Shacksbury Spritz Citrus

Val asked me for a cider last night, so I pulled this one out for her. It was her first cider from Shacksbury, so I was curious as to how it was.

ABV: 3.8%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the cidery website, “Far from ordinary, apples are the most diverse food plant on earth. Unfortunately, only a handful of varieties are cultivated at scale in America, and all of those are designed for eating, not cider making. At Shacksbury, we believe cider can, and should, be daring and complex. From gnarled trees on New England farmsteads to Old World orchards in England and Spain, our cider will change the way you think about this amazing fruit.”

Random: Other than beer, I pretty much only drink coffee, seltzer and iced tea at home.

The cider poured with absolutely no head. The body had a slight orange-pink color to it and was slightly hazy. There was some carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of light citrus to it, specifically oranges and orange blossom came through. There was a small amount of apples. The taste was very, very light. It almost reminded me of an apple and orange seltzer. The apple presence was minimal and orange peel came through. The body was watery and there was plenty of carbonation. It had an instantaneous finish with orange. This was also a gift, so no commentary on the price. When Val told me that she didn’t like this one, I was assuming that it was going to be on the tart side, but it was just because it really didn’t have much flavor. I won’t be having this one again.

Untappd Rating: 1.5/5.0


Graft Book Of Nomad: High Tower

This review is the last of the ciders for a little bit. We’re headed back to beer. But before that, let’s see how this was.

ABV: 6.9%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the cidery website, “The Oracle leads Nomad, Dog and the Light Force rebels to the High Tower: a structure which contains the coding that has kept Daika enslaved for centuries. It has been prophesied that an outsider is the only one capable of destroying this evil. The Bokun sentinels are alerted as Dog rushes to drop the data orb in the destruction chamber while the Light Force hold off the evil forces. As the orb’s lethal code is computed, the top-portion of High Tower implodes. Victorious shouting fills the galaxy as the evil android’s control has been relinquished once and for all.”

Random: I love peaches, but hate peach flavoring.

The cider poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated slowly, but left a small amount of lacing on the glass. The body was hazy and gold color with some floaties in it as well. There was still a lot of carbonation visible. The nose started with a lot of peach and apricot notes along with some sweet apple juice. The taste started with some apple sweetness and quickly went into peach and apricot as well. A slight tartness came through next to balance it out. The body was on the lighter side with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick finish with sweet apples and peach. A can of this was $4.25, which broke down to $.35 per ounce. This was on the more expensive side, but I appreciated that the peach tasted authentic.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Graft Lost Tropic

Where Val and I live, there are very few good brunch places by us. We have one place that is always crowded, but the food is so hit or miss that I usually spend about 6 months out of the year mad at them for a bad visit and refuse to go back. Then, Val convinces me to go back and the cycle continues. We should just stick to going to Philly for brunch.

ABV: 6.9%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the cidery website, “Juicy & Tart. Dry hopped cider with Citra & Vic Secret hops, Orange zest, Grapefruit zest. Pairs well with late mornings and early afternoons.”

Random: I’ve never had a cider with brunch. I’m going to have to try it.

The cider poured with a half a finger of white head. It dissipated quickly, leaving no lacing on the glass. The body was cloudy yellow color with a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was very floral with a lot of green apple. It had some grapefruit notes as well. The taste was really bright up front. It started with the same green apple note and had some green apple peel as well. White grape came through next with lots of citrus. I picked up orange and grapefruit zest specifically. The body was on the lighter side, despite the higher ABV. It had a lot of carbonation, which made it go down very easily. The finish was lengthy with citrus. A can was $3, which came to $.25 per ounce. I liked this cider a lot and could see how it would easily pair with brunch.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Graft Cloud City Crimson District

Tonight’s selection is another one from Graft. They also started distributing to New Jersey, so I can get their ciders more regularly. Let’s see how this one was.

ABV: 6.9%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the cidery website, “Nomads travels through the city in the clouds had left him jaded. The duplicity of the religious fanatics, the over the top opulence and sleaze of the party district, to the waste and commercialization of the consumer district. He needed a place to vent to rage against it all and what better outlet then the Crimson District.”

Random: This cider came out in December of 2017.

This cider poured with less than a quarter finger of white head that dissipated instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was clear and bright reddish-pink. There was moderate carbonation visible. The nose was strong with a lot of raspberry and cranberry up front. The spice came through next with ginger and clove. The taste was intense. I picked up the fruit up front and it punched me in the mouth with raspberry, cranberry and some blackberries as well. The spice came through with clove, cinnamon and lots of ginger. Orange zest came through next. The body was heavier than I wanted, but at least had a lot of carbonation. The finish was lengthy and sticky with berries. A can of this was $3.75, which came to $.31 per ounce. This cider was just not balanced with the flavors. I wouldn’t have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Graft Hop Tropic

Tonight’s selection is from a cidery that is getting a lot of press and has super cute labels.

