Tieton Bourbon Peach

Review of Tieton Bourbon Peach.  I tried this on draft 2 years ago (see here), and heard last year that it came out in bottles but never saw it.  Now that I found it this year, I wanted to do a full review.  I’ve also had their Cidermaker’s Reserve, Apricot, Smoked Pumpkin, Wind (Pommeau), Wild Washington, Cherry, Blossom Nectar, Sparkling PerryCranberryFrost (ice cider), Spice RouteRussian Red, and Lavender Honey.

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Cider:  Bourbon Peach
Cidery:  Tieton Cider Works
Cidery Location:  Yakima WA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles (and draft)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with peach, bourbon barrel aged

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Availability:  summer seasonal, since 2016, sold in Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada

Cider Description:  Juice from hand-picked Washington State peaches is married with the richness of Kentucky bourbon barrels. This creates the perfect balance of sweet, ripe peaches and tartness of green apples. The charred oak of bourbon barrels gives this cider a deep vanilla and plum character. A touch of oak tannin finishes this cider off perfectly. Our love of what Northwest farmers have to offer has led us to create this “Limited Release” program. Featuring the bounty of our local agriculture, Tieton Cider Works’ Limited Releases will focus on some of the very best products the Northwest has to offer. Bourbon Peach is the perfect summertime libation with a refreshing blend of juicy peaches with and aged bourbon barrel flavors.

Cidery Description:  From branch to bottle, Tieton Cider Works controls every aspect of the growing and cidermaking process. Tieton Cider Works boasts the largest orchard of cider varieties in Washington state and the largest Perry pear orchard in the United States. We blend our gnarly, inedible cider fruit with our organically grown dessert fruit. We’ve been growing apples, apricots, cherries and pears on Harmony Orchards – our family farm – since the 1930’s and are thrilled to be involved in Re:interpreting the tradition of cider making.

Price:  $7.99
Where Bought:  a weird bottle shop / bar inside a mini mart in Lynnwood WA called Stogies N Hops (we won’t be going back as it stank horribly of cigarette/cigar smoke and had a weird vibe)
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I first tried it on draft 2 years ago

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, of peach.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Hints of tannins.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Notes of peach with some other fruit (pineapple, mango, pear) and oak.  Moderate length finish with mild bourbon.  Moderate sessionability.  Low apple flavor, barrel influence, and bourbon influence.  Moderate complexity and flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  Awesome!  I love the flavor profile, and it has a nice complexity for being made from dessert apples.  This is exactly the type of cider that I go for when drinking non-cider-apple ciders – full flavored and semi-sweet to semi-dry.  If anything though I would have liked more bourbon.  I’m really glad they went a bit sweeter on this, as I think many barrel aged ciders often go too dry, which combined with the barrel & spirit influence can come across as harsh.

Most Similar to:  I’ve had a number of peach ciders, such as Black Fin Pacific Peach, Red Branch Peach, Schilling Road Trip (Peach Citra), Sancho Libre Peach Sangria, Fox Tail Fuzzy Haven, and Mission Trail Peach Coast (100% peach, so fruit wine not cider).  This reminds me most of the Schilling Road Trip, except it has bourbon instead of hops.  Most of the others were drier and more tart.

Closing Notes:  The price point on this is great too, for what you are getting (I checked Total Wine’s website and found out they just got it in stock, and sell it $1 cheaper, for $6.99).  I think this would do well in cans, but I think Tieton only does that for their ‘Rambling Route’ line (which I’m not a huge fan of, although its plenty drinkable).

Have you tried Tieton Bourbon Peach?  What did you think?

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Rambling Route Yakima Cider

Review of Rambling Route Yakima Cider, made by Tieton Cider Works.  This is their lower end canned cider (vs. their bottled ciders).

Cider:  Yakima Cider
Cidery:  Rambling Route (Tieton Cider Works)
Cidery Location:  Yakima WA
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  16oz tallboy can (four pack)

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Availability:  Semi-wide (19/50 states), year round

Cider Description:  The apple’s journey to America was parallel to man’s. The boat landed and the exploration began: in this vast new land the choices for thriving were endless. Some were happy to live on the coast where they landed, spreading out and staying diverse. Others were content to live amongst a few or be a solo tree in a town square. A few made it halfway across the land and settled in. The fearless joined the westward migration on horses and wagons, traveling thousands of miles looking for the perfect dirt, long sunny days and ample water. When it reached the land that would be called Washington, the apple knew. It was home at the end of a Rambling Route.

For those that appreciate the bold, crisp flavor of biting into a Washington grown apple, your quest for the perfect apple cider ends with Rambling Route. We grow and press only fresh apples from our family farm and carefully blend under the roof of our own cidery located in the heart of the Yakima Valley. Expect pineapple aromas and mineral qualities on the nose, snappy and racy acid levels on the palate, coupled by a deep full-bodied finish. No additives, no concentrates, or preservatives – ever!

Additional Info from Rambling Route:  We use a variety of bitter sharp and bitter sweets apples in our Ciders.  Along with some dessert varietals.  We launched our can division on April 1st which is the Rambling Route brand.  We will be launching Rambling Route in early 2016 with kegs.

Price:  ~$2.50 for a single can (runs $8-9 for a four pack in my area)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  Since then, I’ve seen it promoted quite a bit.

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First Impression:  Mild dry acidic crisp apple scent.  Little carbonation upon pouring, but tiny bubbles.  Light straw gold hue.

Opinion:  On the drier side of semi-dry.  Moderate to high acidity.  Mild tartness, bitterness, and astringency.  Citrus notes.  I noticed the slightest bit of tannic cider apple taste, but it left me wanting more.  Rather bland and watered down tasting.  Light bodied.  Longer finish with an odd almost soapy aftertaste (which I read can be a sign of stressed yeast).  I liked that it wasn’t too bitter, which I’ve often found with drier ciders.  I don’t agree with their description that it is bold or full-bodied.  It is however a crisp and easy drinking cider.  Well balanced, but I found it boring and unimpressive.

Most Similar to:  Other drier light bodied PNW flagship ciders such as HUB Hard Cider, Red Tank Happy Cider, 2 Towns Bright Cider, Seattle Cider Semi-Sweet, and Anthem Cider.

Closing Notes:   I commend Tieton for making an affordable craft cider (relatively small batch, made from fresh pressed juice, nothing artificial added, etc), and one that isn’t too sweet either.  However, it just isn’t to my liking.  I think if it was higher carbonation and had a richer flavor, they would be on to something I’d enjoy.  I’m still in search for an everyday drinking craft cider which is affordable (which usually means it comes in a multi-pack).  The cider folks I’ve talked to seem to either love or hate this cider.  I’m sorta ambivalent.

Have you tried Rambling Route Yakima Cider?  What did you think?