Review of Moonlight Meadery’s Thirteen 5. This appears to be their ‘How Do You Like Them Apples’ with a new name, plus apparently it is now aged in new oak instead of whiskey barrels. I assume Thirteen 5 refers to this being 13.5% ABV. The name change is likely to differentiate it from their ‘How Do You Like Them Little Apples’, which is a lower ABV cider (instead of a higher ABV cyser like this).
I have previously tried How Do You Like Them Apples (canned), How Do You Like Them Little Apples (canned), and How Do You Like Them Little Apples (draft). I’ve also tried a few other beverages from Moonlight Meadery: Boys N Berries, Last Apple, and Crimes of Passion
Cider: Thirteen 5
Cidery: Moonlight Meadery
Cidery Location: Londonderry NH
How Supplied: 12oz cans
Style: American craft cyser (made from apple juice & honey), with brown sugar, barrel aged
Availability: Semi wide release, in the U.S., since January 2018. In general Moonlight products are available in at least AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TX, VA, VT, WA, WA D.C., and WI, and Australia, China, and Japan. They also have an online store.
Cider Description: A New England Hard Cider, made from freshly pressed apple cider with a bit of natural sugar used to help reach the impressive strength, then we let it age in hand made American Foeders.
Cidery Description: We are a world class meadery and cidery from Londonderry, New Hampshire that specializes in meads, the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage made from honey, as well as hard ciders. The diversity of our offerings often leave people speechless, while the flavors have them asking for it from their local retailers. Stop by and try the oldest fermented beverage to find out why “History never tasted so good”™.
They have been around since May 2010 and have a tasting room in Londonderry NH.
Price: ~$6 / single can
Where Bought: Schilling Cider House in Seattle WA
Where Drank: home
How Found: browsing; I was curious if this was a new or renamed product, and if they had fixed a previous issue I’ve noticed with their canned ciders turning sour/vinegary over time
First Impression: Medium amber hue. Still (no carbonation). Smells rich and apple & honey forward.
Tasting Notes: Semi-sweet. Medium bodied. Low tartness, acidity, and tannins. No bitterness or funk. Hints of sourness, especially on the finish. Notes of concentrated apple, honey, orange, oak, caramel, and brown sugar. Moderate length finish, which is also the only time when the high ABV is noticeable. Low oak/barrel influence. Moderate to high apple and honey flavor. Low sessionability. High flavor intensity. Moderate complexity.
My Opinion: At first I liked it. However, same as I had experienced with previous canned batches of their ciders, with the finish, there were hints of sourness and vinegar. So, it appears the issue hasn’t been fixed. The longer these sit around, the worse they get (this batch said Dec 2017). Unfortunately this makes it quite unlikely I’ll want to try any cans from them again, as now this is three different batches in a row spread out over time with apparently the same defect.
Most Similar to: Ice cider and Moonlight Meadery Last Apple (although that one had more honey than apple flavor, in contrast to this one), which are both high ABV, sweet, and have concentrated rich flavor notes.
Have you tried Moonlight Meadery Thirteen 5? What did you think?