Moonlight Meadery Virtue

Review of Moonlight Meadery’s Virtue, a cyser (25% honey + 75% apple).  It is my first time trying this, although I’ve had their How do you Like them Little ApplesHow do you like them ApplesBoys N BerriesLast AppleCrimes of Passion, and Thirteen 5.

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Cider:  Virtue
Cidery:  Moonlight Meadery
Cidery Location:  Londonderry NH
ABV:  18%
How Supplied:  375ml bottle
Style:  American craft cyser (from honey & apples), barrel aged

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Availability:  limited, although their products are sold in ~ 28/50 states (see here), and their online store ships to ~ 36/50 states (see here, although I didn’t see it listed)

Cider Description:  Conditioned in our Utopian barrels for up to six months. Hints of vanilla and coconut from the oak, blend with the apple and honey. A deep rich apple with the hints of bourbon and a smooth honey finish. Clearly something of special worth.

Cidery Description:  We are a world class meadery from Londonderry, New Hampshire. We specialize in meads, the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage made from honey, and ciders. The diversity of our offerings often leave people speechless, while the flavors have them coming back time and time again.  It all started back in 1995 when Michael, our founder and head mead maker, tried a cyser (apple and honey mead) for the first time.

Price:  $27
Where Bought:  Schilling Cider House in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Still.  Smells of honey, apple, caramel, and alcohol.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  Hints of tannins.  No sourness, funk, or bitterness.  Notes of honey, apple, caramel, oak, alcohol, and a hint of floral.  Long finish.  High complexity.  Low sessionability.  Moderate to high flavor intensity and honey flavor.  Low to moderate apple flavor.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it, but with the price and description, I was expecting a bit more.  I didn’t pick up the vanilla & coconut that the description enticed me with – we all taste things slightly differently though.

Most Similar to:  Moonlight Meadery Last Apple

Closing Notes:  I picked up more honey than apple, surprising with the 25-75 ratio.

Have you tried cyser?  What did you think?

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Moonlight Meadery Thirteen 5

Review of Moonlight Meadery’s Thirteen 5.  This appears to be their ‘How Do You Like Them Apples’ with a new name, plus apparently it is now aged in new oak instead of whiskey barrels.  I assume Thirteen 5 refers to this being 13.5% ABV.  The name change is likely to differentiate it from their ‘How Do You Like Them Little Apples’, which is a lower ABV cider (instead of a higher ABV cyser like this).

I have previously tried How Do You Like Them Apples (canned), How Do You Like Them Little Apples (canned), and How Do You Like Them Little Apples (draft).  I’ve also tried a few other beverages from Moonlight Meadery:  Boys N BerriesLast Apple, and Crimes of Passion

Cider:  Thirteen 5
Cidery:  Moonlight Meadery
Cidery Location:  Londonderry NH
ABV:  13.5%
How Supplied:  12oz cans
Style:  American craft cyser (made from apple juice & honey), with brown sugar, barrel aged

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Availability:  Semi wide release, in the U.S., since January 2018.  In general Moonlight products are available in at least AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TX, VA, VT, WA, WA D.C., and WI, and Australia, China, and Japan.  They also have an online store.

Cider Description:  A New England Hard Cider, made from freshly pressed apple cider with a bit of natural sugar used to help reach the impressive strength, then we let it age in hand made American Foeders.

Cidery Description:  We are a world class meadery and cidery from Londonderry, New Hampshire that specializes in meads, the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage made from honey, as well as hard ciders.  The diversity of our offerings often leave people speechless, while the flavors have them asking for it from their local retailers.  Stop by and try the oldest fermented beverage to find out why “History never tasted so good”™.

They have been around since May 2010 and have a tasting room in Londonderry NH.

Price:  ~$6 / single can
Where Bought:   Schilling Cider House in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing; I was curious if this was a new or renamed product, and if they had fixed a previous issue I’ve noticed with their canned ciders turning sour/vinegary over time

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First Impression:  Medium amber hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells rich and apple & honey forward.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness, acidity, and tannins.  No bitterness or funk.  Hints of sourness, especially on the finish.  Notes of concentrated apple, honey, orange, oak, caramel, and brown sugar.  Moderate length finish, which is also the only time when the high ABV is noticeable.  Low oak/barrel influence.  Moderate to high apple and honey flavor.  Low sessionability.  High flavor intensity.  Moderate complexity.

