Forest Ginger Cider – Finnriver Cidery (Chimacum, WA, USA)

TL:DR – “well-integrated mild ginger-fir into the solid apple cider base, cloying after a glass”

Forest Ginger – Elijah K. Swan’s Infused Botanical Hard Cider – Finnriver Cidery, 6.5% ABV, 500 ml., (Chimacum, Washington, USA)

on the front-right label:

“Made from a blend of fermented Washington organic and heirloom apples, infused with fresh ginger and the green tips of local fir trees, and organic sugar.”

  • Style: (flavoured – ginger, fir tips) Apple Cider
  • Taste: fruity tangy tart apple light ginger subtle fir slight cloying tart sugars
  • Where I got it : Imperial Bottle Shop / Portland
  • How much: $9 USD – 12 fl.oz., November 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: yes
  • What made an impression: cohesive apple-ginger-fir flavour

Visual: (cellared for 3.5 years). Pours almost clear light orange-yellow with no head, micro bubbles along the perimeter, a few micro bubbles surfacing here and there – not much.

Nose: ginger-fir-dense apple blend, very aromatic. (lvl-10)-pungency.

Attack: soft crisp, medium tart

Mid-palate: fir tips exhale, clean light ginger w/o heat, fruity tart red-green apple hybrid juicy, (lvl-3-sweetness), background tangy acidity

Finish: fruity apple juice exhale, mild residual cloying tartness

Summary: A big dense apple fruity profile with a cohesive addition of ginger and fir that help elevate the cider to the next level. The fruitiness and tartness become cloying after a glass but that is easily remedied by a few salty bites. Great with a meal.

Razz Cider – Scenic Road Cider Co. (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

TL:DR – “just sweet, not complex enough flavour”

Razz Cider (apple cider with raspberries) – Scenic Road Cider Co., 6.9% ABV, 500 ml., (Kelowna, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft cider*)

on the front-right label:

“This cider is made exclusively with local dessert apples and raspberries including apples grown by us. Our craft ciders are hand blended in small batches. Authentic, artisanal, always. From our backyards to your bottle.”

  • Style: (flavoured – raspberry) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Cloying authentic basic raspberry-apple light sour acidic
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $9.40 (after 20% off) – 500 ml., October 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: no
  • What made an impression: hidden ABV, but basic boring flavour

Visual: Pours rosé pinkish-orange, clear as water, no head or retention, several steady slow micro streams, micro bubbles along the perimeter.

Nose: very clean raspberry, red apple backdrop, bright fruity acidity. (lvl-7)-pungency.

Attack: crisp-tart, light CO2

Mid-palate: sustained tartness, (lvl-6-sweetness), tangy medium-sour raspberry, background basic apple juice

Finish: residual apple acidity, compounding cloying sugars, red apple exhale

Summary: Its sweetness and one-note, low-depth raspberry-apple flavour profile make this one drink more like a cooler than hardcore craft cider. It comes across as basic yet drinkable, hence forgettable. Too bad since the nose was rather appealing. Well-hidden ABV at least.

The Joe Shack (Rhubarb Cider) – Left Field Cider Co. (Logan Lake, BC, Canada)


  • My Rating: [D+]

The Joe Shack (Rhubarb Infused Cider) – Left Field Cider Co., 6.7% ABV, 500ml, (Logan Lake, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft cider*)

On the front-right label:

“….this cider is made by infusing our full juice cider with fresh pressed rhubarb, the result – the perfect way to kick back after a long day in the summer sun.”


  • Style: (flavoured – rhubarb) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Tart tangy acidic off-dry dull apple mild rhubarb unclean
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $9 CAD (after 5% off) – 500ml., October 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: no
  • What made an impression: dull unappetizing flavour

Visual: Pours crystal clear blush pink with large bubbles hugging the side of the glass, sporadic fast bubbles surfacing.

Nose: cotton candy, tangy apple acidity, mildly dank (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: tart, flat, juicy acidic impression

Mid-palate: cloying apple juice, (lvl-2-sweetness), dull body, sticky tangy acidic tart

Finish: rhubarb tartness, thickened saliva, unclean vegginess

Summary: The dull cloying apple body combined with off-dry mids, too much tart-tanginess, and a flat CO2 equates to a subpar experience. The apple-rhubarb flavour itself is very muddled to the point where you are not sure what it is you are drinking. Definitely the worst of the five ciders I’ve tasted to date.

