Incline White Peach

Review of Incline Cider’s White Peach cider.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had their The Explorer Hopped CiderLemongrass LureThe Scout Hopped Marionberry, and Compass Rosé.

Cider:  White Peach
Cidery:  Incline Cider
Cidery Location:  Auburn WA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  19,2oz cans
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with white peaches

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Availability:  mostly Washington & Oregon, plus Nevada, Idaho, Utah, & Alaska (see here)

Cider Description:  Our white peach cider is juicy, bright, crisp and refreshing because we use fresh peach juice and organic white peach extract. We hope you enjoy!

Cidery Description:  Utilizing only 100% fresh pressed apples as the base for ciders that stand in a category of their own. 

Price:  $4.49 / 1 can
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing

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First Impression:  Light gold hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells of sweet peach.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness.  Moderate to high acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of peach, green apple, lemon, and apricot.  Quick finish.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  However, I would have liked a touch more sweetness and flavor, which probably would cut the tartness & acidity too.  It smelled more of peach than it tasted oddly enough.  Same with the level of sweetness (smelled sweeter than it tasted).

Most Similar to:  Blackfin Peach (however, my favorite peach cider remains Lonetree Apple Peach, which of course isn’t available locally)

Closing Notes:  Offering these larger cans only sold individually is a new idea.  I liked it, as I like to try new ciders, but not commit to them, so I’ll go to places like Total Wine which sell singles of multipacks.  This one doesn’t appear to be sold in a multipack even in other stores.  Due to this, the price ends up being a bit higher per ounce than most local craft canned multipack ciders.

Have you tried Incline Peach?  What did you think?

Lonetree Apple Peach

Review of Lonetree’s Apple Peach cider.  It is my first time trying anything from this Canadian cidery.

Cider:  Apple Peach
Cidery:  Lonetree
Cidery Location:  Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  cans
Style:  Canadian cider from heirloom apples, with peaches

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Availability:  likely only in British Columbia, Canada

Cider Description:  Our Peach apple cider recipe is bursting with the taste of fresh & juicy BC peaches. We know you’ll taste the difference.

Cidery Description:  We are a small, BC-owned company, making cider the old-fashioned way. We start with real BC apples from old growth orchards, deep in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.  Our authentic dry ciders are natural and real – from apples that are crushed and fermented, then filtered fresh clear and pure – much like a premium quality wine.  We believe in local, natural, and sustainable farming. Our business concept started when we were introduced to 3rd generation family orchardists in Kelowna. To this day, we work with that same family, but have also expanded to work with BC Tree Fruits Co-Op which is made up of over 500 grower families in BC for our apple supply.  We selected the name “Lonetree” because we think we stand alone in our belief in a 100% BC quality product. And we use the phrase “old growth orchard” because many of the apple trees are nearly 80 years old.  We believe the old ways are still the best. We know you will taste the difference.

Price:  ~ $3-4 CAN / 1 can
Where Bought:  Victoria B.C.
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  When in port during a cruise.  I was able to buy a number of single cans downtown, mostly 16oz, which is awesome as cans pack the easiest (can fit in a gallon Ziploc baggie).

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First Impression:  Pale peach yellow hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells of sweet peach puree.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  Hints of tannins.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Notes of sharp heirloom apples and pomace, peach, and hints of citrus & apricot.  Moderate length tannic finish.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  Awesome!  Great peach flavor with a tannic finish, very unique.  Not overly tart either, which I appreciate.  Most cideries don’t use cider apples when making flavored ciders.  This is a bit of a mix between a heritage and modern cider, and I liked it.

Most Similar to:  I’ve tried over a dozen peach ciders (see here and search for ‘peach’), and Tieton Bourbon Peach is the closest to this, except the finish on that was bourbon instead of tannic apple.

Closing Notes:  I’m bummed this isn’t available locally, as I’d stock up.  Hopefully I can find it when I’m in Vancouver in May.

Random Note:  Lonetree’s ciders were apparently available in the U.S. for a short while under the name Soultree (due to a naming conflict).  However, the distributor went under, so their ciders are no longer available in the U.S.  I actually tried Soultree Dry previously, but I much prefer this peach one.

Have you tried Lonetree Apple Peach?  What did you think?

Tieton Bourbon Peach

Review of Tieton Bourbon Peach.  I tried this on draft 2 years ago (see here), and heard last year that it came out in bottles but never saw it.  Now that I found it this year, I wanted to do a full review.  I’ve also had their Cidermaker’s Reserve, Apricot, Smoked Pumpkin, Wind (Pommeau), Wild Washington, Cherry, Blossom Nectar, Sparkling PerryCranberryFrost (ice cider), Spice RouteRussian Red, and Lavender Honey.

