Art+Science Symbiosis

Review of Art+Science Symbiosis cider, 50% apple + 50% grape.  It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.

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Cider:  Symbiosis, 2015
Cidery:  Art+Science
Cidery Location:  Sheridan OR
ABV:  10.8%
How Supplied:  750ml crown capped bottle with attached flip top
Ingredients:  50% foraged apple + 50% Grüner Veltliner white grape
Style:  American craft apple & grape wine, wild yeast fermented, ancestral method, white wine barrel aged for 10 months, secondary fermentation in bottle

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Availability:  Oregon (especially Portland), California, Washington, New Orleans LA, and New York NY, plus online sales

Cider Description:  Symbiosis: any type of a close and long-term biological interaction between two different species, be it mutualistic, commensalistic, or parasitic. Symbiosis is made from foraged apples in the Willamette Valley and Grüner Veltliner grown at Johan Vineyards in the Willamette Valley. Grüner Veltliner is the most widely planted white grape in Austria. The apples are milled and pressed and the apple juice is added to the destemmed and crushed Grüner Veltliner. It is 50% apples and 50% white grapes and is naturally fermented with native yeast on the skins of the gruner for 3 weeks then aged in used white wine barrels for 10 months. Then it is re-sweetened and put in bottle to finish a secondary fermentation to add some carbonation. This beverage is made with no added acid, no forced carbonation and no pasteurization. It is the most vinous cider we produce with great mid pallet weight. Take a sip and take a breath of fresh air….. 

Cidery Description:  Welcome to Art+Science! We are natural cider, perry, and wine producers using primarily foraged fruit & fermenting with indigenous yeast in rural Yamhill County, Oregon. We are working towards building a tasting room in 2018, but we welcome visitors by appointment to drink at our kitchen table with us!

They are associated with Roshamboart Farm and started commercially making wine in 2011 and cider in 2013.

Price:  $12.99 (looks like I got a good deal, as the online price is $28)
Where Bought:  K&L Wines in San Francisco CA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing, while we were in port during a cruise

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First Impression:  Moderate hazy yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells of citrus, vinegar, and yeast.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low sourness, tannins, bitterness, and funk.  Notes of grapefruit, lemon, honey, yeast, white grape, vinegar, oak, must, and cork.  Long warming sour finish.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Low apple & grape flavor, barrel influence, and sessionability.  Moderate to high complexity.

My Opinion:  I was ambivalent about this cider.  I didn’t dislike it, but I wouldn’t choose it again.  It was definitely nice to try though, and very unique, wine-like.  A lot of effort obviously went into producing it.  I would recommend this cider for folks who enjoy a more rustic farmhouse-style cider and/or Spanish Sidra.  Note that this was the front of the palate sourness, not as brash (to me at least) as Sidra, but did have a bit of that vinegar type flavor.

Most Similar to:  The only white grape cider I think I’ve had is 2 Towns Cidre Moscato (with Muscat grapes), but I’m not sure that was co-fermented, and it was a completely different style.  However, the rustic (wild fermented) style of this cider reminded me of Runcible Cider Light of the Moon, Alpenfire Pirate’s Plank, Angry Orchard Walden Hollow, and Wrangletown Cider Co.’s lineup.  The other ciders I’ve had with a white grape flavor were sweeter & fruity, which this cider was not.

Closing Notes:  At the same shop I also picked up a bottle of Art+Science’s 100% Quince cider (although in that case it would just be fruit wine).  Their website says they are distributed in WA, and I was told it was through ‘Walden’, but I don’t think I’ve spotted anything made by them yet.

Have you tried Art+Science Symbiosis?  What did you think?

Angry Orchard Walden Hollow

Review of Angry Orchard’s newest Ciderhouse Collection selection, Walden Hollow, named for their cidery headquarters and orchard in Walden New York.  It is made exclusively from apples grown in New York state, including some from Angry Orchard’s own 60 acre orchard.  I’ve previously tried a number of ciders from them; see here.

>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Angry Orchard.  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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Cider:  Walden Hollow
Cidery:  Angry Orchard
Cidery Location:  Cincinnati OH
ABV:  8.0%
How Supplied:  750ml corked bottles
Style:  American commercial cider made from New York state dessert & heirloom apple varieties, wild yeast fermentation

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Availability:  year round, wide release, limited availability, with plans to release a new batch each Spring

Cider Description:  Walden Hollow is an annual vintage cider made with our cider maker’s choice of heirloom New York state apples varieties, including apples from the Angry Orchard in Walden, NY. The 2016 edition is a mildly tannic, off dry cider with intense apple aroma and notes of butterscotch and almond. The cider makers wanted to capture the essence of wild fermentation, but without the funkiness or sour qualities sometimes associated with the process.

