Schilling Cider King’s Shilling

Review of Schilling Cider’s King’s Shilling, an apple brandy barrel aged & fortified cider.  This was released at the very end of January, and will be a February-April seasonal for them.

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Cider:  King’s Shilling
Cidery:  Schilling Cider
Cidery Location:  Auburn WA (Seattle area)
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  22oz bottles (and draft)
Style:  American apple brandy barrel aged & fortified craft cider from dessert apples

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Availability:  February-April (seasonal, although this is the first year).  Schilling Cider is sold at least in AK, AZ, CA, CT, ID, MN, NC, NV, OR, SC, VA, and WA, but this is a special release and is therefore likely to have more limited distribution.

Cider Description:  King’s Shilling is a special collaboration with Mischief Distilling, using apple brandy they made from our cider, and then aged in their Mischief Bourbon barrels. Fortified to perfection, in this cider, you will find barrel notes of smoke, cinnamon, and vanilla, along with the slight sweetness of apple brandy. 

THE STORY OF KING’S SHILLING: When drinking with scallywags, check your glass before you bottoms up. Finding a shilling in your glass means you are under contract to crew a pirate’s ship? You may unwittingly find yourself swabbing the decks… Never to return. 

Cidery Description:  In 1881, Colin Schilling’s great-great-grandfather, August, founded the Schilling Spice Company in San Francisco. He brought pure, natural, spices to everyone, at a fair price. Today, at Schilling Cider, we carry August’s core values forward and pair them with innovative cider-making techniques to produce quality, complex, hard ciders.

Based in Seattle, Washington, Schilling Cider captures the essence of the Pacific Northwest by creating ciders that are deliberately innovative, bold and flavor forward. Never back-sweetened, we use only 100% fresh pressed apples, locally sourced non-GMO ingredients and individually hand select yeast strains to create a cider experience that is truly unique.

Price:  $6.00
Where Bought:  Schilling Cider House
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  They posted about it on their Facebook page, and it sounded awesome, so I bought a bottle at my next visit.

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First Impression:  Lemon-Honey straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation with a few medium sized bubbles.  Smells of must, sourness, oak, honey, spice, and citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Between semi-dry and semi-sweet.  Low to moderate acidity.  Low tartness.  Hints of sourness and bitterness.  Medium bodied.  Nearly still (low carbonation).  Notes of honey and citrus, with hints of maple syrup, oak, and spice.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate apple influence.  Low barrel influence.  Low spirit influence.  Moderate sessionability.

My Opinion:  Tasty!  I think this was a great value too…typically craft cider and especially craft barrel aged cider is more expensive than $6.00 / 22oz.  The musty scent was off-putting at first, but I got past it once I tasted the cider.  I was surprised how citrus-forward it was, but I like citrus notes in a cider.  I was also surprised with the description that said its brandy fortified; if so, its not much, as the ABV remains fairly average at 6.5%.

Most Similar to:  The honey notes remind me of Moonlight Meadery How Do You Like Them Little Apples, Crispin 15 Men, 2 Towns The Bad Apple, and Finnriver Honey Meadow.

Closing Notes:   This is my favorite cider from Schilling so far (my others are Pineapple Passion and Barrel #2, which is more of a spirit than a cider).  So far I think their new cider lineup is better than it previously was.

Have you tried King’s Shilling?  What did you think?