Pear UP Raspeary

Review of Pear UP’s Raspeary, a raspberry-flavored pear cider (technically a perry, as no apples were used, only pears, but many consumers wouldn’t recognize that term).  Note that Pear UP had previously gone by the name Neigel Vintners or NV Cider.  I previously sampled this at Cider Rite of Spring in Portland OR (see here).  I’ve also tried their Pear Essentials, Half Past PrudentCherry PerryWatermelon Perry, and Watermelon Raspberry Perry.

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Cider:  Raspeary
Cidery:  Pear UP Cider
Cidery Location:  East Wenatchee WA
ABV:  5.3%
How Supplied:  500ml green Aluminum bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American craft perry from dessert pears with raspberry extract

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Availability:  Washington and Oregon; see here.

Cider Description:  (none given; this appears to be one of their newer varieties, and isn’t listed on the website)

Cidery Description:  Neigel Vintners is a family affair.  Our cider company is run on our family property.  Some of the first pears we press each year come off of remnants of the first pears planted by the family.  Over 100 years old, these trees have had their heart-wood rot out and survived. There are several places a person can reach through the center of the tree with a hand. These trees have been a staple of the property for generations.

Price:  $4.63
Where Bought:  Special Brews in Lynnwood WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Cider tasting events, such as Cider Summit and Cider Rite of Spring

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow with a hint of pink.  Low carbonation.  Smells of syrupy sweet pear and raspberry.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, tannins, sourness, or funk.  Notes of pear juice, dried pear, and raspberry extract.  High sessionability.  Moderate to high pear flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  This was a nice sessionable summer beverage.  However,  it was a bit syrupy and the raspberry was fake tasting (they use extract, which is actually quite common, even in craft cider).  I think a bit more carbonation and tartness could have helped balance those two things.  This is one of the few ciders I think wouldn’t be bad over ice, although I didn’t try that, as the bottle didn’t last very long and I was indoors.

Most Similar to:  Pear UP’s watermelon and raspberry-watermelon perries.

Closing Notes:  I enjoyed this less when I tried it previously (which may have been on draft?).  However, they make some tasty easy drinking perries for a reasonable cost.  I think they would do even better in this area with a multipack of cans, as that is the current trend, although not my personal preference.  I have heard that they are moving from 16.9oz to 12oz bottles, some sold individually (Aluminum) and some sold in multipacks (glass).

Have you tried Pear UP perries?  What did you think?

Wyder’s Pear Cider

Review of Wyder’s Pear cider (previously “Dry Pear”).  I’ve tried this before, but pre-blog.  I’ve also had their Reposado Pear, Raspberry, and Prickly Pineapple ciders.  They sent me a nice sampler of three ciders (plus a cool tote bag!), featuring new labels/packaging.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Wyder’s.  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:  Pear
Cidery:  Wyder’s Cider (part of Vermont Cider Co.)
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT (at the Woodchuck cidery)
ABV:  4.0%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles (and 22oz bottles)
Style:  American commercial apple cider with pear juice

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Availability:  wide release (in 40 states), year round (they have a locator here)

Cider Description:  This light, crisp cider presents a tangy aroma while offering a distinct pear taste, and ends with a lively mouth feel that tickles the tongue.

Cidery Description:  We have specialized in eclectic fruit-forward ciders for more than two decades. It’s a pretty hyper-connected world out there, grab a Wyder’s when you’re ready to unplug. Wyder’s wants to be a part of you finding the good in life and your Happy Place. We hope you enjoy, and bring us along!

Price:  n/a (although it runs ~$9.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Initially, browsing, although this time it just showed up.

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells mild, of candied pear and pineapple.

Tasting Notes: Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, bitterness, or tannins.  Notes of pear, pineapple, and green apple.  Quick finish.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate pear flavor.  High sessionability.  Low complexity.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it, and can definitely see why it is popular.  Its easy to drink and refreshing.  This would be a nice summer BBQ type cider.  It doesn’t really have any complexity though, and is slightly commercial tasting.

