The other half picked up the cider awhile back. One of the things that I liked when I opened it for her was that it was bomber sized, but had a screw-top that could be closed if you didn’t finish the whole thing in one shot. I wish more companies would do this. So, let’s see how this one went.

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ABV: 5.5%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Wild red raspberries, growing plentifully in the fields behind our historic 200-year-old barn, are the inspiration for our Red Barn Raspberry hard cider. Made in small batches from a delicate balance of sweet and tart apples, this hand crafted cider is blended with New York raspberry juice and lightly carbonated. Enjoy this sweet and mildly fruity blend over ice for a light and refreshing treat!”

Random: I have never seen a cider pour a red color like this one.

This cider poured with absolutely no head on top of a clear, ruby-red body. There was also no visible carbonation on this one. The nose was filled with sickeningly sweet raspberry extract. I thought that there would be some apples to it as well, but unfortunately not. The taste started with a lot of tart raspberries that caused my lips to pucker. Again, I didn’t get apples at all. It was just a lot of intense raspberry that was very unpleasant. The body was on the thick, syrupy side and needed some more carbonation. The finish was long and overly tart with raspberries. This one didn’t do anything for me. I wouldn’t have it again.

Sovereign Cider NYCrisp

Posted: September 1, 2014 in Cider, Reviews, Sovereign Cider

This was what the other half ordered and didn’t enjoy, so I got to drink the rest of it. Let’s see if I liked it any more than she did.

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ABV: 6.3%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We teamed up with the Nicholsons of Red Jacket Orchards, a third-generation family farm in New York’s Finger Lakes region, to develop a custom blend for Sovereign’s NYCrisp. Gala, Ida Red, Jonagold and Rome apples are fresh-pressed at Red Jacket’s orchard in Geneva, NY, then trucked 30 miles to one of America’s oldest family-owned wineries, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, near Canadaigua Lake. Yeast is added the blend, and a gentle 30-day fermentation turns all residual sugar from the apple juice into alcohol. No additional sugar, flavor or artificial ingredients are used to supplement the fermentation. The result is a cider like you have never tasted: Crisp and refreshing with a light sparkle and subtle apple finish. Clean on the palette and not sweet, NYCrisp pairs well with most foods. Try it with barbecue, spice, seafood, or anything rich and flavorful.”

Random: I am not enjoying how humid it is today. At least we have air conditioning.

This cider poured with absolutely no head on top of a golden-yellow body with no visible carbonation. So far, we were not off to a good start. The nose had some apples and yeast and reminded me of a really dry cider. The taste was pretty bad. It was very tart and it was a struggle to get any apple taste out of it. It was like tart champagne with only white grapes, and not apples. The body was heavy and had decent carbonation. It had a long dry yeast finish with white wine grapes. It wasn’t great and I wouldn’t have it again.


On the way up to Connecticut, the other half and I stopped at a place on the way for dinner. I originally ordered this beer, especially since it was brewed in the town that we had stopped in for dinner. The other half didn’t like the cider that she ordered, so she ended up drinking this one. Let’s see how it was.

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ABV: 7.3%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This honey blonde ale is a clear golden beer with a floral malty blossom aroma. The initial honey flavor with notes of pear on the nose is supported by a caramel maltiness and followed by a spicy herbal bitterness. She packs a flavorful punch veiled by an alluring sweetness.”

Random: I’m watching a DVD about a prison murder now. The other half isn’t as big of a fan of this one.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cooper color with moderate visible carbonation. The nose was sweet with some honey and sweet malt along with caramel. There was also floral notes present as well. The taste was even better than the nose. It started with honey and toffee with some nuttiness. Then, light flowers came through as well with a touch of spice and herbs. It had a thick body with hidden booze and light carbonation. It had a long and sweet finish from the honey. I really enjoyed this beer and would have it again.


It’s the last day of the holiday weekend. I can’t say that I’m excited to go back to work. I could use another day or two to prepare. The other half and I went to Connecticut this weekend to visit her mother and stepfather. We had a really good time and got home about an hour ago. The cat was thrilled to see us. He acted like he had never seen food before. Anyways, this was another beer that I had last week from the Beer Camp twelve pack. Let’s see how it was.

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ABV: 7.7%

Style: Maibock/Helles Bock

Trivia: This was brewed in collaboration with Cigar City Brewing.

Random: The other half let me watch my “Autopsy” DVD. It was incredibly interesting because it was researching major suicides/murders from history.