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Cider:  Bourbon Peach
Cidery:  Tieton Cider Works
Cidery Location:  Yakima WA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles (and draft)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with peach, bourbon barrel aged

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Availability:  summer seasonal, since 2016, sold in Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada

Cider Description:  Juice from hand-picked Washington State peaches is married with the richness of Kentucky bourbon barrels. This creates the perfect balance of sweet, ripe peaches and tartness of green apples. The charred oak of bourbon barrels gives this cider a deep vanilla and plum character. A touch of oak tannin finishes this cider off perfectly. Our love of what Northwest farmers have to offer has led us to create this “Limited Release” program. Featuring the bounty of our local agriculture, Tieton Cider Works’ Limited Releases will focus on some of the very best products the Northwest has to offer. Bourbon Peach is the perfect summertime libation with a refreshing blend of juicy peaches with and aged bourbon barrel flavors.

Cidery Description:  From branch to bottle, Tieton Cider Works controls every aspect of the growing and cidermaking process. Tieton Cider Works boasts the largest orchard of cider varieties in Washington state and the largest Perry pear orchard in the United States. We blend our gnarly, inedible cider fruit with our organically grown dessert fruit. We’ve been growing apples, apricots, cherries and pears on Harmony Orchards – our family farm – since the 1930’s and are thrilled to be involved in Re:interpreting the tradition of cider making.

Price:  $7.99
Where Bought:  a weird bottle shop / bar inside a mini mart in Lynnwood WA called Stogies N Hops (we won’t be going back as it stank horribly of cigarette/cigar smoke and had a weird vibe)
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I first tried it on draft 2 years ago

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, of peach.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Hints of tannins.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Notes of peach with some other fruit (pineapple, mango, pear) and oak.  Moderate length finish with mild bourbon.  Moderate sessionability.  Low apple flavor, barrel influence, and bourbon influence.  Moderate complexity and flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  Awesome!  I love the flavor profile, and it has a nice complexity for being made from dessert apples.  This is exactly the type of cider that I go for when drinking non-cider-apple ciders – full flavored and semi-sweet to semi-dry.  If anything though I would have liked more bourbon.  I’m really glad they went a bit sweeter on this, as I think many barrel aged ciders often go too dry, which combined with the barrel & spirit influence can come across as harsh.

Most Similar to:  I’ve had a number of peach ciders, such as Black Fin Pacific Peach, Red Branch Peach, Schilling Road Trip (Peach Citra), Sancho Libre Peach Sangria, Fox Tail Fuzzy Haven, and Mission Trail Peach Coast (100% peach, so fruit wine not cider).  This reminds me most of the Schilling Road Trip, except it has bourbon instead of hops.  Most of the others were drier and more tart.

Closing Notes:  The price point on this is great too, for what you are getting (I checked Total Wine’s website and found out they just got it in stock, and sell it $1 cheaper, for $6.99).  I think this would do well in cans, but I think Tieton only does that for their ‘Rambling Route’ line (which I’m not a huge fan of, although its plenty drinkable).

Have you tried Tieton Bourbon Peach?  What did you think?

Red Branch Peach Cider

Review of Red Branch Cider Company’s Peach Cider (actually technically a cyser as it has honey added).  It is my first time trying this cider, and any cider from this cidery.

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Cider:  Peach Cider
Cidery:  Red Branch Cider Co.
Cidery Location:  Sunnyvalle CA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  American cider with honey, peach juice, carbonated water, and sugar

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Availability:  A small batch release.  Red Branch cider appears to only be available in California, plus through their online store.

Cider Description:  We take great care in producing this hard peach cider from the finest ingredients available. We only use premium fruit juices and honey. This one has a twist though, we’ve added peach juice to give it a great flavor with a terrific peach aroma. If you love peaches, then this is for you. Try our other flavors, too and you might just find your favorite beverage choice is something new. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do. If you don’t, tell us and we’ll make it right. Mike & Maria

Cidery Description:  We believe that producing a quality hard cider of any variety is 90% art and 10% science. Toss in a bit of sweat and heartburn for good measure and you’ll have a typical small cidery. Crafting cider is a lot like crafting many other beverages, and our love of quality ingredients drives us to produce more than just an average cider, but what we believe, is the finest cider possible. Our passion is to create something special from one of the most natural substances on earth, and share it with everyone.

Quality and consistency are the most important aspects of our products, if they aren’t good enough for us to drink or offer to our own friends and family, then we won’t sell it to you!  Red Branch Cider Company offers both traditional and seasonal ciders with an innovative honey twist.

They were established in 1995 and have a tap room in Sunnyvale CA.

Price:  $8.49
Where Bought:  a natural grocery store in a small town in Northern California
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  They had an impressive cider selection.

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First Impression:  Light peach hue.  Nearly still (very low carbonation).  Smells of peach candy.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Low to moderate acidity.  Low bitterness.  No tannins, sourness, or funk.  Notes of peach candy at the beginning with a hint of nectarine, lemon, & honey, and a medicinal flat metallic bitter peach flavor at the end.  Moderate length finish.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Low to moderate complexity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I found this cider odd.  I think without the weird finish and with some carbonation it wouldn’t have been too bad.

