate, malic acid, honey, natural flavor, carbon dioxide, and sulfites to preserve freshness

Price:  ~ $2 / single bottle (runs ~ $8.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing

Photo Nov 28, 3 49 33 PM.jpg

First Impression:  Hazy light amber hue.  Smells of sweet baked apple.  Very low carbonation.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Hints of tannins and bitterness.  Notes of unfiltered apple juice, orange, honey, and chemicals.  Moderate length tart finish.  Moderate apple flavor and flavor intensity.  High sessionability.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  The weird chemical flavor ruined it for me, and my husband agreed – we ended up dumping it out.  Maybe it had gone bad, but it didn’t taste like ciders I have had before which were truly flawed (the most common I’ve found is those which have turned vinegary).

Most Similar to:  Angry Orchard Easy Apple, Crispin The Saint, and some favorites of mine, Downeast Original Blend and 2 Towns Return of the Mac, except with a chemical twist…ick

Closing Notes:  I was hoping this would be a full-ABV version of their Easy Apple (their less sweet, less filtered, low ABV cider), but that one is much better.

Have you tried Angry Orchard Unfiltered?  What did you think?

2 Towns Cosmic Currant

Review of 2 Towns Cosmic Currant, a new fruit seasonal with cranberries and black currants.  It is my first time tying this, but I have had most of their line-up (see here).

>>This is a review of a sample can provided to Cider Says by 2 Towns.  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:  Cosmic Currant
Cidery:  2 Towns Ciderhouse
Cidery Location:  Corvallis OR
ABV:  6.2%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz cans (and 500ml bottles and kegs)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples with cranberries and black currants

Photo Nov 28, 3 37 16 PM Photo Nov 28, 3 37 27 PM Photo Nov 28, 3 37 40 PM

Availability:  seasonal (winter), in Oregon, Washington, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Chicago, and parts of Minnesota & Montana

Cider Description: Crafted with a transcendent blend of Oregon-grown cranberries, black currants, and Northwest apples, Cosmic Currant’s complex profile takes you on a voyage to the cosmos. Deep ruby red hues radiate with a hint of cane fruit sweetness and earthy cassis liqueur, finishing with a robust cranberry tannin. This brilliant winter warmer creates a celestial cider experience best enjoyed on a crisp, clear night under a blanket of stars.

Cidery Description:  At 2 Towns Ciderhouse we believe that the long history of cidermaking demands respect and deserves to be done right. Starting with the highest quality, whole ingredients from local farms, we take no shortcuts in crafting our ciders. We refuse to add processed sugars, concentrates or artificial flavors, and instead use slow, cold fermentation methods to allow the fruit to speak for itself. As a family-owned company, we are committed to the growth of our team and enrichment of our communities. We take pride in producing a true Northwest craft cider.

Price:  retails for ~ $11.99 / six pack
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

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First Impression:  Medium red hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells mild, of tart berry.

Tasting Notes:  Dry to semi-dry.  Light bodied.  High tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No funk or sourness.  Notes of cranberry with hints of black currant, green apple, and lemon.  Long tart finish.  Low apple flavor.  Low to moderate complexity.  Moderate sessionability and flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  I’m not a big fan of cranberry, drier ciders, or tart ciders, so I wasn’t really into this.  However, my husband loved it, as he likes all of those things.

Most Similar to:  Portland Cider Cranberry, Apple Outlaw Cranberry Jewel, and Tieton Cranberry

Closing Notes:  Its interesting that they only put currant in the title when it tastes more like cranberry.

Have you tried 2 Towns Cosmic Currant?  What did you think?

Angioletti Secco

Review of Angioletti’s Secco cider, from Italy.  It is my first time trying this cider.

Photo Nov 08, 7 00 32 PM

Cider:  Secco sparkling Italian craft cider
Cidery:  Angioletti Vero Sidro Italiano
Cidery Location:  Italy
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  750ml corked & caged bottle
Style:  Italian craft cider

Photo Nov 08, 7 00 47 PM Photo Nov 08, 7 01 01 PM

Availability:  unknown

Cider Description:  Made from 100% Italian apple juice (no concentrate).  5% vol.  Style: ‘Secco’ / Medium-dry.  Tasting note: Fine bubbles; aromas of fresh apple and white blossom are followed by intense, fresh flavours of orchard fruits, and a satisfying, clean, crisp aftertaste.  Serving suggestion: Serve chilled in a large flute glass as an apéritif or alongside antipasti.  Cider-maker: Matteo Corazzolla.  Closure: Mushroom cork.  Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.  Gluten Free.

Cidery Description:  Angioletti craft Italian ciders are made from selected apples exclusively grown in the Italian dolomites.  Our ciders are made from 100% juice and contain no artificial flavourings or colourings.  Based in the UK (the world’s largest cider market), we are the sales office for family-run craft Italian cider and beer ‘Sidro Birrificio’ Lucia Maria Melchiori, where all our craft ciders and beers are made.  As well as Angioletti craft Italian ciders, we supply the Birra Val Di Non range of unfiltered Italian craft beers, named after the picturesque valley in which our ‘Sidro Birrificio’ is situated.

