Schilling Road Trip (Peach Citra)

Review of Schilling Cider’s Road Trip (Peach Citra), a cider with peach and Citra hops.  It is my first time trying this, although I’ve previously sampled their Gold, Grapefruit, Oak AgedChaiderGingerHoppedSriracha LimeBarrel #1Barrel #2Mischief Maker Pom-CranGrumpy Bear Coffee NitroPineapple PassionLumberJack (Rhubarb)Blackberry PearDryKing’s ShillingVanilla CloveRaspberry SmoothiePeach Grapefruit HabaneroBailoutTrouble in ParadiseBlueberry CobblerFrench BittersweetPippin, and Afterglow ciders.

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Cider:  Road Trip (Peach Citra)
Cidery:  Schilling Cider
Cidery Location:  Auburn WA
ABV:  6.6%
How Supplied:  22oz bottles and draft
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with peach and CItra hops

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

Cider Description:  Sweet and juicy peach and farm fresh citra hops.

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

Price:  $6.99
Where Bought:  Special Brews in Lynnwood WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.

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First Impression:  Light peach amber hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mildly hopped and fruity.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Hints of bitterness.  No tannins, sourness, or funk.  Notes of peach, tropical fruit, hops, and citrus.  Moderate length finish.  Low apple flavor.  Low hops influence.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Low to moderate complexity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  Refreshing, with peach and citrus.  Nice level of sweetness and balanced flavor.

Most Similar to:  Other cider which were both fruity and hopped, such as 2 Towns Hop & Stalk, Incline Lemongrass LureReverend Nat’s Hallelujah Hopricot, and Ratel Cider Dry Hopped

Closing Notes:  Schilling has really stepped up their game since they started out.  My favorite cider from them however remains King’s Shilling, a brandy barrel aged cider which is also an excellent value (as low as $4.50 / 22oz).

Have you tried Schilling Road Trip?  What did you think?

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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?

Schilling Bailout (Lemongrass Agave)

Review of Schilling’s new seasonal release, Bailout, made with lemongrass and agave nectar.  I’ve tried a number of their ciders; see here.

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Cider:  Bailout
Cidery:  Schilling Cider
Cidery Location:  Auburn (Seattle) WA
ABV:  6.0%
How Supplied:  22oz clear glass bottles and kegs
Style:  American craft cider made from dessert apples, with lemongrass and agave nectar

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Availability:  May-August (seasonal, although this is the first year).  Schilling Cider is sold at least in AK, AZ, CA, CT, ID, MN, NC, NV, OR, SC, VA, and WA, but this is a special release and is therefore likely to have more limited distribution.

Cider Description:  Sometimes you just need to Bail Out! This summer chiller is highly refreshing and perfectly balanced with subtle herbal notes and a kiss of agave nectar.

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:  $6
Where Bought:  Schilling Cider House in Fremont (Seattle) WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Almost no carbonation upon pouring.  Smells mild, of apple, citrus, and what I assume is agave nectar (a tart sweetness).

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Still.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No sourness, bitterness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of lemon, agave nectar, pineapple, and a bit of herbalness.  Quick finish.  Low flavor intensity.  Low apple flavor.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked this cider, but didn’t love it.  I prefer a bit more intense of a flavor.  Also not sure if I liked the slight herbal flavor.

Most Similar to:  Light spring/summer type ciders with citrus notes.  I looked it up online and see that Two Rivers also offers an agave cider.

Closing Notes:   I imagine this will sell well, but I prefer their Pineapple Passion / Trouble in Paradise (which is coming out in bottles very soon).

Have you tried any ciders from Schilling?  What did you think?

Schilling Cider King’s Shilling

Review of Schilling Cider’s King’s Shilling, an apple brandy barrel aged & fortified cider.  This was released at the very end of January, and will be a February-April seasonal for them.

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Cider:  King’s Shilling
Cidery:  Schilling Cider
Cidery Location:  Auburn WA (Seattle area)
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  22oz bottles (and draft)
Style:  American apple brandy barrel aged & fortified craft cider from dessert apples

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Availability:  February-April (seasonal, although this is the first year).  Schilling Cider is sold at least in AK, AZ, CA, CT, ID, MN, NC, NV, OR, SC, VA, and WA, but this is a special release and is therefore likely to have more limited distribution.

