Monday, August 21, 2023

Cider Review: Citizen Cider’s Ruby Sipper

From moving fast to being grounded, my week has been a whirl and a shift. I’m in a boot and instructed to stay off my right foot for a few weeks as of this morning. I’d been experiencing increasing foot pain for about a month, but I’m hopeful that with the boot I can keep it immobilized for a while. Obviously, this is not what I’d like to be doing right now. I need to cut the blooms off of my basil, harvest from the garden, mow the yard, and care for all of the pets and people and house in my life. This slow down isn’t negotiable, so it’s time for me to literally put my feet up and see what work I can do from this position.

Happily, before I got this news, I was able to enjoy a fun new cider spotted in my local grocery store. Rhubarb and Hibiscus are two of my favorite flavors, so when I saw what Citizen Cider uses for the Ruby Sipper, I had to pick up a pack. I’m often fond of what this Vermont-based cidery creates, so I’ve reviewed several. More background info on the cidery is available in these earlier reviews. Here’s the full list. 

For Shore:

Tree Tapper:

Northern Spy:

Sur Lies:


The Wood:

Companion Sour Cherry:

Wit’s Up:

Barrel Aged:

Citizen Cider bRosé:

My visit to Citizen Cider:

Here’s a link to Citizen Cider’s website, where you can find info on all of the cider releases:

I’ll share the full description of the Ruby Sipper from Citizen Cider’s website. 

Introducing the Ruby Sipper - a cider in technicolor. This unique rosé seamlessly blends the wild aromas of Brettanomyces with notes of candied cherry, vanilla, and strawberry. Buckle up, because the Ruby Sipper is funky, fruity, and entirely out of this world.

Alcohol 4.20%

Appearance: ruby, brilliant, very few visible bubbles

My gracious! The Ruby Sipper has a lovely intense ruby red hue. Why on Earth is this cider sold in cans? This color was meant to be seen! The cider is brilliant, and I saw very few bubbles in my glass.

Aromas: rose hips, hibiscus, ripe apples, red grapes, mineral dust

This cider doesn’t have the most bold aroma but what’s there is enticing, The Ruby Sipper smells most immediately of rose hips, hibiscus, ripe apple, and red grapes. My cotaster said it smells like a sweeter cider. Lurking in the background I can detect mineral dust and creamy yogurt. 

Sweetness: Semi-dry to semi-sweet

This falls on the sweet side of semi-dry or the driest edge of semi-sweet. What sweetness is there is very fruity and juicy.

Flavors and drinking experience: high acid, ripe apple, sparkling, leather finish, rhubarb, hibiscus, smoky

Wow, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this cider based on the mention of Brettanomyces in the description. That’s honestly not what I taste. Instead, in the Ruby Sipper I get loads of high acid, plenty of fruit, and a specifically leathery finish. The fruit is a beautiful blend of apple and rhubarb and is clear in the taste in a way that was less so on the nose. 

There are elements that taste a bit smoky even meaty; they are phenols that I taste often in higher concentrations in heritage style English ciders. The Ruby Sipper has a pleasingly rich mouthful, but it’s not sticky or overwhelming. My co-taster commented that it reminded him of a sweet ripe tomato.

I enjoyed this with a wild rice and veggie salad that included tomatoes from my garden, tangy cheese, and all manner of ephemeral summer flavors.