Price:  $5.99
Where Bought:  Total Wine in Southern CA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing, on a work trip

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, slightly sweet and acidic, and somehow reminiscent of sparkling wine.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low to moderate tartness and acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of green apple, lemon, mineral, and floral.  Quick finish, with the flavor and bubbles going flat..  Low apple flavor and overall flavor intensity.  Low to moderate complexity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I thought this was pretty average.  $5.99 is quite a low price though, so maybe my expectations were too high.

Most Similar to:  Scandinavian Green Apple Craft Cider, although Angioletti Secco had much lower carbonation (Maybe it was an old bottle though?  I’m guessing imports don’t move as quickly as local favorites.)

Closing Notes:  I prefer the only other Italian cider I’ve tried, Bertolinos.

Have you tried Angioletti Secco?  What did you think?

Marquis de Saint-Loup Cidre de Normandie Brut

Review of Marquis de Saint-Loup’s Cidre de Normandie Brut.  It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.

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Cider:  Cidre de Normandie Brut
Cidery:  Marquis de Saint-Loup
Cidery Location:  France
ABV:  4.5%
How Supplied:  750ml corked & caged bottles
Style:  French cidre

Photo Oct 11, 5 39 28 PM Photo Oct 11, 5 39 42 PM

Availability:  in Western Washington, plus online sales (to AK, CA, DC, ID, ND, NH, NM, NV, OR, and WA), both through  Beauchamp Imports / French Cider Inc.

Cider Description:  This is an approachable brut cidre—all natural, fermented, pure apple juice, lightly sparkling and not too sweet. A go-to cidre for nearly any occasion, it is equally well-suited for a meal of shareable small plates or for grander special occasions. Delicious served by the glass at the bar, in an ice bucket tableside, or to guests at a rehearsal dinner. This cidre has an effervescence that lasts.

Cidery Description:  see here

Price:  ~ $11.99
Where Bought:  Central Market, North of Seattle
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing

Photo Oct 11, 5 42 37 PM.jpg

First Impression:  Light amber hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells of apple juice.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  Hints of tannins.  No sourness, bitterness, or funk.  Notes of apple juice & pomace with hints of orange.  Quick finish.  Low complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability and apple flavor.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  However, it was less complex than many of the other French ciders I’ve had.

Most Similar to:  Kystin Opalyne

Closing Notes:  French cider is one of my favorites.

Have you tried French cider?  What did you think?

Common Cider Pineapple Guava

Review of Common Cider’s Pineapple Guava.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had their Hibiscus Saison.

Cider:  Pineapple Guava
Cidery:  Common Cider Company
Cidery Location:  Drytown CA
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  6 pack of 12oz slim cans (or 22oz bottles)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples with pineapple and guava

Photo Oct 06, 4 45 27 PM Photo Oct 06, 4 45 37 PM

Availability:  probably only in California (see their locator)

Cider Description:  An artfully effervescent hard apple cider heightened with tropical pineapple and guava to celebrate the warmth of social festivity.  Our Hawaii-inspired pineapple guava hard cider actually started out as a seasonal in 2017 but response was so strong that we have made it one of our year round products. It’s bright, fruity and off-dry; perfect with light food dishes or just by itself, with a few friends of course.

This gem also took home the Silver medal at the 2018 New York International Beer Competition, and at the 2018 World Cider Competition.  Fun Fact: When you see a pineapple you think Hawaii but they actually originated in South America and are believed to have made their way to Hawaii via the Spanish in the 16th century.

Cidery Description:  To open a Common Cider is to open your heart to the world.  To invite conversation, to entertain new ideas, to celebrate what we all have in common.  While the rest of the brewing world is busily promoting hard cider, we’re engaged with in the art of crafting human cider.  Cider as a solvent for cynicism.  Cider as symbol of balance and sanity.  Cider as a delivery system for joy.

Price:  ~ $3 / single can (runs ~ $13.99 / 6 pack, or $8.99 / 22oz bottle)
Where Bought:  Total Wine in southern CA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing, on a business trip, where I had extra suitcase space on the way back after dropping off work stuff so I picked up quite a few ciders

Photo Oct 06, 4 45 15 PM.jpg

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

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Low bitterness.  No sourness, funk, or bitterness.  Notes of green apple, pineapple, and a bit of something else, which tasted more like strawberry than guava to me.  Moderate length finish.  Low flavor intensity, complexity, and apple flavor.  Moderate sessionability.

My Opinion:  I thought this was ok, not really to my personal preferences, as it was so mild in flavor.

Most Similar to:  Apple Outlaw Pineapple Getaway and Seattle Cider Pineapple Agave

Closing Notes:  My favorite pineapple cider (of ~ 18 I’ve tried) is probably 2 Towns Pacific Pineapple, as it has tons of flavor without much sweetness, which is a rare combination.

Have you tried Common Cider Pineapple Guava?  What did you think?