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Entries in Cider (17)

Tuesday
Aug242010

Wildfire Cider - Port Townsend Washington

Thursday
Aug192010

Cider Summit N.W. in Seattle on September 11 2010

Cider Summit N.W. Seattle Washington September 11th 2010(Seattle, WA)  August 16, 2010   The Northwest Cider Association, SBS Imports and the Seattle Beer Collective are pleased to announce the First Annual Cider Summit NW Saturday, September 11, 2010 at South Lake Union Discovery Center Park from 11a-7p presented by Whole Foods Market.  The event will feature the area's largest ever gathering of artisanal ciders and cider producers.

Perhaps a hybrid of beer festival and wine tasting, Cider Summit NW offers guests an opportunity to sample some 40 elegantly crafted ciders from producers in Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, England, and France.  The owners and cidermakers will be on hand to inform and guide guests through the samplings which will be available in 3-ounce and 6-ounce portions.  Each featured cider is made from 100% pressed apples (or pears) and is made without concentrates or other additives.

"We are very pleased to work with SBS and the Seattle Beer Collective on this event," noted Northwest Cider Association member Sharon Campbell.  "We expect this to be an incredible showcase of our efforts."

"I am thrilled that we have been able to assemble such a stellar collection of ciders for this event," added event co-founder Alan Shapiro of SBS Imports.  "With the vast majority of ciders available to taste at $2.00, it should be a great opportunity for attendees to sample many of the best ciders available in the United States if not the world."

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 (cash only) at the door and are available online via Brown Paper tickets and at the area's leading bottle shops. Admission includes a tasting glass and 10 drink tickets.  From 11a-12n arriving guests will receive 2 additional "happy hour" tickets.  SLU cardholders and WABL members will receive 2 additional drink tickets at any time (offers may not be combined).  Additional drink tickets will be available for sale onsite at $2 per ticket.  The event is 21 and over only. Dogs will be allowed on event grounds.  For more information including a list of participating ciders please visit www.cidersummitnw.com.

Cider Summit NW benefits The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research (www.imbcr.org).  IMBCR is one of the world's leading independent research organizations developing effective therapies to increase the quality of life and longevity of myeloma patients.  Cider Summit NW is presented by Whole Foods Markets with supporting sponsors Northwest Cider Association, Vulcan Properties, Seattle Weekly and Click Wholesale.


Saturday
Aug142010

Michigan Ciders

 Tandem Ciders, Suttons Bay, Michigan. Courtesy of "Life is Fare"

Below you'll find an excerpt to a cider related blog post from "Life Is Fare - One woman's approach to living life to the fullest by eating happy food". I received the link for this story in my comments from the author. Needless to say I was very jealous. I've always wanted to make it out to Michigan and check out the cider scene. I'm in contact and email with a few folks out there and have found their ciders to be real good too.

Michigan is also home to the "Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association" who organizes and hosts the only International competition that is exclusively for Cider and Perry. They are also hosting the upcoming 3rd Annual Great Lakes Cider & Perry Festival to be held Sept 11-12 Uncle John's Cider Mill (one of Michigan's premier cider makers) at 8614 N US 127, St. Johns, MI. Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.michiganvine.com/tickets/

So read the excerpt and click on over to read the rest of the post as the author tours and tastes ciders from Michigan's own Tandem Ciders, Good Neighbor Organic Vineyard & Winery and Douglas Valley Organic Vineyards.

I gotta mention all three cider makers and many more Michigan cideries can be found on my North American Cider Map too... Go find and drink cider in Michigan!


 

On a Mission for Hard Cider


I’ve been drinking hard cider ever since I lived in London two decades ago. After that, I lived for a short time in Brattleboro, Vermont, where I was happy to find hard cider on tap at a place called Three Dollar Dewey’s. Ever since, I’ve had a taste for it, especially in the fall. Now, Michigan is my destination for hard cider. Nothing beats buying your happy hour drink from a local producer! Read more here...