Cider Description:  King’s Shilling is a special collaboration with Mischief Distilling, using apple brandy they made from our cider, and then aged in their Mischief Bourbon barrels. Fortified to perfection, in this cider, you will find barrel notes of smoke, cinnamon, and vanilla, along with the slight sweetness of apple brandy. 

THE STORY OF KING’S SHILLING: When drinking with scallywags, check your glass before you bottoms up. Finding a shilling in your glass means you are under contract to crew a pirate’s ship? You may unwittingly find yourself swabbing the decks… Never to return. 

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:  $6.00
Where Bought:  Schilling Cider House
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  They posted about it on their Facebook page, and it sounded awesome, so I bought a bottle at my next visit.

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First Impression:  Lemon-Honey straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation with a few medium sized bubbles.  Smells of must, sourness, oak, honey, spice, and citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Between semi-dry and semi-sweet.  Low to moderate acidity.  Low tartness.  Hints of sourness and bitterness.  Medium bodied.  Nearly still (low carbonation).  Notes of honey and citrus, with hints of maple syrup, oak, and spice.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate apple influence.  Low barrel influence.  Low spirit influence.  Moderate sessionability.

My Opinion:  Tasty!  I think this was a great value too…typically craft cider and especially craft barrel aged cider is more expensive than $6.00 / 22oz.  The musty scent was off-putting at first, but I got past it once I tasted the cider.  I was surprised how citrus-forward it was, but I like citrus notes in a cider.  I was also surprised with the description that said its brandy fortified; if so, its not much, as the ABV remains fairly average at 6.5%.

Most Similar to:  The honey notes remind me of Moonlight Meadery How Do You Like Them Little Apples, Crispin 15 Men, 2 Towns The Bad Apple, and Finnriver Honey Meadow.

Closing Notes:   This is my favorite cider from Schilling so far (my others are Pineapple Passion and Barrel #2, which is more of a spirit than a cider).  So far I think their new cider lineup is better than it previously was.

Have you tried King’s Shilling?  What did you think?

Schilling Cider House Visit 11 Tasting Notes

Tasting notes from my eleventh visit to the Schilling Cider House in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle WA.  Check out my past posts here.  I was there mostly as I wanted to pick up a couple bottles (Schilling’s new seasonal King’s Shilling brandy barrel aged & fortified cider and this year’s version of Two Towns’ Pommeau), but this isn’t exactly the kind of place where I can stop in without having some cider!

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I got there after work, around 4pm, and started with a flight of five ciders (I had tried everything else so skipped out on #6).  I brought some take out food I picked up from PCC (the Caprese sandwich went well with 101 Cider House Piña Mint).

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<left to right:  Schilling Blackberry Pear, Schilling London Dry, Sonoma Cider Dry Fuji, Original Sin Northern Spy, and 101 Cider House Piña Menta>

Schilling Blackberry Pear (Auburn WA), 5.5%:  This is a new draft-only release.  I believe it is apple cider with blackberry and pear juice infused after fermentation (vs. being a blackberry flavored perry).  Semi-sweet.  Full flavored with blackberry and a hint of pear.  Fruity, refreshing, and flavorful without being over the top sweet.  The apple remains pretty well hidden.  Medium bodied.  This was pretty good (and I’m usually not a big berry cider fan), although maybe I was just underwhelmed with most of the rest of the flight.  It reminded me of Atlas Blackberry (although less tart) and Crispin Blackberry Pear (although sweeter).

Schilling London Dry (Auburn WA), 6.5%:  Described as an English pub style cider, sold in four packs of 16oz cans and kegs.  Somehow I had never tried this one even though its been out awhile.  Dry.  High acidity.  Moderarate tartness.  Light bodied.  It was lacking the richness of English cider, likely as I doubt they used high tannin cider apples.  I thought this was a pretty average cider, but many people ordered pints of it while I was there (although maybe because it was the most inexpensive drier cider by far?).

