Sonoma Cider The Jax

Review of Sonoma Cider’s The Jax, a limited run cider inspired by Apple Jacks breakfast cereal.  This Organic cider is made with buckwheat, cinnamon, and honey.  It is my first time trying The Jax, although I’ve sampled most of Sonoma Cider’s bottled lineup (see here).

>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Sonoma Cider.  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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I love this packaging with the bright blue!

Cider:  The Jax
Cidery:  Sonoma Cider
Cidery Location:  Healdsburg CA
ABV:  6.0%
Residual Sugar:  1.6 BRIX
How Supplied:  four pack of 12oz bottles (and kegs)
Style:  Organic American large-craft breakfast cereal inspired cider

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Availability:  This is a limited run cider with less distribution, but Sonoma Cider is generally available in these areas

Cider Description:  The Jax Breakfast Cereal is part of the brand’s Limited Run series, a collection of unique flavors that express the team’s creativity and inventive nature.  Hard cider made from Organic Pacific Northwest apples is combined with gluten-free buckwheat, cinnamon and honey to create this full-bodied cider.  Scents of toasted grain and apple-cinnamon and the taste of sweetened honey and tart apples embody this cider leaving you wanting more.  The flavors of The Jax- Breakfast Cereal make a perfect complement to Pop Tarts, mac n cheese and strawberry ice cream.

Cidery Description:  Sonoma Cider was founded in 2013 by 20-year veteran Cidermaster, David Cordtz, with his son and Co-founder, Robert Cordtz.  Together they combine decades of industry expertise with next generation dynamism.  Sonoma Cider handcrafts the only full line of organic ciders in the U.S., each made with distinctive, all natural, gluten-free ingredients.  Sonoma Ciders are produced from freshly squeezed, organic apples in micro batches to deliver intensity of flavor and a refined experience for this rapidly growing category.  Sonoma Cider offers four, award-winning Core Ciders which are available year-round.  This includes the signature, apple cider The Hatchet, pear-based The Pitchfork, bourbon-flavored The Anvil, and sarsaparilla-vanilla The Washboard. Sonoma Cider also offers other unique flavors through the Limited Run series and Cidermaker Reserve series.

They have a tap room in Healdsburg California.

Price:  n/a (retails for $10.99 / four pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  co-founder Robert Cordtz contacted me

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First Impression:  Moderate amber hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells mildly of starch, cinnamon, and honey.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Hints of tannins.  Notes of cinnamon, honey, starch, lemon, and grapefruit.  The flavor starts with citrus, then finishes with breakfast cereal.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate apple flavor.  High sessionability.  Low flavor intensity.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  However, this is definitely more of a novelty cider that I wouldn’t really choose to drink again.  I had expected it to be much sweeter, but it remained fairly dry, which was great.  The Apple Jacks flavor was definitely there, real tasting, and not overwhelming.

Most Similar to:  Nothing I’ve tried.  There have been a couple ciders I’ve had that tasted a bit starchy, and I’ve had plenty of ciders with honey and/or cinnamon, but this one is unique.

Closing Notes:  Next up are two winter seasonal ciders from Sonoma Cider, The Sleigh and The Cutter.

Have you tried Sonoma Cider The Jax?  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?