Snow Capped JalaPEARno

Review of Snow Capped JalaPEARno, a perry (from only pears, no apples) infused with jalapenos.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve had their Gold RushColorado Peach, Sour Cherry, Plum Lemongrass, and 6130′ Dry.

<This is a review of a sample can provided to Cider Says by Snow Capped.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received this for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review que, considering it is a new release and the info may be helpful for folks deciding to purchase it.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.>

Cider:  JalaPEARno
Cidery:  Snow Capped
Cidery Location:  Austin CO
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  12oz cans (and kegs)
Style:  American craft canned perry (only pears, no apples) infused with jalapenos

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Availability:  in Colorado (check out their cider finder), plus online sales

Cider Description:  Golden hue, with a fresh fruit nose, balanced by a notable Jalapeño infusion and pear sweetness. soft smooth finish.

Cidery Description:  We craft our ciders using stone fruit, heritage and cider specific apples grown in our 6,130 ft. elevation Colorado orchards.  At the core of our ciders is a long history in fruit growing.  For over a century and five generations our family has respected and developed the land entrusted to us. Today we are one of the largest apple producers in Colorado Growing fruit is both a passion and a privilege.  Through generations we have succeeded in a high elevation environment, this is one of the most labor intensive, riskiest and extreme environments to grow apples, with fewer successful outcomes.

Price:  ~ $10.49 / four cans
Where Bought:  N/A
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

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First Impression:  Hazy lemonade-like hue.  Low visible carbonation.  Spicy scent.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness & acidity.  Hints of bitterness.  No sourness, funk, or tannins.  Moderate level of spiciness for me (low to average tolerance), but very low for my husband (super high tolerance).  Notes of jalapeno (both spice & flavor) with a bit of pear.  Moderate overall flavor intensity.  Low pear flavor, sessionability, and complexity.

My Opinion:  I wasn’t a fan, but I’ve never liked any spicy drink, so it wasn’t anything specific to this cider.  My husband however was a fan, and was happy I didn’t like it, as it meant more for him.  He actually liked that it had the flavor from the jalapenos, not just the heat.  Also, I asked him, and he said its something he’d drink a full can/pint of once in awhile, ie. more than a novelty, but not an everyday type of cider either.

Most Similar to:  Nothing much.  I think I’ve only had 1 cider with jalapeno, but it also had lime and cilantro, so it was a different flavor profile.  I’ve also had spicy ciders with sriracha and chili peppers and such too.

Closing Notes:  This was my last sample from Snow Capped.  My favorite was definitely the Gold Rush.

Have you tried Snow Capped Cider?  What did you think?

Hemly Pear Cider

Review of Hemly’s Pear Cider (cider from apple & pear juice).  It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.

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Cider:  Pear Cider
Cidery:  Hemly Cider
Cidery Location:  Cortland CA
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  four-pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American craft pear cider, from apple & pear juice

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Availability:  probably only in CA; see here

Cider Description:  Our flagship and most popular cider. This pear cider is medium sweet, tastes of fresh pear and has a beer like body. Our Original is made from Bosc and Bartlett Pears and a small amount of Gala Apples, is aged on oak and unfiltered. At 5.5% alc. Hemly Original is bright, refreshing and sessionable.

Cidery Description:  It may have taken us 165 years, but it’s definitely worth the wait! Six generations later, thanks to Josiah, we can share the heart of our pear ciders with you: fermented dry,aged on oak, unfiltered. A light refreshing, authentic and cloudy pear cider crafted for you to enjoy.  Our cider is made from 100% fresh pressed fruit straight from our orchards, never artificially flavored. We control the entire process from the roots to the glass. After six generations of growing pears, we have a gold worth sharing.

Price:  $11.99 / four pack
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  on a business trip to Southern CA I picked up a number of singles

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First Impression:  Hazy yellow hue.  No carbonation.  Smells mild, of pear.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of green apple, pear, and lemon.  Quick finish.  Low pear flavor, apple flavor, overall flavor intensity, and complexity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I really enjoyed the flavor.  However, it was quite mild overall.

Most Similar to:  Anthem Pear and Longdrop Tanager Pear Cider

Closing Notes:  Hemly also has at least two other pear ciders, Dry, and Sloughhouse (with Jalapeño).