Sonoma Cider Dry Fuji (Healdsburg CA), 6.5%:  This is a reserve series release from Sonoma Cider, an organic Fuji apple single varietal, oak barrel aged, sold in 22oz paper wrapped bottles and kegs.  Nearly clear hue.  Completely Dry (0 residual sugar).  High acidity.  Moderate sourness.  Mild tartness.  Light bodied.  Kinda Sidra-like due to the sourness, although it also reminded me of white grape wine.  Mildly flavored.  I wasn’t a fan at all, mostly due to the sourness.

Original Sin Northern Spy (York NY), 6.9%:  This Northern Spy single varietal is part of Original Sin’s Heirloom series.  This appears to be tap-only at this time (although they had similar heirloom series releases in 750ml bottles, like Newtown Pippin).  Semi-dry.  Low acidity.  Low tartness.  A hint of sourness.  Citrus notes.  Light bodied.  Overall mildly flavored.  Average.

101 Cider House Piña Menta (Los Angeles CA), 6.9%:  This is a new 101 Cider House release, a pineapple mint cider.  Smells of citrus and mint.  On the sweeter side of Dry.  A hint of sourness.  Citrus and mint notes.  I didn’t really pick up pineapple?  Moderately flavored.  Light bodied.  Unique with the mint flavor, but overall I thought it was average.

They also put Honey Moon CiderHead Quince on tap while I was there.

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Honey Moon CiderHead Quince (Bellingham WA), 8.3%:  This is described as their Quince mead with cider, so that would make it a cyser.  Semi-dry.  Mild tannins, tartness, and acidity.  Mildly fruity.  Light and refreshing.  Mild to moderate flavored.  Tropical notes, passion fruit and pineapple.  This was good, but I prefer Eaglemount Quince, which was more complex and flavorful.

I wanted a little something else, but didn’t feel the need for another pint, so I bought a bottle of Celt for $3 and drank it there.  The Cider House is pretty awesome as they don’t charge extra to drink their bottled cider there (vs. taking it home).  An awesome cider for an awesome price!  Its the only French cider I’ve seen that comes in a multipack (4 bottles).  Check out my previous review here.  I had forgotten how I much I enjoy this cider, and picked up a couple more bottles to take home.

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I’m excited to compare the last two years of Two Towns’ Pommeau in a vertical pour, now that I have a bottle of each.  I highly recommend it by the way, and if anyone is in the Seattle area, at $25 for an amazing 375ml bottle of 19% ABV Pommeau at the Schilling Cider House, its also a good buy.  I also spotted it at The Cave in Kirkland.

Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says!  Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?

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?

Schilling Cider House Visit 10 Tasting Notes

Tasting notes from my tenth visit to the Schilling Cider House in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle WA.  Check out my past posts here.  I was there for another 2 Towns tap takeover event (reminiscent of the previous one I attended during WA Cider Week), although this one was specifically to release Riverwood Brut (this year’s version of the cider, switching from their Traditions to 2 Towns label) and The Dark Currant (their new oak barrel aged black currant cider).

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They also now have three non-alcoholic taps, which that day had coldbrew coffee on Nitro, Schilling non-alcoholic cider, and ginger beer.  I was surprised the prices were still $4 or $7 a pint though (not that much less then the alcohol), although they can also be included in a flat price flight of six tasters.  I’m curious to see how well they sell.  As a casual observer I don’t see much need, except maybe for a designated driver (and even then, why not stock some sodas?  I guess it is Fremont…), as its 21+.  If anything I wish they sold some snacks there, but I imagine even to sell chips or something they would have to change their license.  There is plenty of take out in the area to bring with though.

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The following 2 Towns ciders were on tap:  Riverwood Brut, Serious Scrump, The Dark Currant, Made Marion, Ginja Ninja, Bad Apple, and Rhubarbarian

They passed out samples of at least these ciders:  The BrightCider, Out Cider, Ginja Ninja, Bad Apple, Serious Scrump, Made Marion, and Pommeau (which has got to be a record number!)

I got there after work, around 4pm, well before the event started at 6pm, and started with a flight of six ciders (pretty much all those on tap I hadn’t had before).

