In this review I’m covering three ciders at once because I can’t tell the difference between them and I feel like it would be cheating to post the same review three separate times with only minimal changes.
Okay, fine, it’s not entirely true that I can’t tell them apart at all — they’re a light, clear yellow-gold color with mild fizz, but when I hold them up to the light the Pear is slightly more yellow and the Manchurian slightly more gold. All three taste light and fairly dry but not bone-dry; the Pear’s a bit more sweet and mellow while the Manchurian has more bite, and the Pippin is slightly more tart.
If it were the case that these ciders all tasted incredible I might not be bothered by the fact that they’re nearly identical; as it is, none of them are objectionable, but neither do they stand out in particular.
I’ll be the first to admit here that this may all well come down to my own palate being insufficiently refined, but if I tasted one of the three at random from a glass, I wouldn’t for the life of me be able to guess which one it was. If it helps, I have high hopes that their fourth cider, the “Wild Fermented,” will stand out from the other three. I mean, it ought to, right?
The Manchurian is made from (surprise!) Manchurian Crabapples, the Pear is made from (quoth the bottle) “a blend of seedling and traditional perry pears,” and the Pippin (again – surprise!) from America’s cider apple darling the Newtown Pippin. The Manchurian and Pippin are 6.9% ABV, the Pear is 6.5%.
If you want to try one, I recommend the Pear, which comes in a bottle double the size of the Manchurian and Pippin at a couple dollars less than double the price. You can locate some Dragon’s Head for yourself here.