Sunday, July 25, 2021

Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition!

It's almost time for GLINTCAP! Because I'm off on my cider trip for the summer, I'm not posting a regular review this week. Instead, I'll be documenting my travels on Instagram and Twitter from packing to every state we see on our adventure. 

Learn more about GLINTCAP here:

Follow along here:

And here:

I'll be looking for cider from NY to MI and all stops in between. What cider adventures can happen in Cleveland, Detroit, and Grand Rapids? 

If you're going to be part of the largest cider competition in the world along with me, come say hi! 

There will be friends, food, and cider galore! And next week, I'll be beck with my regular cider reviews.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Cider Review: Stowe Cider's Gin and Juice

I don’t even remember how long it’s been raining. This feels like the summer when everything is going to start growing moss, mold, or algae. I’m still grateful though because I remember drought summers here and elsewhere. I’ll take a damp 2 months over a real drought or even a dry hot Summer. But I do need to choose my ciders strategically in order to enjoy these gray drippy days. That’s where Stowe Cider’s Gin and Juice comes in. 

Stowe Cider is named after it’s home base, Stowe, Vermont. The cidery has a tasting room there that I’ve visited and enjoyed!

My 2016 visit to the tasting room:

I’ve reviewed a few Stowe Ciders’ previously; here’s the list. You can find lots of background on the cidery in these earlier reviews. 

Juniper Sessions:

High and Dry:

Local Infusion Snow’s Raspberry Hard Cider:

Check out Stow Cider’s website and find out about the ciders, tastingroom, and other projects:

Here’s what I could find out about the Gin and Juice

Innovation. Collaboration. Delicious Libations.

Inside the can is an act of friendship. We paired this cider with post distillation gin botanicals from Barr Hill and sweetened the deal with a touch of Suddabee’s Honey. We like them, they like us, and everyone likes what happens when we work together. 

Enjoy this cider in the spirit of Vermont - cold, and in good company. 6.9% ABV

Appearance: medium intensity, hazy, pineapple yellow, no visible bubbles

This cider just looks refreshing straight out of the can. I know cans are convenient but I love getting to know a cider’s look and aroma more intimately with a good glass. The Gin and Juice is hazy with a medium intensity of color. The shade reminds me of fresh ripe pineapple. I didn’t see any bubbles in my glass. 

Aromas: white flowers, clover honey, green grapes, and fresh apples

The Gin and Juice smells simply mouthwatering to me. I love herbal and floral notes, and this cider opens up with a waft of white flowers. I also smell clover honey which makes sense considering the use of honey. I also get notes of fresh apples and green grapes. None of the smells are overwhelming. 

Sweetness/dryness: Semi-dry

Though the cider is described as dry on Stowe’s website, the graphic representing its sweetness on the can itself indicates something in the off-dry to drier side of semi-dry. I think the cider comes across as a semi-dry. There’s some sweetness in the flavor but not enough to take over the cider. 

Flavors and drinking experience: juicy, high acid, pineapple, herbs, grapefruit, bubbly

I’m so glad that I reached for this cider. It was warm and still night. I needed something zesty and exciting to cut through the humidity. The Gin and Juicy does in fact come across as super juicy with some very exciting high acid. The acidity feels like it’s building pleasantly, even as it becomes ear curling on the finish.

The Gin and Juice tastes like herby green plants, pineapple, grapefruit and pear. It’s wet and playful: herbal and clean. The mouthfeel is almost thick with strong bubbles.

This cider goes beautifully with spicy popcorn. It didn’t need anything more elaborate.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Cider Review: Eden Cider's Brut Rosé Harvest Cider

My world seems so much calmer and more peaceful than it did on the long holiday weekend. I’m sitting in my bedroom, writing: two cats snuggled nearby. It’s not too hot to enjoy closeness with a furry friend at last! This week I’m sharing notes on a new canned cider from Eden Harvest Ciders: the Brut Rosé. 

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Eden ciders and an inaugural member of the cider club, but the Brut Rosé cider was shared with me for review. That doesn’t sway my thoughts on it, but I’m always grateful to get cutting edge new ciders to review!

I would love to share a rundown of my earlier Eden cider reviews. You can find lots of background on this small Vermont cidery scattered amongst these posts.  


Deep Cut:

Peak Bloom:


Extra Sec:

Eden Heritage Cider:

Siren Song:

Brut Nature:

Imperial 11 Degree Rose:

Sparkling Dry:

The Sparkling Dry supported my Thanksgiving & Birthday celebrations:

I recommend checking out Eden Cider's website. There you can find out about all of the ciders:

Today, it’s Eden Cider Brut Rosé Harvest Cider with Red Currant. It’s the newest canned cider by Eden. I'm extra excited because I love currants, and now they are growing at my new house!

Here’s how Eden's website describes this cider. 

Brut Rosé Harvest Cider

PROFILE: Semi-dry, smooth, fruity

VARIETIES: 15 Heirloom apple varieties infused with red currant juice


GROWN BY: Eden Orchards, Scott Farm, Sunrise Orchards, Windfall Orchard

METHOD: Slow cold fermentation, infused, filtered, carbonated.

