Review of Liberty Ciderworks’ Pink Pearl, a single varietal cider from red fleshed Pink Pearl apples. It is my first time trying this, but I have had their Manchurian Crabapple Single Varietal, Crabenstein, English Style, Abbess, Stonewall Dry Fly Whiskey Barrel Aged, Gravenstein, Cellar Series #G15, New World Style, Cellar Series (unknown), McIntosh, Golden Russet SV, Spokane Scrumpy, Hewe’s Crab, and Porter’s Perfection.
Cider: Pink Pearl SV
Cidery: Liberty Ciderworks
Cidery Location: Spokane WA
How Supplied: 750ml corked & caged bottle
Style: American craft cider, single varietal from Pink Pearl apples
Availability: In general you can find their ciders in Washington and Oregon (see a list of locations here). However, this variety was very limited (16 cases), released awhile back, and mostly just their tap room and cider club members, and online sales through Vino Shipper (listed in stock for $14.99 at the time of this review – I’m surprised any is still in stock as I think I bought this 6 months ago)
Cider Description: Pink Pearl apples are a rare, red-fleshed varietal we just had to try, since some red apples yield beautiful rosé-colored ciders. Though this cider retained only a hint of pink coloration, the flavors are still quite lovely, with hints of floral, grassy aromatics and soft raspberry flavors. Apples grown near Brewster, WA. (16 cases bottle conditioned in 750 ml bottles, RS 1.0%)
Cidery Description: Located in the largest apple-growing region on the continent, Liberty Ciderworks is all about the apple, showcasing the diversity and wonders of locally grown fruit. From well known apples like McIntosh and Jonathan to rare, cider-specific fruit like Kingston Black and Dabinett, Liberty ciders put apples in their proper place: Front and center. We started Liberty Ciderworks in 2013 with a simple, two-part mission: 1) Using apples from local farms and fields to create unique, wonderful ciders, and 2) Sharing them with friends and neighbors across the great Pacific Northwest. Welcome to the cider revolution.
They have a tap room in Spokane WA, which also now has a bottle shop of selections from around the world.
Where Bought: Capitol Cider in Seattle WA
Where Drank: home
How Found: Browsing
First Impression: Light tangerine hue. Nearly still. Smells nearly of apple brandy (ie. a higher ABV), and midly fruity.
Tasting Notes: On the sweeter side of dry. Light bodied. Low to moderate tartness. Moderate acidity. Hints of tannins and bitterness. No sourness or funk. Notes of blush grape, strawberry, rhubarb, watermelon, and a hint of richness/brandy. Low apple flavor and sessionability. Low to moderate flavor intensity. Moderate complexity.
My Opinion: I enjoyed it. I found it to be a unique dry fruity complex mild food-friendly cider. My new ish cider fridge got it to the recommended 55-60 deg serving temperature, which I enjoyed. I think serving it ice cold would have muted the flavor, but I didn’t try it.
Most Similar to: a drier version of Snowdrift Red, Alpenfire Glow, or Tieton Russian Red (I slightly prefer these, especially Alpenfire’s, as I usually go for a semi-dry to semi-sweet cider), or even rosé wine (which I don’t have any experience with)
Closing Notes: I was surprised with the complexity and flavor, and I didn’t mind the dryness due to those factors. If I didn’t know better I would have guessed this had a hint of brandy in it too, as it especially smelled much higher ABV than it drank.
I think it would be a fun cider to share with folks who haven’t had drier complex ciders, as it is unique, but lacks qualities such as high acidity, bitterness, tannins, sourness, or funk which can often be off-putting at least at first. I actually wished I had brought it to the dinner party I went to the night before.
Have you tried Liberty Ciderworks Pink Pearl SV? What did you think?