Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Cider Reviews: Grisamore Cider Fillmore Perry, Tilted Shed Ciderworks Love's Labour, Plus Prospect Ciderwork's Paradise Notes

This is no time to sink back gently to the status quo. That’s true about systemic racism, police violence and pandemic precautions. Please, educate yourselves and improve the world around us. It’s also June, the month of long warm evenings and more and more fresh produce showing up in our gardens and markets. June is a wonderful time to pair cider with food, with relaxing after work, and maybe a glass beside us as we read or watch something wonderful. 

Today I want to try something a little different. I’m going to share two full cider reviews and one totally unedited set of cider notes. The notes are on a fun cider that I enjoyed but whose cider appears to be no longer active. I thought this might be a fun way to share a super candid peak at what I scribble into my phone as I’m tasting. 

But let’s start with Grisamore Cider Work’s newest: Fillmore Perry.

Before I hop into my brand introduction for Grisamore Cider Works, I should mention that I work with one of the founders at my non-cider job. We both work at Cornell University within the Library, but neither of us reports to the other or has any connection that would bias my reviews. I want to be upfront. Grisamore Cider Works is based out of Locke, New York. The cidery grew out of a third generation family farm that also hosts u-pick fruit and a greenhouse. This perry was shared with me for review.

My previous reviews of Grisamore ciders include:

A flight at the tasting room:

24.4 squared:


Here is Grisamore’s Facebook page:

And the online shop:

Tthe Fillmore Perry’s official description reads, “A smooth dry perry with ripe pear notes on the palate.” 6% ABV.

Appearance: Hazy, bright buttery gold, some bubbles

This cider looks so bright and sunny in the glass. I’ll call the color a buttery gold with a mild bit of haze. It shows some bubbles but not too many.

Aromas: tangy pears, sharp cheese, minerals

The Fillmore smells a bit tangy and also like ripe pears. I get hints of volatile acidity, sharp cheese, and loads of minerals. THis is starting to remind me of a UK perry.

Sweetness/dryness: Semi-dry

The Fillmore is a semi-dry perry.  This is always a funny category to describe because of the different sweetness (sorbitol) in pear juice.

Flavors and drinking experience: funky, savory, complex, bubbly

Whoa. There is so much to notice and contemplate in the Fillmore. This perry is woody, funky and complex. The acidity somehow feels low in the mouth (imprecise, I know). You could describe the cider as savory as well as fruity with notes that not only include pears and apples but also mushrooms, herbs and carrots. 

The perry isn’t over the top high acid but what’s there is so different from malic acid. The Fillmore also brings some tannins and lots of complexity. I appreciate how bubbly it is, and the floral and rocky finish. This really is like some classic UK perries. 

Next up: Tilted Shed Ciderworks’ Love’s Labor

Tilted Shed Ciderworks is based out of Sonoma County, California. Scott Heath and Ellen Cavalli founded Tilted Shed in 2011. The company prioritizes heritage and cider apples in their ciders. 

I’ll quote from the website for just a bit more of their ethos, “We believe that vintage ciders are the best way to express the beauty of Sonoma County apples, so we only press fresh-picked apples, in season, on-site at our cidery. "Low and slow" and "cool sh*t in small batches" are our mantras for our fermentation, as we make our ciders with wild and cultivated yeasts, and time. That's it—and that's enough!” 

Here are my earlier Tilted Shed reviews:

Lost Orchard:

Barred Rock Barrel Aged Cider:

January Barbecue Smoked Cider:

You can visit Tilted Shed online to learn about ciders and the cider club (I’m a member):

The official description for Love’s Labor says:
Our foodshed wild ferment of wild blackberries we picked from the thicket at the edge of our farm and wild native elderberries we foraged from near the Russian River. Co-fermented Sebastopol-grown organic dry-farmed Gravensteins. A beautifully brambly bubbly showcasing the bounty of our little slice of heaven in west Sonoma County.
Alcohol 8.00%

Appearance: deep fuchsia, brilliant, bubbly

This color reminds me of so many late spring flowers: Fuchsias, Peonies, and Impatiens.  The cider is brilliant, bubbly, and looks tremendously inviting.

Aromas: berries, custard, blackberries, minerals

My first thought upon sniffing this cider was, “Super berry!” The aromas remind me of custard with blackberries. The cider just smells so fruity with a lick of minerality.

Sweetness/dryness: Semi Dry

Love’s Labor is clearly a semi-dry cider. The sweetness that’s present tastes entirely natural and very much like the tart fruit that goes into this cider.

Flavors and drinking experience: crisp acidity, full mouthfeel, spritely bubbles

There is so much to love about this ciders. Love’s Labor introduces itself briskly with crisp acid. As the color and aromas promise, this cider is fruity- both berry and apple. I love it’s full mouthfeel- particularly because it’s not sugary but rather comes from that 8.0% ABV. It’s not a surprise to anyone how much I love its spritely bubbles. What anchors the experience is the presence of some tannins and minerality. 

What’s key to all of this is Love’s Labor’s balance. These are all puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly. I adore this cider.

And now for the bonus notes on Prospect Ciderworks’ Paradise.

--------------Caution: No Copy Edits Ahead!------------------------

Prospect Ciderworks
Appearance: Hazy
Smells tropical sweaty and citrus
Semi sweet
Medium acid
Farro, soft apples
Less tart than I expected from the smell
Low tannins
Genuinely different
Vanilla creamy and tropical
Allspice and cinnamon

Tiki drink esque