My Opinion:  At first I liked it.  However, same as I had experienced with previous canned batches of their ciders, with the finish, there were hints of sourness and vinegar.  So, it appears the issue hasn’t been fixed.  The longer these sit around, the worse they get (this batch said Dec 2017).  Unfortunately this makes it quite unlikely I’ll want to try any cans from them again, as now this is three different batches in a row spread out over time with apparently the same defect.

Most Similar to:  Ice cider and Moonlight Meadery Last Apple (although that one had more honey than apple flavor, in contrast to this one), which are both high ABV, sweet, and have concentrated rich flavor notes.

 

Have you tried Moonlight Meadery Thirteen 5?  What did you think?

Moonlight Meadery How Do You Like Them Apples

Review of Moonlight Meadery’s How Do You Like Them Apples.  I had previously tried this on draft, but they recently began offering this (and the “Little Apples” version) in cans.  I’ve tried a number of beverages from Moonlight Meadery:  How Do You Like Them Little Apples, How Do You Like Them Apples, Boys N Berries, Last Apple, and Crimes of Passion

Cider:  How Do You Like Them Apples
Cidery:  Moonlight Meadery
Cidery Location:  Londonderry NH
ABV:  13.5%
How Supplied:  12oz cans
Style:  American craft honey apple wine (apple cider with honey and brown sugar), rye whiskey barrel barrel aged

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Availability:  Semi wide release, in the U.S. in AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TX, VA, VT, WA, WA D.C., and WI, and Australia, China, and Japan.  They also have an online store.

Cider Description:  A New England Hard Cider, made with the finest New Hampshire apples that were available to us, which we had fresh pressed into apple cider. This fresh cider was delivered the day it was pressed to our Meadery, where we blended it with just a touch of honey, and some brown sugar and let it ferment, then we let it age in freshly emptied Last Apple barrels, for a minimum of 6 months.

Cidery Description:  We are a world class meadery and cidery from Londonderry, New Hampshire that specializes in meads, the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage made from honey, as well as hard ciders.  The diversity of our offerings often leave people speechless, while the flavors have them asking for it from their local retailers.  Stop by and try the oldest fermented beverage to find out why “History never tasted so good”™.

They have been around since May 2010 and have a tasting room in Londonderry NH.

Price:  ~$6 / single can
Where Bought:   Special Brews in Lynnwood WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  my husband picked this up

moonlight

First Impression:  Medium amber hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells rich, syrupy sweet, apple-forward, of honey, whiskey, and oak.

Tasting Notes:  Sweet.  Medium to full bodied.  Low tartness, acidity, and tannins.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Notes of concentrated apple, honey, orange, oak, whiskey, caramel, and brown sugar.  Moderate length finish, which is also the only time when the high ABV is noticeable.  Low oak/barrel influence.  Low to moderate whiskey influence.  High apple flavor.  Low sessionability.  High flavor intensity.  Moderate complexity.

My Opinion:  Amazing.  I really love the in-your-face rich complex flavor of this cider.  However, it is best suited as an after dinner sipper, splitting the can among at least 2 people.  By the end of the can I was a bit over it, as it was so sweet, even though I sipped on it throughout the evening.  This tasted good anywhere between ice cold and close to room temperature.

Most Similar to:  Ice cider and Moonlight Meadery Last Apple (although that one had more honey than apple flavor, in contrast to this one), which are both high ABV, have concentrated rich flavor notes, and are sweet

Side Note:  I like that they added a dry-sweet indicator on the can, but I think they were off on this one…it is way closer to the sweet end of the spectrum than the middle (although maybe it was an appropriate rating based on the beverages they make at Moonlight.

Closing Notes:  My husband also picked me up a couple cans of the “Little Apples” version of this cider, so stay tuned.

UPDATE:  Like the canned How Do You Like Them Little Apples, the can of this I opened a month or two later was starting to turn vinegary.

Have you tried Moonlight Meadery How Do You Like Them Apples?  What did you think?