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?

Brooklyn Cider House Still Bone Dry

Review of Brooklyn Cider House’s Still Bone 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 Half Sour 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:  Still Bone Dry
Cidery:  Brooklyn Cider House
Cidery Location:  Geneva NY
ABV:  6.8%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  American craft still (non-carbonated) bone dry flagship cider

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

Cider Description:  Warning: our Still Bone Dry is not like other ciders. With zero carbonation and zero sugar, it’s the driest cider that has passed our lips. Aged for 12 months on the lees and 6 months more in the bottle–unfiltered–it’s as zesty and racy as a cider can get. Discover why this low-alcohol, high-acid drink is changing people’s perceptions about what is possible for the artisanal cider movement.

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.  They also make a carbonated version of this cider.  At GLINTCAP 2016 in the “New World Cider – Heritage” category, the Still version won Bronze and the Carbonated version won Silver.

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 hue.  Completely still.  Smells mild, of sour citrus.  I was surprised to see a still cider in such a thick glass bottle (especially compared to them using thinner green glass bottles for the other two ciders I got).

Tasting Notes:  Dry, but in a more approachable way (as it doesn’t have the high tannins or acidity which is often found with bone dry ciders which causes them to be mouth-puckering).  Very light bodied.  Very low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Very low flavor intensity.  Notes of green apple and citrus.  Low apple flavor.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  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.  However, I think I’d prefer their carbonated version of this cider.

Most Similar to:  I’ve tried a couple other ciders advertised as bone dry, such as Pirate’s Plank from Alpenfire in Port Townsend WA, which comparatively had some carbonation and more flavor complexity.

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 (and this one was aged a total of 18 months).  I’d recommend it for folks who like a really dry still cider whose flavor won’t overpower food pairings.

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

Original Sin Extra Dry

Review of Original Sin’s newest cider, Extra Dry, from York, New York.  It launched last month.  This is their first canned cider (previously most of their ciders were sold in six packs of 12oz bottles, and a couple special releases in 750ml bottles) and celebrates their 20th! anniversary.  I’ve previously tried their Cherry Tree, Elderberry, Pear and Northern Spy ciders.

>This is a review of a sample can provided to Cider Says by Original Sin.  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:  Extra Dry
Cidery:  Original Sin
Cidery Location:  York NY
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  four pack of 16oz cans
Style:  American sessionable canned craft cider made from dessert apples

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Availability:  Currently sold year round in FL, IL, MD, NC, OH, PA, and WA D.C.  In April it will launch nationally to more than 30 states (everywhere its ciders are currently distributed).

Cider Description:  Original Sin Extra Dry Cider contains a distinct blend of New York apples including Ida Red, MacIntosh, Cortland, and several russeted apples. The cider is complex, balanced, and sessionable with a minimal level of residual sugar.

Made from 100% fresh pressed New York apples, champagne yeast, and nothing else.  Their suggested pairings are ripe camembert, roasted oysters, and anything else you might enjoy on a back patio.

Cidery Description:  Established in 1996, Original Sin is one of the original modern-day U.S. cider companies. With a mere $5,000 in funding, founder Gidon Coll began making cider in Upstate New York and spent two years going bar to bar in New York City to develop his early market base. Today, Original Sin is still 100% independent and now distributed in 32 U.S. States, The United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Japan.

Original Sin started a New York State test orchard five years ago, which now features over 100 rare, cider and contemporary apple varieties. Each year, the company adds interesting and historically significant varieties to the Original Sin orchard’s genetic pool.

Price:  n/a (suggested retail price of $10.49 / 4 cans)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I had read about this release online.  The founder of Original Sin, Gidon Coll, e-mailed and asked if he could send a sample, and I never turn down free cider…

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First Impression:  Pale straw yellow hue.  Moderate carbonation with tiny bubbles upon pouring, which quickly dissipated.  Smells dry, of tart green apples, yeast, and citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Dry.  High acidity.  Mild tartness.  Mild astringent tannins.  Hints of bitterness and sourness.  Light bodied.  Low carbonation.  Notes of juicy apple to start, then citrus, and hints of green apple, floral (I think I taste a hint of lavender of all things?), mineral, and yeast.  Moderate length finish.  Mild apple flavor.  Moderate sessionability.

My Opinion:  Enjoyable, although its not something I’d usually drink (I go more for full flavored then sessionable ciders).  It seems more flavorful than many sessionable ciders.  I think I’ve got more accustomed to dry ciders, as even 6 months ago I wouldn’t have liked a cider this dry.

Most Similar to:  Ace Joker (although this cider has more apple flavor), Farnum Hill Extra Dry (although this cider is less tannic and less bitter), and Alpenfire Pirate’s Plank (although this cider is less tannic and sweeter).

Closing Notes:   This probably ties with their Northern Spy for my favorite Original Sin cider so far.  I usually go for sweeter ciders, but it won me over.  Thankfully I have a second can to drink as well.

Have you tried Original Sin Extra Dry?  What did you think?

Slyboro Ciderhouse Old Sin

Review of Slyboro Ciderhouse’s Old Sin, from Granville NY.  This is the first cider I’ve tried from Slyboro.  We don’t get too many East Coast ciders here, so I’ve only tried a handful.

