Seattle Cider Summit Roundup

Seattle's secret: beautiful, sunny summers.

Seattle’s secret: beautiful, sunny summers.

In lieu of a regular post today, I thought I’d give some quick notes on things I tried at last weekend’s Seattle Cider Summit. With 40 tables and several offerings per table, there was no way I could have tried everything, even had I been there the entire duration of the festival. A lot of the offerings were things I’ve seen in local stores, though, so I was able to focus mainly on stuff that was local but new or unfamiliar.

Boonville – Bite Hard: Very very dry, and a little bitter, but medium body and a pretty decent balance of flavors.

Crispin – Pacific Pear: WOW, I love this. Dramatic pear flavor and aroma, quite sweet but still pretty light. The pear cider answer to something like an Angry Orchard Crisp Apple, perhaps. Made completely with pear juice, rather than a mix of apple & pear as many pear ciders are.

Eden Ice Cider – Heirloom Blend: If you like ice wine, or extremely sweet dessert wines in general, this is for you. Extremely concentrated apple flavor & sweetness.

EZ Orchards – Hawk Haus: Crisp, dry, light, sparkling. Slight farm-y aroma.

Grizzly Ciderworks – Bourbon Barrel-Aged: Yikes. Yikes. I don’t know if I’m just not the target market for this cider or if it got too hot and the supply went bad or what, because it tasted terrible. Kinda soapy and kinda gross and entirely yuck. I got nothing in the way of a “barrel aged” flavor.

Liberty Ciderworks – Stonewall Whiskey Barrel: Crisp and dry but a little bitter and musty. Respectable but not my favorite.

Methow Valley – Honey Bear: This is the 3rd year I’ve been to the Seattle Cider Summit and I’ve made sure to get some Honey Bear every time. Love this stuff. Distinctly lovely honey aroma and flavor, and like the Pacific Pear it’s sweet but still fairly light.

Neigel – Pearfect Pie: HELLO YES THIS IS PIE. This is definitely totally a pie-flavored pear cider, and I wasn’t that wild about it just because it was so strongly about the clove-cinnamon aroma and apple-pie-but-kinda-pears taste. I meant to get back to this booth & try another cider of theirs but didn’t have a chance, which is a shame because I really respect & am intrigued by any cidery that’s focusing specifically on pear cider.

Rogue – Fruit Salad Cider: Pretty much what you might gather from the name. A mix of fruit flavors and a general “fruit juice” red/orange color, though they kept it pretty dry despite the fruit.

Sixknot – Purple Sage: I don’t know if this is really what they were going for but I got a distinct vinegar aspect from the taste. I wish I’d written down the description of it, because it said it was an experimental blend of some kind of pomace and some kind of apples. It’s not terrible, but you really better like drinking fizzy vinegary acidic cider.