One Tree Staycation

Review of One Tree’s Staycation, a new ish pineapple mango cider.  It is my first time trying this, but I have also had their Lemon Basil, Caramel Cinnamon, HuckleberryDark CherryCrisp AppleRaspberry, and Pina Colada.

Cider:  Staycation (Pineapple Mango)
Cidery:  One Tree
Cidery Location:  Spokane WA
ABV:  5.6%
How Supplied:  four pack of 16oz cans
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with pineapple and mango

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Availability:  Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Illinois, since October 2017, plus limited online sales

Cider Description:
Tropical Vacations are overrated.
-Sharks eat people, period. End of story
-Vog, It’s volcanic fog… Seriously look it up
-In the rain forest, all it does is rain ALL.DAY.LONG
-Sally doesn’t really sell seashells by the sea shore
-When a jellyfish stings you, there’s only one solution…

Cidery Description:  It all started with a love for the Washington apple and a father’s day gift of an at home cider kit … and the rest is history. One Tree Hard Cider is made from locally grown ingredients right here in Washington State. When we started on the journey we wanted to use a wide range of ingredients and flavors in our hard ciders to show that it all starts with apples but it doesn’t end there! Our core ciders are Lemon Basil, Caramel Cinnamon, Huckleberry, and Raspberry. We also release seasonal ciders such as Peach Tea, Ginger Apricot, Pumpkin and Cranberry, and keep your eye out for special draft-only limited release ciders! Whether you like your cider sweet or tart, you’ll find a One Tree Hard Cider just for you!

They have a cider house in Spokane Washington.

Price:  $3.99 / single can ($11.99 / four pack)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing (although I had been on the lookout for a single can, as I had seen it in four-packs)

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First Impression:  Hazy lemonade hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells of pineapple with hints of coconut and mango.

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

My Opinion:  Great!  I can’t remember the last time I tried a flavored cider I liked this much; so many are too dry or too sweet, barely flavorful, one dimensional, etc.  I loved the coconut flavor, although they didn’t say they added any, so maybe its just me?

Most Similar to:  One Tree Pina Colada, except more pineapple than coconut, and much less sweet.

Closing Notes:  This appears to be a year round release – yay.

Have you tried One Tree Staycation?  What did you think?

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Liberty Ciderworks Pink Pearl SV

Review of Liberty Ciderworks’ Pink Pearl, a single varietal cider from red fleshed Pink Pearl apples.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had their Manchurian Crabapple Single VarietalCrabensteinEnglish StyleAbbessStonewall Dry Fly Whiskey Barrel AgedGravensteinCellar Series #G15New World StyleCellar Series (unknown)McIntoshGolden Russet SVSpokane ScrumpyHewe’s Crab, and Porter’s Perfection.

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Cider:  Pink Pearl SV
Cidery:  Liberty Ciderworks
Cidery Location:  Spokane WA
ABV:  7.9%
How Supplied:  750ml corked & caged bottle
Style:  American craft cider, single varietal from Pink Pearl apples

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Availability:  In general you can find their ciders in Washington and Oregon (see a list of locations here).  However, this variety was very limited (16 cases), released awhile back, and mostly just their tap room and cider club members, and online sales through Vino Shipper (listed in stock for $14.99 at the time of this review – I’m surprised any is still in stock as I think I bought this 6 months ago)

Cider Description:  Pink Pearl apples are a rare, red-fleshed varietal we just had to try, since some red apples yield beautiful rosé-colored ciders. Though this cider retained only a hint of pink coloration, the flavors are still quite lovely, with hints of floral, grassy aromatics and soft raspberry flavors. Apples grown near Brewster, WA. (16 cases bottle conditioned in 750 ml bottles, RS 1.0%)

Cidery Description:  Located in the largest apple-growing region on the continent, Liberty Ciderworks is all about the apple, showcasing the diversity and wonders of locally grown fruit. From well known apples like McIntosh and Jonathan to rare, cider-specific fruit like Kingston Black and Dabinett, Liberty ciders put apples in their proper place: Front and center.  We started Liberty Ciderworks in 2013 with a simple, two-part mission: 1) Using apples from local farms and fields to create unique, wonderful ciders, and 2) Sharing them with friends and neighbors across the great Pacific Northwest.  Welcome to the cider revolution. 