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<left to right: 2 Towns Riverwood Brut, 2 Towns Serious Scrump, Seattle Cider Gose, Locust Cider Thai Ginger, 2 Towns Rhubarbarian, and Bull Run Bramble Berry>

2 Towns Riverwood Brut, 6.9% ABV, Corvallis OR:  I liked this better than I remembered liking last year’s version (it seems more flavorful this time around vs. at Cider Summit).  I’m curious now that its under their 2 Towns label what the bottle size and pricing will be, as previously it ran $19 for 750ml, which seems a bit steep for what it is (but it doesn’t appear like its out in bottles yet).  Its inspired by Brut champagne and made from Jonagold apples.  Semi-dry.  Low acidity, tartness, and tannins.  Floral qualities with hints of herbs and honey, but overall rather simple in flavor.  I noticed more apple flavor than is typical for a drier cider.  Light bodied.  I think if bottled it would have been more sparkling than it ended up being on tap (I noticed only very light carbonation).  Longer warming finish.

2 Towns Serious Scrump, 11.0%, Corvallis OR:  This is described as a dry English Imperial ice cider (which is rare as ice ciders are typically very sweet), a high ABV cider made using juice which has been frozen & thawed (increasing residual sugar and flavor).  I had this one before and remembered not really caring for it.  However, I’m a huge imperial cider fan (such as their Bad Apple), so I wanted to give it another go.  Also available in bottles.  Semi-dry.  Low to moderate bitterness.  Slight barrel influence (woody).  Well-hidden ABV.  Moderate acidity and tartness.  Medium bodied.  Moderate finish length.  I’m still not a fan, mostly due to the bitterness.

Seattle Cider Gose (pronounced goes-a), 6.5%, Seattle WA:  This is styled after a unique type of beer which has herbal, tart, and salty characteristics.  I previously had Seattle Cider’s Plum Gose, which was this same cider but with plums (and was therefore more fruity), which they made in response to folks mixing Gose with PNW Berry at their tap house.  Seattle Cider used sea salt, coriander, and Chardonnay yeast in this tap-only release.  Dry.  High acidity.  Salty flavor with slight vinegar and citrus notes.  Light bodied.  Overall not bad, but not something I cared for.  Nathan from Cider Chronicles thought it was pretty gross lol.

Locust Cider Thai Ginger, 6.0% ABV, Woodinville WA:  Made from Granny Smith and Gala apples with real Galangal Thai ginger root.  Also available in bottles.  Ginger-spice scent.  Sweet.  Ginger was only present in the finish, at the back of the throat, and remained on the mild side (more present in the scent than flavor).  Medium bodied.  I’m not a ginger fan, but as the ginger was kept mild and it was sweet, I didn’t mind it.

2 Towns Rhubarbarian, 5.0% ABV, Corvallis OR:  This is described as a dry English-style cider with fresh-pressed Northwest rhubarb (also available in bottles).  Semi-dry.  I didn’t pick up any rhubarb flavor with this, only the slightest tart fruitiness, and overall thought it was bland.  Light bodied.  Quick finish.

Bull Run Bramble Berry, 6.7% ABV, Forest Grove OR:  Described as a dry cider with marionberries, blackberries, and boysenberries.  Also available in bottles.  Cranberry hue.  Dry.  Low tartness.  Low acidity.  I also found the flavor bland with this one.  Light bodied.  Quick finish.

I also had a small sample of Finnriver Solstice Saffron (6.5% ABV, Port Townsend WA), which they put on tap while I was there.  This is part of their Seasonal Botanical line, made with saffron, anise, and fennel seeds.  Also sold in bottles.  Smelled herbal (I don’t think I would have been able to pick those out in particular).  Semi-dry.  Moderate acidity and tartness.  Weird herbal type flavor.  It was ok…I just didn’t appreciate the flavor profile (like Seattle Cider Gose).  The folks sitting around me were fans though.

Of those, my favorite was the 2 Towns Riverwood Brut, but I didn’t even find that too impressive.  It seemed to be a big hit among the other customers though.  While I was there, a large group even ordered a flight of all 32 ciders–how fun!