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Cider:  Old Sin
Cidery:  Slyboro Ciderhouse
Cidery Location:  Granville NY
ABV:  8.0%
How Supplied:  750ml bottle
Style:  American dry sparkling cider made with McIntosh and Russet apples

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Availability:  Year round in limited markets

Cider Description:  Deliciously dry! A pure apple temptation from the intertwined flavors of delicately floral McIntosh, spicy aromatic Russets with a splash of warm, richly fruited Ice Harvest Cider…1.5% residual sugar.

This is described as a sparkling cider; however, as the bottle didn’t have the thick glass indicative of a true sparkling beverage, I knew not to expect too much carbonation (which is forced not natural in this case).  Slyboro made this cider using apples from their own Hicks Orchard.  Also of note is that 1.5% residual sugar would typically be defined as semi-dry, not dry.

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:  $19.99 (which appears to be significantly marked up from what it would cost in NY)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I’ve been wanting to try more East Coast ciders, and this sounded like a great one to try.  I had read Meredith’s reviews of Slyboro ciders at Along Came a Cider.

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First Impression:  Very light gold amber.  Light carbonation.  Smells of rich sweet apples, caramel, butterscotch, and spice.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Mild tartness.  Moderate tannins and acidity.  A hint of bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  Butterscotch, caramel, and tropical fruit notes.  Medium bodied.  Long finish with lingering warmth.  Rich and full-flavored.  Moderate apple flavor.  Low sessionability.  High flavor complexity.

My Opinion:  Yum!  This is reminiscent of English cider, but has some additional fruitiness.  This cider’s smell was especially amazing.

Most Similar to:  Semi-dry full-flavored fruity ciders with moderate tannins.  Two semi-dry ciders that come to mind are Eaglemount Quince (very fruity, although I didn’t detect significant tannins) and Alpenfire Ember (which had less fruitiness and a very strong level of tannins).  One that I found to have a lot of fruitiness but more sweetness (semi-sweet) is Snowdrift Cliffbreaks Blend.

Closing Notes:   This cider was very enjoyable, and I look forward to trying more of Slyboro’s line-up.  I’ve also seen Hidden Star, Night Pasture, and Ice Harvest from their line-up.

Have you tried Slyboro Ciderhouse Old Sin?  What did you think?

Where Did My Cider Come From? (Major Cider Regions in the United States)

Lately I’ve been curious to learn more about the major cider regions in the U.S.  The Pacific Northwest (WA & OR), NY, and MI (Great Lakes / Finger Lakes) come to mind.  I was also surprised to learn that CA is a major cider producer, and PA is a major apple producer.

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Apples are grown commercially in 32/50 states in the U.S.  It all started on the East Coast in colonial times.  The top ten apple producing states in the U.S. are WA, NY, MI, PA, CA, VA, NC, OR, OH, and ID.

Here is some information about the top five apple producing states:

Washington – Apples primarily grown in the Yakima valley, while the majority of the cideries are in the greater Seattle area.

New York – Apples grown primarily in the Hudson and Champlain valleys, while many of the cideries are in the Hudson valley.

Michigan – Apples grown primarily in the Northwest corner of the Northern Lower Peninsula and the lower half of the state, same as the cideries.

Pennsylvania – Apples grown throughout the state, but comparatively there are few cideries.

California – Apples primarily grown in the San Joaquin Valley, while many of the cideries in contrast are in Sonoma and Mendocino counties.

When it comes to which state has the most cideries, the statistics get a bit murky.  However, its pretty clear the top five in some order are NY, WA, OR, MI, and CA.  The stats are further complicated as some wineries, breweries, and even meaderies make cider.

Here are examples of some well-known craft cideries in each of those states:

New York – Eve’s, Aaron Burr, Bad Seed, Bellwhether, Nine Pin, Slyboro

Washington – Finnriver, Snowdrift, Tieton, Alpenfire, Whitewood, Westcott Bay, Dragon’s Head

Oregon – E.Z. Orchards, 2 Towns, Reverend Nat’s, Blue Mountain, Wandering Aengus

Michigan – Virtue, J.K.’s Scrumpy, Uncle John’s, Tandem, Vander Mill

California – Sonoma Cider, Tilted Shed, Julian Hard Cider

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Thats not to say cider isn’t available from cideries in other states.  Many have numerous cideries.  PA, CO, VT, NC, MA, NH, and VA come to mind.  Its also difficult to look at it by state as the populations & landmasses vary so much.  However, demand for cider is definitely skyrocketing, and new cideries are opening every week.  Cider grew 70% each of the last two years!

Cydermarket is a very cool website with a directory of cideries by state.

Sources:
World’s Best Ciders book (Bill Bradshaw & Pete Brown)
http://ciderjournal.com/top-five-cider-producing-states-u-s/
http://www.ciderguide.com/cider-maps/united-states/
https://cydermarket.com
http://www.usapple.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=179&Itemid=285
http://growlermag.com/cider2015/
http://www.statista.com/statistics/300851/us-number-of-cider-manufacturers-by-state/
http://www.orangepippin.com/orchards/united-states