Eve’s Scatterseed

Review of Eve’s Cidery’s Scatterseed.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had their Beckhorn HollowAutumn’s GoldKingston Black, and Rustica.

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Cider:  Scatterseed (2014 vintage)
Cidery:  Eve’s Cidery
Cidery Location:  Van Etten NY
ABV:  8.5%
How Supplied:  750ml corked & caged champagne bottle
Style:  American artisan methode champenoise cider from cider apples

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Availability:  sold out per their website

Cider Description:  Aromas of damp earth, ripe waxy apple, tamari and beeswax focus (coalesce) into flavors of ripe fruit and game which are deep and layered. Textures of sandstone and chewy bittersweet apple. Finish is completely dry and savory with full, lingering tannin.

See here for more info on this cider; I like how they are very detailed in all their cider descriptions.

Cidery Description:  Eve’s Cidery is a small family run orchard and cidery located in Van Etten, in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. We grow apples and other tree fruits and ferment artisanal ciders. We believe in nature, art, good food and hard work. These beliefs influence the way we farm, make cider and sell our product. We hope you can taste some of it in the bottle.

Their official tasting room is at the Finger Lakes Cider House in Interlaken New York.

Price:  $18
Where Bought:  the cidery’s online store
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing

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First Impression:  Medium gold hue.  Moderate carbonation.  Smells dry, tannic, and rich.

Tasting Notes:  Completely dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Moderate to high tannins.  Hints of bitterness and funk.  No sourness.  Earthy notes of caramel, leather, butterscotch, lemon, butter, and floral.  Long tannic finish.  Low apple flavor and sessionability.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High complexity.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it.  The tannins and flavor were great.  However, I would have preferred more sweetness and less acidity.  I’d love to see more tannic traditional ciders like this that are semi-dry instead of dry, as I think it brings out more flavor, and makes them more approachable.

Most Similar to:  very few ciders, as very few cideries are using such a high percentage of bittersweet & bittersharp cider apples in a cider (although it is getting more common, but usually they are blended with heirloom apples such that the bittersweet & bittersharp apple characteristics are muted)

Closing Notes:  my favorite Eve’s cider remains Rustica, but I’d love to see a slightly sweeter version of this or their Kingston Black

Have you tried Eve’s Scatterseed?  What did you think?

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Slyboro Night Pasture

Review of Slyboro’s Night Pasture.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had their Old Sin and Hidden Star.

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Cider:  Night Pasture
Cidery:  Slyboro
Cidery Location:  Granville NY
ABV:  8.0%
How Supplied:  750ml corked bottles
Style:  American artisan cider from heirloom & cider apple varieties, still, dry

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Availability:  Currently sold out for the year, but typically sold year-round, in limited markets

Cider Description:  Subtly complex, dry, with hints of spice and caramel, made from Golden Delicious, English Bittersweet varieties and Northern Spy apples. Named after our oldest orchard, where earlier farmers once turned out their livestock at the end of the workday. Now a favorite spot for painters, dancers, apple pickers, skiers and red foxes.

Cidery Description:  Named for the centuries-old hamlet that is home to Hicks Orchard, Slyboro Ciderhouse re-introduces the lost craft of traditional American ciders. Just as grapes are transformed into wine, our ciders are fermented from our own orchard-grown apples; unlocking the full potential of the apple by creatively blending a a distinctive range of delicious, award-winning ciders. We at Slyboro Ciderhouse are dedicated to reclaiming cider – “true cider” – as America’s favorite drink. We invite you to explore and discover the flavors and delights of Slyboro Ciders. In any season, for special occasions, or to enrich the moment, “consider cider.”

Slyboro has a tasting room open seasonally, July through Christmas.

Price:  $10 (50% off of $20, although the cidery lists it for $11.99, now sold out)
Where Bought:  Downtown Spirits in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I visited the store for a cider class taught by Rev Nat during WA Cider Week 2017, and stocked up on all the awesome ciders on their 50% off shelf.  Unfortunately the higher end ciders from cider apples can sell slowly even where cider is popular, such as here in the Seattle area.

