Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Cider Review: Eden Cider's Peak Bloom and Black Diamond Cider's 2018 Rosé

I write on a rainy evening, when perhaps I should be packing just a few more boxes. That’s because the Along Came a Cider HQ is moving! Not a far move, I doubt it's even a mile. But if you’ve sent me ciders in the past, please reach out to get the new address! This time next week, I’ll be writing from the new house!

Before then I want to share two reviews by two of my favorite cider makers: Eden Specialty Ciders and Black Diamond Cider!  

I have shared several Eden cider reviews here. Check them out to see the full range that Eden Ciders creates and to learn more about this very special Vermont cidery. 

Here’s the full list!

Deep Cut Harvest Cider:

Extra Sec:


Siren Song:

Imperial 11 Degree Rose(my number one cider of 2017):

Heritage canned cider:

Sparkling Dry:

2016 Sparkling Dry:

Brut Nature:

You can learn about all of Eden’s ciders on the website:

Here’s how Eden describes the Peak Bloom in its release sheet.

Taste: Apple Sunshine in a Can

Lush apple fruit balanced by light tannin and

soft lingering tartness. Notes of white grape,

applesauce and lime. Superbly crushable.

Apple Varieties Grown for Cider



100% Locally and Sustainably Grown






One Batch Per Year for Best Flavor

12 g/L residual sugar from arrested fermentation

6 g/L malic acidity, medium tannin

Filtered, carbonated, and pasteurized

No added sugar, color, flavoring or preservatives

Naturally gluten-free and vegan

Appearance: brilliant, intense warm straw, plenty of visible bubbles

This cider looks lovely, brilliant and glowy. I can see so many bubbles in its warm straw shade.

Aromas: oatmeal, tropical fruit, flowers, overripe apples

I was surprised by a note of sweet oats or oatmeal alongside the overripe apples and tropical fruit. The Peak Bloom certainly smells luscious. I expect this will be a fair bit sweeter than many of Eden's ciders. 

Sweetness/dryness: Semi-sweet

As I expected, this is sweeter cider! It has enough acidity to balance the sweetness, but the sweetness and the ABV add to a certain fullness in mouthfeel. It reminds me of cream more than water. 

Flavors and drinking experience: rich, full mouthfeel, fruity, high acid, baking spice, carrots

That intriguing oatmeal note from the aroma does translate into the Peak Bloom’s flavor. I’m reminded of a spiced carrot cake because of the combination of richness, baking spices, creaminess and high acidity. It’s a wonderful effect and very different from other Eden ciders.

This cider comes across as smooth, clean, and sophisticated. I think it’s aromas and mouthfeel work together such that it demands to be poured into a glass rather than consumed straight from the can. This cider deserves to expand fully into a glass and into your palate. The apple notes are present but not alone. I also get some tropical fruit presence and floral grace notes. 

The whole experience is charming and well balanced.  The bubbles aren’t as strong as in Eden’s bottled sparklers; I’m not sure a can could hold that pressure!  I think of the two new canned ciders, I’ll reach for the Deep Cut more often, but that’s simply my preferred profile. This cider uses its sweetness, mouthfeel, tannins and acidity well. It’s a lovely well-rounded experience. 

I didn’t follow the pairing suggestions, but I paired mine with blackened tilapia, steamed sweet potato, and sautéed bell peppers with zucchini. I wanted the sweetness to contrast against the mild spice of the blackening spices but to augment the acid driven flavor of the peppers. I’m well pleased and would create that meal again.

My next set of notes is not for a cider that’s easy to buy, so I’m sorry for that. But I couldn’t resist writing up my thoughts when I tried Black Diamond’s rosé! I was visiting the orchard for the kickoff to the farm’s apple CSA, and they had something fun just for sale at the farm.

Black Diamond Cider is based in Trumansburg, New York in the Finger Lakes region. It was founded by Ian and Jackie Merwin. You can check out my earlier reviews to get some more contextual notes for this cidery and my thoughts on other releases

My previous reviews include:

Shin Hollow:


Geneva Tremlett’s:

Somerset Jersey:



Porter’s Pommeau:



Here are Black Diamond’s notes on their 2018 Rosé.
A dry rosé cider, perfect for summer afternoons by your favorite lake!
Tasting notes: Our take on a Finger Lakes rosé cider, made with a blend of black currants, blueberries and plums all grown on the farm. This cider is fruit forward, with notes of dark dusky plum and black cherry with a touch of sweetness.
This cider is a limited release available only in growlers and by the glass. Enjoy it while it lasts!
Apple Varieties: Espous Spitzenburg (45%), Shiro plum, blueberries, Titanium black currant (25%), mixed varieties (30%). ABV 7.8% Residual Sugar: 1.0%
Conversation at the tasting allowed to find out that the fruit was fermented, and that the mixture included some Porter’s and Kingston Black apples.

Appearance: brilliant, watermelon, bubbly
This cider looks like heaven to me. I love the brilliance, watermelon color, and the ring of miniscule bubbles around the edge of my glass. 
Aromas: Minerals, berries, sweet, ripe apples
This rosé smells of pleasing mineral and blueberry notes. The scent is sweet, earthy but clean. These elements are balanced by bright ripe apples.
Sweetness/dryness: Semi-dry
This is a lovely semi-dry cider with only natural elements to the sweetness. 
Flavors and drinking experience: medium tannins, high acid, citrus, maple, pear
The rosé  tastes enchanting with high acidity and grippy medium tannins both from apples and currants. Something about it reminds me of an underripe pear with a maple note. The finish gentle wafts into citrus. 
My notes end with the brief statement, “Obviously excellent.” And I think that says what it needs to say.  I paired my cider with a walking tour of one of the Black Diamond orchard blocks, and it was extremely enjoyable. For a food pairing, I’d try walnuts and a soft cheese.