They have a tap room in Spokane WA, which also now has a bottle shop of selections from around the world.

Price:  $17.99
Where Bought:  Capitol Cider in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing

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First Impression:  Light tangerine hue.  Nearly still.  Smells nearly of apple brandy (ie. a higher ABV), and midly fruity.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of dry.  Light bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Hints of tannins and bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of blush grape, strawberry, rhubarb, watermelon, and a hint of richness/brandy.  Low apple flavor and sessionability.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.  Moderate complexity.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it.  I found it to be a unique dry fruity complex mild food-friendly cider.  My new ish cider fridge got it to the recommended 55-60 deg serving temperature, which I enjoyed.  I think serving it ice cold would have muted the flavor, but I didn’t try it.

Most Similar to:  a drier version of Snowdrift RedAlpenfire Glow, or Tieton Russian Red (I slightly prefer these, especially Alpenfire’s, as I usually go for a semi-dry to semi-sweet cider), or even rosé wine (which I don’t have any experience with)

Closing Notes:  I was surprised with the complexity and flavor, and I didn’t mind the dryness due to those factors.  If I didn’t know better I would have guessed this had a hint of brandy in it too, as it especially smelled much higher ABV than it drank.

I think it would be a fun cider to share with folks who haven’t had drier complex ciders, as it is unique, but lacks qualities such as high acidity, bitterness, tannins, sourness, or funk which can often be off-putting at least at first.  I actually wished I had brought it to the dinner party I went to the night before.

Have you tried Liberty Ciderworks Pink Pearl SV?  What did you think?

Liberty Ciderworks English Style

Review of Liberty Ciderworks’ English Style.  I previously tried this at events such as Cider Summit Seattle 2015 (see here), but I haven’t reviewed a bottle.  I’ve also tried Liberty’s Manchurian Crabapple SV, Crabenstein, Abbess, Stonewall, Gravenstein, Cellar Series #G15, New World Style, Cellar Series (# unknown), McIntosh, Golden Russet SV, and Spokane Scrumpy.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Liberty Ciderworks.  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:  English Style
Cidery:  Liberty Ciderworks
Cidery Location:  Spokane WA
ABV:  8.0%
How Supplied:  750ml corked & caged bottles
Style:  American craft cider from cider apples, English style

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Availability:  Year round, in Washington and Oregon (see a list of locations here).  They also have online sales through Vino Shipper.

Cider Description:  Classic cider varietals from the mother country – including Dabinett, Yarlington Mill and Ashton Bitter – come together for this dry, English-style cider. Complex, layered aromas, a hint of bittersweet apple flavor, balanced acidity, tannins and residual sweetness: it’s the perfect accompaniment for both appetizers and dinner. And like all of Liberty’s ciders, it’s made entirely by hand.

Cidery Description:  Located in the largest apple-growing region on the continent, Liberty Ciderworks is all about the apple, showcasing the diversity and wonders of locally grown fruit. From well known apples like McIntosh and Jonathan to rare, cider-specific fruit like Kingston Black and Dabinett, Liberty ciders put apples in their proper place: Front and center.  We started Liberty Ciderworks in 2013 with a simple, two-part mission: 1) Using apples from local farms and fields to create unique, wonderful ciders, and 2) Sharing them with friends and neighbors across the great Pacific Northwest.  Welcome to the cider revolution. 

They have a tap room in Spokane WA, which also now has a bottle shop of selections from around the world.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $12.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  one of the co-owners/cidermakers contacted me, Rick Hastings

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First Impression:  Light amber hue.  Still.  Smells of rich cider apples.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to dry.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Low bitterness.  Low tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of caramel, leather, butterscotch, earth, orange, and lemon.  Moderate apple flavor, complexity, and flavor intensity.  Low sessionability.

