Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Cider Review: Reveille Ciderworks Serious Black Farmhouse Apricot

I’m writing with good garden dirt under my fingernails this morning. It's finally safe (I hope) for my tomatoes, peppers, basil, bee balm, tomatillos, and other seedlings to make the big leap to the outdoors. It's no coincidence that the time to start enjoying more cider outside has arrived. I’m not thinking about warming big ciders with barrel characteristics right now. I’m stocking my fridge with fruity, herbal, and hopped ciders as well as the classic dry and bubbly ciders that I love all year.  

This is how I chose Reveille Ciderworks Serious Black Farmhouse Apricot. Reveille Ciderworks comes out of Astoria Oregon. I found this cider through the Northwest Cider Club, which has done a great job of sourcing interesting ciders I would never have otherwise found! Double points for also being the first black tea cider I’ve reviewed!

Here’s a snippet from Reveille’s website, describing the cider in broad terms. 

Founded in 2016, Reveille Ciderworks –Astoria’s first and only hard cider manufacturer– opened its flagship taproom and laboratory in beautiful Astoria, Oregon. Reveille delivers an ongoing evolution of pre-prohibition farmhouse and country-style hard ciders that harken back to early American recipes long lost in the annals of history.

Visit the website to learn about all of Reveille’s Ciderworks’ offerings: https://astoriacider.com/

Now onto the Serious Black Farmhouse Apricot. 

Here’s the official description from Reveille Ciderworks.

Our current blend of heritage and table-style Washington apples is slowly fermented using our Belgian saison yeast, lending a bold, earthy front-end that finishes with clove and black pepper. We then fold in apricots to lend a big, fruity and sharp bite, highlighted by a custom blend of black tea leaves with apricot flowers for a gorgeous finish and floral bouquet. 5.8% ABV

Appearance: hazy, warm straw, delicate color

The cider reminds me of creamed honey. It's delicate rather than intense. The Serious Black is hazy and gently tinted the same color as warm straw. Please forgive the very exciting drinking vessel! I brought this cider over to share and sample at a co-working writing night with a few friends.

Aromas: apricot, sweetly fruity, spicy, peppery notes

The Serious Black smells sweet and fruity like apricot. I get plenty of overipe apple notes too. The aromas include bits of spice and pepper too.

Dryness/sweetness: Semi-sweet

This is a semi-sweet cider. Fans of sweeter cider will likely enjoy the Serious Black Farmhouse Apricot.

Flavors and drinking experience: high tannins, citrus, ripe apple, apricot, black tea, spice

The Serious Black is a fun and appealing balance of many different flavor directions.  The tea comes across as tannic, spicy, gently sweaty almost like hops and grippy. The semi-sweet fruitiness feels very directly like apricots and ripe apples. The cider balances that with high acid that’s as much sour as citrusy. 

We enjoyed this cider with fresh homemade bread topped with fancy butter and good company. I predict many more such evenings with seasonal summery ciders, and I can’t wait.