Posts tagged ‘apple cider’

Doc’s Draft Pumpkin Hard Apple Cider – Warwick Valley Wine Co.

Docs Draft copy

It’s fairly obvious to anyone with a taste for alcohol that the years of craft beer are in a new renaissance. Everywhere you turn, from the swankiest taprooms, to the lowliest dives, you’re going to be able to get your hands on at least a few solid alternatives to mass manufactured lagers. Something we’ve noticed in the last two years however, is among the beer ranks, there are plenty of fermented fruit options popping up as well. With ciders swelling in popularity, it’s not uncommon to find lists of flavor variations floating around, and pumpkin is fresh on the table to join its ranks. So if you just want some easy drinking along with your autumn offerings, here’s another option for your fridge.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Name:  Doc’s Draft Pumpkin Hard Apple Cider

Place of Origin / Brewer: Warwick, New York / Warwick Valley Wine Co.

Beer style / ABV%:  Pumpkin Hard Cider / 6.00%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  Doc’s Pumpkin Cider is pressed from New York state apples and fresh roasted pumpkins in the fermenter. It features champagne yeast and malic acid, and is spiced with cinnamon, allspice, fresh ginger, and nutmeg. It is naturally gluten free.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Packaging:

A simple yet classic design, this label has an old world appeal. Nice touch with the gold foil wrap, and the artwork makes it very apparent that this is a pumpkin cider. – Rick

With a very Revolutionary War-era vibe, this label reminds me of a hanging shingle outside a pub circa the late 18th century.  A quote from Thoreau rounds things out – adding a very classy air to this cider. – Tim

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Color:  6

Golden straw in the fall sunset. There’s a quick fizzy head and a ton of carbonation from the bottom of the glass, which is tinted eyeglasses clear. – Mike

Golden, almost like champagne in appearance. There are so many bubbles due to carbonation. The only inkling of haze is the condensation on the cold glass; this cider is super clear and glowing. – Brittney

M- 6.5 / T- 5.5 / B- 8 / R- 4

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Aroma:  6

An unexpected amount of pie spice on the nose with cinnamon as the dominate flavor profile – after that it’s all apples for as far as the eye can see—or rather—the nose can smell. – Tim

Cinnamon, ginger, and clove apper quite bold over a slight touch of fruity pumpkin, but mostly the glass gives an impression of baked cinnamon apples, rather than pumpkin pie. – Mike

M- 5.5 / T- 6 / B- 7 / R- 5.5

 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mouth feel:  5.5

Mellow apple and pumpkin flavoring washes over the tongue, and as expected there is a strong tart presence. Overall, this cider is clean, light bodied, and watery. – Rick

The carbonation is there visually but surprisingly not in the amount that you would expect in the mouth feel, obviously light bodied, no where near as syrupy as I would have expected. – Brittney

M- 4 / T- 5 / B- 7 / R- 6

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tasting notes:  6.5

This is not your European dry cider. It’s sour-sweet, with a one-two punch of cinnamon and clove. There is a bit of creaminess that I would suspect is contributed by he pumpkin, but a big spike of acid makes this more of a warm weather version of a mulled cider than a stomach warming pumpkin treat. – Mike

A touch dry on the initial sip with an explosion of pure apple juice that’s been spiked with a cinnamon swizzle stick, but immediate the sweetness kicks in and man it does not let up – reaching apple soda levels.  It’s far too much of a candy beverage for me – like those sparkling ciders that the parents would serve the kids table during Thanksgiving. – Tim

This is refreshing, it is first and foremost a hard apple cider (so keep that in mind you hearty dark beer drinkers) with notes of cinnamon and ginger and a touch of pumpkin gently found throughout. Tastes like an apple/ginger/pumpkin pie with great notes of brown sugar and butter. – Brittney

Nice tart red apples mixed with sweet pumpkin and spice balance well to make this a tasty imbibement. The pumpkin is just the right amount to compliment the pleasant apple flavor. The best aspect that I take from this brew is it’s pretty refreshing and light on the palate. – Rick