With Walden Hollow, Angry Orchard’s cider makers fermented the cider with wild yeast to evoke earthy, farmhouse qualities that complement the cider’s clean finish.  This cider has a bright aroma of fresh peeled apple skins, a rich full body, medium sweetness in taste with tartness characteristic of New York State.

Their Ciderhouse Collection also includes Iceman, The Muse, and Strawman.

Apple Varieties: Rome, Jonathan, Macintosh, Rhode Island Greening, Golden Russet, Newtown Pippin, and Northern Spy

Interestingly enough the press release they sent only mentioned the heirloom apple varieties (“apple varieties include…”), but their website also listed the dessert apple varieties.

Price:  n/a (retails for $14.99-$17.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Bright medium straw yellow.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells sour, of citrus, honey, and floral.

Tasting Notes:  Dry to semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Mild sourness, funk, bitterness, and tannins.  Moderate to high tartness and acidity.  Mouth-puckering sourness and tartness, but the sourness is only at the front of the palate, not the back like a true sour cider (farmhouse-style or Sidra).  Notes of lemon, grapefruit, honey, vinegar, hay, floral, and mineral.  Moderate length finish.  Low to moderate apple flavor.  Low sessionability.

My Opinion:  I don’t really appreciate this style of cider (sourness and funk isn’t my cup of tea), but those who like this style will probably enjoy it.

Most Similar to:  This seems to be a less intense (less sour) version of traditional farmhouse-style cider (like from Millstone Cellars) or Spanish Sidra.

Closing Notes:   I’m glad I got to try this cider.  Angry Orchard really branched out with it…I’m curious how it will be received by their typical customers.

Have you tried Angry Orchard Walden Hollow?  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?

Dragon’s Head Wild Fermented

Review of Dragon’s Head Wild Fermented cider.  A wild fermented (wild yeast) cider uses the yeast naturally present on the apples and in the environment, in contrast to most ciders which destroy any natural yeast and add their own known strain.  A wild fermented cider is typically more unpredictable and difficult to make than typical ciders.  I’ve also tried Dragon’s Head Traditional cider, and also have a bottle of their Kingston Black cider in my collection.

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Cider:  Wild Fermented
Cidery:  Dragon’s Head
Cidery Location:  Vashon Island WA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  750ml bottle

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Availability:  Year round in WA and OR.  See their list of locations.

Cider Description:  This is the Dragon’s Head Cider version of a farmhouse cider. Rather than carefully selecting a yeast strain for the fermentation, we allowed the wild yeast present on the skin of the apples to ferment the cider. It’s a bit of a fun gamble, but one we believe is worth taking.

Cidery Description:  From apple to bottle, all right here on our farm.  At Dragon’s Head Cider, we take a traditional approach to cider making. Our focus is on the apple varieties that we use and the quality of the fruit. We love the story that apples alone can tell through cider, altering the flavor by changing the blend of apple varieties that we carefully select. The process is simple and the ingredients list is short. Perhaps we’re a little old fashioned.

Dragon’s Head has a tasting room.

Price:  ~$15
Where Bought:  Schilling Cider House in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing

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First Impression:  Slightly hazy pale straw yellow.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells of sour citrus, acidity, funk, yeast, and honey.

Opinion:  I perceived it as completely dry, but it has 7 grams  of sugar per liter. Moderate tartness and acidity.  Mild sourness and funk.  No bitterness.  Moderate length finish.  Light bodied and crisp.  Honey, citrus, pear, oak, yeast, earthy, and slightly herbal & floral notes.  The flavors remain rather mild yet complex.  Best enjoyed chilled.

Most Similar to:  Wild fermented ciders, Sidra, sour ciders, Farmhouse-style ciders, etc.  This very much reminded me of WildCraft ciders, especially the Pioneer Perry for some reason, probably as I had this the day after trying the Pioneer Perry.

Closing Notes:   I wasn’t really a fan.  Since buying this I’ve found that I’m not a fan of ciders of this style, so knowing what I now know, I wouldn’t have bought it.  Its still always nice to try new ciders though, and I was able to share it with a friend who liked it a bit more than I did.  I’d suggest this for folks who don’t mind this style of cider–dry, sour, and funky.  Its definitely unique and well-crafted.

Have you tried any ciders from Dragon’s Head?  What did you think?