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Hard Cider

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:20 pm
by Greyt.Chase
Ok everyone! What is your favorite hard cider?

I'm in Michigan, so apples are plentiful (except last year.) There is a place on the west side of the state called Vander Mill. They make a hard cider in a 30 gallon batch and put cinnamon roasted pecans in it. Not only does it change the flavor slightly, it changes the texture. It's called Totally Roasted. I have also had one from Vander Mill in which they age their cyser in used bourbon barrels that have been used to age not only Bourbon, but beer. It's called Founders Keepers.

As far as a national brand goes, I've been loving the ciders i've gotten from Angry Orchards. I was weary at first to buy it, but it tastes great and is owned by Sam Adams. Double plus in my book.

So, what kind of hard cider do you guys like to drink?

Re: Hard Cider

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:10 pm
by OrangePippin-Richard
If you ever get a chance to try French hard cider, from Brittany or Normandy - almost any brand will be fabulous. Somehow they capture the essence of apple-ness in a way that I've not often found in English or American ciders. I think (not certain) they may use a natural in-bottle fermentation to get the fizz.

Re: Hard Cider

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:54 am
by dmtaylor
From a good old Wisconsin boy here...

I have seeked out and tasted dozens of ciders from all over. My favorites have all been from outside of the USA. Gaymer's from Britain, County Cider from Canada, St. Nicolas from France, Magner's from Ireland -- these are all outstanding, when I can find them, which is rare, except for Magner's.

I find that it is fairly difficult to find good cider here in the USA except for the ones that can afford a ton of marketing like Crispin and Angry Orchard, which are owned by Miller/Coors and Sam Adams. To find other good ciders, you most often have no choice but to purposely seek out and visit the cideries themselves. Some of the little ones that nobody knows about are really excellent. Of the USA ones I have tasted so far, my favorites have been, in order from best to slightly less awesome:

Original Sin (New York)
Uncle John's (Michigan)
AEppelTreow (Wisconsin)
Doc's Draft (New York)
ACE (California)
Angry Orchard

And this is truly only the very tip of the iceberg, and some of the easier ones to find. As you can see, there are a lot of ciders that I actually prefer even over Angry Orchard. All of these companies make great cider that is miles above the likes of Woodchuck and Hornsby's, which relatively speaking are complete crap.

And for God's sake, don't anyone dare to try the new Redd's Apple Beer (also made by Miller/Coors). Absolutely horrendous stuff, not made from apples but artificial apple flavoring. Blecch!!

Good luck on finding good cider!

Re: Hard Cider

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:53 pm
by Greyt.Chase
I like Angry Orchard above ones like Woodchuck mainly because of who owns it. Angry Orchard is owned by Sam Adams, a macrobrewery with a microbrewery mindset. That takes it a bit above Crispin, which is owned by MillerCoors.

Uncle Johns is alright. In my opinion, their best one is the blueberry apple cider because of it's tart qualities. I want to get my hands on some Virtue Cider out of Fennville, MI. The guy who owns it was his dad's assistant (his dad was the head brewer) at Goose Island before they sold out to AB-InBev. They are mainly in the Chicago market right now but are opening at tap room at their location in Fennville.

It might make me a jerk because I tend to not buy products owned by some of the giants, but I guess i'll just be a hipster jerk then! I'd rather spend my money paying the little guys who produce some top notch stuff.

Re: Hard Cider

Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:32 am
by Greyt.Chase
The best cider i've tasted this year is from a place called Sietsema Orchard in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They call it "Orange Label." What makes it special is that it's aged in bourbon barrels. When it's fresh, you can taste the bourbon. Almost to the point that it almost burns going down your throat. It's amazing. When it starts to age, a lot of the bourbon goes away. I sat on a bottle from September until July, and it wasn't as "bourbony" as the fresh stuff.

Second best cider i've had recently is Totally Roasted from Vander Mill in Spring Lake, Michigan (just outside of Grand Rapids.) I talked about it in my first post. Awesome cider.

Re: Hard Cider

Posted: Mon May 04, 2020 8:56 am
by Kellogg Hill Farms
I will concur with a few posts on here that Angry Orchard is a good cider. Here in NY it is easier to find ciders than other places around the country that I've traveled to. Original Sin is very good, as well. It is a little harder to find here, being much smaller in scale than Angry Orchard.

Woodchuck is not on my list of favorites.