M- 5.5 / T- 5.5 / B- 7 / R- 7.5

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Finish:  5

The finish is basic mulled apple cider.  You tend to loose the nuances of specific flavors in a barrage of spices, but it’s that sort of finish that keeps you coming back to try and figure it out. – Brittney

It’s a little too much like juice for me, but the carbonation does help put a bit of a bite on the end. The body finishes nice and tart as expected from a cider, but that doesn’t keep it from being too cloying after each sip. – Rick

M- 3.5 / T- 5 / B- 5 / R- 5.5

 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Flavor balance:  5

         Pumpkin to Spice balance: 4.5

If it didn’t have a pumpkin on the label, I wouldn’t suspect it might be in there at all. The spice, however, you can smell three feet from the glass. – Mike

It’s almost unfair to scale this.  The spice is prominently cinnamon, touches of nutmeg and allspice are in there but there is no pumpkin to be had.  It’s more like pumpkin spiced apple pie – and about the same level of sweetness too. – Tim

M- 1 / T- 4.5 / B- 6 / R- 5.5

         Sweet / Dry balance: 4.5

This one is hit and miss for me. The sweetness fits the overall cider style, but I feel it’s too pronounced. However, there is a bit of dry apple on the finish, but it’s just not enough to reel in this sugary drink.- Rick

Given the champagne yeast, I would have thought this might sneak in a dry finish, but it proves to be tongue coating sugar sweet one the bubbles have faded. – Mike

M- 3 / T- 4 / B- 6 / R- 4

         Multiple Drinkability?  5.5

Very light and easy to drink and, for the most part, complex enough to keep you interested. – Brittney

If I wanted to substitute soda for alcohol then this would probably hit the mark. It’s definitely more of a summer drink, but with the fall flavor profile it actually seems schizophrenic at best. – Tim

M- 5 / T- 4.5 / B- 7 / R- 6.5

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Overall:  5.67

M- 4.67 / T- 5.25 / B- 6.75 / R- 5.67

Advertisements

Smoked Pumpkin Cider – Tieton Cider Works

smoked pumpkin cider copy

Today’s offering is nothing if not unique. It’s also a bit divisive across palates as well. Still,  for those with adventurous taste (and more than a little bit of a soft spot for bacon, and all things smoked), it’s hard to pass on this creative offering from Washington’s own Tieton Cider Works. And when you consider the third generation Yakima Valley / Washington State University Horticulturist credentials that come along with brewer’s Craig and Sharon Campbell share, it’s hard to suggest that they haven’t thought their creations thoroughly through.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Name:  Smoked Pumpkin Cider

Place of Origin / Brewer: Tieton, Washington / Tieton Cider Works

Beer style / ABV%:  Smoked Cider / 6.9%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  Made with organically grown dessert apples and American, English, and French cider varieties from Harmony Orchards, as well as  pumpkins from just up the road. The cider is then smoked over apple wood to add a unique quality of smoke and savory flavors. It is also naturally gluten-free.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Packaging:

If Panera Bread or Whole Foods branded a cider, this is what it would look like.  As much as I’m not really of fan of that particular aesthetic, it’s a look that works.  I will say that I do enjoy the conversational description and food pairing suggestions.  – Brittney

Very classic in design. It isn’t the most exciting label, but it does the trick and right away I know this is a smoked pumpkin cider. – Rick

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Color:  6

Cloudy orange with darker rust hues as you look down the glass. It reminds me very much of a mimosa. So I think it’s pretty safe to say this is legit unfiltered pumpkin juice and apple cider, not from concentrate. – Mike

As it should, this looks like a glass full of fresh pressed cider in all of its unfiltered glory.  It is golden yellow-orange in color and pretty opaque and thick looking. – Brittney

M- 8 / T- 6 / B- 7 / R- 3.5

 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Aroma:  5

A sour blast of apple cider vinegar is my first thought. Carrots, blended pumpkin, and squash fill out the bouquet which is quite pleasant. There is just a slight hint of a smoky earth note on the nose. – Rick

I’m greeted with the surprisingly pungent aroma of smoke and tart fresh apples, however there is a significant note of pure alcohol that unfortunately reminds me of a bottle of isopropyl. – Tim

