Austin Eastciders Pineapple Cider

Review of Austin Eastciders Pineapple Cider.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve had their Texas Honey.

Cider:  Pineapple Cider
Cidery:  Austin Eastciders
Cidery Location:  Austin TX
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  12oz cans
Style:  American craft cider from dessert & cider apples with pineapple concentrate

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Availability:  Texas, Oklahoma, and parts of the Northeast (see their cider locator here)

Cider Description:  For an exotic twist, we have blended heirloom bittersweet and culinary apples with a taste of the tropics. Golden, ripe, and delicious pineapples have been married into our dry cider to give you a refreshing pineapple experience!

Cidery Description:  Could we move to an apple producing region, grow our own apples and make cider? Sure, but it wouldn’t be the delicious and complex cider we make today in good ol’ Texas. The most important thing to us is sourcing the best cider apples and using only high-quality natural ingredients.

See here for more info.  They have a taproom in Austin Texas.

Price:  ~$2 / 1 can ? (runs $8.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  my husband picked this up for me while in Texas for business

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First Impression:  Light yellow hue.  Nearly still (very low carbonation).  Smells mild, of pineapple juice.

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

My Opinion:  I really enjoyed this.  Nice pineapple flavor, easy to drink, and mid-level sweetness.

Most Similar to:  2 Towns Pineapple (which is drier) and Jester & Judge Pineapple Express and Reverend Nat’s Viva La Pineapple (which are sweeter and have some lime)

Closing Notes:  I’m curious what percentage of cider to dessert apples they use, as cider apple influence is not apparent in the flavor, and I’d expect this cider to be priced higher if any significant percentage of cider apples was used.  In fact, their ciders are already priced much lower than I’m used to in Western Washington.

Have you tried Austin Eastciders Pineapple Cider?  What did you think?

Jester & Judge Pineapple Express

Review of Jester & Judge’s Pineapple Express cider.  I previously tried it on tap at the Schilling Cider House (see here).  I’ve also previously tried their Sharp Cherry, American Apple, and Columbia Belle.

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Cider:  Pineapple Express
Cidery:  Jester & Judge
Cidery Location:  Stevenson WA
ABV:  5.2%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles (and draft)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with pineapple juice concentrate

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Availability:  Likely only Oregon and Washington

Cider Description:  The spirit of the Gorge is independent and fun-loving.  This cider embraces our spirit and our love of little latitudes.  Pineapple Express takes us where the sun is always out, the rain is always warm, and the mood is always festive.  Handmade with all natural ingredients and an endless supply of Irie!

Cidery Description:  We’ll bring the Jester and you be the Judge.  At Jester & Judge we believe that balance is important in life and in cider.  It’s the foundation of our seriously whimsical attitude.  Serious about the quality of the ciders we make.  No concentrates, sorbates, artificial flavorings, colorings, or other shortcuts.  Whimsical because we have fun making the best ciders we can featuring local ingredients from the Pacific Northwest, which sometimes means snubbing our nose a little at traditional cider.

Price:  ~$2.50 / single bottle
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I first tried it on tap at the Schilling Cider House

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First Impression:  Hazy pineapple juice hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells strongly of fresh pineapple.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of pineapple juice, pineapple, and a hint of lime.  Quick finish.  Low apple flavor.  High flavor intensity.  Very high sessionability.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  Yum!  I really like this one.  It tastes like alcoholic pineapple juice with a hint of fizz.  It is definitely on the juice-like and simple side though.

Most Similar to:  Ace PineappleSchilling Pineapple Passion, and Wyder’s Prickly Pineapple.  I’ve also had Portland Cider Co. Pineapple, but that one didn’t have nearly as much flavor as the others.

Closing Notes:  I’m a big fan of this easy to drink flavorful cider.

Have you tried Jester & Judge Pineapple Express?  What did you think?

Schilling Trouble in Paradise (Passionfruit Pineapple)

Review of Schilling Cider’s Trouble in Paradise, a passionfruit pineapple cider.  I’ve tried a lot of their ciders before (see here).

