My first experience with Snowdrift Cider was a glass of their Nebula Red at Capitol Cider a while back. It was, and I put this mildly, like pure manna from heaven descended into a glass. Nothing I’ve tried from Snowdrift since then has quite lived up, as is so often the case, but I still get excited when I see their labels.
Deep golden in color, 7.8% ABV and mostly still, Cliffbreaks has a fresh, tangy scent underlaid with light bittersweetness.
For some reason the aroma led me to expect a drier cider than it turned out to be. In addition, the bittersweet notes in the aroma don’t particularly translate into bitterness in the flavor.
It has some tannins supporting a profile largely dominated by strong, mouth-puckering tartness and acidity, but is decidedly more on the sweet side than the dry.
That’s not to say it’s over-sweet, or that I’m bothered by the lack of bitterness — the balance is quite good. “Bold & Assertive” is how the bottle sums up Cliffbreaks, and I’m not inclined to argue (though I’m not entirely on board with the more detailed notes they claim, like an “aromatic coconut finish”).
Find yourself some Snowdrift here! They’re pretty small right now, so good luck if you’re not in Washington, but they do have an online shop, and I look forward to them expanding over the coming years.