Review of Woodbox’s Double Barrel Ice Cider. I first tried this at Cider Rite of Spring (see here), but this time I am doing a full review of a bottle. By the way, ice cider is made by using freezing temperatures to naturally concentrate the flavor and sugar content in apple juice before fermenting it.
Cider: Double Barrel Ice Cider
Cidery Location: Portland Oregon
How Supplied: 375ml bottles
Style: American craft ice cider, whiskey barrel aged
Availability: In general their ciders are sold in parts of Oregon and Washington (see here), but this may be more limited.
Cider Description: Layers of sweet and tart, bourbon and vanilla with hints of oak and dark caramel, this cider is meant for sipping. Cryoconcentrated to four times its normal strength, the juice is fermented then aged in whiskey barrels for six months giving it an irresistible bourbon kick, with alluring aromatics and a long warming finish.
Cidery Description: Woodbox Cider was started [in 2015] by the Thierfelder brothers and their mother, Mama Gibson. We’re a family owned and operated boutique cidery. We source all our apples locally, from our home state of Oregon and production happens in Portland’s very own Northeast quadrant. We’re pretty stoked to present you with several, signature cider blends that are becoming famous for their unapologetically bone dry flavor profiles.
Where Bought: Cider Rite of Spring in Portland Oregon (2017)
Where Drank: home
How Found: tasting at the event
First Impression: Medium caramel amber hue. Still. Smells of sweet caramelized baked apple, spice, whiskey, and oak.
Tasting Notes: Semi-dry to semi-sweet. Full bodied. Moderate tartness and acidity. Low bitterness and tannins. No sourness or funk. Notes of caramel, baked apple, spice, whiskey, oak, leather, and orange. Long finish. Moderate apple flavor. High flavor intensity and complexity. Low sessionability.
My Opinion: I enjoyed it. However, I remember liking it more at the event. That always seems to happen to me when trying a cider for a second time, even at home when I haven’t had other ciders first (its especially common when I buy a single bottle and like it, then pick up a six pack and am not as impressed). This time around it was a bit more dry and tart than I remembered. However, it is still a really tasty dessert cider, an excellent value, and impressive for their first ice cider release. This is significantly drier than most other ice ciders, so I imagine it may appeal to folks who typically find ice ciders too sweet.
Most Similar to: Eden Specialty Ciders’ Brandy Barrel Aged Heirloom and Northern Spy ice ciders (which I prefer; however, both cost almost twice as much and are much sweeter)
Closing Notes: Its great to see a local ish producer making ice cider, as it is still relatively rare in the cider world, and as far as I know, has only been made in the U.S. for about a decade.
Have you tried ice cider? What did you think?