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Cider:  Trouble in Paradise (Passionfruit Pineapple)
Cidery:  Schilling Cider
Cidery Location:  Auburn WA
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  22oz bottles (and draft)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with pineapple and passionfruit juices

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Availability:  June-September.  Schilling Cider is sold at least in AK, AZ, CA, CT, ID, MN, NC, NV, OR, SC, VA, and WA, but this is a seasonal release and is therefore likely to have more limited distribution.

Cider Description:  YOU ASKED, WE ANSWERED! Introducing our unscheduled surprise seasonal, Trouble in Paradise! This pineapple passionfruit hard cider is a tropical paradise and a bit of trouble in a bottle!

Cidery Description:  We capture the essence of the Pacific Northwest by creating hard ciders that are deliberately innovative, bold, and flavor forward. 

Price:  $7
Where Bought:  Schilling Cider House in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I tried in on tap awhile back and thought it would be a nice summer cider to get a bottle of.

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First Impression:  Hazy yellow orange hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells of pineapple juice with a hint of passionfruit.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low to moderate tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, tannins, sourness, or funk.  Notes of pineapple, orange, passionfruit, and peach.  Moderate length tart finish.  No apple flavor.  Low complexity.  Moderate to strong flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  Yum!  A tropical vacation in a glass.  However, this is very juice-like, and I couldn’t really taste any alcohol (or apple influence).  It was more like juice with vodka or something neutral.  I imagine it would make an awesome slushee.  It had more orange flavor, was slightly sweeter, and more juice-like than I remembered it having on tap.  Its curious they didn’t carbonate it.

Most Similar to:  Other tropical/pineapple ciders, such as Ace Pineapple, Jester & Judge Pineapple Express, and Portland Cider Pineapple.

Closing Notes:   I’ve been enjoying Schilling’s seasonal and special release ciders (especially King’s Shilling), although I don’t find their regular line of ciders too interesting (albeit better than they used to be).

Have you tried Schilling Trouble in Paradise?  What did you think?

Wyder’s Prickly Pineapple

Review of Wyder’s newest cider, Prickly Pineapple, with pineapple and prickly pear juices.  I’ve previously tried their other three ciders (Dry Raspberry, Dry Pear, and Reposado)

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Cider:  Prickly Pineapple
Cidery:  Wyder’s
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT (they are from British Columbia Canada, but their U.S. ciders are made at the Woodchuck facility)
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American commercial cider from dessert apples, with pineapple and prickly pear juices

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Availability:  wide release, as of August (they have a locator here)

Cider Description:  An exotic duet, this cider combines the juices from both prickly pear cacti and pineapples. Tickling the tongue, each sip brings forward a light and sweet taste like a refreshing pina colada. Satisfy those fruit forward senses with Wyder’s® Prickly Pineapple.

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:  ~ $2 / single bottle (runs $9.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I had been on the lookout since reading about it on Facebook

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow with a hint of green.  Low carbonation.  Smells of pineapple candy.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, tannins, or funk.  Notes of pineapple, green apple, and a little something unique which I assume is the prickly pear juice.  Quick finish.  High sessionabiliy.  low apple flavor.  Moderate to high flavor intensity.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  Not bad for a commercial cider, as its a bit unique, and nice and flavorful.  Definitely on the sweeter end though.  I don’t exactly agree it tastes like a pina colada, but its definitely not just a pineapple cider.  Side note – has anyone tried to do anything coconut with a cider?  I bet pineapple coconut would be good.

Most Similar to:  Other sweeter pineapple flavored ciders, such as Schilling Trouble in Paradise, Ace Pineapple and Jester & Judge Pineapple Express.

Closing Notes:   I imagine this will sell well.

Have you tried Wyder’s Prickly Pineapple?  What did you think?

Reverend Nat’s ¡Tepache!

Review of Reverend Nat’s ¡Tepache!.  Note this technically isn’t even cider, as it is only made using pineapple juice, no apples.  I tried this awhile back, and I’ve sampled a number of ciders from Reverend Nat’s (see here).