Have you tried Hemly Pear Cider?  What did you think?

Strongbow Variety Pack – Original Dry, Rosé Apple, & Pear Secco

Review of a Strongbow variety pack with four of each of Original Dry, Rosé Apple, and Pear Secco, in 8.5 oz cans.  I’ve previously tried the Original Dry, but not since it was re-released in the U.S., and I’ve not tried the other two.

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Ciders:  Original Dry, Rosé Apple, & Pear Secco
Cidery:  Strongbow
Cidery Location:  Belgium
ABV:  4.5% or 5.0%
How Supplied:  12 pack of 8.5oz cans
Style:  imported commercial cider from primarily dessert apples (Rosé also has some red-fleshed apple juice and Pear also has some pear juice)

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Availability:  wide release

Original Dry:  Distinctive golden color and less sweet with a crisp apple flavor for a balanced, dry finish.
Rosé Apple:  A clear, light-coral pink appearance and sparkling rosé-wine-like effervescence with apple notes. Light and refreshing taste with a pleasant tartness balanced by fruity notes of red-fleshed apple and pear.
Pear Secco:  A mildly sweet pear-apple cider with a light dry finish.

Cidery Description:  Strongbow is the #1 import cider in the US.  With 50% conversion to usage, shoppers who buy once, buy again.  Exclusively available in this 100 Cal variety pack, we think Dry Pear is a great addition to the award-winning line up of flavors in the 100 Cal Slim Cans.  It’s a one-two punch; a popular, refreshing new flavor in a package that’s on-trend.  To find all Strongbow flavors near you, please visit our product locator at Strongbow recommends enjoying its hard ciders served over ice, for a crisp, refreshing taste.

Price:  $11.99 / 12 pack of 8.5oz cans
Where Bought:  Target
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing; it was my first time spotting the re-released Original Dry in the U.S., so I was going to get a 4 pack of that, but then I saw the variety pack which also included 2 others which I haven’t tried

Photo Jul 12, 4 46 56 PM.jpg Photo Jul 07, 5 27 28 PM Photo Jul 07, 6 30 35 PM

Original Dry:  Moderate gold hue.  Light carbonation.  Smells very mildly of apple juice.  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Notes of apple juice and pomace, orange, and lemon.  Moderate finish with a hint of tannins.  Moderate apple flavor.  High sessionability.  Low complexity.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.  Similar to Crispin Browns Lane and Blackthorn, but I prefer this.

Rosé Apple:  Medium pink hue.  No carbonation.  Smells very mildly fruity.  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Light to medium bodied.  Low to moderate tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of green apple and white grape with a hint of strawberry.  Quick finish.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Low to moderate overall flavor intensity.  High sessionability.  Similar to Rosé offerings from Angry Orchard, Crispin, and Woodchuck.

Pear Secco:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells very mild.  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Subtle notes of canned pear, green apple, and champagne.  Quick finish.  Low complexity, overall flavor intensity, pear flavor, and apple flavor.  High sessionability.  Most similar to Woodchuck Pearsecco, which is also a commercial tasting drier sparkling pear cider (apple & pear).

My Opinion:  I liked all of these.  Definitely commercial tasting (ie. slightly less natural tasting, likely due to the processes used, such as adding sugar instead of back sweetening with juice), but plenty drinkable, with some flavor and not too much sweetness, and far from the worst I’ve had.  I also liked getting a smaller variety pack (as its 8.5oz not 12oz cans), although ideally it would have only been 2 instead of 4 of each.

Closing Notes:  Although I typically prefer craft cider, I think commercial ciders are underappreciated.  It seems that most people (including myself) started their cider journey with an easily available sweeter commercial cider, and over time their tastes evolved towards drier local craft selections.  However, there are still parts of the U.S. where craft cider is difficult to find.  Thankfully the offerings from commercial cideries (such as Angry Orchard and Woodchuck) have improved in recent years, tending towards more complex, drier, and/or more innovative offerings, as they struggle to compete with growing regional craft cideries.

Have you tried Strongbow?  What did you think?

Independent Cider Lavender Perry

Review of Independent Cider Lavender Perry.  It is my first time trying anything from this new cidery.

