Alpenfire – glow

Alpenfire "glow"

The color looked much more striking and unique on the shelf, I must admit.

I’d be remiss in not stating right up front: this is a pricey cider ($28 for a 750mL bottle). The idea of a “rosé” cider intrigued me, especially given how much I loved Snowdrift’s beautiful pink Nebula Red, and I figured, well, it’s only one bottle. And if it turned out to not be worth the price, all the more reason to review it — so I could warn folks away.

While I was at the liquor store, I helped one of the guys finish off a couple of bottles of Finnriver from a tasting earlier in the evening, and when he saw I was planning to buy this cider he absolutely raved about it.

Given that the last cider this guy raved about to me was the disastrously vinegary Troy, the tang of acidity I got from Glow’s aroma had me alarmed at first — but it’s not too strong, and accompanied by a lush dessert-apple smell.

Glow is a moderate 6.8% ABV and though it definitely looks pinkish in the bottle — in fact it had quite a lovely gradation of sunset colors, which my camera and lighting have utterly failed to catch — it comes out more orange in the glass.

Happily, this cider holds up well to its price tag and to the hype. There’s a fresh sweetness to the flavor, bright and sugary but not in an artificial way. Like apple cotton candy (and there’s a product I could really get behind, come to think of it). The tart acidity I picked up in the aroma follows through behind the sweetness, keeping it from getting too syrupy and giving it a great balance.

So all in all, while I wouldn’t be inclined to purchase Glow frequently, I find myself agreeing with how it was described to me in the store — think about what you’re getting for your money in comparison to wine.

For $30 in the wine world, you can generally count on getting a solid, respectable wine (though I’ve had plenty of cheap good wines and expensive bad wines), but not necessarily anything spectacular. For $30 in the cider world, on the other hand, you’re getting some damn fine cider.

Locate some Alpenfire for yourself here!