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Cider:  ¡Tepache!
Cidery:  Reverend Nat’s
Cidery Location:  Portland OR
ABV:  3.2%
How Supplied:  22oz brown bottles
Style:  American craft fermented pineapple juice with spices

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Availability:  Summer Seasonal sold in Oregon, Washington, Southern California, Idaho, Hawaii, Alaska, British Columbia Canada, Japan, and Singapore

Cider Description:  During a holiday in Veracruz I had a chance meeting with a peddler hawking Traditional Tepache out of a push-cart. A few pesos poorer and I was on Cloud Nine. ‘I unquestionably must have that recipe!’ I shouted. My Spanish is dreadful and his English was no better but over a few minutes of pictographic correspondence, I felt sanguine in my capacity to recreate that sumptuous drink upon my return to Portland.

Composed exclusively of pineapples sourced from my second cousin’s plantation in Costa Rica, piloncillo from the Mexican state of Michoacan and a furtive selection of spices, this lightly alcoholic elixir is sure to please your palate.

Much like American Apple Pie, there is no recipe for Tepache. It is a traditional Mexican drink, frequently consumed out of a plastic baggie with a straw, sold by street vendors in Jalisco and made at home. It’s not a cider – NO APPLES! The fermentation happens on the scales and rind of the pineapples, imparting a deep and unique flavor. This beverage is low-alcohol and sweet like a Summer Shandy or Radler due to a partial fermentation of the pineapples. Available starting Cinco de Mayo.

Cidery Description:  Reverend Nat is a single-minded cider evangelist who searches the world for superior ingredients to handcraft the most unusual ciders that no one else will make.

Price:  $6.99
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  It sounded good, and I wanted to try mixing it with cider this time versus drinking it straight, so it ended up being an impulse try.

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First Impression:  Hazy yellow/brown hue (I recommend to lightly shake before pouring to distribute the sediment).  Still.  Smells strongly of pineapple and moderately of spices.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, tannins, sourness, or funk.  Notes of juicy pineapple, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate pineapple flavor and moderate amount of spice.  Low complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  Yum!  Great by itself or mixed with cider.  I tried it with Number Six Dry 99 (although that didn’t help boost the 3.2% ABV much as its only 4.2% ABV).  I agree with the suggestion to use more Tepache than cider (or 50-50).  I don’t like beer so I can’t comment on that mixture, although it appears plenty popular.

Most Similar to:  Nothing really.  You can’t really compare it to pineapple cider as it doesn’t use apples.  However, like a number of other beverages, I thought the pineapple came across more in the scent than the flavor.  I only know of one other cidery doing Tepache, Argus Cidery in Texas, although I haven’t tried it as I heard its sour and thats not my thing.

Closing Notes:   If you are looking to try something unique and like pineapple and spices, Tepache may be to your liking.  This definitely isn’t an everyday drinker (like his Revival, which remains my favorite from Rev Nat’s), but its unique.

Have you tried Tepache?  What did you think?

Ace Pineapple

This is a tropical pineapple flavored cider.

Cider:  Pineapple
Cidery:  Ace
Cidery Location:  Sebastopol, CA
ABV:  5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Availability:  wide release, year round

Description on Bottle:  Another first for ACE, our ACE PINEAPPLE cider nobody has done one before.  We marry pineapple and apple juice to make a thirst quencher cider that’s deliciously refreshing anytime of the year!

Price:  $8.99 / six pack
Where Bought:  Whole Foods, Total Wine
How Found: Browsing
Where Drank:  home

Opinion:  If you like pineapple, this cider is for you!  Its the only pineapple cider I’ve seen.  It is quite sweet though, and tastes obviously back sweetened (juice added after fermentation).  It tastes a bit too much like juice to me, although many folks may like that.  I’m surprised how low calorie it is for how sweet it is (175, where most sweet ciders top 200).  Refreshing and simple.  I do love pineapple though.  Ace offers a number of other ciders, from their dry Joker to a similar cider to the Pineapple one, except Berry, to their 21st anniversary Chardonnay barrel aged Blackjack 21 cider, and even a Pumpkin variety.  Overall I don’t find their ciders too impressive though (this is my favorite by far).  If you like sweet ciders and pineapple, you may like this cider.

Have you tried Ace Pineapple?  What did you think?