This brew poured with a three finger, relatively thin, tan-colored head that dissipated slowly. Despite this, it left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear amber color with high carbonation visible. The nose had generous notes of guava and pineapple and mango along with sweet caramel malt after that. The taste was really interesting. The tropical fruits came through first, with mango and pineapple being the standouts. There was also some light citrus and grassy hop that quickly transitions into caramel sweetness and cracker malt. The beer had a medium thick body with heavy carbonation. It had a dry finish that lasted for awhile with sweet caramel malt. This beer was impressive. I wasn’t sure how the tropical fruit would mesh with the malt and it would either be amazing or fall flat. This was really, really good and I would definitely have this one again.


Happy Labor Day! Here’s a cider that the other half picked out last time we stopped at Half Time. Let’s see how it went.

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ABV: 5.5%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Masala chai is a flavoured tea beverage made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs. Originating in India, the beverage has gained worldwide popularity, becoming a feature in many coffee and tea houses. Although traditionally prepared by a decoction of green cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ground ginger, and black peppercorn together with black tea leaves, retail versions include tea bags for infusion, instant powdered mixtures, and concentrates. In many places, there is a misconception that ‘chai’ in itself is made with cardamom, ginger, and the other common spices. Masala chai is a flavoured tea beverage made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs. Originating in India, the beverage has gained worldwide popularity, becoming a feature in many coffee and tea houses. Although traditionally prepared by a decoction of green cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ground ginger, and black peppercorn together with black tea leaves, retail versions include tea bags for infusion, instant powdered mixtures, and concentrates. In many places, there is a misconception that ‘chai’ in itself is made with cardamom, ginger, and the other common spices.”

Random: Football starts on Thursday. I am beyond excited.

This cider poured with absolutely no head, despite an aggressive pour. The body was a dusky, dark sienna color with no carbonation visible due to the color. The nose had a lot of strong chai tea notes with sweet apples and an abundance of cinnamon. The taste was really strong. It started with chai tea with even more cinnamon than the nose. Then, it went into apple notes, which were sweet red apples and some ginger as well. The body was medium thickness and the carbonation was light. It seemed like this had been sitting on the shelf awhile before I bought it because the carbonation needed to be turned up. The finish was quick and had lots of chai spice. I really wanted to enjoy this one, especially since it’s almost the end of summer, but the carbonation being so light made it really miss the mark for me, despite the high marks it gets on most review sites. I would be willing to try this one again and see if it was just a bad bottle.


So, awhile back, I set up my Netflix queue with 500 different movies and documentaries that I wanted to see. I’ve watched a bunch and I’m finally below 100. The other half despises my choice of things to watch. She jokes that I did this when Netflix didn’t have anything decent to watch. Tonight’s choice of DVD was “The Search For John Wilkes Booth.” I’m enjoying it, but the other half does not seem to. I think she’ll be happy when I have nothing else to watch on my queue, although she’s added some movies to the queue. Now that I’ve bored you, let’s get back to the beer…

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ABV: 7.2%

Style: Rye Beer

Trivia: This was brewed in collaboration with Oskar Blues Brewery.

Random: The glass I used for this one is my newest one, purchased from Dogfish Head during our vacation.

This brew poured with a three finger, pure white head that dissipated slowly and left generous lacing on the glass. The body was a clear copper color with light carbonation visible. The nose had a bit of hops on it with a touch of tropical fruit. It also had some rye and bready malt after a few sniffs. The taste started with some sweetness from the malt and molasses and quickly went into spicy rye with citrus hops as well. The body was on the thicker side with light carbonation that could have been dialed up to cut through the booze warming at the end of the sip. It had a long finish with citrus hops and spicy rye. This beer was pretty good. I enjoyed the abundance of rye in the flavor and would have it again.


One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving is the sweet potatoes. Every year, we do sweet potatoes with raisins and apples and a bourbon glaze that I love. For years, my sister and I would fight over the leftovers. Now that I’ve written this, I’m having a craving for sweet potatoes. This beer uses potatoes in it and is also brewed in collaboration with the brewer’s alliance from the city that Sierra Nevada just built their new brewery in. I definitely have to make my way down there and see that. Anyways, let’s see how this one was.

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ABV: 7%

Style: Scottish Ale

Trivia: This was brewed in collaboration with Asheville Brewers Alliance.

Random: This twelve pack has really been hit or miss so far. I’ve read a few other blogs and they seem to feel the same way.

This beer poured with a two and a half finger tan head that dissipated slowly. It left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark mahogany color with very little carbonation visible due to how dark the beer was. The nose had some notes of sweet, toasty malt. The taste was a more intense version of the nose with sweet malt, toasted bread with a touch of peat and smoke. What I didn’t get was any influence from the sweet potatoes. After a few sips, some light nuttiness came through as well. It had a thicker body with moderate carbonation. The beer finished with sweet malt and toasted bready and lingered. This was a decent beer, but again, it wasn’t amazing, which was a bit of a letdown.