Avid Watermelon Rhubarb

Review of Avid (previously Atlas) Cider’s Watermelon Rhubarb.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve previously had their Hard Apple CiderHard Blackberry CiderPom-CherryHard Apricot CiderCinnamon PearSession CiderDragonfruit, and Pineapple Mango.

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Cider:  Watermelon Rhubarb
Cidery:  Avid Cider
Cidery Location:  Bend, Oregon
ABV:  6.0%
How Supplied:  22oz bottles
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with watermelon & rhubarb, and beet juice for color

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Availability:  seasonal, special release, probably only in the Northwest

Cider Description:  The simple and natural flavors of fresh pressed watermelon and the fleshy stalks of Michigan grown Rhubarb complement each other in this clean, crisp and refreshing cider.

Cidery Description:  Inspired by the landscape, culture, and the abundance of fruit in the North West, AVID Cider Company, a family run business, is dedicated to creating hard cider using sustainably sourced and local ingredients. AVID Cider Co. was founded as a result of the dissatisfaction with the lack of variety and excessively dry or cloyingly sweet ciders available in the market place in 2013. We saw the opportunity to create hard cider that better balances the elements of a flavor profile, and satiates our thirst for a cider that is “just right.” 

They have a cider house in Portland Oregon.

Price:  $7.49
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing – I’m a fan of watermelon (although admittedly not of rhubarb), so I wanted to give it a try

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First Impression:  Medium red hue.  No carbonation.  General fruity scent.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  Hints of bitterness.  No sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of watermelon, strawberry, and rhubarb.  Moderate length finish.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  Fruity, but not too tart or sweet.

Most Similar to:  Fresh Cut Watermelon or Locust Watermelon, but with rhubarb added

Closing Notes:  I would have been a bigger fan of this without the bitterness of the rhubarb.

Have you tried Avid Watermelon Rhubarb?  What did you think?

Whiskey Barrel Cider Co. Triple Play

Review of Whiskey Barrel Cider Company’s Triple Play.  It is my first time trying this, but I previously had their Dam Fine Cider.

Cider:  Triple Play
Cidery:  Whiskey Barrel Cider Company
Cidery Location:  Pullman WA
ABV:  5.1%
How Supplied:  16oz cans
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples

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Availability:  likely only in Washington

Cider Description:  Triple Play began as our summer seasonal but quickly became so popular that we decided to keep it around all year long. Made from Gala, Red and Golden Delicious apples, Triple Play is our sweetest cider. Enjoy it as you remember the long hot days of summer!

Cidery Description:  Former engineer Trent Maier developed the recipe for Whiskey Barrel Cider and approached his friend and fellow engineer, Brian Augdahl, about the idea of building a space to create the recipe using local, Washington grown apples. The operation began with one delicious cider and has since developed into the creation of several signature ciders with the taste of Washington apples in every sip.

Price:  probably $2-4 / 1 can
Where Bought:  I think either Total Wine in Northgate, or The Cave in Kirkland
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing

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First Impression:  Medium amber hue.  Very low carbonation.  A bit of foam.  Smells simply of sweet apple juice.

Tasting Notes:  On the drier side of semi-sweet.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of just apple juice, although less sweet / a bit watered down.  Quick finish.  High sessionability and apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Very low complexity.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it.  Super easy to drink and all around likable, although fairly simple.  It tastes what I imagine folks who have not tried cider would expect all ciders to taste like, of alcoholic apple juice, although this is less sweet than straight apple juice.  From the color and flavor, I’m guessing they made a high ABV dry cider, then back-sweetened with a fair bit of apple juice.

Most Similar to:  A less sweet and higher quality version of some popular commercial ciders, like Angry Orchard Crisp Apple and Woodchuck Amber.

Side Note:  After first trying their cider, I learned that their name came about as their first cider was whiskey barrel aged, but they have since scaled up production, and last I heard, none of their current cider line-up is whiskey barrel aged.

Closing Notes:  Hopefully I find more ciders from them soon.  I can see why this would be popular, as it is super apple forward and on the sweeter end, but less sweet (and higher quality and more local) than most commercial options.

Have you tried Whiskey Barrel Cider Co. Triple Play?  What did you think?

2 Towns Two Thorns

Review of 2 Towns Two Thorns.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had most of their line-up (see here).

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<This is a review of a sample bottle 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 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:  Two Thorns
Cidery:  2 Towns
Cidery Location:  Corvallis OR
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles (and cans and kegs)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with raspberries and rose petals

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Availability:  Spring seasonal, possibly in Oregon, Washington, California, Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, Chicago, and parts of Minnesota & Montana (see their cider finder)

Cider Description:  Tart and floral, Two Thorns unites fresh-pressed Northwest apples, raspberries and rose petals. The result is a uniquely fragrant cider with a vibrant red hue.

