Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Cider Review: Mission Trail Cider's Dryhard Gold and Washington Cider Week!

I know it’s not a pleasant or fun thing, but so much of my brain is on the West Coast wildfires. My heart goes out to everyone there who has lost a home or orchard, had to evacuate, or cannot safely go outside. 

Here’s a list I found of ways to help. Feel free to put other suggestions in the comments.

I’m reviewing Mission Trail Cider's Dryhard Gold today. Founded by two brothers Monte and Victor Jones, Mission Trail is a small producer not only of cider, but also perry, wine, mead, and jerkum. This Sonoma County producer began selling cider in 2014. Here’s how the folks at Mission describe their aim, “Mission-Trail has one simple goal- create innovative, and artisanal jerkum, perry, wine, and mead, while using traditional and innovative wine making practices.”

I have two previous reviews of Mission Trail Cider.

Champagne Style Hard Cider:


You can check out Mission Trail on the web here and buy cider online:

Here’s the official description of the Dryhard Gold, “Perfectly bone dry, single varietal Newtown Pippin aged one year for your sipping pleasure. Great acidity makes for a dry, tart finish. Alcohol 6.90%”

Appearance: brilliant, pale straw, no visible bubbles

Mission Trail’s Dryhard Gold looks very wine like in the glass. I’d call the color pale straw, and it's totally brilliant. I didn’t see any bubbles in the glass either.

Aromas: ripe apples, minerals, berries, melon

The Dryhard Gold smells like ripe apples, minerals, strawberries and melon! This smells like it's going to be a fun and fruity cider.

Sweetness/dryness: dry but fruity

This dry cider is as fruity as the smell promised. Its always fun when a complete dry cider is still brimming with fruit notes.

Flavors and drinking experience: high acid, bubbly, nutty, boozy and warm

The Dryhard Gold cider tastes warm but not hot but it feels a touch more boozy than its ABV usually does. The cider also brings some seriously high acid to the party. That might be part of how the cider tastes so fruity yet dry. I love a bubbly beverage, and the sparkle on the Dryhard Gold suits me well. 

As I sip the cider more, I can detect a nutty element in the warmth. I appreciate how cleanly fermented and not funky this cider tastes. Yes, I also love a bit of barnyard, but I don’t need that in every glass, and this one is shiningly clean. The medium tannins keep things anchored well.

This cider’s pleasing floral finish kept us sipping until the bottle was too quickly gone.

I had this delicious cider with Okonomiyaki, and our little group was wowed by the pairing. I highly recommend exactly this!

Now it’s time to share my unquenched excitement for Washington Cider week!

Check out the full even listing (including lots of shippable cider specials!) here:’

Join me (virtually) this Friday at the Washington Fine Cider Tasting!:

And for one more recommendation, this Instagram Live event with Caitlin Braam (founder of Yonder Cider) Sara Harvey (Head Chef of Hama Hama Oysters) sounded really interesting:

Stay safe out there, and I hope to see you Friday!