M- 7.5 / T- 6.5 / B- 5 / R- 2

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mouth feel:  6

Creamy and nicely medium bodied. There is a good weight of fruit juice, but no syrupy bog to close your throat thanks to the acidic snap. – Mike

This is thick for cider as a beer style but not necessarily for apple cider, it may be the inclusion of pumpkin or just the way Tieton brews. I would love to be able to taste one of Tieton’s more classic options in order to compare how the inclusion of pumpkin has changed the body, if at all. – Brittney

M- 8 / T- 6 / B- 5 / R- 4

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tasting notes:  7

Porcine and spicy sweet. It kind of reminds me of eating all of my breakfast at once… Or Barbeque Pumpkin Pie. This one is in a category all of it’s own and it makes me crave country fixin’s in the Smoky Mountains. This is a nice treat for a nippy, post mealtime, dusk walk with a nice pipe of the legal variety. – Mike

This is a fantastically interesting beverage, it’s far removed from what I consider to be a hard cider, and more like a true fermented rustic apple cider.  The smoke from the apple wood, the tangy note from the tannins, and vegetal elements from the pumpkin blend in a way that I would expect if I picked this up in some Western Kentucky mountain town.  We talk a lot about “artisanal” products, but rarely do we discover one that truly feels hand made. – Tim

The combination of the pumpkin and apples isn’t really working for me.  The flavors are competing too intensely for either to become the dominant flavor. I will say the smoke isn’t entirely overwhelming but firmly present, which is difficult to accomplish, and admirable. Most options that tout themselves as smoked have very little room for any other flavors. – Brittney

It’s very juice like with a nice medium body and was sweeter than expected based on the vegetal qualities of the aroma. Beets, carrots, and apples round out the flavor with a body of pumpkin. – Rick

M- 8.5 / T- 8 / B- 5.5 / R- 5.5

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Finish:  6

It finishes pretty clean, with a few more alcohol trails than I would like.  A little pucker and a little smoke carries it for a few wispy seconds, then cleans your palate off like a fine wine.  It’s a very good finish for a cider, if they could keep the ABV in check a little bit more, I think that alcohol taste would disappear right into the background. – Tim

Surprisingly subtle. The success here is the simplicity. Smoke up front, pumpkin in the middle, and a crisp apple bite on the end. It’s a great contrast to an otherwise silky drink. – Mike

M- 8 / T- 7.5 / B- 5 / R- 5

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Flavor balance:  7

         Pumpkin to Spice balance: 7

The smoke is fairly traceable just on the finish and the nose, but I feel it could benefit from a little more. The pumpkin flavor is actually quite delicious once you get used to the vegetal nature of the flavor profile though. – Rick

From a cider standpoint, this bad boy is mostly apple.  But the pumpkin is in there and the smoke is deftly applied, allowing for the flavor components to dance with each other like witches around a solstice bonfire. – Tim

M- 8.5 / T- 8 / B- 6 / R- 5.5

         Sweet / Dry balance: 7

A nice sweet body is complimented well by a dry finish. Not too clingy and nor does it parch my mouth. – Rick

The sweetness on the body is wonderfully curtailed on the finish, where the dryness cleans the palate in the same manner as a great wine.  I really couldn’t ask for a more skilled blend. – Tim

M- 7.5 / T- 9 / B- 5 / R- 6

         Multiple Drinkability?  7

I love the idea. It’s thinking outside of the box that is keeping craft beer alive and interesting. It’s a glass of apple cider next to the bonfire after Thanksgiving dinner, but all at once is a little overwhelming for me. – Brittney

This is a remarkable and idiosyncratic concoction that just begs the mentality “You’ve got to try this”. It appeals to so many niches and breaks so many rules. It’s smoked, but not dominantly so; definitively pumpkin – sans spice; and very much a cider, but with international sensibilities. It’s damn good, and the craft stands up nicely to it’s own novelty. I’d happily have a few of these, if I didn’t feel I was denying others of the experience. – Mike

M- 8.5 / T- 8.5 / B- 5 / R- 6

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Overall:  6.16

M- 8.00 / T- 7.08 / B- 5.50 / R- 4.33