Sea Cider Ruby Rose

Review of Sea Cider’s Ruby Rose, a summer seasonal cider made with rhubarb and rose hips, part of their Canadian Invasion Series.  I previously tried this at last year’s Cider Summit Seattle; see here.  I’m a fan of Sea Cider, and have also previously tried their Kings & Spies, ProhibitionBramble Bubbly, Bittersweet, Wassail, Birds and the Bees, Flagship, and Witch’s Broom.

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Cider:  Ruby Rose
Cidery:  Sea Cider
Cidery Location:  Saanichton, B.C., Canada
ABV:  9.9%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles, flip top attached
Style:  Canadian craft cider made with British Columbia apples, rhubarb, and rose hips

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Availability:  semi wide release, at these locations (including in Canada, WA, OR, and CA), in summer (beginning each year in July)

Cider Description:  A captivating semi-sweet cider infused with rhubarb, Ruby Rose is a beguiling vixen and part of our Canadian Invasion Series. She may be as aromatic as rhubarb pie, but her namesake is the merciless Rosa Rugosa, an invasive plant that threatens many coastal regions. Proceeds from our Canadian Invasion Series support efforts to combat invasive species in sensitive ecological areas. Ruby Rose pairs fabulously with light summertime meals and is perfect as a patio sipper. Consider sautéed prawns, a creamy brie, candied salmon salad and salty snacks.

See their full detailed product page here.

Cidery Description:  Sea Cider is a farm-based cidery located on the Saanich Peninsula just minutes from Victoria, on Vancouver Island. Our ten acre farm is home to over 1,300 apple trees, made up of over 50 varieties of heritage apples.  Sea Cider opened its farm gate for business in 2007 when owner Kristen Jordan purchased the property with a vision of creating an organic farm and orchard and producing traditional fermented artisan ciders. Since then, we’ve grown to an annual cider production of over 7,000 cases and growing. We continue to pride ourselves on crafting traditionally fermented ciders from organically grown apples.

Price:  $20
Where Bought:  Schilling Cider House in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I first tried this at Cider Summit last year; see here.  I picked up this bottle last Fall I think.

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First Impression:  Rose hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells fruity (rhubarb and strawberry) and herbal, reminiscent of a fruity herbal tea.

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 rhubarb, cranberry, strawberry, watermelon, and fruity herb tea.  Long warming finish.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Moderate complexity.  Low to moderate sessionability.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed this.  The fruitiness makes you think this would be best for Spring & Summer, but the alcohol content and herbal notes open it up for all seasons.

Most Similar to:  Snowdrift Red, Alpenfire Glow, Eden Imperial 11 Rosé, and Schilling Lumberjack

Closing Notes:  This seems a bit less sweet and more herbal than when I previously tried it (comparing to my tasting notes).  My favorite selections from Sea Cider are ProhibitionBittersweet, Birds and the Bees, and this one.  All their ciders are around 10% ABV, in between that of typical ciders and grape wine, which is unique, tasty, and a good value too.

Have you tried Sea Cider Ruby Rose?  What did you think?

Sonoma Cider The Wimble (Rhubarb Gose)

Review of Sonoma Cider’s The Wimble, a gose-style cider with rhubarb.  Gose is a German style of beer characterized by its use of salt.  Its my first time trying The Wimble, but I’ve had Sonoma Cider’s Hatchet, Pitchfork, Washboard, Anvil, Crowbar, Pulley, Dry Zider, and Dry Fuji.

Cider:  The Wimble (Rhubarb Gose)
Cidery:  Sonoma Cider
Cidery Location:  Healdsburg CA
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz cans
Style:  American Organic gose-style cider with rhubarb

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Availability:  semi wide release, but it is a limited run

Cider Description:  The Wimble is our cidery take on “gose” an ancient German beer style.  Tart, briny, and eager to please.

Cidery Description:  Our story officially began in 2013 through a unique father and son partnership. Sharing an entrepreneur’s curiosity and deep passion for beverages, David and Robert Cordtz set out to reinvent the cider category. David, a celebrated cidermaster and winemaker, has had a nearly lifelong passion for beverages made from naturally grown and harvested ingredients. He has been lauded for his highly refined palate and ability to create unique and high quality flavor profiles. His son, Robert, has been learning the business of beverages from his veteran father for as long as he can remember. In creating Sonoma Cider alongside his father, Robert brings a fresh perspective, a knack for creating things, and is fond of questioning the status quo. As VP Operations and Cidermaker, Robert’s creative streak keeps his dad on his toes as he is constantly infusing new approaches and ideas to the business. Together they make Sonoma Cider anything, anything but run of the mill.

Price:  ~$2 / single can
Where Bought:  Special Brews in Lynnwood WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing

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First Impression:  Light pumpkin orange-pink amber.  Nearly still (very low carbonation).  Smells mild, salty and fruity.

Tasting Notes:  Fully dry.  Light bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low bitterness.  No sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of salt, rhubarb, and citrus.  Moderate length finish.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate sessionability.  Very low flavor intensity.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  I wasn’t a huge fan, but I liked it more than I expected.  The brine flavor wasn’t overwhelming, and it had a mild fruitiness.

Most Similar to:  Other gose-style ciders, such as from Seattle Cider, Gose and Plum Gose.