Thanks for the comments and link Marcia! Much appreciated.

Tuesday
Aug102010

Sea Cider - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - Rumrunner 2007



Sea Cider's Gorgeous Cider Production and Tasting BuildingAh Sea Cider... My first and only visit to Sea Cider so far was during the cidery tour of Vancouver Island we took during Peter Mitchell's 2008 Cider Class in Mount Vernon, WA. Their organic heirloom and cider apple orchard, the old English style farmhouse tasting room and cider house built new, the gorgeous view from the property looking down towards Washington's San Juan Islands. It is all very picturesque. Perfect I might say. Besides all that they make a really great cider too. Their whole line is robust and very flavorful.

When I visiting they were sold clean out of this very cider in the tasting room. We were informed that some was still lingering around at various beer and wine shops on Vancouver Island and mainland British Colombia. This bottle came to me nearly a year after my visit and for close to another year we have been sitting on this same bottle waiting for a great opportunity to taste, take notes and enjoy.

If you care to look I've got a number of pictures of Sea Cider's facility up in my Flickr account.

Sea Cider Rumrunner '07 Vintage


Somewhere along the way I guess I had forgotten this was a 14.2% cider. Considering ciders naturally ferment out to around 5-8% this is a mighty strong cider indeed. I don't recall them telling us how they reached that percentage nor does their website say, but for me it is hard to imagine the used Rum Barrel they age this cider in contributed 6-7% alcohol. Mysterious.

Sea Cider Rumrunner 2007 VintageThe Rumrunner '07 cider was a rich gold with a slight amber hue, fairly bright. The clarity was clear but not brilliant, but it was a couple years old mind you and had survived a car ride out to the ocean earlier that day. It was a nicely carbonated cider. An almost perfect level of bubble sensation and flavor accessibility.

Rumrunner's aroma was remarkably intense, warm, dark, very cidery and of a high quality; demonstrating it's woodiness combined with spicy notes of Rum (go figure), dried cherry, and apple of all things.

Sea Cider's Rumrunner has the same intensity in flavor as it does in it's aroma. Very intense, yet at the same time very balanced. We found to be sweet but not too sweet for the blend, it had a nice acidic edge that was just enough, letting Rumrunner's sweetness play the lead. However this cider had a terrific bitterness from the apple phenolics (tannins) and surely from the used oak rum barrels. The Rumrunner starts off surprisingly hot but assuredly and quickly melts away and shows a true earthiness and spice with accompanying flavors of raisin, rum (mysterious I know), leather, toffee, and even hints of clove in the finish.

Rumrunner '07 was complex, unique, and unlike any other cider I've had before. I'm not a light weight but I have to admit this cider is a scorcher has a serious kick. More like a port or dessert wine in strength and flavor intensity. At 14.25% it is also not for the faint of heart. You feel the warmth let's say. Perfect for fireside sipping on a cold Winter's night... Only if you don't have anywhere else to go for the evening.

Mouthfeel was just as pleasant as the rest. A slight astringency, moderate body and length and again off the charts in the balance department. A well blended friendly monster of a cider.

We thought a smaller bottle would have offered a different presentation more in line with ports and dessert wines, That undoubtedly would have changed our preconceived notions of what this cider would be like. Would I drink it again? Surely. It was not a taste you often experience in cider. So chock-full of flavor. I look forward to it but will be waiting for that cold Winter night, the fireplace, and nowhere else to go.

Wednesday
Jun092010

Farnum Hill Cider ~ Kingston Black Reserve '07 Single Variety Still Cider 

Farnum Hill Kingston Black in the bright sunshine. Farnum Hill Kingston Black in the bright sunshine.Since last Fall I have been anxiously awaiting the perfect occasion to crack open this very special bottle of cider sent to me by my buddy Al. Thanks Al! Waiting patiently all the while eying the calendar. Cider reaches an early peak when compared to wines and should generally be enjoyed young. I thought Heather and my recent 5 year anniversary and trip to the beach about met the needs of the special occasion requirement so we brought packed it up and brought it on with us to the beach to taste.

