Monday, March 13, 2023

Cider Review Greenwood Cider Co.'s Barrel-Aged Dry

Our gray and brown were temporarily replaced with a beautiful layer of snow, and as it's starting to melt snow is predicted to blanket the region again between Tuesday and Wednesday. We’ve not gotten many snows of substance this year, so I have to admit that part of me is rooting for a big enough snow to feel fully transformative to the landscape. It's always at least a little bit tense in the gray waiting hours for snowfall. More than that though, I want folks to be safe and warm. Snow may be fun for me, but it’s serious for plenty of other folks. In the meantime, I’m excited to share some notes on Greenwood Cider Co.’s Barrel-Aged Dry.

In my earlier reviews of Washington state’s Greenwood Cider Co., I’ve included a bit of additional background on the cidery. Here, I’ll quote Greenwood’s website to use their words of introduction. 

Unfiltered cider made the hard way. Founded in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle in 2015, we turn waste into resource[s] by making cider from forgotten and foraged fruits picked from around the city and deep within the Pacific Northwest forest. That approach continues today. In addition to the more standard Washington apples, we use apples from local farms, small homesteads, and abandoned orchards. We press and produce everything in the city, keeping our hands on the process from start to finish and the cider as local as possible. It's an uncompromising blend of modern tastes and traditional cidermaking.

I’ve reviewed a few Greenwood Cider Co. ciders before. Here’s the short list. 

Kingston Black:


Black Currant Asian Pear:

I recommend visiting Greenwood Cider on the web to learn about all that this company has going on:

Here’s how Greenwood Cider Co. describes the Barrel-Aged Dry.

Our signature Dry Cider blend aged for six months in bourbon barrels. Enticing aromas of green plums and vanilla are followed by bright apple acidity with a dry oak finish. 8.5% ABV. 

Appearance: brilliant, medium intensity warm straw, no visible bubbles

This mellow cider just looks tremendously inviting. I don’t see any bubbles, but I do see tremendous brilliance and a lovely warm straw color.

Aromas: barrel, hay, apple core, spicy peppers

This cider’s six months in bourbon barrels shows up emphatically in the cider’s aroma. The Barrel-Aged dry smells like butterscotch, cooked apples, apple core, and breadcrumbs. Secondarily, I notice notes of hay, hot peppers, rubber, and other elements that are either aquatic, or sharp and boozy. It’s a complex array of inviting and wild smells.

Dryness/sweetness: off dry/dry

Greenwood Cider Company has almost certainly released an actually dry cider, but barrel aging can introduce scents and flavors that can complicate the perception of sweetness. There’s enough atmosphere of butterscotch, maple and cooked fruit that it’s hard for me to fully appreciate the dryness of the cider.

Flavors and drinking experience: butterscotch, plum pudding, barrel, spicy, maple

The tall one said immediately that drinking this cider reminds him of plum pudding with raisins and hard sauce. That’s not an experience I’ve had, so I cannot speak to the association. To me, the Barrel-Aged Dry tastes like butterscotch. It’s so very barrel aged that it doesn’t taste fully dry. There are enough dessert notes that come from the apple and the barrel that don’t even rely on actual sweetness to connote butterscotch, applesauce, and maple syrup. 

That’s not all that I’m noticing though. The cider also tastes spicy with notes hot peppers like I detected in the aromas. The cider has high tannins and medium high acidity and a strong alcohol presence. The cider is warming with prickly bubbles. I love how this complex cider ends with a perfumed finish and a phenolic edge. It’s never just one thing!

Greenwood Cider Co. has created something both interesting and tasty with the Barrel-Aged Dry! I enjoyed mine with vegetarian borscht: a seasonal classic in my house.