My Opinion:  Great!  This was a fun combination between a high acidity U.S. cider from heirloom apples and a rich tannic English cider.  However, it seemes a bit drier and more acidic/sharp than previously.  I preferred it slightly sweeter and less acidic, so the tannins and richness could better shine through.

Most Similar to:  Eve’s Autumns Gold

Closing Notes:  This cider is an awesome value, as cider apples are expensive, and ciders made from them usually cost more than this.  However, my favorite remains their Manchurian Crabapple – a flavorful high ABV cider you’d think was brandy fortified, but is not.  Next up I’ll be reviewing Liberty’s Hewes Crab cider.

Have you tried Liberty’s English Style cider?  What did you think?

Liberty Ciderworks Spokane Scrumpy

Review of Liberty Ciderworks’ Spokane Scrumpy.  I previously tried this at Cider Summit Seattle 2017 (see here), but I hadn’t reviewed a bottle.  It was made using community sourced apples and supports the Second Harvest food bank in Spokane Washington.  Here is an article on its release.  I’ve also tried Liberty’s Manchurian Crabapple SVCrabenstein, English StyleAbbessStonewallGravenstein, Cellar Series #G15New World StyleCellar Series (# unknown)McIntosh, and Golden Russet SV.

Photo Oct 20, 6 13 57 PM

>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Liberty Ciderworks.  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:  Spokane Scrumpy
Cidery:  Liberty Ciderworks
Cidery Location:  Spokane WA
ABV:  6.4%
Residual Sugar: 1.5%
How Supplied:  750ml corked & caged bottles
Style:  American craft cider from community-harvested apples, wild yeast fermented

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Availability:  Special release.  Their ciders are in general available in Washington and Oregon (see a list of locations here).  They also have online sales through Vino Shipper (although at the time of review I didn’t see this one listed).

Cider Description:  A hyper-local concoction of backyard, roadside and otherwise under-appreciated apples fermented wild for a light and refreshing, yet complex flavor profile. A partnership with Second Harvest food bank, a portion of proceeds goes toward helping feed people in need in our community. (WA sales only)

Cidery Description:  Located in the largest apple-growing region on the continent, Liberty Ciderworks is all about the apple, showcasing the diversity and wonders of locally grown fruit. From well known apples like McIntosh and Jonathan to rare, cider-specific fruit like Kingston Black and Dabinett, Liberty ciders put apples in their proper place: Front and center.  We started Liberty Ciderworks in 2013 with a simple, two-part mission: 1) Using apples from local farms and fields to create unique, wonderful ciders, and 2) Sharing them with friends and neighbors across the great Pacific Northwest.  Welcome to the cider revolution. 

They have a tap room in Spokane WA, which also now has a bottle shop of selections from around the world

Price:  n/a (probably ~ $15 like their other ciders)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  one of the co-owners/cidermakers contacted me, Rick Hastings

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First Impression:  Hazy lemonade hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells very mild.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Hints of bitterness, tannins, and funk.  No sourness.  Notes of lemongrass, green apple, honey, butter, straw, and mineral.  Long finish with a slightly sour aftertaste.  Moderate apple flavor, complexity, flavor intensity, and sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  The flavor was really interesting in a good way, but the aftertaste was a bit weird/different, although mild.  Neither me or the two others I was tasting with could really describe it.  I think it was likely a slight sourness that only showed up on the finish.  Sourness wouldn’t surprise me, as this was a wild yeast fermented cider, which typically has significant sourness.  The apple-forward flavor and the bit of residual sweetness may have just covered up the sourness until the finish.

Most Similar to:  Nothing I can think of.  The flavor profile was unique.  This is a bit sweeter and less tart than most of Liberty’s lineup.  I’d recommend this for folks who want a little something different.

Side Note:  In the cider world, the term “scrumpy” has a range of definitions, but it currently seems most often used to describe a rustic Farmhouse-style cider made using traditional methods, often slightly cloudy (less filtered).  They are most commonly found in England, but a number of U.S. cidermakers also use this term.  Here is an article from CiderCraft pointing out five examples.