Vocabulary:  Opinion varies, but in the U.S., most commonly, fermented pear juice is called ‘perry’, while fermented apple juice flavored with pear juice is called ‘pear cider’.

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Cider:  Lavender Perry
Cidery:  Independent Cider
Cidery Location:  Dryden WA
ABV:  5.8%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  American craft modern perry from estate-grown Anjou (common/dessert) pears

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Availability:  likely only in Washington

Cider Description:  Floral aromatics of rose and honey followed by a clean herbaceous pallet of eucalyptus and pear…Semi Sweet…Two varieties of Lavender harvested down valley from our pear orchards were used to create our first botanical Perry. The blended buds from this mid-summer flower are dried and steeped to contribute subtle lavender notes and flavors. 

Cidery Description:  Independent Cider juices pears from family orchards planted in the early 1900’s. Our heirloom pears, grown in the Upper Wenatchee Valley near Leavenworth, are harvested, juiced, fermented to dryness and aged in the orchards they grew in.

Price:  $7.49
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing

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First Impression:  Nearly clear with a hint of purple.  Low carbonation.  Smells super mild, of lavender and a bit of sweetness.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness.  Low acidity.  Hints of bitterness.  No tannins, funk, or sourness.  Notes of lavender and lemon with hints of canned pear.  Moderate tart length finish.  Low flavor intensity, complexity, and pear flavor.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I didn’t like or dislike it.  I had expected more sweetness (and in turn more flavor), as pears have unfermentable sugars (sorbitol), so usually they are at least semi-dry, but this was definitely dry, and probably the driest perry I’ve ever tried.  My husband really liked it, probably as he likes both drier beverages and lavender.  He described it as similar to Brut champagne with lavender, while I thought it was more like a hard seltzer with lavender, as it was so mild.

Most Similar to:  Seattle Cider Lavender Lemon

Closing Notes:  I’d like to try their other varieties and see if any are sweeter and more flavorful, but from their website it looks like they ferment all their perries to dry, but describe some as being perceived sweeter (like this one, marked as semi-sweet).  Also, its interesting they went with the name ‘Independent Cider’, as at least for now it looks like they only make perry.  However, I guess a lot of folks probably don’t know what perry is.

Have you tried perry?  What did you think?

Kystin Kalysie

Review of Kystin’s Kalysie, a French perry (from 100% pears) with ginger.  I’ve previously tried their Opalyne and Cuvée XVII.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by French Cider Inc. / Beauchamp Imports.  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:  Kalysie
Cidery:  Kystin
Cidery Location:  Brittany France
ABV:  2.0%
How Supplied:  330ml bottles
Style:  Breton French Demi-Sec (sweet) perry (100% pear) with ginger

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Availability:  limited, imported by French Cider Inc.

Cider Description (translated):  A hint of temptation.  A crystalline dress, a nose with tonic accents of Ginger. A fruity attack, delicate to finish on a spicy lemon note.  Ginger bursts to the pear for a striking union.  Ideal as an aperitif, it will accompany fish and shellfish, pasta cheese parsley, and of course chocolate.

Cidery Description:  Created in 2012, Kystin offers a range of original and very unique gourmet ciders, made of unusual ingredients such as chestnuts, pears and ginger. With a history dating back to the 14th century, Kystin ciders combine fruit, tradition and authenticity to create an unforgetabble taste. The brand recently released “Kalysie” – a pear ginger cider named as a tribute to the Khaleesi character from popular TV series Game of Thrones.

Price:  n/a (retails for $7.49 / bottle)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  through French Cider Inc.

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, of candied ginger with a hint of pear.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of pear & pear juice, pineapple, and ginger.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate pear flavor.  Low ginger flavor.  Low to moderate flavor intensity and complexity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  Great!  I don’t usually like ginger, but it was quite mild, and the bit of ginger bite added to the overall flavor profile, to help balance the sweetness of the perry.  The ginger was stronger in the scent than the taste.  Nice pear flavor and not too sweet.  However, there wasn’t anything about this perry that seemed French-like; I would have guessed this was a U.S. perry.  Nothing wrong with that though.  This would be a nice selection for brunch or lunch, at only 2% ABV.