You just don't run across single variety in these parts. I personally hope that changes. West County Ciders in Colrain Massachusetts has an astonishing line up of 10 single varietal ciders from both heirloom and cider apple varieties listed on their website. Including their own Kingston Black.



Kingston Black Cider Apple Kingston Black Cider AppleAlthough debated, the Kingston Black variety of "cider" apple is touted to be THE CIDER APPLE. The one with the most balanced flavors and substantial complexity, it has what most consider to be a perfectly balanced trifecta of sweetness, acidity, and tannin characteristics. It has acceptable sugar levels for adequately strong cider. The Kingston Black is a popular choice in nearly any cider orchard and a favored selection for making a single varietal cider. Is it the most popular single varietal cider? I couldn't say but I would suspect it is or among the top 2 or 3.

If you read this blog at all you'll soon find out that I think Farnum Hill Cider is at the top of the North American Cider list. At one time it was available to me in Oregon, sadly Farnum Hill is no longer available to us here on the Left Coast. Some of us are holding out hope that one day they will return.

 

Farnum Hill Kingston Black Reserve 2007
Farnum Hill Cider ~ Kingston Black Reserve '07 Single Variety Still Cider Farnum Hill Cider ~ Kingston Black Reserve '07 Single Variety Still Cider

I was a little surprised by the color of this cider, and believe me I've been wondering what it was going to look like and what color it would be. I thought we would see a bit of gold or amber in the glass. What we got was a pure, bright, light gold/pale straw color. The clarity was very clear, bordering brilliant. The Farnum Hill Kingston Black is still cider but we did observe tiny micro-bubble effervescence. I can't say it was detectable in the mouthfeel so maybe just a byproduct of pouring or the drive to the beach. Overall impression of appearance was "Very Good".

Aroma was fairly intense and of an exceptional quality. Direct, fresh, very clean, bright and refreshing. Started with a nose of apricot and dried apricot transitioning to honey and floral notes of jasmine and honeysuckle. I find well made ciders to be entrancing sometimes. You close your eyes, breathe in deep, and don't ever want the sensation of that bouquet to disappear.

Farnum Hill Ciders are generally speaking from my experience very punchy and in your face. Strong acidity. The single varietal Kingston Black was much more subdued, lighter, and more delicate than I presumed. Impressive and delicious none the less. We got flavors of lemon, lemon verbena, fresh herb, basil, lime, green apple. We detected a very Perry-like fresh cucumber quality.  Sweetness was certainly light to slight but detectable and yup it did have some of that characteristic Farnum Hill acidity too. Like the color and the aroma, the flavor was also very clean, refreshing, and crisp. While tannins were present, they weren't overwhelming. Middle of the road I'd say but fitting for this cider and about par with most of the fresh Kingston Blacks I've ever tasted.

The mouthfeel and body was still, medium to light bodied, very balanced with moderate astringency and medium length. As stellar as the rest of course. Completely in sync with the whole of this cider. 'nough said.

Overall we deemed it was a "Very Good Plus". Unoffensive, approachable, friendly cider with tons of character if you take the time to hear it out. The kind of delicate cider to be savored, sipped slowly from a fine wine glass. It may not be for everyone but everyone should buy it and try it. Stands up to and is a great counterpart to dry salami, prosciutto or charcuterie of nearly any kind I imagine. Sharp cheeses as with most ciders are a plus too.

Check back soon. I have a ton more ciders out in my "cider fridge" waiting to be looked at, sniffed, tasted, over analyzed and written about. During this same trip we also tasted the aptly named Rumrunner (oddly enough from 2007 too) from Sea Cider on Vancouver Island of Canada's West Coast which need written about. We have some Uncle John's Fruit House Winery Ciders that were sent to me some time ago that I'm anxious to write about. I also received a generous sample pack from Diane at Foggy Ridge Cider that needs serious attention.