Most Similar to:  I’ve previously had the following peach ciders:  Blue Mountain Peach, Blackfin Pacific Peach, Carlton Bourbon Peachy Keen, Finnriver Country Peach, Number 6 Peach FuzzPeach Grapefruit Habanero, and Tieton Bourbon Peach.  This one was quite different than all the others – the sweetest and most candied tasting.  My favorite of those is probably the Tieton one.

Closing Notes:  Hopefully I have a chance to try something else from Red Branch in the future.

Have you tried Red Branch Peach Cider?  What did you think?

Fox Tail Fuzzy Haven

Review of Fox Tail’s Fuzzy Haven cider, a dry peach cider I tried on tap.  This is the first time I’ve tried a cider from Fox Tail, although I’ve seen their flagship Sir Issac variety in bottles (at Full Throttle Bottles in Seattle).  I believe that is currently their only bottled cider, although they have expansion plans, and they offer a number of varieties on tap.

Cider:  Fuzzy Haven
Cidery:  Fox Tail
Cidery Location:  Hood River OR
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  on tap

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Availability:  regional, only North & Central OR and Western WA

Cider Description:  Named for everyone’s favorite peach variety the Red Haven. It has great notes and flavor of peach mixed with apples. (Dry to Semi-Dry)
[Fox Tail’s website says 6.2% ABV, but this was listed as 5.5% ABV on the menu board.  I imagine it may vary batch to batch, and I’m more likely to believe the menu board as listing what the keg said.]

Cidery Description:  Fox-Tail Cider comes with a long history of family farming in Oregon. It all started in the late 1800’s with a German immigrant who planted apple trees to export apples back to Europe. August Paasch created the Paasch packing label for domestic and export. He continued farming with his sons into the 20th century.  Every fall August would crush up a few barrels of raw squeezed apple cider and let it naturally ferment. He was always a big hit when he’d bring the barrels back out for the New Years Eve party that following winter. Five generations later, his Great Great Grandsons still work the land. Growing not only apples, but pears, cherries, peaches and more. In 2009 Bob and long time friend Justin Cardwell began doing test batches of hard cider. Foreseeing that in the next few years there would be a reemergence of the cider industry. (Cider was America’s drink of choice before prohibition.) In 2013, Fox-Tail opened its doors next to Smiley’s Red Barn in the heart of the fruit growing area of the valley. Now distributing throughout the Pacific Northwest, Fox-Tail Cider has only begun to tell its tale.

They have a taproom open seasonally with 10 hard cider selections (5 of theirs and 5 others),plus non-alcoholic cider.

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<tap list at ‘Round the Table Gamer Pub in Lynnwood WA>

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<my selection>

Price:  $5.50 / pint on tap
Where Drank:  ‘Round the Table Gamer Pub in Lynnwood WA.  I heard about them on Facebook and visited just for the cider, as they have three on tap and a few bottle selections as well.  Their other cider tap selections that day were Finnriver Habanero and Tieton Cider Works Dry Apple.  They even had a mead (Kurt’s Apple Pie from Moonlight Meadery).  It wasn’t really the type of scene my husband and I like on a Friday night though…lots of teenagers, and everyone was very into the games they were playing, but apparently their typical scene is more family-like.  It wasn’t so much a place to hang out and just have a drink (no bar, and it was library type tables & chairs to accommodate game play).

However, I wasn’t really expecting a bar type atmosphere (for that sort of vibe in the same area, my vote is definitely Special Brews, which has a larger tap list but less cider, and a huge bottle selection).  I imagine ‘Round the Table is a really good family place though, which is what they cater to (vs. a 21+ bar).  They sell all types of games, have a selection of games which you can test play for free, and a community puzzle.  The prices were reasonable, they had a small food selection (toaster oven type stuff), and about a dozen varieties of Full Tilt ice cream.  There were also specialty sodas, including on tap.  They even do growler fills (32oz).  Check out this article about their opening last year.  The co-owner even got in touch with me and mentioned they really want to do a cider event, so I look forward to coming back for anything cider-related!

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First Impression:  Yellow hue.  Light foam ring.  No visible bubbles/carbonation.  Mild apple-peach slightly earthy scent.

Opinion:  Dry to semi-dry.  Hints of peach and citrus, but I found Fuzzy Haven to be a very mild flavored cider.  Crisp tasting and fairly easy to drink.  Moderate acidity.  Mild bitterness,  Mild to moderate tartness.  Light bodied.  Very little carbonation.  Quick finishing.  Slightly earthy but not funky.  I looked it up before ordering a pint, so I was expecting it to be dry, but I’d thought there would be more peach flavor.

Most Similar to:  Other mild fruity ciders.  I’ve tasted this most often with cherry (of which I’ve had at least 8 types), but I’ve also had one peach cider, which I found to be mild, from Blue Mountain.

Closing Notes:   I’d recommend Fox Tail Fuzzy Haven for someone who likes drier fruity but mild ciders.  Although it was a very solid cider, I didn’t especially enjoy it…I usually go for ciders which are more boldly flavored.  However, I’d be interested to try other varieties from them.

Have you tried any ciders from Fox Tail?  What did you think?