Monday, November 12, 2012

Notes from the cider tasting

On Sunday, we opened our home so that some friends could host a cider tasting party. There were 13 ciders, and 19 drinkers. We decided to be methodical about it, and actually do a tasting first, and then get drunk on our favorites later. Also, we played with the feature on Google events where phone photos are automatically uploaded. Enjoy our shaky, drunken, phone photos!
My Mom and I with our matching pink cheeks. (Photo credit: Pearl Young)
The really smart part was the suggestion by Kathy that we hire a babysitter to wrangle the kids while we did the tasting. They still came in for snacks and drinks (we had a small selection of non alcoholic ciders for them to taste, the winner was sparkling cider), but they did a great job managing toy disputes and coming up with fun things for the kids to do.
My smart contribution was to use wet erase markers on our glasses so that everyone could find their drink when it had been set down.
Our intrepid note taker and his appropriate shirt. (Photo credit: Pearl Young)
Some people took their own notes, but Alan offered to take general notes for us all. He was wearing an appropriately themed t-shirt for the occasion.  I've transcribed the notes below Alan's handwriting before, so some of these words may be wrong, especially since it gets harder to read the more ciders we drank. My commentary is below the names, in non-bulleted form.
The babysitters had left at this point, so it was a free for all of kids and adults, hanging out.
After the tasting there was a potluck dinner, and games. The people with the youngest kids stayed the longest, so there were some tired babies at the end of the night, but a good time was had by all.
The selection of ciders. The row at the very end next to the plastic cups were the kid's drinks. (Photo credit: Shawn Marier)
Presented in the order we drank them in.
Julian Cherry Bomb

  • Too sour
  • Not enough cherry
  • Suspicious "cherry flavor"
  • Tasted like essence of cherry
Anthem Cherry

  • Tastes like dried cherries
  • Sweet then sour
  • Smokiness
  • Liked this cherry better
  • Sweeter
  • Not cranky enough
Westons Olde Rosie Scrumpy
This was one of the least liked ciders.

  • Smooth for a scrumpy
  • Better with food
Thistly Cross Scottish Cider
This was one of the most liked ciders.

  • Very fragrant
  • Lots of apple smell
  • Sweeter
  • Tastes like apple juice
  • Alcoholic Martinellis
  • Brisk
  • Juice
Methow Valley Howling Wolf
This was one of the least liked ciders, we actually thought maybe it was a bad bottle, but all the bottles tasted the same.

  • Smells like green apples
  • Sour finish
  • Like a Reisling
  • I could cook with it, but it's not a favorite
  • Thought of as blah
Eaglemount Ginger
The group was split on this. Ginger lovers loved it. Ginger neutral/haters didn't.

  • Fragrant
  • Strong ginger flavor
  • Starts sour/bitter, finishes sweet
  • Medicinal
  • Too gingery
  • Mmmm... Me likey
Finnriver Appleblueberry

  • More sour then expected
  • Balanced
  • Dry
  • Can taste the blueberry
Alpenfire Spark!

  • Nice
  • Smooth
  • Sweet, but not overpowering
  • You get the apple-ness
Snowdrift Pear Wine
Hands down the least favorite. Only one person wanted to drink more than the taste, and a number of people refused to finish their tastes. We also didn't notice it was a wine until after the tasting. No wonder we didn't like it as a cider!

  • Unexciting
  • Defiitely pear
  • Too much banana
  • Watered down
  • Gritty
  • Too allergenic (said by the person allergic to pears)
  • Got some berryness with a cloud of sweet peary goodness over it
Sea Cider Prohibition
This was another clear winner, although only by those of us who like rum.

  • Like rum
  • Not sure about rum taste
  • As I got to the bottom, I liked it better
Tieton Apricot

  • Tastes like dried apricots
  • Bofin good cider (I think Alan was a wee bit tipsy at this point. What I transcribed as cider actually looks like ww.)
  • Citrusy
  • Faint apricot flavor
Blue Mountain Cranberry

  • Really good
  • Consistent
  • Pearl's favorite
  • Tastes like cranberry cocktail
Snowdrift Orchard Select

  • Very good
  • Nut very fussy
  • Just a good cider
  • Two thumbs up


  1. I'd have to look at the handwriting to figure out out myself. The joys of diagraphia.

  2. I'd have to look at the handwriting to figure out out myself. The joys of diagraphia.