Bishop Nectar

Review of Bishop Cider’s Nectar.  It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.

Cider:  Nectar!
Cidery:  Bishop Cider
Cidery Location:  Dallas TX
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz cans
Style:  American modern cider from dessert apples, with honey

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(sorry these photos are pretty bad – I had to use my phone camera flash since the power was out during a wind storm here)

Availability:  probably only in Texas, plus online sales

Cider Description:  It was good enough for the gods and it’s good enough for you. Nectar is a filtered, semi-sweet apple cider made from different varietals of Pacific Northwest Apples and a touch of Texas honey to usher in divine intervention.

Note that it doesn’t appear they are currently producing this variety, as I didn’t see it on their website.

Cidery Description:  When our founders, Joel and Laura Malone, started making cider at home, it was out of necessity. The commercially available cider in Texas was trash. Just plain awful. Overly sweet, artificial candy drinks.  They sought to redeem cider. At Bishop, we make cider with ingredients that we can stand behind, rather than hide from.   We do not add additional sugar to our ciders. No cane sugar, fructose syrup, brown sugar, or even honey. The only form of “sugar” is juice and it is all sourced domestically from the Pacific Northwest.  All of our ciders are gluten-free, vegan-friendly, and made by Texans. They are currently available across all of Texas. To find the locations nearest you- Cider Finder.

They have a tasting room.

Price:  ~$2 / can (runs $9.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  my husband picked this up when he was in Texas for business

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First Impression:  Hazy light pumpkin hue.  Low carbonation with foam.  Smells of sweet rich apple with a hint of honey.

Tasting Notes:  On the drier side of semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, tannins, sourness, or funk.  Notes of sweet apple and pomace, yeast, and honey.  Quick finish.  Moderate apple flavor and overall flavor intensity.  High sessionability.  Low to moderate complexity.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed this.  It had some uniqueness (reminded me of both beer and French cider), more complexity than expected, and was flavorful but not too sweet.

Most Similar to:  a cross between Downeast (sweeter apple forward unfiltered ciders) and French cider (apple and yeast forward)

Closing Notes:  Craft ciders seem to be cheaper in Texas than they are here in Washington, by a few dollars per six pack, at least from Austin Eastciders and Bishop, despite them having to transport in the apples or juice from Washington.  Strange.  I’m guessing it mostly comes down to the cost of doing business being higher here (like employee wages and building rent), and that we probably tax alcohol higher.

Have you tried Bishop Nectar?  What did you think?

Argus Apple Bomb

Review of Argus’ Apple Bomb, part of their ‘Fermentables’ line.  It is my first time trying this cider, but I have had their Ciderkin, Ginger Perry, and Perennial 2013.

Cider:  Apple Bomb
Cidery:  Argus Cidery
Cidery Location:  Austin TX
ABV:  6.2%
How Supplied:  multipack of 12oz cans (and draft)
Style:  American craft cider

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Availability:  this is a newish year round release, in over 20/50 states; see here

Cider Description:  Apple Bomb is a demi-sec, or slightly sweet, full bodied cider that delivers a blast of fruit and finishes big with a tannic, fruity pucker. This is not a subtle cider, but a fresh apple explosion derived from a collection of fermentation techniques and patience. Cans and draft offerings available.

Cidery Description:  Argus Cidery was founded in 2010 in Austin, Texas, simply because the dry, effervescent ciders we liked to drink weren’t available to us. We set out to create ciders that would [hopefully] make one rethink how an American hard cider should taste. Our roots began working only with Texas apples, utilizing a medium that was often overlooked and never before used in cider available for public consumption within our great state. Those small release, large format-only days afforded us the time to figure out how to work with fruit we love and yield ciders and other fruit fermentables that are distinctly dry, bright, and, at the end of the day, excite us.

Price:  $2.83 / single can
Where Bought:  Special Brews in Lynnwood WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  My husband put this in my Christmas stocking!

