Featured Portland Cider Review – Prickly Punch

The next cider up from Portland Cider is their Prickly Punch that uses the desert prickly pear.

And not just prickly pear but orange, guava and strawberry. Which flavor will lord over the others? Or will it be a democracy of fruit?

The orange and guava have ceded ground to at first strawberry and then the prickly pear before the cider itself steps in. Thankfully it is not as sweet as I feared it would be. Has a nice bracing mouthfeel to it.

Featured Portland Cider Review – Lemon Drop

The next cider up from Portland Cider is Lemon Drop made with not just regular lemons but the extra fancy Meyer variety.

I was really hoping to get a big ol’ punch of Meyer lemon in this one. I really like lemon flavor but I just did not find it in this cider named after a cocktail. That is not to say that this wasn’t a good tasting cider, just that the name led me to a destination that it just could not arrive at.

Featured Portland Cider Review – Community Cider

I really like the whole community aspect of craft beverages. Maybe because the U.S. seems so easily divided these days so I was very pleased to see that Portland Cider had a Community Cider, using apples and pears from around Portland. To make it even more positive, it’s charity cider too.

CC pours a super light yellow. Nearly shades of seltzer. It has the typical cider aroma of apple and apple skin. Initial taste is bright and sweet. The pear really shines through to add an extra dimension. There is a tiny bit of a spice note but overall, a down the middle cider.

Featured Portland Cider Review – Imperial Peach Tea

I went big with the first choice of Portland Cider’s appley offerings, straight to an Imperial, with peach tea.

Before I describe it, here is the website description, “A rich, golden imperial cider from crisp Northwest apples and mouthwateringly juicy Washington peaches. Steeped Assam black tea from Steven Smith Teamaker adds an extra zing that puts this cider a notch above the rest.”

To start, for this to be successful, I need to taste an apple base followed by peach tea. A spiced apple flavor is there and I am picking up some tea tannins in the background. Past that though, I am not getting much. It is tasty to drink but, to me, the imperial, the peach and the tea are well hidden. I kinda expect peach to be background but tea should be there.

Good but not firing with all cylinders.

NW Cidery # 2 – Portland Cider Co.

During my last Portland visit, I was finally able to sneak in some time at a cider tap room. In this case the satellite for Portland Cider Co. on Hawthorne. They lead with their own ciders including ciders with fresh hops (First Crop), cider with a Hawaiian twist (Maui Cruiser) and a cider aged in used gin barrels (London Dry). They also have ciders from other producers on tap as well so you can easily compare and contrast styles and apples.

I suggest going for the weirder ones but you could also start with their mainline offerings:

Kinda Dry
“Traditional English cider is dry, lightly carbonated, has very subtle apple flavors, and a lingering fresh finish. It is in the spirit of this traditional cider that we blend our Kinda Dry. We use fresh pressed juice from a blend of NW grown culinary apples such as Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Gala, Golden and Red Delicious, carefully ferment them with a yeast that preserves their subtle characteristics, give the cider time to develop to its full potential, then bottle or keg at just the right time. Just off dry, light, clean, refreshing, with a pleasant finish, Kinda Dry is the cider to always have on hand.”

Sorta Sweet
“If we had to describe this cider in a word it would be YUM! Blended with similar varieties of apples as our Kinda Dry, Sorta Sweet will hit you with apple flavor right from the start. Balancing the higher levels of residual sugars with just the right amount of tartness gives Sorta Sweet a fresh flavor that tastes like biting into your favorite apple. A nice long finish follows that makes sipping a pint something not to be rushed. We ferment it with the same care and give it the same attention to detail as our other ciders. Also lightly carbonated, pair a glass of Sorta Sweet with your favorite curry or any spicy dish and you cannot go wrong.”

Pearfect Perry
“Made from nothing but a blend of Bartlett and D’Anjou pear juice. This light perry is medium sweet and bursting with pear notes. Like all our ciders it is balanced and refreshing. Available on draft and in 22oz bottles, ask for it at your favorite growler station or pub.”

“Take a balanced dry cider, infuse it with the fragrant Citra variety of hops, then double down on the citrus notes of those hops by throwing in some bitter orange peel, and the result is an outrageously refreshing hopped cider that can only be described as Hop’rageous! With equal notes of bitter hop and tangy citrus, this unexpected combination pairs well with anything coming off the grill.”

In the Tap Lines for March 2016

March has blown in for another round and this month, the Portland posts start us off and will be the featured reviews. L.A. happenings and news will start to seep in though as Phantom Carriage turns one and Brouwerij West turns One day + tickets for the 8th L.A. Beer Week Kick-Off go on sale in 4 days!

~ e-visits to three cideries from Oregon such as Portland Cider Co., Cider Riot and the Apple Outlaw.
~ special featured reviews of beers from Portland
~ Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads the Best Food Writing of 2015
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world
~ … and Session # 109 covers the topic, “?”

Here are two events to get your March started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) March 4th – The Doughroom will have (3) taps from Bend, Oregon’s Crux Fermentation on draft.
2) March 12thFirkfest at Farmer’s Park in Anaheim