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First Impression:  Dark straw yellow hue, with some particulates.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells mild, of rich caramel and earth.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of dry (but that was just perceived, likely due to the ‘juiciness’, as their website says 0% residual sugar).  Light bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low tannins.  Hints of bitterness and funk.  No sourness.  Notes of caramel, earth, smoke, wax, cork, lemon, and a hint of herbs.  Long slightly warming acidic finish.  Low to moderate apple flavor, flavor intensity, and sessionability.  Moderate to high complexity.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  This was much more doable for me than many of the other dry East Coast ciders I’ve tried, which tend to be much more acidic and less intense in flavor than the Washington ciders I am used to.  This would be very food friendly, and likely appeal to wine lovers as well.  It had a really unique flavor profile.

Most Similar to:  Understood in Motion 02 and Farnum Hill Kingston Black

Closing Notes:  My favorite from Slyboro remains their Old Sin, due to its higher flavor intensity, richness, and sweetness.

Have you tried Slyboro Night Pasture?  What did you think?

Slyboro Hidden Star

Review of Slyboro Hidden Star, from New York.  I’ve previously only tried their Old Sin cider.

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Cider:  Hidden Star
Cidery:  Slyboro
Cidery Location:  Granville NY
ABV:  6.9%
Residual Sugar: 2.5%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  American craft cider made from heirloom apple varieties

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Availability:  Year round in limited markets

Cider Description:  Discover the secret in the apple! Cider from historic, hearty Northern Spy apples blended with ecologically grown Liberty apples, brings a deeply rooted American tradition to the modern table for your enjoyment.
Made from apples grown at Hicks Orchard, a family farm in the Adirondack foothills and New York?s oldest U-Pick orchard. Clean, crisp, aromatic and refreshingly smooth, like a ripe apple just picked from a tree. Hidden Star pairs well with Summer barbeques, Autumn picnics, Winter festivities, and Spring frolics.

Cidery Description:  Named for the centuries-old hamlet that is home to Hicks Orchard, Slyboro Ciderhouse re-introduces the lost craft of traditional American ciders. Just as grapes are transformed into wine, our ciders are fermented from our own orchard-grown apples; unlocking the full potential of the apple by creatively blending a a distinctive range of delicious, award-winning ciders.

We at Slyboro Ciderhouse are dedicated to reclaiming cider – “true cider” – as America’s favorite drink. We invite you to explore and discover the flavors and delights of Slyboro Ciders. In any season, for special occasions, or to enrich the moment, “consider cider.”

Slyboro has a tasting room open seasonally, July through Christmas.

Price:  $17 (which is apparently $5 more than the going price in New York)
Where Bought:  Schilling Cider House in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I previously tried and enjoyed their Old Sin, so I was game to try something else from Slyboro.

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow.  Smells fruity, of stone fruit and pineapple.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Moderate carbonation, tiny bubbles.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Mild tannins.  Hints of bitterness and funk.  No sourness.  Notes of honey, peach, pineapple, mineral, green apples, and a slight metallic flavor.  Long finish with some sharpness and warming (tasting higher than 6.9% ABV).  Moderate apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Moderate complexity.  Low sessionability.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it, although I prefer their Old Sin (which is richer).  This is a nice summery cider in flavor, although not sessionable.

Most Similar to:  Eve’s Beckhorn Hollow (although Hidden Star is sweeter and more fruity).  It even reminded me a bit of ciders which used some crabapples (such as Raven’s Moon and Dragon’s Head Columbia Crab), as it had a sharp flavor.  It also seemed a bit boozy, especially in the finish, like something Sea Cider or Eaglemount would make.

Closing Notes:   I look forward to trying more from Slyboro, and the East Coast / New York in general.  I have seen two more varieties from them locally.

Have you tried Slyboro Hidden Star?  What did you think?

Eve’s Cidery Beckhorn Hollow

Review of Eve’s Cidery Beckhorn Hollow.  Its the first time I’ve tried their cider.  I was surprised to see it in the store as I didn’t even know they distributed out here (I’ve heard of them online).  We don’t get too many East Coast ciders here in the Pacific Northwest (at least compared to WA & OR ciders).

