Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Cider Review: Portland Cider Company Pineapple and Two Towns Ciderhouse Pacific Pineapple

Dear cider lovers, it has been a busy month! Cider Con and the Gathering of the New York Farm Cideries are both big events in my world. I'm so glad that a month as gray as February has these things to enjoy within it. But, I am glad to return to my more usual reviews. One things I like especially about doing my event write ups is getting to include at least mini-tasting notes on multiple different ciders. I want to continue that pattern today with a double review of pineapple ciders.

Lots of companies make pineapple ciders, sometimes with additional flavors or with a varying amount of pineapple inclusion. They can be a divisive beverage, because some folks never want a tropical fruit in their ciders while other people would drink pineapple cider all the time. I fall somewhere in the middle, but I do love pineapple on my pizza. Deal with it. Today's review includes Portland Cider Company's Pineapple and Two Towns Ciderhouse's Pacific Pineapple.

Full disclosure: both of these ciders were shared with me as samples for review.

First, a little background about each of the cider companies.

Portland Cider Company

This cider company claims inspiration from England's cidermaking tradition and yet at least one foot in the modern world of experimental craft cidermaking. Lynda and Jeff Parrish have been running Portland Cider Company since 2012.

And you can visit them online: https://www.portlandcider.com/

I have one previous review the Kinda Dry by Portland Cider Company: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/05/cider-review-portland-cider-company.html

Their pineapple cider is just called Pineapple, and its official description reads, “Like a sun filled day cruising down the Valley Isle, our pineapple cider brings a tropical oasis to your mouth. Sweetened with fresh pressed pineapple juice, this seasonal cider might as well come with a little paper umbrella. ABV 6%”

They include a little production information online as well, “We use whole pineapples that we fresh squeeze in the back of our cidery, added to our cider after fermentation to reach the perfect balance of sweetness. There are no artificial flavorings or concentrates used here, keeping the flavor of the pineapple delicate and delicious.”

Appearance: bright jeweler's brass, brilliant, bubbly

This cider reminds me of jeweler's brass in its bright golden shade of yellow. This is a brilliant cider with lots of visible bubbles.

Aromas: pineapple, tropical flowers, stone

This smells extremely fresh and fruity. It doesn't offer a lot of apple characteristics, but the pineapple sure smells tasty.

Sweetness/dryness: Semi-sweet

This cider tastes semi-sweet, packed to the gills with fruitiness.

Flavors and drinking experience: Fresh, pineapple, tart

I found this cider super fresh and natural. The pineapple dominates the flavor profile, but it always stays vibrant and juicy rather than sticky or stale. The freshness of the pineapple is supported in no small part by the pleasantly high acid. There were hints of stony, dusty, floral flavors but everything worked together in a tasty approachable way. 

2 Towns: Pacific Pineapple

This Portland and Corvallis based cidery has been operating for eight years and always sharing tasty and innovative specialty ciders. These run the gamut from traditional to wild. Check out my previous reviews for more background on the cidery.

Find out all about them on the website: https://2townsciderhouse.com/

Recently, I reviewed their Cidre Bouche:http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2017/11/cider-review-2-towns-ciderhouses-cidre.html This cider also made my Ten Favorite Ciders List of 2017.

I've also reviewed their Bright Cider in a round up from 2016: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2016/07/cider-review-roundup-common-cider-co.html

My first review of a 2 Towns cider was their Hop and Stalk: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2014/12/cider-review-2-towns-ciderhouse-hop-and.html
This cider made my 10 Favorite Ciders list of 2014.

Official description:
Juicy and tropical, Pacific Pineapple rolls ripe Costa Rica golden pineapples into fresh-pressed Northwest apples. This refreshingly juicy and easy drinking session cider will relax your state of mind, no matter your locale! 5% ABV.

Appearance: hazy, bright pineapple color, no bubbles

I couldn't see any bubbles in this cider. I could see that it was unfiltered and had a bold yellow color just like ripe pineapple flesh.

Aromas: pineapples

This cider smells rampantly and lusciously like pineapple. Again, there's not much apple but the pineapple that's here smells amazing. Everything about this cider smells tropical; it's juicy, floral, and somehow even manages to connote warmth on this February day. It also has a hint of that stony dust aroma that I find often and quite like.

Sweetness/dryness: sweet

This is unambiguously a sweet cider.

Flavors and drinking experience: high acid, pineapple, punch

Let's start with the obvious. This cider is fun! It has nearly stinging High acid that help balance out the tropical fruit sweetness. The Pacific Pineapple reminds me of punch or even fresh pineapple juice, but everything in the flavors tastes very real. It had some hefty mouthfeel but no tannin, no chalk or bitterness. It was very peachy and floral. This is a totally approachable and drinkable cider for those who love pineapple.

I had both of these with vegetarian mexican food with lots of spice, beans, cheese and peppers. The sweetness worked particularly well with spicy notes. All in all, they were a delightful experience exploring the pineapple as adjunct fruit for cider. Sometimes it is the best way to handle February to just escape to a warm and fruity vision of summer.