ABV: 6.9%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the cidery website, “Graft was created by siblings Kyle & Sara Sherrer to develop a new kind of cider company. Their concept was two-fold: paying respect to old-world style of cider making while simultaneously experimenting with modern brewing techniques. All of Graft’s ciders employ century-old European traditions of using wild yeast and bacteria to ferment to dryness. They then harness the flavor profiles created from this style of natural cider and develop unique and innovative styles which take a nod from some of the best craft beer producers in the world. We are a small company with a big dream of bringing sour cider to the masses and have assembled an amazing team of people to help bring it to you!”

Random: I’m not sure if this cider is still being made since the cidery doesn’t have this one on their website.

The cider poured with less than a finger of white head that dissipated by the time I took the photo. The body was cloudy and a greenish-yellow body. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose had some grapefruit and funk up front. Green apples were present as well. The taste was much of the same. It started with tart green apples and transitioned into some funk and hay. The grapefruit note came through as well. It also had a floral note as well. The body was on the light side with lots of carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with funk and tart green apples. A can was $2.62, which came to $.22 per ounce. I thought this was an interesting cider, but wish the flavors worked a little better together.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Ola Brew Kauai Ginger Cider

I didn’t do much reviewing of beers while on my honeymoon, but this is one that I got in while I was on the Big Island.

ABV: 6.2%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the cidery website, “PROUD TO BE COMMUNITY OWNED. At Ola Brew Co. everything we do is made possible by a passionate community of over 400 stakeholders, employees, and friends—most of them living and working right here in Hawai’i County. This year we’re calling out to our community to help make the Ola Brew experience even better without relying on capital from big banks, corporate sponsors, or out-of-state VCs. The plan is to begin serving food from an onsite kitchen, add a deck with outdoor seating, triple our brewing capacity with more fermenters, and to purchase four times more organic fruit and grain from local farmers. Sounds great, right?! With your help we can make it happen and keep Ola Brew Co. community owned!”

Random: I’m really starting to enjoy fresh ginger.

The cider poured with less than a finger of white head. It dissipated by the time I took the picture, but left a small crown on top of the yellow body. The body was cloudy with no visible carbonation. The nose was filled with fresh apple juice and lots of fresh ginger. The nose was intense for sure. The taste was similar to the nose. The ginger came through first and was very pungent. The apple juice came next with some yeast as well. The body was on the medium side with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick finish with ginger and apples. I enjoyed this cider, but it was a bit one-dimensional.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Portland Sangria

One of the things I enjoy most about blogging in the morning is watching all of the animals outside. I got to see a rabbit hop across the street this morning.

ABV: 5.5%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the producer’s website, “We are that perfect blend of Pacific Northwest wine and juice served up in a can with a touch of fizz. Not too sweet and not too buzzy. In fact, it’s just right. Sometimes accidents—and a fist-full of hustle—lead to the greatest of discoveries. That is the story of Portland Sangria. It all began in 2010 with winemaker Ryan Sharp at his urban winery tucked into SE Portland’s Buckman neighborhood. He was just about done bottling rosé when he realized there were about 10 extra cases worth of wine and no more bottles sitting before him. Time was of the essence as Ryan was practicing natural fermentation, so any longer in the tank meant it could referment which is not good! Being the smart and resourceful Portlander he is, Ryan knew one thing was certain: ONE NEVER DUMPS GOOD ROSÉ! So he poured the leftover wine into an empty keg, blended in some fresh berry juice and popped it onto the tap system in his tasting lounge. He listed it as Portland Sangria and served it in frosty pint glasses over ice and frozen berries. Two months later, the kegs were empty and people were begging for more. Ryan had his sights set on making Portland Sangria a reality and taking it to a wider market, so he called on Mercy Corps NW’s small-business program. They saw his vision, offered him a loan to buy his first batch of grapes, and then just like that, Portland Sangria was born. Soon after, Ryan started packaging it for retail and all of us have been blown away by the response. It continues to out-perform all of its in-class competitors! We are committed to quality, flavor and innovation. We only use WHOLE, all NATURAL ingredients and NEVER USE additives you can’t pronounce. We are committed to making a product that can stand up to any wine, beer, cider or cocktail any day of the week. Each flavor of Portland Sangria is a half-and-half blend of premium dry wine and juice from the Pacific Northwest that’s finished with fresh herbs or whole spices. And at 6.5% ABV, it’s the daydrinker’s best friend!”

Random: The can art reminds me of old baseball teams.

The sangria poured with no head on top of a bright red body. It was clear and there was no carbonation visible. The nose was filled with red wine and blackberry and currant. The taste was on the sweeter side and still had a lot of red wine. There was a lot of fruit, specifically strawberry and blackberry, but it tasted a bit artificial to me. The body was on the lighter side and still. It had a quick finish with red wine. I bought this for Val awhile ago, so I don’t recall how much I spent on it. Either way, this just wasn’t for me.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0