Closing Notes:   If you want a truly dry cider which is unique but doesn’t have an overwhelming flavor, you may like this one.  My favorite Sonoma Cider however remains The Anvil, their Bourbon-flavored cider.

Have you tried Sonoma Cider’s The Wimble?  What did you think?

2 Towns Imperial Hop and Stalk

Review of 2 Towns’ Imperial Hop and Stalk, a seasonal release with Citra hops and Crimson Red rhubarb.  I’ve tried most of their line-up; see my reviews here.

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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 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:  Hop and Stalk
Cidery:  2 Towns
Cidery Location:  Corvallis OR
ABV:  8.0%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles and kegs
Style:  American Imperial (high ABV) craft cider made from dessert apples, with Citra hops and Crimson Red rhubarb

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Availability:  Seasonably (May-Aug) in AK, CA, HI, ID, IL (Chicago), MN, NV, OR, and WA.

Cider Description:  An outrageous amount of Citra hops, locally grown Crimson Red rhubarb, and fresh-pressed NW apples create a trenchant hard cider with huge floral, citrus & passion fruit notes. The outspoken dry-hopped character of this cider is best when fresh, so make sure to exercise your Stalk Hoptions before they expire!

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.

Price:  n/a (runs $7-$9)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow.  Low to moderate carbonation upon pouring.  Smells primarily of citrus, with some hops and strawberry-rhubarb.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low carbonation.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Hints of bitterness.  No sourness, tannins, or funk.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate hoppiness, although with less bitterness and lingering flavor than many hopped ciders.  Notes of citrus (lots!), hops, strawberry, rhubarb, passion fruit, honey, and floral.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate to strong overall flavor intensity.  Moderate sessionability.

My Opinion:  I wasn’t expecting to like this cider as I wouldn’t call myself a fan of hops or rhubarb.  However, I really enjoyed it–I loved the complexity and uniqueness.

Most Similar to:  Hopped ciders with lots of citrus notes and some fruitiness.  Portland Cider Hop’Rageous also uses Citra hops, so you get more citrus & floral than bitter hops.  Tod Creek Mala-Hop also had a lot of citrus notes, but used Chinook, Sterling and Centennial, not Citra hops.  This is the most citrusy hopped cider I’ve tried though, and the only one with another fruit addition.

Closing Notes:   Another winner from 2 Towns!

Have you tried 2 Towns Hop and Stalk?  What did you think?

Schilling Cider LumberJack (Rhubarb)

Review of Schilling Cider LumberJack, their Rhubarb variety, from Seattle Washington.

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Cider:  LumberJack (Rhubarb)
Cidery:  Schilling Cider
Cidery Location:  Auburn Washington (Seattle area)
ABV:  6.0%
How Supplied:  boxed six pack of 12oz cans (and kegs)
Style:  American craft fruit-infused canned cider
Ingredients:  fresh pressed apple juice, pear, rhubarb, yeast

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Availability:  At least AK, AZ, CA, CT, ID, MN, NC, NV, OR, SC, VA, and WA.

Cider Description:  This axe-swinging Lumberjack will make you want to get lost in the woods! He’s earthy, rugged, and just the right amount of dry. But, underneath all of that rough and tough, he’s as sweet as an early autumn pear.

Cidery Description:  In 1881, Colin Schilling’s great-great-grandfather, August, founded the Schilling Spice Company in San Francisco. He brought pure, natural, spices to everyone, at a fair price. Today, at Schilling Cider, we carry August’s core values forward and pair them with innovative cider-making techniques to produce quality, complex, hard ciders.

Based in Seattle, Washington, Schilling Cider captures the essence of the Pacific Northwest by creating ciders that are deliberately innovative, bold and flavor forward. Never back-sweetened, we use only 100% fresh pressed apples, locally sourced non-GMO ingredients and individually hand select yeast strains to create a cider experience that is truly unique.

Price:  I’ve seen it sold anywhere from $10.99 to $13.50 / six pack
Where Bought:  n/a (a fellow customer at the cider house shared a can with me from the six pack he bought – thanks John!).
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing the Schilling Cider House

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First Impression:  Light pink-peach hue.  Low carbonation (large bubbles) and foam.  Smells lightly fruity.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry (2 Brix).  Moderate tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, or tannins.  Notes of rhubarb, pear, tropical fruit, peach, and honey.  Light bodied with a smooth buttery texture.  A bit champagne-like although not nearly as bubbly (only low carbonation).  Moderate finish length.  Moderate apple flavor.  Moderate sessionability.

My Opinion:  Tasty and refreshing.  I think this one would be a great summer cider.  However, its a tad on the tart side for my liking, and overall fruity ciders aren’t my favorite.  I also don’t know if I would have been able to specifically identify rhubarb as the flavor.

Most Similar to:  Other semi-dry fruity ciders.  The only other rhubarb cider I’ve had is 2 Towns Rhubarbarian, and I’d say Schilling’s LumberJack is more flavorful.

Closing Notes:   This is part of Schilling Cider’s re-launch.  I’m curious to see what else they will come up with.  They discontinued their Hopped and Oak Aged ciders, and have had a number of new releases in their cider lineup lately.

Have you tried Schilling LumberJack (Rhubarb)?  What did you think?