Most Similar to:  Woodchuck Pear, Crispin Pacific Pear, Spire Mountain Sparkling Pear, Fox Barrel Pacific Pear, Pear UP Pear Essentials, Rambling Route PearScandi Cider Pear, Flatbed Cider Pear, and Finnriver Pear, and Steelhead Peargatory.

Closing Notes:  I’m glad to see they dropped the “Dry”, as it isn’t.  I think my favorite Wyder’s cider is the Reposado Pear (tequila barrel aged), which is one of the few ciders that pairs well with Mexican food.  Hopefully they continue making that one (it wasn’t included in this sample box).

Have you tried Wyder’s cider?  What did you think?

Woodchuck Summer Time Pear Ginger

Review of Woodchuck’s Pear Ginger, a new variety of Summer Time (which has previously only referred to their blueberry cider, which won’t be released this year at least).  I’ve tried most of their lineup; see here.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Woodchuck.  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:  Summer Time Pear Ginger
Cidery:  Woodchuck
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American commercial cider with ginger and pear flavors

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Availability:  wide release, seasonal, starting in March

Description:  Summer is here, bringing warm, carefree days and fun, festive nights.  Woodchuck Summer Time delivers a crisp pear cider bursting with fresh ginger for a taste that refreshes like a cool jump in your favorite swimming hole.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $8.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Nearly still (very low carbonation).  Smells of sweet pear juice with spicy ginger.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of syrupy pear, pineapple, spicy ginger, and a hint of citrus.  Moderate finish with lingering ginger.  Low apple flavor.  Mild to moderate ginger flavor (more spicy than burning).  Moderate pear flavor, sessionability, and flavor intensity.  Mild complexity.

My Opinion:  I’m not a ginger fan, but my husband really liked this cider.  I could see it being a big seller.

Most Similar to:  Woodchuck Out On a Limb Ginger Lovin’, except with more ginger and the added pear.

Closing Notes:  Interesting that they decided to also name this Summer Time…it may get confused with the blueberry version.  I liked the flavor of the blueberry Summer Time, although it was rather sweet.  The Woodchuck variety I really miss however is their Spring seasonal which had maple syrup; oddly enough they are currently skipping over Spring, and only doing Summer, Fall, and Winter seasonals.

Have you tried Woodchuck Summer Time Pear Ginger?  What did you think?

NV Cider Watermelon Hard Pear Cider (Perry)

Review of NV Cider’s Watermelon Hard Pear Cider.  Its actually a perry as no apples were used, but I imagine they called it a pear cider as a lot of folks don’t know what perry is.  I’ve tried a few varieties from them before; see here.

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Cider:  Watermelon Hard Pear Cider
Cidery:  NV Cider (Neigel Vintners)
Cidery Location:  East Wenatchee WA
ABV:  5.3%
How Supplied:  500ml green Aluminum bottle
Style:  American craft perry with watermelon extract

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Availability:  WA and OR; see here.

Cider Description:  This is a perry made using native pear varieties from East Wenatchee, with watermelon extract.  Note that they refer to it as a pear cider, but that is typically reserved for beverages made from both apples and pears, often fermented apple juice with pear juice added afterwards.

Cidery Description:  Neigel Vintners is a family affair.  Our cider company is run on our family property.  Some of the first pears we press each year come off of remnants of the first pears planted by the family.  Over 100 years old, these trees have had their heart-wood rot out and survived. There are several places a person can reach through the center of the tree with a hand. These trees have been a staple of the property for generations.

Price:  $5
Where Bought:  Special Brews in Lynnwood WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing

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First Impression:  Pale straw yellow with hints of pink.  Low carbonation.  Smells of fresh sweet watermelon, pear, and white grape.  The watermelon scent is quite strong at first but quickly dissipates.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low carbonation.  Low tartness but it has some bite.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of pear, watermelon, white grape, strawberry, and rhubarb.  Quick finish.  Low pear flavor.  High sessionability.  Low flavor intensity/fruitiness.

