Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Cider Review: Tilted Shed Ciderwork's Wickson

It’s almost CiderCon! I’m so glad to have a chance soon to see my faraway friends in the cider world and spend three days immersed in all aspects of the cider industry. There will be panels and talks on fermentation, marketing, distribution, and all other elements of the cider business. This year everything is digital and so much more affordable than ever before. And I’m so curious to learn how they’ll run a virtual trade show with vendors. From what I’ve seen of the set up, it’s going to be different more fun than just another Zoom meeting!

If you’ve not heard enough from me, find out more here: https://ciderassociation.org/cidercon2021/ 

Plus folks will have the chance to taste and think about what gives UK ciders their particular profile in a tasting and discussion with Gabe Cook (https://www.theciderologist.com/) and myself!

But for now, I’m happy to share my notes on a single-varietal cider made from my favorite apple for cider making! I’m talking about the 2018 batch of Tilted Shed Ciderworks’ Wickson: made from Wickson Crabapples.

Tilted shed is wonderfully apple-centric yet inventive west-coast cidery. The company was founded in Sonoma county, California in 2011. They have a cider club and currently are offering to-go cider sales. 

Visit Tilted Shed online to learn more: https://www.tiltedshed.com/

Here’s my rundown of previous Tilted Shed cider reviews.

Inclinado: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/10/cider-review-tilted-shed-ciderworks.html

Love's Labor (my 2nd favorite cider of 2020): http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/06/cider-reviews-grisamore-cider-fillmore.html

Lost Orchard: https://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/01/cider-review-tilted-shed-ciderworks.html

Barred Rock Barrel Aged Cider: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/04/reviewing-ciders-for-winter-tilted-shed.html

January Barbecue Smoked Cider: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/03/reviewing-ciders-for-winter-tilted.htm

Now for the 2018 Wickson description, “Single orchard, single variety California’s famous crabapples dry farmed in Sebastopol by Vulture Hill Orchard Pressed in season + wild yeasts bottle conditioned so chill well” 9% ABV.

Appearance: saffron yellow, clear to hazy, depending on pour, visible bubbles

This cider has a wonderful intensity of color. This leads me to expect a similar intensity in flavor: marvelous. The different glasses of this cider have slightly different levels of clarity. The first two glasses pour with total transparence but that gets a bit more hazy toward the end of the bottle. 

Aromas: Leathery, funky, woody and smoky and peach notes

Mmm! Excitement! I love ciders that bring bold aromas right to my nose! This cider smells leathery, funky, woody and smoky. The combination of a crabapple and wild fermentation done just right. I love thought that even this wild beast still brings peach notes in its bouquet. My anticipation is through the roof by now.

Dryness/sweetness: Dry

This is a straight up dry cider. Perfect.

Flavors and drink experience: high acid, medium high tannins, creamy, peach, funky finish

Everything I was hoping for based on the aromas in this cider are coming to fruition in these flavors. The Wickson is enticing and exciting with high acid. The cider brings heft and structure with medium levels of tannins. It’s a nice balance with a creamy mouthfeel and lots of the peach and plum notes that were hinted at in the cider’s aroma.

This cider also sticks the landing with a long funky (but not too funky) finish. My co-taster and I agreed that this cider is exceptional. Something this pointedly acidic, dry, and wild might not be to all tastes, but it certainly pleases our palates! We paired this with a vegetarian shepherd’s pie and that pairing is wonderfully fun.