Eden Honeycrisp Ice Cider

Review of Eden Ice Cider’s Honeycrisp single varietal ice cider, made in Newport Vermont.  I’ve tried their Heirloom Blend and Northern Spy ice ciders, Dry and Semi-Dry sparkling ciders, and even their Cellar Series Cinderella’s Slipper.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Eden Ice 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:  Honeycrisp
Cidery:  Eden Ice Cider
Cidery Location:  Newport VT
ABV:  10.0%
Residual Sugar: 15%
How Supplied:  187ml & 375ml tall skinny glass bottles
Style:  American Honeycrisp apple single varietal craft ice cider

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Availability:  Their ciders are at least sold in AK, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, IL, MA, MD, ME, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OR, SC, VT, WA, and British Columbia, although this one has less distribution than their flagship Heirloom Blend ice cider.  Eden also offers online sales when allowed by state.

Cider Description:  This tangy, elegant ice cider is made 100% from Vermont-grown Honeycrisp apples. The Honeycrisp is a prized Northern USA apple variety. As its name suggests, there is a honeyed quality to its sweetness, accompanied by sufficient acidity to keep the flavor fresh and crisp. Enjoy with cheese, maple crème brulee, or butter cookies.

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 on the main floor of the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center in downtown Newport VT.  Their current product line includes at least eight ice ciders, two Aperitif ciders, and dry & semi-dry sparkling ciders.  They also have a cider club where members get access to special release ciders not available to the public.

Price:  n/a (retails for $17+ for 187ml and $27+ for 375ml)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I read about Eden ice ciders online, and tried them for the first time at Cider Summit Seattle 2015.  Since then, I’ve bought a couple bottles and received some samples, including this one.

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First Impression:  Still.  Honeyed amber caramel hue.  Smells of rich ripe apples and honey with hints of caramel and vanilla.

Tasting Notes:  Very sweet.  Low acidity, tartness, and tannins.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Full bodied (a good kind of syrupy).  Concentrated intense full flavor notes of rich ripe apples and honey, with hints of caramel and vanilla.  Long warming finish.  Moderate apple influence.  Low sessionability.

My Opinion:  Yum!  This ice cider is definitely honey-forward.  Due to the sweetness it is definitely a beverage to sip only a small quantity after dinner, but that means even a small bottle lasts awhile.  It also kept very well in the fridge, without any noticeable flavor change during the week I had it open (I used an expanding stopper).

Most Similar to:  High quality ice ciders, which truthfully I haven’t tried too many of (as there aren’t many).  Compared to Eden’s Heirloom Blend and Northern Spy ice ciders, I found it to be slightly less complex (Northern Spy was the most complex, from being barrel aged) and slightly less warming/boozy on the finish.

Closing Notes:   This was another impressive cider from Eden Ice Cider.  However, I prefer their Heirloom Blend and especially Northern Spy, which both seemed a bit more complex (and the oak notes in Northern Spy were especially nice).  I look forward to trying more ciders from Eden in the future, such as their Windfall Orchard and Brandy Barrel aged Heirloom Blend ice ciders, and their aperitif ciders.  If anyone wants to know what I want for my birthday or Christmas, its definitely a subscription to their cider club, which sounds amazing with member-only releases, but is admittedly a bit spendy (but great for folks who would buy a lot of their ciders anyways as you get a 20% discount).

Have you tried Eden Ice Ciders?  What did you think?