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Cider:  Beckhorn Hollow
Cidery:  Eve’s Cidery
Cidery Location:  Van Etten, New York
ABV:  8.5%
How Supplied:  750 ml corked & caged champagne bottle
Style:  Craft cider made from heirloom apple varieties, methode champenoise style (naturally sparkling)

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Availability:  Mostly in New York, but also in some other states such as Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Massachusetts, and Delaware (and now, Washington).  They also have an online store (check for shipping availability for states besides New York).  310 cases of this vintage of this cider were produced in 2014.

Cider Description:  This extra dry cider is a blend of American cider apples and English heirloom varieties, with a focus on Golden Russet. The aroma starts off with sour dried apricots and a warm field and moves into something darker like green oak leaves and forest duff. The mouth feel is light and airy, dominated by bubbles and is followed by a burst of juicy acidity which brings out bright fruit in spite of the bone dryness. The finish is long and mouthwatering, reminiscent of limes.

On the nose, sweet aromas of bartlett pear, cream and raw honey. The mid palate is bright and bubbly with succulent fruit flavors of peaches and sour orange.  A tart and juicy finish ends in dry lemon pith. Residual Sugar 0.0%, Alc/Vol 8.9%, Titratable Acidity 9.7g/l, pH 3.5

Apple Varieties: A blend of aromatic, sharp and heirloom apples: Golden Russet, Wealthy, Wixson, Cox Orange Pippin, Northern Spy, Manchurian Crab, Spigold, Idared.

Cidery Description:  Eve’s Cidery is a small family run orchard and cidery located in Van Etten, in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. We grow apples and other tree fruits and ferment artisanal ciders. We believe in nature, art, good food and hard work. These beliefs influence the way we farm, make cider and sell our product. We hope you can taste some of it in the bottle.

All of our sparkling ciders are made using the Champagne Method. We harvest and press our apples as they mature from early September through November. We blend at the press based on harvest dates and pH for a healthy fermentation. After the primary fermentation in the fall, the ciders are racked and left to mature in stainless steel over the winter. In the early spring, we blend to find dynamism and synergy. The cider is then bottled with a liqueur de tirage, yeast and sugar, to initiate a secondary fermentation. In the cool cider barn, the secondary fermentation proceeds slowly, taking nearly 4 months to complete. The slow secondary fermentation is what creates tiny, persistent bubbles of unrivaled elegance which lift aromas out of the glass and impart a lively, creamy mouthfeel. After a period of rest we disgorge, eject the yeast, every bottle by hand and top it up with a dosage of cider.

Price:  $19
Where Bought:  Schilling Cider House in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I’ve been wanting to try cider from Eve’s and even considered ordering them online, but this is the first time I’ve seen them in the Seattle area, so it was an easy choice to pick it up.  This is the only Eve’s variety they had in the store.

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Moderate carbonation.  Smells mild, acidic, creamy, of citrus, earth, and green apples.

Tasting Notes:  Completely dry.  Medium bodied with a creamy and frothy texture.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Low to moderate tannins.  Low bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of sharp crabapple bite, citrus (orange), peach, potato starch, honey, mineral, white grape, and yeast.  Moderate length finish.  Low apple flavor.  Low sessionability.  Moderate to high complexity.  Low flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  This is a very well made cider.  However, its not really my favorite type of cider (dry and sharp).  I knew that going into it, and mostly just wanted to give it a try.  I imagine this would be a great wine lovers cider.  My husband really liked it.

Most Similar to:  Snowdrift Semi DryLiberty Ciderworks New World Style, and Wandering Aengus Wickson, which are all dry and sharp.

Closing Notes:   I’m glad I got a chance to try this cider.  I’m curious if I’ll be able to find any other varieties from them locally; maybe something slightly sweeter and with bittersweet instead of bittersharp apple varieties (their Darling Creek sounds to my liking).

Have you tried anything from Eve’s Cidery?  What did you think?

Angry Orchard Walden Hollow

Review of Angry Orchard’s newest Ciderhouse Collection selection, Walden Hollow, named for their cidery headquarters and orchard in Walden New York.  It is made exclusively from apples grown in New York state, including some from Angry Orchard’s own 60 acre orchard.  I’ve previously tried a number of ciders from them; see here.