My Opinion:  This was tasty, but it left me wanting more watermelon flavor.  Right after opening it had an awesome strong watermelon scent, but that diminished.  I know that watermelon juice isn’t very flavorful, but I think this would have been a great cider to leave fairly unfiltered, which likely would have made it easier to get the watermelon flavor.

Most Similar to:  NV Cider’s Cherry Perry, which was also a fruity perry (see my tasting notes here).  That one had a nice unfiltered aspect to it though, which I think helped add to the complexity.  I like watermelon more than cherry, but I think the Cherry was pulled off better.  The Cherry Perry was also sweeter, so I think that helped make it seem more flavorful.

Closing Notes:   I’m a huge watermelon fan, and although the flavor intensity was a bit lacking, it was an enjoyable perry.  I look forward to seeing what else they come up with.

Have you tried any perries?  What did you think?

Wyder’s Reposado

Review of Wyder’s Reposado, a pear cider aged in tequila barrels.

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Cider:  Reposado
Cidery:  Wyder’s
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT (Woodchuck facility)
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles (and kegs)
Style:  commercial American pear cider, aged in tequila barrels

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Availability:  Wide release

Cider Description:  Reposado. The name given to tequilas aged between two and twelve months in oak barrels. The wood aging smoothes out the tequila while infusing it with subtle oak notes. Wyder’s® Reposado Pear cider is an adventurous tango with the classic blue agave based spirit. Traditional Wyder’s® Pear cider infused with smooth subtle oak laden tequila notes. Refreshing pear cider crafted with some inspiration from south of the border.

Cidery Description:  Wyder’s® Hard Cider has specialized in eclectic fruit-forward ciders for more than two decades. We figured it was about time our look on the outside of the bottle, matched the artful reality of what is inside the bottle! The liquid remains unchanged; we just updated our look to better fit what we are all about. It’s a pretty hyper-connected world out there, grab a Wyder’s when you’re ready to unplug. We hope you enjoy.

Price:  ~$2 / single bottle
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I’ve tried this a few times before.

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First Impression:  Pale straw yellow.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells of tequila, oak, pear, and sugar.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of sweet pear, tequila, oak, lime, and honey.  Very smooth.  Medium to long warming finish.  Moderate to strong pear flavor.  Moderate overall flavor intensity.  Moderate sessionability.  Mild to moderate barrel influence.  High spirit influence.

My Opinion:  This is a simple but tasty cider that goes especially well with Mexican food, something that can be said about very few ciders.  Its a tad on the sweet side for my tastes though.

Most Similar to:  Nothing I know of, although I’ve heard of another cideries doing tequila barrel aged ciders (even of one with pineapple, from Cooked Halo.

Closing Notes:   This isn’t a cider I’d want to drink all the time, but its definitely enjoyable when the mood strikes.  I paired it with some taco salad.

Have you tried Wyder’s Reposado?  What did you think?

Flatbed Cider Pear Cider

Review of Flatbed Cider’s Pear Cider.  They are a new cidery (launched in January) which currently offers Crisp Apple and Pear Cider varieties.

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Cider:  Pear Cider
Cidery:  Flatbed Cider (owned by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates)
Cidery Location:  Milton-Freewater OR (made by Blue Mountain)
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American craft cider
Ingredients:  hard apple cider, pear juice concentrate, apple juice concentrate, sulfites

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Availability:  OR and WA

Cider Description:  A whole lot of passion goes into crafting Flatbed Pear Cider. Northwest-grown pears deliver a burst of crisp, sparkling refreshment with a clean finish. Naturally sweeter than its Crisp Apple cousin (but not too sweet), Flatbed Pear Cider is the perfect choice for taming spicy foods and classing up a donut.

