Jester & Judge Nowhere Special

Review of Jester & Judge’s Nowhere special cider, a special release.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve previously had their Sharp Cherry, American Apple, Columbia Belle, and Pineapple Express ciders.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Jester & Judge.  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:  Nowhere Special
Cidery:  Jester & Judge
Cidery Location:  Stevenson WA
ABV:  9.8%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  American craft cider, triple fermented, rye & whiskey barrel aged

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Availability:  Likely only in Washington & Oregon (such as the Schilling Cider House in Seattle and Bushwhacker in Portland)

Cider Description:  As the fall begins to consume the gorge, the environment turns milder.  The colors of fall, strong and vibrant, inspired this dramatic barrel aged small batch release.  Nowhere Special is a blend of three different fermentations, wild, ale, and champagne.  Aged in Rye and Irish whiskey barrels, six months in the making.  We put out efforts out for consideration.  You be the judge.

Cidery Description:  We’ll bring the Jester and you be the Judge.  At Jester & Judge we believe that balance is important in life and in cider.  It’s the foundation of our seriously whimsical attitude.  Serious about the quality of the ciders we make.  No concentrates, sorbates, artificial flavorings, colorings, or other shortcuts.  Whimsical because we have fun making the best ciders we can featuring local ingredients from the Pacific Northwest, which sometimes means snubbing our nose a little at traditional cider.

Price:  n/a (retails for $8)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I read about this online and contacted the cidery.

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First Impression:  Rich orange amber hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mildly rich, tannic, and of whiskey.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low tannins and bitterness.  Hints of funk.  No sourness.  Notes of caramel, orange, leather, molasses, oak, and whiskey.  Long finish, warming and whiskey prominent.  Moderate apple flavor, complexity, and flavor intensity.  Low sessionability.  Moderate to high spirit influence.  Low perceived barrel influence.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed this.  However, it was a tad on the harsh side, and I don’t think this will be a widely appealing cider, with the high ABV and strong whiskey flavor.  I like this style of cider though.

Most Similar to:  A high ABV but low tannin English cider which is whiskey barrel aged.  Nothing like I’ve tried before.  The more whiskey prominent ciders I’ve had are Liberty Stonewall, Finnriver Fire Barrel, and Tilted Shed Barred Rock.

Closing Notes:  This cider was a great first specialty release, and an excellent value.  I look forward to seeing what special releases they put out next.  My favorite of their regular line ciders is the Pineapple Express.

Have you tried Jester & Judge Nowhere Special?  What did you think?