Urban Tree Cidery Original

Review of Urban Tree Cidery’s Original variety, described as a European-style dry cider.  It is my first time trying any of their ciders, and I sampled their current flagship line-up of three ciders all at once.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Urban Tree.  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:  Original
Cidery:  Urban Tree Cidery
Cidery Location:  Atlanta Georgia
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American craft cider from bittersweet cider apples

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Availability:  Their tasting room in Atlanta, these locations around Atlanta, and online sales (in Georgia)

Cider Description:  Our original cider is dry, yet crisp, with subtle notes of apple sweetness, the way traditional European-style cider is designed to go down. Crafted from bittersweet apples and with less than .5% residual sugar, it boasts of tannic and acidic notes. For a real taste of the old country, pour yourself a glass and enjoy.

Cidery Description:  At the core of Georgian pride and Atlanta’s spirit live the seeds of change. A new legacy is rising – challenging the conventions of good taste and fine drink.

Urban Tree was founded by a husband and wife in 2015, opened a tasting room in 2016, and is described as Atlanta’s first cidery.  They use local apples from the Cathey Family Orchard in Mountain City Georgia.

Price:  n/a (retails for $13-16)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  the cidery contacted me

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First Impression:  Light golden hue.  Low carbonation with some foam.  Smell is reminiscent of Chardonnay, acidic and slightly oaked.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to dry.  Low to moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low tannins.  Hints of sourness, funk, and bitterness.  Tangy, with notes of lemon, grapefruit, wood, and honey.  Moderate length finish.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate sessionability, flavor intensity, and complexity.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  Very interesting, as it was tangy, but not really tart or sour.  Slightly Farmhouse-style, with the tang, citrus notes, and hints of sourness.  The scent was quite different from the taste.

Most Similar to:  This was very unique, but I’ve had a few ciders that were slightly similar – Ace Blackjack 21, Angry Orchard Walden HollowNumber 12 Sparkling Dry, Sietsema Traditional Dry, and Three Kees Dessert Apple

Closing Notes:  Next up is Urban Tree’s Classic and Barrel-Aged ciders.

Have you tried cider from Urban Tree?  What did you think?

Magners Original Irish Cider

Review of Magners Original Irish Cider.  Its my first time trying it oddly enough (I had never got around to it).

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Cider:  Original Irish Cider
Cidery:  Magners (C&C Group)
Cidery Location:  County Tipperary in Ireland
ABV:  4.5%
How Supplied:  four pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  commercial Irish cider

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Availability:  wide release (over 50 countries)

Description:  We love making cider, but we reckon there’s only one way to do it properly. That’s why we’re still taking inspiration from the historic methods we used when we started making cider back in 1935. That’s part of the Magners taste.  So in this way we use 17 varieties of apples, waiting until they drop before pressing and filtering them in the traditional way.  We take time to ferment the cider and even more time to let it mature, up to 2 years in fact, tasting it along the way.  Sure, there are faster ways of making cider, but then it wouldn’t be Magners.

Price:  ~ $1.50 / single bottle
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I realized I had never tried Magners, which is often one of the first ciders people try.

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First Impression:  Fake orange amber hue.  Nearly still.  Smells of apple juice and a fake chemical scent.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  The notes didn’t go too beyond apple, with a touch of caramel.  Quick finish.  Moderate to high apple flavor.  High sessionability.  Low flavor intensity.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  It was what I was expecting…simple and fake tasting.  It was drier than I was expecting, but that is more typical for European ciders (vs. American commercial ciders).

Most Similar to:  Other commercial ciders, although this had a bit of English cider twist with the hints of bitterness and tannins.

Closing Notes:   Now I can finally say I’ve tried Magners.  I don’t really get why this sells so well, but I guess its easy to drink.

Have you tried Magners?  What did you think?

Crispin Original

Review of Crispin’s Original cider variety.  I’ve had this cider a few times, but this is the first time since I started blogging.  Actually, I’ve tried most of their varieties, from Blackberry Pear to Browns Lane to Venus Reigns.  Crispin is probably my second favorite commercial cidery behind Woodchuck.

Cider:  Original
Cidery:  Crispin (part of MillerCoors)
Cidery Location:  Colfax CA
ABV:  5%
How Supplied:  four pack of 12oz clear glass bottles (or four pack of 16oz cans)

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Availability:  wide release, year round

Cider Description:  Crisp, refreshing natural hard apple cider.  Crisp over ice. A classically styled, but untraditional hard apple cider. Fruit forward, with a fresh, crunchy appley nose and a deliciously refreshing, crisp mouth feel.

Price:  $5.00 / bottle at a bar (usually runs $7 a four pack)
Where Drank:  The Point in Prescott AZ.  This was their only cider offering at the time.  Apparently they usually had some sort of Schilling Cider on tap, but were out.  I was excited to see Schilling (made in my area) all the way in AZ, so it was disappointing they were out.  The Point was a very unique basement bar/lounge in Whiskey Row in downtown Prescott to say the least (it was dark and smelled lol, but overall was trying to be a higher end classy speakeasy).  We were there for the whiskey selection for my husband and a friend.  I was happy just to find cider that wasn’t Angry Orchard.  Actually, that night I went 2/2, finding Woodchuck Amber (bottled) at Prescott Brewing Company.  The following night I was 0/3 on cider, but 2/3 on mead.  All in all those are above average odds on finding a beverage to my liking!

First Impression:  Shiny straw yellow.  Almost no carbonation.  Sweet kinda fake crisp apple scent.

Opinion:  On the drier side of semi-sweet.  No bitterness.  Low acidity and tartness.  Tropical & pear notes.  A bit juice-like.  Medium bodied.  Quick finish.  Overall this is an enjoyable easy drinking cider which is less sweet than most commercial ciders (150 calories and 10 grams of sugar per 12oz).  I liked the level of flavor, but that seems to come with the territory of being a bit sweeter (this is nowhere near dry).  Its definitely “crisp & refreshing” as the bottle said, and it was quickly gone.

Most Similar to:  Probably Crispin Pacific Pear, as I picked up some pear notes in this cider and it is a similar level of sweetness.  Or maybe Stella Cidre or Spire Mountain Apple.  I haven’t found too many ciders with this level of sweetness…most craft ciders are drier, and most commercial ciders are sweeter.

Closing Notes:   This is a solid commercial cider selection.  I especially like it isn’t overly sweet (and for folks who like an even drier cider, they make a Brut variety).  However, the use of water, apple juice concentrate, and “natural apple essence” (whatever that is) disappoints me.  Their description of the cider is pretty sad too…  Appley?  Serve over ice?  No thank you.  Overall though I don’t hesitate to order this cider when it is available, and I think its a much better choice than Angry Orchard Crisp Apple.  If this was a craft cider, I’d probably keep some in the house.

Have you tried Crispin Original?  What did you think?