While I was finishing the flight, they started in on the 2 Towns samples.  They served them in clear plastic shot glasses which were pretty cute.

I’ve had Bad Apple and Made Marion before and reviewed Serious Scrump above.  I had sampled The BrightCider and OutCider before, but pre blog.

The BrightCider, 6.0% ABV:  This is their flagship cider (which replaced InCider awhile back), made from apples including Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and Rome Beauty.  Also available in bottles and cans.  I found it to be on the drier side of semi-dry (although its marketed as semi-sweet).  Pretty average and low on flavor.  Definitely sessionable.

OutCider, 5.0% ABV:  This is an ulfiltered cider.  Also available in bottles and cans.  Semi-sweet.  I found this to have more flavor than BrightCider, and I liked it better than I remembered.  It still though doesn’t have as much unfiltered apple juice taste as for example Downeast, but for canned sessionable craft cider, this is a pretty good choice.

Ginja Ninja, 6.0% ABV:  Their ginger cider.  Also available in bottles and cans.  Semi-dry.  I found it to have a moderate amount of ginger.  I’m still not a ginger fan, but I’d no longer say I hate it (ie. its growing on me a bit).

Pommeau, 19% ABV:  What a surprise!  Who would have thought they would be pouring some of their Pommeau?  Their Pommeau is cider with apple brandy, barrel aged.  This was the first year it was released under their 2 Towns instead of Traditions brand, and was from the 2013 harvest.  Here is a nice writeup from New School Beer on the release.  Rich apple, vanilla, and caramel scent.  Semi-sweet.  Still.  Low acidity, tartness, and tannins.  Very oakey, which I love.  Complex, as it also had apricot, smoke, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, and honey notes.  Full bodied.  Long boozy warming finish.

I had recently bought a bottle of last year’s Traditions Pommeau at Full Throttle Bottles, after striking out on finding this year’s version.  Now I’m looking forward to trying it even more so I can compare.  Schilling hadn’t planned on carrying it as apparently high end ice ciders and Pommeau and such don’t sell as well, but I think Sarah (the cider house manager and Cider Log writer) fell in love with it, as now they are.  So, I may have to get a bottle of this year’s version.  By the way, I think 2 Towns’ Pommeau is a great value–last year’s was under $30 for 375ml.  This initially seems expensive, but its 19% ABV, made from cider apples, and barrel aged for 2 years.  Additionally, due to the style and high ABV, it can likely remain open for weeks or months without significant flavor changes, like brandy.  A cider friend had a bottle of Finnriver Pommeau open for a year or so that still tasted great.

Sarah shared samples of two bottles of cider she opened.  I only got a photo of one though.

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Viuda de Angelon Sidra de Pera, 5.2% ABV, Asturias Spain:  This is a new addition for the cider house, a Spanish pear Sidra which retails for $4 for a 12oz bottle, which is a great entry level price and bottle size.  However, even though everyone described this more as pear cider and not being very Sidra-like (typically known to be sour and astringent), I still picked up a mild sourness.  It was sweeter that I was expecting, semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Mild tartness and sourness.  Moderate acidity.  Fruity with pear and tropical notes.  Medium bodied.  Moderate carbonation (more than most ciders).  It was ok for me, but everyone else loved it.

Etienne Dupont Cidre Triple, (I didn’t see the bottle, but ABV listed online is anywhere between 8.5% and 11%), Victot-Pontfol France:  Apparently this cider gets its name from triple fermentation (from natural sugar, then from added sugar, then in the bottle to create a mousse-like fexture).  I was curious if I’d like this any more than the Cidre Bouche I sampled awhile back.  Nope!  This style just isn’t my thing, but I’ll try anything once.  The Triple was even more funky (moderate to severe) but less sour (mild) than the Bouche.  I’m sure there were tannins and bitterness, but the funk was overpowering for my palate.  Very dry.  Earthy with citrus notes.  Medium boded.  Long finish.

The 2 Towns Pommeau was definitely the winner of the evening, followed by their Riverwood Brut.

Stay tuned for more Schilling Cider House tasting notes here at Cider Says!  Have you had any good draft cider / cider flights recently?