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First Impression:  Moderate yellow hue.  Moderate to high carbonation with some foam.  Smells mild, of yeast and a hint of sulfur.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Low bitterness, tannins, sour, and funk.  Notes of sharp apple (crabapple?), lemon, grapefruit, mineral, yeast, and must.  Long slightly bitter finish.  Low apple flavor, sessionability, and flavor intensity.  Moderate complexity.

My Opinion:  I didn’t care for this one at all, and neither did my husband.  However, it was in line with the rest of their lineup (especially Perennial).  It was interesting that they called this demi-sec / sweet.  Maybe in relation to their very dry lineup?  To me it was on the dry end of the spectrum.  It was also way more complex than I’d expect for a canned cider, as they are typically of the more easy drinking variety.

Most Similar to:  This was like a more complex & sour/funky/bitter version of their Ciderkin.

Closing Notes:  After four of their ciders, I think I can conclude that Argus’ ciders aren’t for me.  There is nothing wrong with that, as each cider won’t be for everybody.  I would recommend their ciders for folks of truly dry, sparkling, subtle, unique ciders.  Their Ciderkin (at least when I tried it 2-3 years ago) was the most easy to drink and my favorite so far.  However, I like ciders a bit sweeter and more flavorful.  Argus has really expanded distribution since I first heard of them in 2015.

Have you tried Argus Apple Bomb?  What did you think?

Argus Cidery Perennial 2013

Review of Perennial 2013 from Argus Cidery.  This is the first from their regular line of ciders that I’ve tried, although I’ve sampled Ciderkin and Ginger Perry from their Fermentables line of six pack ciders.

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Cider:  Perennial 2013
Cidery:  Argus Cidery
Cidery Location:  Austin TX
ABV:  6.8%
How Supplied:  750ml flip top bottle
Style:  American barrel aged wild yeast fermented craft cider

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Availability:  Argus ciders are sold in AR, CA, CO, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KY, MI, MO, NY, NC, OK, SC, TX, & WA, and online at  In WA I’ve only seen this one and their two Fermentables varieties (Ciderkin and Ginger Perry).

Cider Description:  The Perennial release is a collection of fruit harvested from both the Medina and Lubbock orchards from the 2013 harvest. This blend maximizes the fruit characters delivering a straightforward apple palate, with a finish of our natural ambient yeast characters and the residual flavors from aging in French and American Oak.  55% Blaze, 20% Gala, 10% Mutsu, 10% Johnathan, 5% Cameo.  1,150 cases produced.  Bottled November 2014.

Cidery Description:  We are Texas’ first American Hard Cider crafted from apples produced by Texas and Arkansas growers.  Out cider styles are dry and crisp, made with selected wild and traditional yeast strains and oaked to suit.  The results:  either Champagne style or crisp, still ciders suited for any occasion.

Argus Cidery has a tasting room in Austin TX open on Saturdays.

Price:  $18.50
Where Bought:  Full Throttle Bottles in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing

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First Impression:  Pale straw yellow hue.  Small bubbles and foam.  Smells sour, funky, dry, acidic, dry, and of citrus and floral.

Tasting Notes:  Dry.  Moderate sourness, acidity, and tartness.  Light funk.  A touch of bitterness.  Notes of citrus, floral, and vinegar.  Light bodied.  Light carbonation.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate apple influence.  Low sessionability.  I didn’t pick up any barrel aging influence.

My Opinion:  I’m not into sour ciders, so this cider didn’t appeal to me (guess I should have researched it a bit more first).  I found the sourness a bit overwhelming, covering up most of the other flavors.

Most Similar to:  Dry sour wild fermented ciders such as Dragon’s Head Wild Fermented, WildCraft Ciderworks Hard Cider, and Millstone Cellars Farmgate Dry.

Closing Notes:   I wasn’t a fan of this one, but if you like your cider on the dry, sour, and slightly funky side, you may enjoy it.

Have you tried Argus Perennial?  What did you think?