Three Kees Cider Dessert Apple

Review of Three Kees Cider’s Dessert Apple.  It is my first time trying any cider from this cidery.

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Cider:  Dessert Apple
Cidery:  Three Kees
Cidery Location:  Snohomish WA
ABV:  6.7%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles (and draft)
Style:  American craft farmhouse-style cider made from dessert apples, partially oak rum barrel aged

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Availability:  only in the greater Seattle WA area close to Snohomish; see this list

Cider Description from bottle:  Our artisan-crafted Dessert Apple Hard Cider is made from a blend of Washington-grown apples using slow, cool fermentation.  After aging in oak rum barrels and cider tanks, mature cider is blended to showcase apple flavors and balanced with sweetness, acidity and oak tannin structure.

Cider Description from website:  Semi-Dry Hard Cider, Tank-aged cider blended with rum barrel-aged cider, 6.7% ABV, Carbonated.  Distinct “cidery” apple aroma and flavors with rustic, earthy-oak and spirituous background notes.  Soft acidity and tannin structure with a slight sweetness, finishing semi-dry.

Cidery Description:  Our artisan-crafted beverages are made from a blend of Washington-grown fruit using slow, cool fermentation.  Fermented cider and perry is aged in cider tanks and oak rum barrels from 1 month to a year depending on the desired product.  Mature cider is blended to showcase the fruit and then balanced with sweetness, acidity and oak tannin for a complex structure and finish.  Talk with Roger about our products.  Our high quality cider and perry are achieved with quality, locally sourced ingredients and patience.

They are a new cidery, a family business (their last name is ‘Kees’, and the ‘Three’ in the name refers to their three kids).  Their official Grand Opening was just last week.  They have a tasting room at their cidery in rural Snohomish WA near Lake Roesiger, on 9 acres they purchased in 2013.  They planted a small apple and pear orchard (although it won’t be ready to harvest for 6-7 years).  Check out this news article.

Price:  $12.77
Where Bought:  Special Brews in Lynnwood WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  It was the first time I had seen cider from this cidery.

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First Impression:  Very hazy lemonade type hue.  High carbonation, tiny bubbles.  Smells of citrus with hints of sulfur, sourness, and funk.

Tasting Notes:  Dry to semi-dry.  Light bodied with a frothy carbonated texture.  Very high tartness and acidity.  Low tannins, bitterness, funk, and sourness.  Notes of astringent lemon, grapefruit, lime, mineral, and floral.  Long warming finish.  Moderate apple flavor, flavor intensity, and complexity.  Low sessionability.  No noticeable oak or rum influence.

My Opinion:  I found this to be a mouth-puckering Farmhouse-style cider, reminiscent of Spanish Sidra.  Unfortunately this is not a style I enjoy, as I find the sourness overwhelms my palate, especially when combined with low residual sugar, very high tartness & acidity, and high carbonation.  My husband however liked it; he enjoys dry acidic ciders with high carbonation, and doesn’t mind some sourness (although he isn’t as tolerant to funk as I am).

Most Similar to:  Farmhouse-style ciders and Spanish Sidra, although this was higher carbonation than most – Millstone Cellars Farmgate Dry, Angry Orchard Walden Hollow, WildCraft Flagship Dry CiderSietsema Traditional Dry Hard Cider, and Bereziartua Edición Gourmet.

Closing Notes:   I wish the bottle’s label had described the cider as Farmhouse-style or rustic, in which case I probably wouldn’t have bought it.  Their website however at least mentions rustic in this cider’s description.  This likely won’t be the most crowd-pleasing style of cider, but will appeal to folks who enjoy Farmhouse-style cider, Spanish Sidra, sour beers, and the like.  Sour ciders have been increasing in popularity and availability, at least in the Seattle area.

Update:  The cidermaker messaged me with more information.  This cidery doesn’t only make rustic-style ciders; the other two current selections (Dessert Pear and Cherry Flirt) won’t have the sourness and funk.

Have you tried Three Kees cider?  What did you think?

Sixknot Cider Organic Goldilocks

Review of Organic Goldilocks from Sixknot Cider.

Cider:  Organic Goldilocks
Cidery:  Sixknot Cider
Cidery Location:  Twisp WA
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  500ml bottle

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Availability:  likely limited to WA, especially Western WA

Cider Description:  Goldilocks is made by arresting the fermentation process with cold shock prior to complete transformation of the natural sugars to alcohol. This process delivers a refreshing, elegant cider that is easy for the first time cider drinker to embrace, and still provides complexity for the experienced palate. As the name implies, Goldilocks is not too sweet or too dry, it is a true balanced cider. The cider is naturally effervescent.

Cidery Description:  Our farm and cidery rests on the banks of the Methow River near Twisp, Washington. We only press certified organic Washington apples, selected from our trees and other local orchards. We do not add sulfites, preservatives or sugars. To retain the subtle flavors often lost in processed ciders, we do not filter. Our cidermaking is kith and kin to the natural wine movement…organic practice in the orchard, and minimal intervention in the ciderhouse.

They sell three core bottled ciders, Goldilocks, High Desert Dry, and Gingerella.  They also have special releases (such as Purple Sage), and their ciders can be found on draft.

Price:  $11.00 (restaurant; retail is $9; pretty low markup actually)
Where Drank:  The Repp in Snohomish WA.  This is their only cider selection, and it isn’t even on the menu (I was glad I asked if they had cider the last time I was in).  The only other time I’ve had this cider was also there.  Its a great restaurant by the way, with good variety on the menu and reasonable prices for finer dining.  There is also Fred’s down the street, a unique bar with a huge Scotch collection and a few ciders (where I had Woodchuck Raspberry).
How Found:  I’d heard of Sixknot, but tried it mostly as that is what was available.

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First Impression:  I was still getting over being asked if I wanted ice with my cider!  After that, I noticed the lovely hazy lemonade color with light carbonation & foam.  Clean acidic apple scent.

Opinion:  Semi-dry.  Mild tartness and tannins.  Moderate acidity.  Some earthiness and the slightest bit of funk.  Mild citrus notes.  Very apple-forward.  I enjoy unfiltered ciders.  Some folks however consider haziness a flaw.  I’ve heard that overly filtering can take out some of the flavors.  This is a rather flavorful cider for being a flagship type variety, and I enjoyed it.  I think this variety would be pretty widely appealing, although some would probably like a bit more sweetness.  This was advertised as middle of the road sweetness but I found it a bit drier than that.

Closing Notes:   Quite tasty.  It was great to be able to enjoy some local craft cider at a local restaurant for our anniversary.  I had seafood pasta and my husband had red wine and a steak.  This wasn’t the greatest cider to pair with seafood pasta (I’d go for something a bit richer), but I was happy to have cider at all.  Oddly enough, even being in a huge producing cider area, lots of restaurants in my area still don’t have cider, or only Angry Orchard Crisp Apple.  Going to a non-chain restaurant increases the odds.  Note that I’ve had another cider from apples grown in the same Methow Valley region, Methow Valley Honey Bear, but it was quite a different style & level of sweetness.

Have you tried Sixknot Goldilocks?  What did you think?