Most Similar to:  A more refined/craft version of Woodchuck Tank Series Pear Ginger

Closing Notes:  This is the third of three Kystin varieties currently available in the U.S. (also see my reviews of their Opalyne and Cuvée XVII).  Its interesting to see European cideries release flavored ciders/perries, similar to the U.S., when they have all the ideal apple and pear varieties for cider and perry making and such a long history of doing so.  However, I can see new products increasing sales and expanding their target market.  Some other flavored European ciders I’ve tried are Ramborn Cascade Hopped Cider and Lefevre Winter Cidre.

Have you tried French perry?  What did you think?

2 Towns Pearadise

Review of 2 Towns Pearadise, Imperial Getaway, their new spring seasonal imperial-style cider from apples and pears  then finished with white grape wine.  See the article here.  It is my first time trying this, although I have had their Bright CiderBad AppleSerious ScrumpOut Cider, Cherried Away, Made MarionCidre Moscato, Throne of Thorns, Cider Master Reserve Batch No. 01 – Barrel Select BlendPrickle Me PinkNice & Naughty Nice & Naughty Bourbon Barrel AgedDark CurrantRiverwood Brut 2014RhubarbarianPommeau (2013 Harvest, 2015 Release), Ginja NinjaSun’s Out SaisonReturn of the MackHop and StalkLa MûreCot in the ActHollow JackTraditions Cider Bouche 2015Traditions Riverwood 2015Flight of the KiwiPrickle Me Pink ^2Afton FieldTraditions Cidre Bouche 2016Man GoghPacific PineapplePassion StatementEasy Peasy.

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<This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by 2 Towns.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received this for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review que, considering it is a new release and the info may be helpful for folks deciding to purchase it.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.>

Cider:  Pearadise
Cidery:  2 Towns
Cidery Location:  Corvallis OR
ABV:  8.6%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American imperial-style craft cider from apples, D’Anjou pears, and Muscat grapes

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Availability:  Spring seasonal, in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Hawaii, Chicago and parts of Minnesota (see their cider finder)

Cider Description:  Fruity and complex, Pearadise is found in this distinctly Northwest libation. Fresh-pressed pears are fermented together with local apples, then finished by blending in a touch of white wine, resulting in a sophisticated imperial style with plenty of panache.

Cidery Description:  At 2 Towns Ciderhouse we believe that the long history of cidermaking demands respect and deserves to be done right. Starting with the highest quality whole ingredients from local farms, we take no shortcuts in crafting our ciders. We never add any sugar, concentrates or artificial flavors, and instead use slow, cold fermentation methods to allow the fruit to speak for itself. As a family-owned company, we are committed to the growth of our team and enrichment of our communities. We take pride in producing true Northwest craft cider. 

They were founded in 2010 and have a tap room in Corvallis Oregon.

Price:  n/a (retails for $5.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Light gold hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells mild, of sweet pear and white grape.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of pear, white grape, wood, and pineapple.  Long warming white wine-like finish.  Moderate pear flavor, flavor intensity, and complexity.  Low apple flavor and sessionability.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it.  I had this in my cider fridge, so I first tried it at cellar temperature.  However, I quickly found this, like most imperial-style ciders, is a variety best drank very cold.  Once it properly chilled, it was much easier to drink.  Lots of flavor, starting with pear with a hint of apple, then finishing like a white wine, with grape and some alcohol-forward warmth.  I would have guessed it was barrel aged as I got a distinct wood/oak note, but they didn’t describe it as that, plus the price point is quite low on this, so I’d be surprised if it was.

Most Similar to:  The grape aspect of this reminded me of 2 Towns’ own Cidre Moscato.  However, I can’t remember ever having an imperial-style pear cider, nor could I find any but this in an online search.

Closing Notes:  It is surprising with how many dozens of cider varieties 2 Towns has made, how few have been made with pears.  They had a previous version of Pearadise in 2012 (as mentioned in this article), and more recently, Passion Statement (with pear and passionfruit), and now this, but that is about it.

Have you tried 2 Towns Pearadise?  What did you think?

Centre Ring Reserve Pear

Review of Centre Ring Reserve Pear, made by Pear UP (previously NV Cider, Neigel Vintners).  I tried this perry at an event last year (see here).  I’ve also had Pear UP’s Pear Essentials, Half Past PrudentCherry PerryWatermelon PerryWatermelon Raspberry PerryRaspberry PerryPearjito ColadaPearfect Pie, and Pineapple Pear.

