Review of Finnriver Seasonal Botanical Series Lavender Black Currant. I’ve had this at least a few times, but hadn’t done a full review of a bottle. I’ve also tried the majority of their other ciders; see here. They have new labels, which I think look really neat, more high end and sophisticated.
Cider: Lavender Black Currant
Cidery Location: Chimacum WA (outside of Port Townsend)
How Supplied: 500ml bottles (and draft)
Style: American Organic craft cider from dessert apples, with black currant and lavender
Availability: summer seasonal, sold in AZ, CA, CO, IL, MT, NV, NY, OR, TX, WA, and WI in the U.S., plus Alberta and British Columbia Canada (plus online sales, plus they have a plain Black Currant sold year round for $1-2 less)
Cider Description: Farmcrafted in our Chimacum barn with a select blend of Washington organic apples, organic black currant juice, organic lavender flowers from Olympic Peninsula farms (Jardin du Soleil, Wilderbee, and Purple Haze), and organic cane sugar.
Cidery Description: At Finnriver we ferment out dreams and pour our hearts into each bottle. Our Botanical Ciders are rooted in ancient wisdom, inspired by the seasons and crafted with a spirit of adventure! This bottle is an invitation to discover the possibilities of the apple and the earthly abundance of the farmed fields and wild meadows of the Olympic Peninsula. We are glad to share the beauty and county of the land!
Check out their website for more info. They have a tasting room on their farm+orchard outside of Port Townsend WA which is a family friendly destination, with food, games, and more. If you are heading to Port Townsend, also check out Alpenfire and Eaglemount, and I highly recommend staying at the Inn at the Resort at Port Ludlow (check out my review here, which also links to my reviews of all 3 Port Townsend area cideries).
Where Bought: Whole Foods
Where Drank: home
How Found: I first tried this on draft at Schilling Cider House
First Impression: Deep purple-red hue. Low carbonation. Smells rich, fruity, and of lavender.
Tasting Notes: Semi-dry to semi-sweet. Light bodied. Moderate to high tartness and acidity. Hints of bitterness and tannins. No sourness or funk. Notes of grape, pomegranate, and blueberry (all three of which I imagine are the black currant flavor – I actually have never tried currants outside of cider so couldn’t really identify their flavor), plus hints of lavender especially on the finish. Moderate length finish. Low apple flavor. Moderate to high flavor intensity and sessionability. Low to moderate complexity.
My Opinion: I really enjoy this one. I usually don’t go for something this tart, but the sweetness helps balance that. It has some complexity beyond what you’d typically see for a flavored cider from dessert apples. Its also pretty neat that they can make Organic cider from local ingredients for only $10 / bottle (even less on draft).
Most Similar to: their plain Black Currant cider, except with lavender
Closing Notes: This is my favorite cider from Finnriver’s regular lineup. My other favorites are Fire Barrel (especially the previous recipe – I wasn’t nearly as big of a fan of the latest release), Farmstead, Oak & Apple, and Honey Meadow. Both this and their regular year-round Black Currant are even better on Nitro draft, tasting crazy smooth.
Have you tried any of Finnriver’s botanical ciders? What did you think?