Closing Notes:  Too bad they couldn’t repeat this recipe, as it was a mix of random apples (probably mostly dessert apples, with some heirloom and crab apples).  Next up I have their English Style and Hewes Crab ciders.

Have you tried Liberty’s Spokane Scrumpy?  What did you think?

One Tree Crisp Apple

Review of One Tree’s Crisp Apple cider.  I’ve tried it before, but only a draft sample, not canned.  I’ve also tried their Lemon Basil, Caramel Cinnamon, Huckleberry, Dark Cherry, and Raspberry ciders.

Cider:  Crisp Apple
Cidery:  One Tree
Cidery Location:  Spokane WA
ABV:  6.8%
How Supplied:  four pack of 16oz cans
Style:  American craft cider made from dessert apples

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Availability:  Year-round in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana; see here.

Cider Description:  An army of apple have made their way to your door, housed in a tough metal can. This cider is crisp and delicious with just enough tart apple flavor to keep you coming back for more. Keep that ice chest stocked with One Tree Hard Cider cans. Your taste buds will thank you.

Cidery Description:  It all started with a love for the Washington apple and a father’s day gift of an at home cider kit … and the rest is history. One Tree Hard Cider is made from locally grown ingredients right here in Washington State. When we started on the journey we wanted to use a wide range of ingredients and flavors in our hard ciders to show that it all starts with apples but it doesn’t end there! Our flavors range from Lemon Basil, Crisp Apple, and Caramel Cinnamon to Huckleberry, Cranberry and other seasonal or limited release options. Whether you like your cider sweet or tart, you’ll find a One Tree Hard Cider just for you!

They have a tasting room in Spokane WA.

Price:  ~$ 3 / single can (runs ~$10.99 / four pack)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I tried Crisp Apple at One Tree’s release party at the Schilling Cider House in Seattle awhile back (see here), and wanted to give it another go, but only a single can.

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First Impression:  Hazy orange lemonade hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells of baked apple.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  No sourness, bitterness, tannins, or funk.  Notes of baked apple, citrus, and a hint of cinnamon.  Quick finish length.  High apple flavor.  High sessionability.  Low complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  Yum!  Its simple, but tasty.  I like that its less filtered and flavorful, and less sweet than their other ciders (my preference is semi-dry to semi-sweet).

Most Similar to:  2 Towns Out Cider, except it is slightly sweeter and more flavorful.

Closing Notes:   This is probably my favorite One Tree cider so far; it is the most drinkable of their ciders for me, something I could actually have an entire pint of.  Sweet sells though, and One Tree’s ciders are very popular in the Seattle area.  They won the Fruit Cider Challenge at Cider Summit Seattle 2016 with their Raspberry cider with peanut butter whipped cream (see here).

Side note:  “Crisp Apple” is a popular name for ciders…Angry Orchard, Flatbed, Zeffer, Hornsby’s, Foster’s, and Newton’s all also use it.

Have you tried One Tree Crisp Apple?  What did you think?

Liberty Ciderworks New World Style

Review of Liberty Ciderworks’ New World Style.  I’ve tried a number of their ciders, including Manchurian Crabapple Single VarietalCrabensteinEnglish Style, Abbess, Stonewall Dry Fly Whiskey Barrel AgedGravenstein, and Cellar Series #G15.

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Cider:  New World Style
Cidery:  Liberty Ciderworks
Cidery Location:  Spokane WA
ABV:  8.2%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  American craft New World Style cider, made from heirloom apples and crabapples

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Availability:  Fairly limited.  Per the cidery they currently self-distribute to Spokane and Seattle.  In Seattle, I have seen them at Capitol Cider, Schilling Cider House, Total Wine, Full Throttle Bottles, and Special Brews.  Look for them in bottle shops in WA which specialize in local craft cider.  Liberty’s website lists some locations to find their ciders.