Note that in the U.S., “perry” is fermented pear juice, and “pear cider” is a fermented apple juice-based cider with pear juice for flavor.  However, elsewhere (such as in the UK), they don’t really do pear-flavored apple cider, and use “perry” only for the fermented juice of specialty perry pear varieties, and “pear cider” is for fermented common (dessert) pear juice.

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Cider:  Reserve Pear
Cidery:  Centre Ring (whose perry & cider are made by Pear UP)
Cidery Location:  Wenatchee WA
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles
Style:  American craft perry

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Availability:  very limited, likely only in WA

Cider Description:  After World War II, Kevin and Mark’s grandfather planted a small pear orchard in the Wenatchee Valley. Upon taking over the family orchard, they discovered that the native pear varieties provided a uniquely light and flavorful finish. Clean and honest flavors can be found throughout all their ciders, bringing simple gestures from the complex art of cider making without the weight of syrupy sugars. Join them in drinking the award-winning spoils of their harvest and the flavor of tradition.

Cidery Description:  Centre Ring expands outside selling spirits, wines, and craft beverages. We also represent select artisan foods, products, and reserves in addition to our alcohol selections.  We want to bring the experience of the homemade and personal touch of these products to everyone in the area.  We are including local cheese makers, bakers, jam & jellies, pickles, jerky, and much more from our local communities.  The key to building out your brand to reach consumers is to know what they are looking for. We study and follow industry trends and practices to help target the widest audience possible.  Each individual product has its own small directions that make them unique. However, we are beginning to see the lines between them blur as consumers are looking for new and different tastes to suit their needs

Price:  $12
Where Bought:  Schilling Cider House in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  a WA Cider Week 2017 preview event (see here)

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First Impression:  Clear hue with a hint of pink.  Very low carbonation with some foam.  Smells of pear with a hint of fruitiness.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  Hints of sourness.  No bitterness, tannins, or funk.  Notes of canned & dried pear and pear juice, with hints of strawberry and vinegar.  Quick finish.  Moderate pear flavor.  Low to moderate complexity.  Low overall flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked this perry when I tried it previously.  However, due to the hint of vinegar, this time I wasn’t a fan.  I believe this was a bad batch; unfortunately this happens sometimes.

Most Similar to:  a drier more complex version of Pear UP’s Pear Essentials perry

Closing Notes:  Centre Ring appears to be an interesting brand, bringing together various local producers of all sorts of products.  As of this post, they have this perry as well as a cider from Pear UP, plus beer, wine, spirits, and lots more made by other producers.

Have you tried perry?  What did you think?

Honesty Box Cidre with Pear

Review of Honesty Box Cidre with Pear, from New Zealand.  It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.

Cider:  Cidre with Pear
Cidery:  Honesty Box (which appears to be made by Boundary Road Brewery)
Cidery Location:  Auckland New Zealand
ABV:  7%
How Supplied:  440ml can
Style:  New Zealand commercial cider, pear-flavored apple, with added sugar

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Availability:  wide release

Cider Description:  Honesty Box Cider with Pear is a refreshing pear cider with the flavours of Bartlett pear. Honesty Box Cider with Pear from New Zealand is light with a dry, crisp finish. It is crafted with only the most succulent pears. The sort you might find in a local honesty box only we paid for ours.

Cidery Description:  At Honesty Box we do things differently. We only use the juice of single varietal apples to craft an authentic taste you can recognise.     The result is a cider with true depth of character.  Honesty Box has a range of ciders that vary from semi-sweet to dry, complex and full flavoured.  Now there’s an apple cider variety to suit everybody’s taste.

Price:  $3.39 CAN / can ($2.64 USD)
Where Bought:  The Strath in Victoria B.C. Canada
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing, while we were on a cruise port stop

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First Impression:  Dark gold yellow hue.  Moderate carbonation.  Smells mild, of pear & apple juice.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to sweet.  Medium to full bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of apple juice, green apple, canned pear, pineapple, and honey.  Quick finish.  Moderate apple flavor, pear flavor, and flavor intensity.  Low to moderate complexity.  High sessionability, but moreso in that it is easy to drink, not that I’d want to drink multiple cans.