(the pear juice concentrate addition is from Bartlett pears)

Cidery Description:  The Northwest stokes our passion to create exceptional ciders. And, since the best apples in America, arguably the world, come from the Northwest, it makes sense that it carries our local stamp. Flatbed Ciders are made with local apples picked at their peak and pressed into a mixture that’s equal parts crisp and refreshing. A cider that’s truly Northwest of normal. No artificial ingredients, no sugar added, no shenanigans. Flannel up and enjoy!

Price:  $9.99-$10.99 (although I bought a single bottles for $2)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I read about Flatbed Cider online and have already seen them at a number stores, but waited until I could buy a single bottle of each variety.

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First Impression:  Dark straw yellow.  Low carbonation, medium bubbles.  Smells like apple, pear, tropical fruit, and champagne yeast.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Low acidity and tartness.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Medium bodied.  Notes of apple, pear, citrus, tropical fruit, and honey.  Quick finish.  Moderate apple flavor and full flavored in general.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I thought this was pretty average.  Its a bit sweet and the flavor is kinda on the pear juice and syrupy side.

Most Similar to:  Other semi-sweet pear ciders (apple cider with pear juice or pear juice concentrate added) such as Crispin Pacific Pear, Spire Mountain Sparkling Pear, and Woodchuck Pear.

Closing Notes:   I liked Flatbed’s Crisp Apple variety better.  This was a bit more ordinary and commercial tasting.

Have you tried Flatbed Cider?  What did you think?

Big B’s Pear Supply

Review of Big B’s Pear Supply cider, made in Hotchkiss CO, from fermented pear & apple juices, part of their Farmhouse Cellar series.

>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Big B’s.  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:  Pear Supply
Cidery:  Big B’s
Cidery Location:  Hotchkiss CO
ABV:  6.2%
How Supplied:  750ml bottle
Style:  Organic American Farmstead-Style Apple-Pear Cider

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Availability:  Only in CO, year round, although they take phone orders to ship to customers when their state allows it.

Cider Description:  Pear Supply artisanal farm house hard cider is a blend of local organic pears and apples, fermented together and bottle conditioned.   Our recipe uses time honored cider making traditions and is cellar aged to perfection.   Pear Supply is semi sweet, the apple and pear combination are well rounded and bursting with ripe pear notes and crisp apple undertones.

Made from local organic Winesap apples and Bartlett pears (50-50).  Only apples, pears, and yeast, without other ingredients (such as Sulfites).

Cidery Description:  Big B’s Hard Ciders – Local, Organic, Delicious.  Big B’s proudly handcrafts American Farmstead Hard Ciders in small batches using only organic apples, hand picked at the peak of ripeness.  Our orchard and tasting room is located in the North Fork Valley on the Western Slope of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

Big B’s has an organic farm market and tasting room in Hotchkiss CO for their juices and hard cider (first sold in 2011), which re-opens for the season in May 2016.  Pear Supply won silver at GLINTCAP 2015, and is in the running for a Good Food award for 2016 (along with Grizzly Brand & Orchard Original).  Here is an article on Big B’s.

Price:  n/a ($15.99 retail price)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Online.  I read about Big B’s, such as from a blog entry from Cider Sage, and have heard only great things.

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First Impression:  Lemonade light yellow hue.  Moderate carbonation.  Smells like pears, citrus, sourness, funk, and tartness.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Mild to moderate sourness and tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Hint of funk.  Medium bodied.  Fizzy mouthfeel.  Notes of citrus and pear.  I couldn’t really pick up the apple though.  Moderate length finish.

My Opinion:  Definitely sour, which isn’t to my liking, but I know a lot of other folks enjoy it.  My husband however thought it was really tasty.  Its all a matter of preference.

Most Similar to:  Sour ciders.  This reminded me some of Millstone Cobbler, which also had a lot of sour citrus flavor, although this cider wasn’t quite as sour, sweeter, and had pear not peach notes.

Closing Notes:   I wasn’t expecting a sour cider, so this surprised me.  I think fans who don’t mind a bit of sour would really enjoy this one though, especially in Spring & Summer.

Have you tried Big B’s cider?  What did you think?