Cider Description:  A modern take on colonial-era ciders, New World combines Palouse-grown McIntosh, Cortland, Empire and Liberty apples with tiny, flavor-rich Manchurian crabapples. This off-dry cider features soft aromatics, wine-like tannic structure and vanilla overtones. (PNWCA 2014 Bronze Medal Winner)

Cidery Description:  Carrying the torch for Artisan Cider. Located in the largest apple-growing region on the planet, Liberty Ciderworks is all about the apple, showcasing the diversity and wonders of locally grown fruit. From well known apples like McIntosh and Jonathan to rare, cider-specific fruit like Kingston Black and Dabinett, Liberty ciders put apples in their proper place: Front and center. We started Liberty Ciderworks in 2013 with a simple, two-part mission: 1) Using apples from local farms and fields, create unique, wonderful ciders, and 2) Share them with friends and neighbors across the great Pacific Northwest. Welcome to the cider revolution.  Cheers!  Rick & Austin

Liberty has a tap room in Spokane.

Price:  ~$9
Where Bought:  Schilling Cider House in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I’m a fan of Liberty and hadn’t tried this one.

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow.  Very low carbonation upon pouring.  Smells overall mild–acidic, slightly sour, of citrus and with a slight mustiness.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Astringent but not tannic.  Low bitterness.  Hints of sourness.  No funk.  Notes of citrus, honey, light floral, and mineral.  Quick to moderate length finish.  Low apple influence.  Low sessionability.

My Opinion:  I wasn’t so into this one…it was very acidic, and a bit harsh for my liking.  I think with some additional sweetness it would have been more doable for me.

Most Similar to:  Other dry acidic ciders.

Closing Notes:   My favorite Liberty cider remains their English Style.  I look forward to trying more from them, even though I wasn’t a huge fan of this one.

Have you tried Liberty New World Style?  What did you think?

One Tree Hard Cider Dark Cherry

Review of One Tree’s Dark Cherry Cider.  I’ve tried a few of their ciders–see here.

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Cider:  Dark Cherry
Cidery:  One Tree Hard Cider
Cidery Location:  Spokane Valley WA
ABV:  6.8%
How Supplied:  22oz bottles
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples with cherries added

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Availability:  This is a new release which appears to be year round, in Idaho, Montana, and Washington (soon to be in Oregon).

Cider Description:  Welcome to flavor town my friend. Step into the ring with a cherry hard cider that drops the press (get it?!) on the apples and makes them ride passenger! This is what cherry cider is supposed to taste like, bold & delicious. Lift your pinky finger cider friends! This one is for you!

Cidery Description:  Founded in 2014, One Tree Hard Cider has quickly become a well-known, and highly sought after cider in the Pacific Northwest. We believe in bold, flavor-forward profiles using fruit sourced in our home state of Washington. We are naturally gluten-free, and use only the highest quality, natural ingredients. Customers love our bold flavor profiles, with ciders such as Lemon Basil and Caramel Cinnamon leading the pack.

They have a tasting room in Spokane Washington.

Price:  $10.75
Where Bought:  Full Throttle Bottles
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I saw this was available on their Facebook page, and it sounded interesting.  This is my first time reviewing a bottle from One Tree (previously I’ve only tried it on tap).

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First Impression:  Deep cherry hue.  Low carbonation and foam upon pouring.  Strong tart cherry scent.

Tasting Notes:  Sweet.  Definitely sweet.  Low carbonation.  Medium bodied.  It has an almost frothy mouthfeel.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  The apple is well-hidden by the cherry flavor.  I really didn’t pick up many other flavors besides cherry, which was strong…maybe some strawberries and watermelon?  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked the strong cherry flavor, but it was too sweet for my liking.  I only had half the bottle / 11oz (I had someone to share it with for once), but even that was too much.  The sweetness is pretty on-par with their other ciders I’ve tried.

Most Similar to:  Other sweeter full-flavored ciders with cherries / cherry juice added, such as from Woodchuck and Washington Gold.

Closing Notes:   My favorite cherry cider remains the one from Washington Gold, which I find to be less sweet than this one.  For fans of sweet ciders however, I think One Tree’s Dark Cherry cider will be a big hit (as all their other varieties have been).

Have you tried One Tree Dark Cherry?  What did you think?