My Opinion:  For what it was, I liked it, although it was obviously commercial (processed) tasting, and syrupy sweet.  However, it did have a touch of complexity, which was unexpected and appreciated.

Most Similar to:  Scandi Pear, Wyders Pear, and Flatbed Pear

Closing Notes:  It looks like they have redesigned their cans since they manufactured this.

Have you tried Honesty Box cider?  What did you think?

Angry Orchard Pear Cider

Review of Angry Orchard’s Pear Cider.  This is a new release.  See the press release here.  Note that this isn’t perry as it is made from both pears and apples.  I’ve previously sampled their Crisp AppleTraditional Dry, Elderflower, Summer HoneyThe MuseIcemanStone DryThe Old Fashioned, Knotty Pear, Walden HollowEasy AppleUnderstood in Motion 01, Tapped Maple, Spiced Apple, Maple Wooden Sleeper, and Understood in Motion 02.

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>>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.<<

Cider:  Pear Cider
Cidery:  Angry Orchard
Cidery Location:  Walden NY (their R&D facility)
Cider Production Locations:  Cincinnati OH & Breingsville PA
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American commercial pear cider made from dessert apples & pears

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Availability:  wide release, year round, since October 2017 (they have a Cider Finder)

Cider Description:  Angry Orchard Pear Cider is delicately crafted to highlight the mellow sweetness of pears. Using apples and pears grown in the US, this hard cider blends ripe pear taste with crisp apple notes for a well-rounded and smooth drink.

Made from pear varieties including Bartlett, D’Anjou, and Bosc, and apple varieties including Gala, Fuji, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith.

Ingredients:  hard cider, water, cane sugar, malic acid, pear juice from concentrate, natural flavor, carbon dioxide, and sulfites

Price:  n/a (retails for $7.99-9.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  a cidery rep contacted me

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells of pear juice and apple juice.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of pear, pineapple, green apple, and mango.  Long tart finish.  Low to moderate pear flavor and complexity.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  The finish was really surprising though, as the tartness lingered much more than I’d expect (maybe the malic acid?).  It was easy to drink and it didn’t bore me, although tasted a bit commercial.

Most Similar to:  Crispin Pacific Pear.  Or, for a craft choice, Longdrop Tanager Pear Cider.  Or in between, Flatbed Pear Cider.

Closing Notes:  I was told that they will also still continue to make their Orchard’s Edge Knotty Pear (a pear cider with cardamom and oak barrel aging).

Have you tried any pear ciders?  What did you think?

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?

Nashi Orchards Asian Pear Perry 2013 – Chojuro Blend

Review of Nashi Orchards’ Chojuro Blend Asian Pear Perry.  Note that true perry is a fermented beverage made only from pears.  In contrast, pear cider is typically apple cider back sweetened with pear juice.  Pear cider will typically be sweeter and have a stronger pear flavor, but perry is more traditional.

Nashi Orchards specializes in perry, especially from asian pears, and Chojuro Blend is their flagship product.  The word “Nashi” in Japaenese means “pear” by the way.  This is my first time trying their perry, although I sampled one of their ciders at a tasting event with Bill Bradshaw last summer at Capitol Cider during Washington Cider Week (tasting notes on Issho Ni “Together” cider here).

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Cider:  Asian Pear Perry 2013 – Chojuro Blend
Cidery:  Nashi Orchards
Cidery Location:  Vashon Island WA
ABV:  6.7%
How Supplied:  187ml (6.2oz) clear glass bottle
Style:  American perry made from Chojuro and Olympic varieties of Asian pears

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Availability:  Limited to the greater Vashon Island, Seattle, and Tacoma areas of WA.  Nashi self-distributes to independent bottle shops, tap rooms, and fine restaurants in WA.  They also welcome visitors to their orchard and tasting room on Vashon Island.  Chojuro Blend is their most widely distributed perry.  They usually offer an additional 3 or 4 other perries and ciders at a time, some of which are small batch and only available directly through them.

Cider Description:  Our signature Chojuro Perry is lightly effervescent with a floral aroma, exhibits flavors of bright summer fruit and pear, and has a clean refreshing finish. Serve it as an aperitif or with NW oysters, halibut and turkey. We carefully control fermentation to preserve some of the natural sweetness, use 100% juice pressed at our winery and never add sugar or flavorings.

