I breathed a quiet breath of relief on the morning ofJuly 5th. My cat Braeburn and I got to enjoy a cool sunny morning in my sunroom. He watched squirrels, and I watched him. Summer always seems to enter a new phase after July 4th, and I’m glad to see it arrive. I’m not a fan of that particular holiday, curmudgeon that I am. The pets in the house resoundingly agree. This morning we basked in a day before the heat's rising and after last night’s smoky booming cacophony.
Last night I tried Portland Cider Co.’s Bloody Hell. The cidery is a fun one that creates adventurous and innovative ciders all the time. Check on my previous reviews to find out more about the company and see what I have to say about several Portland Cider Co. offerings! I will note that this cider was shared with me for review.
I recommend visiting Portland Cider Company online. The website has plenty of content to help the curious learn more about the ciders and tasting room events: https://www.portlandcider.com/home
Appearance: intense deep orange, hazy, few visible bubbles
The Bloody Hell’s color is as truly orange as I've seen in a cider. The color is a deep carmine red orange. It pours with no head and only a very few visible bubbles. I’d call the clarity hazy, as it looks just like a gentle fog has moved through the color.
Aromas: Citrus, apple, pear, spice
The Bloody Hell smells like ripe apple, citrus, and pear with a crawling curling spice that arrives later. The spice lingers and tickles deep in the nose. I also get some mineral notes with just a hint of carbonic gases below the surface.
Sweetness/dryness: Semi-dry to semi-sweet
This cider falls exactly in the middle spot. It’s not quite semi-dry; it’s sweeter than that. It’s also not quite semi-sweet; it's drier than that. This is exactly what the packaging told me to expect, so I’m impressed with the accuracy.
Flavors and drinking experience: peach, orange, ripe apple, high acid, mild spice
Yum! The Bloody Hell really melds its flavors nicely. I can taste ripe apple and blood orange from the first and the spice just creates a pleasant little kick! The peppers have a sweet corn note to them. The cider’s sweet melds with its spicy, and the fruit notes are almost more peachy than orange. The cider tastes more integrated than it smells—though the aromas are fine.
The Bloody Hell has medium low bubble intensity, a full body, and plenty of acid. There are no tannins to speak of. The flavors linger on the tongue, probably from the pepper. It's not excessively spicy. I appreciate that there's solidly apple in the drinking experience for this cider. It’s not dominant—no surprise there, given the number of flavors interacting, but it's crucial. The cider reminds me in some ways of the peppery El Chavo cider by Blake’s.
I had this cider with Buffalo Cauliflower and charred sweet corn. It was a lovely combo. I really enjoy this cider. It’s approachable, well-balanced, and totally drinkable. Try it!