TASTING NOTES: bright red berry and apple with light earthy tannin and lingering crispness.

PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: salads, salmon, cold roast beef

6.9% ABV | 15g/L residual sugar 12oz | 24/case

Serving Size: 1 can | Calories per serving: 160 | Carbs: 5g = 0CARB

Gluten free, vegan friendly

Appearance: brilliant, vermillion, few miniscule bubbles

This is a beautiful cider! I'm not sure I support this being hidden in a can. The color is richer and more intense than most Rosé ciders. It's more vermillion than pink. It's brilliant with just a smattering of the tiniest possible bubbles. 

Aromas: dusty fruity, funky, plum and grape

The Brut Rosé smells fruity primarily- I get notes of ripe apple, plum, and grape. It also smells of dust, minerals and a gentle wave of farmy wildness.

Dryness/sweetness: Semi-dry

This is a lovely semi-dry cider. The Brut Rosé just right for a canned cider that can be enjoyed in many different settings with a wide variety of pairings.

Flavors and drinking experience: tart, currants, tannic, high acid, ripe apple

The Brut Rosé tastes wonderful! The cider comes across as tart, with strong apple and currant presences keeping one another in check. It’s almost dry and tannic but still ultimately a fruity semi-dry.  All registers of acid, sweetness, and tannins are loud and clear, and they all seem resolutely natural.  The cider offers just a little funk, which I almost expect with currant.  The Currant flavor comes from concentrate, which you taste—not as fake, but as intense. 

Sipping straight out of the can, The Brut Rosé tastes drier. I think that’s because the aroma doesn't come through as much. The cider manages to be both easy and compelling.  It’s a total  winner, but I think I prefer it in a glass.

I had the Brut Rosé cider in my sunroom with a simple supper: beet and potato salad, marinated bbq tofu (Cornell chicken BBQ sauce works on tofu too!), and corn on the cob.  It doesn’t get much better. The cider’s fruitiness was lovely with a juicy baked tofu and an earthier variation on potato salad. The Brut Rose could also be good with coconut curries, salmon dishes, and lots of other rich and tempting fare. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Cider Review: Portland Cider Co.'s Bloody Hell

I breathed a quiet breath of relief on the morning ofJuly 5th. My cat Braeburn and I got to enjoy a cool sunny morning in my sunroom. He watched squirrels, and I watched him. Summer always seems to enter a new phase after July 4th, and I’m glad to see it arrive. I’m not a fan of that particular holiday, curmudgeon that I am. The pets in the house resoundingly agree. This morning we basked in a day before the heat's rising and after last night’s smoky booming cacophony.

Last night I tried Portland Cider Co.’s Bloody Hell. The cidery is a fun one that creates adventurous and innovative ciders all the time. Check on my previous reviews to find out more about the company and see what I have to say about several Portland Cider Co. offerings! I will note that this cider was shared with me for review.

Lemon-Lime Ciderade:



Peach Berry:

Kinda Dry:



Pumpkin Spice:

Pineapple Rose:

I recommend visiting Portland Cider Company online. The website has plenty of content to help the curious learn more about the ciders and tasting room events:

Appearance: intense deep orange, hazy, few visible bubbles

The Bloody Hell’s color is as truly orange as I've seen in a cider. The color is a deep carmine red orange. It pours with no head and only a very few visible bubbles. I’d call the clarity hazy, as it looks just like a gentle fog has moved through the color.

Aromas: Citrus, apple, pear, spice

The Bloody Hell smells like ripe apple, citrus, and pear with a crawling curling spice that arrives later. The spice lingers and tickles deep in the nose. I also get some mineral notes with just a hint of carbonic gases below the surface.

Sweetness/dryness: Semi-dry to semi-sweet

This cider falls exactly in the middle spot. It’s not quite semi-dry; it’s sweeter than that. It’s also not quite semi-sweet; it's drier than that. This is exactly what the packaging told me to expect, so I’m impressed with the accuracy.

Flavors and drinking experience: peach, orange, ripe apple, high acid, mild spice

Yum! The Bloody Hell really melds its flavors nicely. I can taste ripe apple and blood orange from the first and the spice just creates a pleasant little kick! The peppers have a sweet corn note to them.  The cider’s sweet melds with its spicy, and the fruit notes are almost more peachy than orange.  The cider tastes more integrated than it smells—though the aromas are fine.

The Bloody Hell has medium low bubble intensity, a full body, and plenty of acid. There are no tannins to speak of. The flavors linger on the tongue, probably from the pepper. It's not excessively spicy.  I appreciate that there's solidly apple in the drinking experience for this cider. It’s not dominant—no surprise there, given the number of flavors interacting, but it's crucial. The cider reminds me in some ways of the peppery El Chavo cider by Blake’s.

I had this cider with Buffalo Cauliflower and charred sweet corn. It was a lovely combo. I really enjoy this cider. It’s approachable, well-balanced, and totally drinkable. Try it!