Cidery Description:  PASSIONATELY PURSUING DELICIOUS LIBATIONS.  Nashi Orchards uses sustainable practices to grow the finest Asian Pears and handcraft perry and hard cider. Our orchard and winery is located on beautiful Vashon Island, Washington where we are a part of a growing community of committed producers of artisanal foods, wines and spirits.

Additional Information: Jim Gerlach from Nashi was awesome enough to respond to my request for more info with some amazing detailed notes–thanks!

The Chojuro Asian Pear Perry is a blend of two varieties of Asian pear. The Chojuro pears are grown in our orchard on Vashon Island and are an orange bronze colored fruit with flavors of butterscotch. It is also called “the rum pear”.  The second asian pear is a Korean Giant, also called Olympic. We source these from Kiyokawa Orchards in Hood River. It is a very late pear and likes a bit more heat than we get in Puget Sound. Both pears benefit from extended maturation to bring out the flavors and aromatics. This extended maturation process also serves to convert some of the simple sugars into complex sugars which do not ferment and this provides a bit of residual sweetness. I would describe it as off-dry .

We typically ferment the varieties separately using different yeasts and do bulk blending in the spring after fermentation is complete. We like Epernay2 and DV10 for a clean expression of the fruit and use sake yeast on a portion of the batch to provide improved mouthfeel and complexity. 
In response to my question on perry from asian vs. other pear varieties:  The flavors are similar but I would say that the flavor and aroma of asian pear perry is a bit more floral and delicate.
Traditional european perry pears (Pyrus domestica) may have tannin and commercially available asian pears do not. Tannins will provide some structure as well as astringency and/or bitterness. That being said we have access to a trial orchard of Asian Pears (pyres pyrifolia) and have found varieties with massive amounts of tannins.  We are excited to propagate these and add these to our orchard.
The acidity of some Asian pears is thought to be quite low and this creates the need to blend or add acid to create an appropriate pH for fermentation. Most of the varieties of pears from our orchard have a relatively low pH. This is because we only irrigate as much as necessary to maintain tree health. More water in the fruit equals less flavor and less acidity. 
Storage, milling and pressing of Asian Pears is much easier than with European pears. European and perry pears are notoriously fickle in terms of ripening and can go from hard as a marble to slime in a matter of days. As I mentioned before, a long maturation process is key to extracting as much flavor as possible from the fruit. Asian Pears store for long periods of time, and mill and press quite readily. Some European pears can be very slimy and difficult to press without aids such as enzymes or rice hulls. 
Thanks again to Jim at Nashi for sharing all that awesome detailed info on this perry, asian pears, and their orchard!

Price:  $6.50
Where Bought:  Full Throttle Bottles in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  The cute bottle caught my attention.  Once at home it sat for quite a few months however as I didn’t find the right time to drink it (with such a small bottle it was more of an aperitif), but lately I’ve been trying to drink some of my oldest ciders, so into the fridge and into the glass it went.

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First Impression:  Pale straw yellow.  Light carbonation & foam.  Smells of pear (light), vanilla, spice, sour citrus, floral, and wild yeasr / funk.  Drank chilled.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light sourness, funk, tartness, and bitterness.  Mild to moderate acidity.  Very mild flavored in general, but complex.  The primary notes I picked up were pear and citrus, with some honey, floral, and vanilla.  I also found it quite wine-like.  Light bodied.  Medium length finish.  Moderate sessionability.  I found it a touch alcohol-forward (warming), despite its mild flavor & body.

My Opinion:  Although I think it was wonderfully complex and well-crafted, this perry wasn’t really to my tastes.  I enjoy full-flavored ciders, yet similar to most other perries I’ve tried, the flavor of this one remained mild.  It was nice to try it though.  Oddly enough I would have guessed wild yeast was used due to the mild amount of funk, but it sounds like they used some unique fermentation techniques and yeast, so that probably explains what I picked up.