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:  n/a (probably ~ $5.99 / 500ml bottle or ~ $11.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

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First Impression:  Moderate red hue.  Still.  Smells of tart raspberry.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate to strong tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No sourness, funk, bitterness, or tannins.  Notes of raspberry with hints of green apple, floral, and lemon.  Moderate tart finish.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Low to moderate complex.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  Nice tart raspberry flavor, and super fruity for how dry it is (only 6g of sugar / 12oz).

Most Similar to:  Most raspberry ciders I’ve had were much more sweet.  However, this is most similar to a lower ABV version of Blue Moon Winery Apple Raspberry, which was also tart and dry.

Closing Notes:  They had a previous cider with this same flavor and name which was only available in downtown Portland Oregon, a collaboration with the Portland Thorns women’s soccer team.

Have you tried 2 Towns Two Thorns?  What did you think?

Portland Cider Pineapple Rosé

Review of Portland Cider’s Pineapple Rosé.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had much of their line-up (see here).

>>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:  Pineapple Rosé
Cidery:  Portland Cider Company
Cidery Location:  Portland Oregon
ABV:  5.2%
How Supplied:  12oz cans (and draft, plus 19.2oz cans are coming in mid-April)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with pineapple and blueberry

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Availability:  seasonal, March thru August 2019, in Oregon, Washington, and Northern California

Cider Description:  The juicy and delicate pineapple fruit works beautifully with a hint of blueberry juice, creating an elegant cider on par with the rosé wine that so many love.

Cidery Description:  Portland Cider Company was started in October 2012 by an Oregonian and a family of British expats with the mission of bringing cider, handcrafted in the English tradition, to the Northwest. It has two taproom locations: Portland Cider House at 3638 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214; and Taproom & Cidery at 8925 SE Jannsen Rd, Bldg. F, Clackamas, OR 97015.  Visit www.PortlandCider.com and follow @PortlandCider on social media.

Price:  n/a (although it’ll probably run ~ $10.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

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First Impression:  Smells sweet and fruity.  Very low carbonation.  Hint of peach hue.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of pineapple with hints of green apple and strawberry (I didn’t really pick up any blueberry).  Quick finish.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  Significantly more pineapple than berry.  Super easy to drink.  I was surprised to see the can say 20 grams of sugar, as it tasted less sweet (although the body was what I’d expect for that level of sweetness).  It was a bit less intensely flavored than I prefer and I’d expect with a sweeter cider.

Most Similar to:  a sweeter but less intensely flavored version of 2 Towns Pacific Pineapple plus a hint of strawberry

Closing Notes:  Rosé sure is the hottest cider trend – seems like nearly every cidery has one now.  On that note, I’m surprised they didn’t add a bit more blueberry if they were trying to go for a rosé look, as it was barely rosé.

Have you tried Portland Cider Pineapple Rosé?  What did you think?

2 Towns Easy Squeezy

Review of 2 Towns Easy Squeezy, a new year-round lemon raspberry cider, a spin on their previous limited release Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve had most of their lineup (see here).

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<This is a review of a sample bottle 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 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:  Easy Squeezy
Cidery:  2 Towns
Cidery Location:  Corvallis OR
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles (and 6 packs of 12oz cans, and kegs)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples with lemon and raspberry

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Availability:  year round, starting in Oregon, Washington, California, Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, Chicago, and parts of Minnesota & Montana (see their cider finder)

Cider Description:  Citrusy and refreshing, Easy Squeezy is crafted with fresh-pressed Northwest apples, Meyer lemons and raspberries. Bringing the pink lemonade vibes, this cider goes down easy peasy!

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. 

They were founded in 2010 and have a tap room in Corvallis Oregon.

Price:  retails for ~ $5.99 / 500ml bottle or ~ $11.99 / six pack
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Hazy pink lemonade hue.  Still.  Smells of tart lemonade.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate to high tartness and acidity.  No tannins, sourness, tannins, or funk.  Notes of lemon, raspberry, granny smith apples, and grapefruit.  Quick finish.  Low apple flavor.  Low to moderate complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I really liked this.  A bit less mouth-puckering tart than the previous release.

Most Similar to:  an alcoholic version of a less sweet than normal raspberry lemonade

Closing Notes:  Glad to see they are doing this in cans in time for spring and summer!

Have you tried 2 Towns Easy Peasy?  What did you think?