>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Angry Orchard.  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.<<

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Cider:  Walden Hollow
Cidery:  Angry Orchard
Cidery Location:  Cincinnati OH
ABV:  8.0%
How Supplied:  750ml corked bottles
Style:  American commercial cider made from New York state dessert & heirloom apple varieties, wild yeast fermentation

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Availability:  year round, wide release, limited availability, with plans to release a new batch each Spring

Cider Description:  Walden Hollow is an annual vintage cider made with our cider maker’s choice of heirloom New York state apples varieties, including apples from the Angry Orchard in Walden, NY. The 2016 edition is a mildly tannic, off dry cider with intense apple aroma and notes of butterscotch and almond. The cider makers wanted to capture the essence of wild fermentation, but without the funkiness or sour qualities sometimes associated with the process.

With Walden Hollow, Angry Orchard’s cider makers fermented the cider with wild yeast to evoke earthy, farmhouse qualities that complement the cider’s clean finish.  This cider has a bright aroma of fresh peeled apple skins, a rich full body, medium sweetness in taste with tartness characteristic of New York State.

Their Ciderhouse Collection also includes Iceman, The Muse, and Strawman.

Apple Varieties: Rome, Jonathan, Macintosh, Rhode Island Greening, Golden Russet, Newtown Pippin, and Northern Spy

Interestingly enough the press release they sent only mentioned the heirloom apple varieties (“apple varieties include…”), but their website also listed the dessert apple varieties.

Price:  n/a (retails for $14.99-$17.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Bright medium straw yellow.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells sour, of citrus, honey, and floral.

Tasting Notes:  Dry to semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Mild sourness, funk, bitterness, and tannins.  Moderate to high tartness and acidity.  Mouth-puckering sourness and tartness, but the sourness is only at the front of the palate, not the back like a true sour cider (farmhouse-style or Sidra).  Notes of lemon, grapefruit, honey, vinegar, hay, floral, and mineral.  Moderate length finish.  Low to moderate apple flavor.  Low sessionability.

My Opinion:  I don’t really appreciate this style of cider (sourness and funk isn’t my cup of tea), but those who like this style will probably enjoy it.

Most Similar to:  This seems to be a less intense (less sour) version of traditional farmhouse-style cider (like from Millstone Cellars) or Spanish Sidra.

Closing Notes:   I’m glad I got to try this cider.  Angry Orchard really branched out with it…I’m curious how it will be received by their typical customers.

Have you tried Angry Orchard Walden Hollow?  What did you think?

Brooklyn Cider House Kinda Dry

Review of Brooklyn Cider House’s Kinda Dry cider.  This is the first time I’ve tried their cider.  They awesomely sent me a bottle of this one as well as their Still Bone Dry and Half Sour ciders.  Interesting note – this cider shares its name with a cider from Portland Cider in Oregon.
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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Brooklyn Cider House.  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:  Kinda Dry
Cidery:  Brooklyn Cider House
Cidery Location:  Geneva NY
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles (this is the first time I’ve seen a twist-top; usually they use crown caps and sometimes corks for cider; I imagine it would work well for ciders with low carbonation)
Style:  American craft semi-dry cider

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Availability:  Only in New York; see this page of retailers.

Cider Description:  Kinda Dry transports you to an orchard on a crisp, fall day. Fresh tart apples greet you, waking the palate up. But give it a second and it transforms into a friendly finish that is an ideal picnic companion. We think of it as our perfect casual sipper. Like your favorite jeans, our Kinda Dry is ready for anything.

Each of their ciders are made from a blend of 7-9 apple varieties, ranging from table apples (like Macintosh and Cortland) to bitter apples and crab apples.  This cider won silver in the “New World Cider – Heritage” category at GLINTCAP 2016.

Cidery Description:  All our ciders are born out of traditions from Spain, France, and America. They are made as naturally as possible from apples hand picked in upstate New York. Our apples are simply crushed and their juice left to ferment the same way the traditionalists do it in Europe and the way it used to be done in Brooklyn before the Temperance Movement ended the party.