Most Similar to:  Other perries and off-dry white grape wine (although I have no grape wine experience so I can’t be more specific than that…and I specify grape wine as cider & perry are actually classified as types of wine, which doesn’t technically only mean grape).  The level of funk seemed in between that of for example Snowdrift Perry (almost non existent) and WildCraft (mild to moderate, although Pioneer Perry was less so than the Elderberry Perry).  My favorite perry so far is Pear Essentials from Neigel Vintners (NV Cider), likely as it is sweeter and has a more intense pear flavor (as it is back sweetened), although I’ve also had their Half Past Prudent which was drier & milder.  Back sweetening perry (and cider) isn’t traditional, but is a technique that is quite common, as its the easiest way to get a sweeter beverage which is fruit-forward.  I don’t mind dry, but I prefer full-flavored, which often doesn’t occur with drier ciders & perries.

Closing Notes:   I don’t think I truly appreciate perry…I have found perries to have a lot of qualities similar to white wine, which I also don’t care for.  It was a nice aperitif though, and I’m glad I got to try it.  I’d recommend this perry for folks looking for something unique and local.  I think especially in summer it would be tasty.

Have you tried any true perries?  What did you think?

Original Sin Pear

Review of the Pear variety from Original Sin.  Note that this is pear cider (apple cider with pear juice added), not perry (made from 100% pear juice).

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Cider:  Pear
Cidery:  Original Sin
Cidery Location:  New York NY
ABV:  4.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles

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Availability:  year round, in over 30 U.S. states, the UK, and Japan

Cider Description:  Two parts pear, one part magic.  A Dry cider fermented with champagne yeast.  Original Sin Pear Cider was developed in line with the company’s mission to produce traditional cider leaving out artificial flavors and additives. Original Sin Pear is light and refreshing with a clean, dry finish.

Cidery Description:  20th-century American ciders were sweet, syrupy – a far cry from the dry, crisp, revolution-inciting ciders of our country’s past.  Gidon Coll wanted to reconnect America to its roots by creating a traditional cider with the complexity to satisfy today’s discriminating palates.  But where to begin?  Coll immersed himself in the history and the craft of cider. He experimented. He brewed batch after batch in a small upstate New York winery. He sought counsel from a local wine expert and from the owners, bartenders and patrons of bars he frequented in New York City’s Lower East Side and East Village. He collected feedback from everyone he knew, adjusting and tinkering with his cider’s flavor until it was clean, crisp, and practically perfect.  Then he enlisted friends to painstakingly hand-label bottle after bottle. He lugged cases and cases in and out of NYC’s subways, delivering bottles to establishments of Manhattan and Brooklyn.  And it wasn’t long before Original Sin began receiving wide acclaim from sources as diverse as The New York Times, New York Post, Paper Magazine and Market Watch.  Today, you can find  Original Sin’s unique, award-winning ciders in over 30 states, as well as overseas in the U.K. and Japan. But it all started here in the U.S. — inspired by our country’s past: a clean, crisp, DEVILISHLY DELICIOUS cider for our future.  [founded in 1997]

Price:  ~$2 for a single bottle (runs $10 for a six pack)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I’d been wanting to review an Original Sin cider, and hadn’t tried this one.

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First Impression:  Almost clear, with a slightly yellow tint.  Smells of apples, pears, and citrus.  Highly carbonated.

Opinion:  Semi-dry.  Very fizzy and champagne-like.  However, the flavor is much more tart & tangy green apple with citrus than pear.  No bitterness.  Moderate acidity.  Light bodied.  No funk.  Some yeasty flavor.  I agree it is “light and refreshing with a clean, dry finish”, but I prefer a more boldly flavored cider.  I liked the carbonation level and the dryness though.

Most Similar to:  Portland Cider Pearfect Perry, which I tried on tap at the Schilling Cider House.  It was also rather mild with almost no pear flavor, but fizzy and refreshing.  That one however was a true perry (100% pear juice, Bartlett and D’Anjou), unlike Original Sin Pear.

Closing Notes:   Refreshing, but on the bland side and unimpressive.  Original Sin currently offers Apple, Apricot, Pear, Elderberry, Cherry Tree, Northern Spy, and Newtown Pippin varieties.  I’ve also tried the Elderberry and Cherry Tree, and would say they were also pretty average.  Original Sin’s ciders tend to be on the drier side of the 6 pack cider offerings.  They are an affordable and widely available craft cider option however, which is something to be commended.

Have you tried Original Sin Pear?  What did you think?