Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Cider Cans Crush It Eden Heritage and Treehorn El Treeablo

Thunderstorms are rumbling across my region as I write this. It’s been the first unbelievably hot day of the season so far. But, technically, what season are we even in? Summer on the books doesn’t begin until Thursday, but in my mind we’re closer to the peak of Summer than its beginning. But, those are debates that I cannot resolve on my own. It is enough to say that summer drinking has been upon us, and the need for cool refreshing ciders might be greater this week than any for many months previous. 

Canned ciders are here to help. I’ve chosen two that were shared with me as review samples. They are from very different ends of the East Coast. Today I’m sharing my thoughts on Eden Specialty Ciders’ first canned offering, the Heritage and Georgia Cidery Treehorn’s spicy El Treeablo. 

Let’s start with Eden Specialty Cider’s Heritage. This Vermont cider company is run by Eleanor Leger.

I’ve shared a few reviews of Eden ciders before.  

Imperial 11 Degree Rose: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-january-2017-cidrbox-and-edens.html
This was my number one cider of 2017!

Sparkling Dry in 2015: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/06/cider-review-eden-sparkling-dry-cider.html

I also enjoyed the 2016 Sparkling Dry as part of my Thanksgiving and Birthday celebration in 2016: 


You can find out more about the company online: https://www.edenciders.com/

Eden Heritage’s Official Description:

More Flavor Less Sweet. Authentic Heritage Cider Aromatic. Generously sparkling. Off-dry. 
The cider in your hand reflects everything we care about at Eden Ciders. Heritage Apples grown in small, regional orchards. Fresh pressed at the harvest to capture the full flavor of the fruit just as it ripens. Fermented dry and blended with just a drop of our award-winning Eden Ice Cider to create an everyday cider with extraordinary complexity.

The coolest thing is that this isn’t all the info. 

Here are the apple varieties listed: Kingston Black, McIntosh, Empire, Bulmers Norman Gravenstein.

Here are the orchards they come from: Eden Orchards, Scott Farms, Sunrise Orchards, Windfall Orchard.

Plus, "No Sugar Added. Residual Apple Fructose 1.2% by weight"

Appearance: brilliant, bright corn gold, lots of bubble 

This cider is so lovely, it’s a shame to leave it in the can. I am happy to have poured mine into a glass, so I can see the warm corn yellow color and watch those active bubbles. It’s perfectly brilliant as well.

Aromas: ripe apples, cleanly yeasty, a hint of lemon

Wow, wow, wow. This cider smells amazing; I get tons of ripe apples balanced a little cleanly yeasty presence and some lemony citrus. These aromas are completely tantalizing.

Sweetness/dryness: semi-dry shading into semi-sweet

I know this is a semi-dry cider. It has tons going on, but it’s still so fruity and approachable. It does veer almost toward the semi-sweet end of semi-dry.

Flavors and drinking experience: complex, rich, balanced

I know I try to write more descriptively and not focus on my personal evaluations, but this might be the best canned cider I have ever had. That almost makes it harder to write about. The Heritage offers up medium tannins with lots of tartness. It really is all about balance. 

In terms of more specific notes, this cider tastes freshly citrusy, fruity, gently spicy, and oh so rich. I did drink the Heritage both out of my glass and out of the can. The format does make a difference. It seemed more yeasty  from the can and also drier. Interesting! It was delicious either way. I had it with salmon, smashed fingerling potatoes, and a green salad with tons of shredded beets and carrots. 

Treehorn El Treeablo

The Treehorn El Treeablo is my first cider from Georgia! That definitely means this is my first review of anything by Treehorn. I met folksbehind this company at CiderCon, and they were kind enough to share a couple of sample cans with me. 

This company Treehorn was founded in 2013. Treehorn has a tasting room in Marietta just outside of Atlanta.

Read all about the company on the website: https://treehorncider.com/

And this is the info I found about the seasonal release: El Treeablo.

Treehorn kicks it up a notch with its limited release three-chile cider infused with habanero, jalapeno and Hatch chiles harvested and roasted at the peak of the season. El Treeablo has just the right amount of heat, perfectly balanced by its tart, lightly sweet apple cider character.  
Anyone familiar with New Mexico knows that chiles, particularly Hatch chiles, inspire religious levels of devotion. Two of our founding partners (Mallory Law and Kathryn Pierce) have lived in Santa Fe, so fresh roasted chiles are very close to our collective heart. The lovely folks at Fox Bros. BBQ were kind enough to help us out with sourcing and roasting our Hatches. We’ve been doing two batches per year and this one usually goes fast. Make sure to grab it while you can. 
A delicious and complex drink on its own, El Treeablo also excels as a cocktail mixer, and pairs exceptionally well with smokey mezcals and smooth Anejo tequilas. The bold flavor of El Treeablo stands up well to rich umami flavors and pairs beautifully with chicharrones, braised short ribs and rich, meaty stews.
Fresh ChileSubtle HeatBright Apple

Appearance: transparent, straw, few bubbles

This cider shows a straw hue, transparence, and I can see some bubbles. 

Aromas: peppers, vegetal, tart, pineapple

Oh wow! This smells veggie-ful and spicy! I can very clearly smell pepper both in their spice and their green vegetal-ness. I also got some pineapple notes!
Dryness/sweetness: semi-sweet

This cider is enjoyably Semi sweet! I think the heat of the peppers almost requires a little bit of gentle sweetness. The sweetness I taste does remind me distinctively of cane sugar.

Flavors and drinking experience: apple, spice, sweetness, and vegetal

The same notes that appeared in El Treeablo’s aromas remain present in its flavors:
peppers, fleshy vegetables, tart fruit, spice, apple and pineapple. Whew! There’s a lot going on in terms of both complexity and intensity. This has high acid, no tannin, medium high sweetness, but also lots of other flavors. This cider is fun!

One of the most striking elements in drinking this cider was how much glass shape or can usage radically affects the spice-to-fruit ratio perception! Out of the can it tastes driest and sweetest in a wine glass. It seems that spicy notes and sweet notes go together, but that the ratio does vary a bit vessel to vessel. This might be one to drink straight from the can.