Like fine wines our ciders are expressions of place, but unlike wine our ciders are meant to be gulped not sipped! Some are bubbly, some are dry, and some have a hint of natural sugar, but all are meant to celebrate the simple pleasures. So join us in a toast to tradition, friendship and, of course, to Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Cider House was started in 2014.  They have an orchard and tasting room in the Hudson Valley in New Paltz New York, Twin Star Orchards.

Price:  $10
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, of white grape juice.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, tannins, or funk.  Notes of white grape, mineral, pineapple, citrus, and green apple.  Moderate flavor complexity.  Low apple flavor.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  This was by far my favorite of the three ciders (and all my tasting companions agreed).  I enjoyed it as I prefer ciders with more flavor intensity, which most often occurs with sweeter ciders.  I found it sweeter than their Half Sour, although it has less residual sugar per the label.  This is a great spring and summer cider as its light and fruity.

Most Similar to:  2 Towns Cidre Moscato (although that special release cider had higher acidity) and Cider Brothers William Tell Dry Hard Apple with Pinot Grigio (although that was sweeter and had green apple candy notes).  This cider also reminded me some of Moscato grape wine, although not as sweet.

Closing Notes:   I think this cider is a great value for a $10 retail price, being that its a craft product made from local fresh-pressed New York apples.  I’d recommend it for folks who like a slightly fruity semi-dry cider.

Have you tried Brooklyn Cider House ciders?  What did you think?

Brooklyn Cider House Half Sour

Review of Brooklyn Cider House’s Half Sour cider.  This is the first time I’ve tried their cider.  They awesomely sent me a bottle of this one as well as their Still Bone Dry and Kinda Dry ciders.
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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Brooklyn Cider House.  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:  Half Sour
Cidery:  Brooklyn Cider House
Cidery Location:  Geneva NY
ABV:  5.8%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles (this is the first time I’ve seen a twist-top; usually they use crown caps and sometimes corks for cider; I imagine it would work well for ciders with low carbonation)
Style:  American craft dry slightly sour cider

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Availability:  Only in New York; see this page of retailers.

Cider Description:  Half Sour is our most thought-provoking cider. It begins with the aromas of wild flowers and honey, followed by a hint of pickled pear. Take a sip and pow! It hits the palate with a wave of citrus fruit flavors that are edgy, refreshing and tickle your tongue – ultimately providing endless possibilities for pairings. Our Half Sour answers to no one.

Each of their ciders are made from a blend of 7-9 apple varieties, ranging from table apples (like Macintosh and Cortland) to bitter apples and crab apples.

Cidery Description:  All our ciders are born out of traditions from Spain, France, and America. They are made as naturally as possible from apples hand picked in upstate New York. Our apples are simply crushed and their juice left to ferment the same way the traditionalists do it in Europe and the way it used to be done in Brooklyn before the Temperance Movement ended the party.

Like fine wines our ciders are expressions of place, but unlike wine our ciders are meant to be gulped not sipped! Some are bubbly, some are dry, and some have a hint of natural sugar, but all are meant to celebrate the simple pleasures. So join us in a toast to tradition, friendship and, of course, to Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Cider House was started in 2014.  They have an orchard and tasting room in the Hudson Valley in New Paltz New York, Twin Star Orchards.

Price:  $10
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Very light straw yellow, nearly clear.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells mild with hints of sour & citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to dry.  Very light bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  Hints of sour and funk.  No bitterness or tannins.  Notes of green apple, citrus, and mineral.  Quick finish.  Low apple flavor.  Low flavor intensity.  Subtle wine-like complexity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  Less sour than I was expecting from the description (I’d say more like 10% than 50% sour cider…nowhere near that of an Austrian Spanish cider), which was good for me as I’m not a sour cider lover.  I found this to be too bland for my liking (and my three friends and husband agreed).  I think its an ideal cider for food pairing (we had some cheese with it).  I’d also recommend it as a base for cider cocktails or mimosas.

Most Similar to:  Slightly sour ciders, such as from WildCraft in Eugene Oregon.

Closing Notes:   I think this cider is a great value for a $10 retail price, being that its a craft product made from local fresh-pressed New York apples.  I’d recommend it for folks who like a unique cider whose flavor won’t overpower food pairings and who don’t mind a touch of sourness & funk.

Have you tried Brooklyn Cider House ciders?  What did you think?