Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Cider Review: Tieton Ciderworks' Spice Route

I know I get fewer chances to review ciders from the western portion of the country, but this Washington State cider struck me as just the thing recently. Tis the season for spicy ciders. Tonight I'm returning to Tieton Ciderworks to try their Spice Route.

For a little bit of background, Tieton Ciderworks grew out of Harmony Orchards. The company makes it very clear; they make cider because they grow lots and lots of apples; the family has been orcharding in the region since the 1920s. tThey have  been growing cider specific varieties since 2008. Here's the quote I found most interesting online, "
We now have the largest acreage of cider apples and Perry pears in the state of Washington with 55 acres." Dreamy to hear, isn't it?

You can find out lots more on the web at: http://tietonciderworks.com

This bottle came from a pleasant and well-stocked bottle shop in Lakewood, Ohio. I found it while visiting friends when a spicy cider was far from in season, so I've been saving this for a bit. 

I've reviewed two of Tieton Ciderworks' offerings previously, both relatively seasonal but very tasty.

Smoked Pumpkin: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/10/cider-review-tieton-ciderworks-smoked.html

Yakima Valley Dry Hopped: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/07/cider-review-tieton-ciderworks-yakima.html

Tieton's official description is short and sweet, "An exotic and fresh cider. Expect a medium straw with hints of cinnamon, vanilla, clove and allspice. Reminiscent of a fresh baked apple pie. 500ml – 6.9% Alcohol."

Appearance: brilliant, big bubbles, bright intense gold color

This cider pleases me so much to look at it. The clarity can only be described as brilliant. I can see lots of big bubbles clinging to all of the inside surfaces of the glass The color reminds me of buttery corn, all freshly shining gold.

Aromas: caramel, clove, apple

This smells like an autumnal dessert. I am so fond of that caramel apple scent, strongly accompanied by clove. I can also get some of the asllspice from the description.

Sweetness/dryness: semi-dry but complicated

I think spiced ciders add a real complication to the basic spectrum of sweet to dry. The spices, especially in this cider, add some sharpness and bitterness that call out for a balance with more sweetness as well. This cider balances that well.

Flavors and drinking experience: low tannin, well balanced, integrated flavors

The first thing I noticed about this cider after the presence of spice was how nicely integrated the acidity feels to the whole experience. There's no real tannin to speak of, but this wouldn't be a cider variation I'd choose for much tannin.

Spice ciders  are really seasonal but this cider is far from the overly sweet "pumpkin spice" trend or even "apple pie spice/" more cold and spicy than that I found this cider pleasing, balanced and full bodied with medium bubble.

I had the Spice Route with macaroni and cheese made from scratch with a mix of bechamel, Vermont white cheddar, and Emmentaler topped with garlicy breadcrumbs. I know a lot of folks will be watching election returns tonight with some sense of urgency. Take care of yourself with something grounding and delicious to eat and cider worth relaxing with while you wait. This might be just the ticket.