Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Cider Review: Montana Ciderworks Hopped Up Heritage Cider

Tender green leaves and apple blossoms, is there any more beautiful time than this phase of spring? As a possibility, I can only put forth the peak of apple harvest, but right now I’m very fond of this season. Perhaps I write about it too much here. This isn’t a weather blog, I promise. I did take advantage of this warmer conditions this past week, and I chose a cider that looks ahead to Summer. I’m so happy to share my thoughts on Montana Ciderworks’ Hopped Up Heritage.

Looking at Montana Ciderworks website, I was struck with this introduction of the company and its practices, “We support sustainable agriculture and the preservation of open spaces in our beautiful valley. Our cidermaking increases the value and usefulness of Montana's orchards so that they will remain on the landscape to support and delight future generations.” This thread of cider as orchard conservation is dear to my heart.

Today’s review is only my second cider by Montana Ciderworks. I first reviewed the North Fork Traditional: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2022/01/cider-review-montana-ciderworks-north.html

To learn more about this cidery visit Montana Ciderworks’ website: http://montanacider.com/

Here’s the cider’s official description.

Hopped Up, Limited Release Cider: Hopped Up is complex and curious; a semi-dry cider of bittersweet heritage apples, dry hopped with a unique hop blend to wed Continental (brown spice & herbs) with English (citrus & fruit) hop profiles. Taste true cider flavor with complementing Fuggle & Sterling (Saaz X Cascade) hop aromas.

Gold medals at the 2019 Portland International Cider Cup and GLINTCAP 2019. ABV 6.9%, available in 500ml bottles only.

Appearance: slightly hazy, sandstone, visible bubbles

The Hopped Up cider looks so much like a quintessential UK cider! The Hopped Up Heritage has a slight haze, intense sandstone color, and a few visible bubbles just at the top of the glass. It makes my mouth water to look at it. 

I am loving these aromas; the Hopped Up smells s0 juicy! It’s reminiscent of fresh pear juice, but I also get minerals; zesty citrus,  honey or nectar, and peach. This cider definitely displays the citrusy side of hops.

Sweetness/dryness: Semi-sweet

Though the Hopped Up cider has plenty more going on than its level of sweetness, it has a clear level. This is a semi-sweet cider. The sweetness reminds me of apples, honey, and peaches.

Flavors and drinking experience: very fruity, citrus, pear, tannic, acid 

This cider is so much fun. The Hopped Up reminds me of Summer because it tastes like it smells! It’s very fruity and wet: citrus, pineapple, grapefuit along with pear and peach. I also get a bit of grippy tannin action. That makes the whole experience much more interesting. Perhaps what I appreciate most thought is that somehow the apple stands up to the hops, with malic acid aplenty. 

This cider has medium high acid and a nice big mouthfeel. It is a bit warming—it feels a touch more boozy than I’d expect from the ABV. The Hopped Up is quite pleasing and balanced overall. The finish emphasizes a perfumed sweet warmth of nectar. Very enjoyable!