Monday, August 14, 2023

Cider Review: Ragged and Right Cider Project's First Pick Gravenstein

This moment at the dizzy height of Summer grants a full view of the season to come: Autumn. We’re in the midst of so many harvests; school is gearing up to begin another year. Mornings are webbed with dew and spider silk. In my life, the temporary kittens have gone on to their next foster home, so I’m back to enjoying quiet porch mornings with coffee and my own pets. I’m ready for the calm that I can steal during a busy time. One evening this past week, we had a quiet dinner at home with a new cider and that was just right. Here’s how Ragged and Right Cider Project's First Pick Gravenstein worked out for us.

This is my first ever review of anything by Ragged and Right Cider Project. I believe this was another cider scored in a NW Cider Club box. Ragged and Right Cider Project comes out of Washington state. The cidery focuses on using local fruit to ferment small-batch craft cider. Here’s a quote from the website that gives a bit more insight into Ragged and Right’s priorities!

The sister company of Farmstrong Brewing, Ragged & Right Cider exists to provide high end, locally sourced, hard cider. We get our juice straight from the press at our local juice makers and don’t add sugars or substitutes. Blending unique, delicious, and complex cider that will get you somewhere between ragged and right.

Here’s the official description for the First Pick Gravenstein cider.

The inaugural bottling of our First Pick series shines a light on the delicious Gravenstein Apple, grown and pressed at Bellewood Acres in Whatcom County. The initial notes in the aroma are light and pillow like which is mimicked in the delicate first sip. Starting crisp and effervescent, the flavor unfolds in waves as the full flavors of the apple come to life with every sip. 5.3% ABV.

Find this side project of Farmstrong Brewing online here:

Appearance: pale straw, brilliant, no visible bubbles

This looks totally welcoming and familiar with its pale straw color shining in the glass. It’s not an intense shade, but rather its mellowness is gentle and appealing. I don’t see any bubbles in the glass

Aromas: mineral dust, white grapes, woody

The First Pick smells pleasant with an immediate intensity of aroma that I love. What hits first is lots of mineral dust, white grape, and some bitter notes. My co-taster smelled stone, wood, and cotton: an intriguing and clean bouquet.

Sweetness/dryness: semi-sweet

This cider is semi-sweet—surprising and unusual for a single varietal. Often those are fermented to dryness and this instead has plenty of residual sweetness.

Flavors and drinking experience: high acid, leather, strong sparkle, ripe green apple, vanilla

The First Pick tastes lightly leathery with high acidity. The cider offers nice richly abiding sparkle, and a full mouthfeel. The First Pick is sessionable and easily drinkable. I found the cider has a creamy finish, with notes of vanilla. The fruitiness of the midpalate is boisterous and concentrated ripe green apple.

We had this with Zucchini Pie (made by me), and the combination was ideal!