Tieton Organic

Review of Tieton Cider Works Organic Hard Cider.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had their Cidermaker’s Reserve, Apricot, Smoked Pumpkin, Wind (Pommeau), Wild Washington, Cherry, Blossom Nectar, Sparkling PerryCranberryBourbon PeachFrost (ice cider), Spice RouteRussian RedLavender Honey, and Oak Barrel Aged Cider Summit Collaboration.

Cider:  Organic Hard Cider
Cidery:  Tieton Cider Works
Cidery Location:  Yakima WA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz cans
Style:  American Organic craft cider

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Availability:  probably only in the Northwest

Cider Description:  Dry and Crisp, made with 100% organic apples. Growing the fruit organically combines our farming tradition with being good stewards of the land we call home. This organic cider represents our heritage, the care that goes into the land and trees that produce it. It’s slightly tart but well balanced with a fruity nose.

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:  ~$3 / can (runs ~ $9.99-11.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  The Cave in Kirkland WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing; I had seen this before, but not singles

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First Impression:  Light amber hue.  Still.  Smells dry and apple-forward.

Tasting Notes:  Dry to semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  Hints of tannins.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Notes of purely apple and apple juice with a hint of richness.  Quick finish.  High sessionability.  Low flavor intensity and complexity.  Moderate apple flavor.

My Opinion:  I thought this was quite average.  Plenty drinkable and a nice relatively easy to find in the NW drier cider option, but a tad bland, probably primarily due to the dryness and it presumably being at least mostly made from dessert apples, without any fruit/hops/spices/etc added.

Most Similar to:  a drier plain apple flagship cider

Closing Notes:  I was surprised to see Tieton start canning ciders, as I assumed they would keep that for their Rambling Route brand.

Have you tried Tieton Organic Apple?  What did you think?

Seattle Cider Pineapple Agave

Review of Seattle Cider’s Pineapple Agave.  It is my first time trying this new seasonal release, but I’ve previously had their Semi-Sweet, PNW Berry, Olympic HoneyPlum GoseOaked MapleHarvest Series Gravenstein RoséGoseDryGin BotanicalCity FruitHeirloomLavender LemonCucumber HibiscusCity FruitNew England Style2015 Washington HeirloomWinesap Rose, and Red Wine Barrel Berry.

>>This is a review of a sample can provided to Cider Says by Seattle 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:  Pineapple Agave
Cidery:  Seattle Cider Co.
Cidery Location:  Seattle WA
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  16oz can
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with pineapple juice and agave nectar

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Availability:  seasonally, starting in Washington and Colorado

Cider Description:  Fresh pressed Washington apples, pineapple juice, and agave nectar come together to create Seattle Cider Company’s newest seasonal release.Pineapple Agave, 6.5% ABV and 1.8 Brix, boasts ripe and juicy pineapple aroma, soft tartness, and the subtle tropical sweetness of agave for a perfectly balanced and bright addition to the Seattle Cider lineup.

Cidery Description:  Not your standard cider. Seattle Cider Company bridges the gap between wine and beer with flavorful, small-batch cider, bringing true craft cider back to Seattle and across the country. Seattle Cider Company’s year-round and seasonal offerings break the mold of overly sweet cider, showcasing the incomparable flavor of Washington apples. Naturally gluten free and made from a custom blend of fresh pressed, locally grown apples, Seattle Cider Company’s products are handcrafted with all natural ingredients and never from concentrate. Seattle Cider products are currently available throughout Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nevada, Missouri, Massachusetts, Colorado, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Montana. Visit our tasting room, The Woods, at 4660 Ohio Ave. S. in Seattle. For more information, visit seattlecidercompany.com, or follow Seattle Cider Company on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@seattleciderco).    

Price:  n/a (probably retails for ~ $10.99-$11.99 / four pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  cidery press release

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow hue.  Nearly still.  Smells mild, of tart pineapple.

Tasting Notes:  On the drier side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of pineapple, green apple, and lemon.  Quick finish.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.  Moderate to high sessionability.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it, although I would have preferred a bit more flavor and sweetness.

Most Similar to:  I’ve tried over a dozen pineapple ciders, and I think this is closest to Apple Outlaw Pineapple Getaway, Portland Cider Co. Pineapple, or a slightly drier version of 2 Towns Pineapple

Closing Notes:  This is one of my favorite varieties from Seattle Cider, in addition to the Oaked Maple and Olympic Honey, which are some of their sweeter selections, although in general I’m not personally a big fan of their ciders as they run drier with a lower flavor intensity.  I’d recommend their ciders for folks who like dry to semi-dry modern ciders.

Have you tried Seattle Cider Pineapple Agave?  What did you think?