Breeze – West Coast Cider Co. (Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [B+]

Breeze (Cider) – West Coast Cider Company, 5.9% ABV, 650 ml., (Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada) (*local BC cider*)

on the back label:

“At WestCoast Cider we honour the apple. We believe strongly that the beauty of the apple lies in its diversity. Golden, red bitter, sweet, tart, mellow, juicy, and crisp are but a handful of adjectives to describe this jewel. The medley of aromas, tastes, and colours that a cider craftsperson can bring to the world makes each craftsperson different and therefore unique.

We at WestCoast Cider are proud to be a part of this age old tradition and we are delighted to bring to you our interpretations of how best to honour this magical fruit. Peace and Love.

Summer Breeze makes us feel fine.”


  • Style: Apple Cider
  • Taste: bright peach stonefruit slightly cloying sugars pear-apple
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $11.05 CAD (after 10% off) – 750ml., March 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes
  • What made an impression: extreme bright peach, Moscato d’Asti-like

Visual: Pours clear pale straw yellow, no head, no activity, just a few bubbles surfacing, very uneventful.

Nose: super bright peach-pineapple-mango, just like a Moscato. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: tingly, light crisp, dense sugars

Mid-palate: medium sticky (lvl-5-sweetness), peach, medium tangy acidity, pear, pineapple-mango, background green apple

Finish: light papaya notes, lingering apple-pear

Summary: Visually it’s not appealing at all but the moment you take a sip you the bright peach flavour takes over. This is the first apple cider that has ever tasted like Moscato; the blend of apples used to make this absolutely brilliant, flavourwise. It could use a more lively CO2 mouthfeel and fluffier texture to play down the sweetness. Definitely worth a try.

Cambremer Cider de Tradition Pays d’Auge AOP – Manoir de Grandouet (France)

Cambremer Cider de Tradition Pays d’Auge AOP – Manoir de Grandouet, 4.5% ABV, 750 ml., (Grandouet, France)

-Médaille d’Or Cambremer 2012 – Concours du festival des AOC/AOP

info from

Les pommes utilisées pour l’élaboration de ce cidre AOP Pays d’Auge proviennent de nos vergers installés sur des sols argilo-calcaire. Le subtil assemblage de plusieurs variétés de pommes, parmi les plus traditionnelles et typiques du Pays d’Auge, assure à ce cidre un bon équilibre entre sucre, acidité et amertume.

Après pressage, le moût obtenu, 100% pur jus, fermente lentement sous l’action des levures naturellement présentes sur les pommes. Il faut environ 3 mois de fermentation pour obtenir un cidre demi-sec (4,5° vol. d’alcool). Le cidre est alors mis en bouteille où les levures vont prolonger la fermentation pour assurer la prise de mousse. Il faut environ 3 mois après la mise en bouteille pour obtenir un cidre à la mousse fine et pétillante.

The apples used to make this cider AOP Pays d’Auge come from our orchards on clayey-limestone soils. The subtle blend of several varieties of apples, among the most traditional and typical of the Pays d’Auge, ensures this cider a good balance between sugar, acidity and bitterness.

(translated by google)

After pressing, the wort obtained, 100% pure juice, ferments slowly under the action of the yeasts naturally present on the apples. It takes about 3 months of fermentation to obtain a semi-dry cider (4,5 ° vol. Of alcohol). The cider is then bottled where the yeasts will prolong the fermentation to ensure the intake of foam. It takes about 3 months after bottling to obtain a cider with fine and sparkling foam.

  • Style: Apple Cider
  • Taste: Supremely clean balanced fruity light woody tangy apple juice
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $12 CAD (after 10% off) – 750ml., October 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Real cork with steel cap top. Pours deep yellow-orange with a fizzy dissipating soda head, not much other than some micro bubbles along the perimeter, occasional bubble surfacing.

Nose: rich apple juice, woody acidity, light yeasty funk (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: soft crisp, bright fruity apple

Mid-palate: micro-tingly-fizzy, (lvl-3-sweetness), fruity tangy soft acidic, woody unfiltered apple juice

Finish: hint of alcoholic tang, mild tart, residual purity of apple flavour

Summary: Extremely natural and clean tasting apple cider with just a touch of woody funk and enough sweetness to satisfy the palate. Gold medals well deserved.

Hopped Apricot – Salt Spring Wild Cider House (Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada)

Hopped Apricot – Salt Spring Wild Cider House, 6.8% ABV, 750 ml., (Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada) (*local BC cider*)

-The 2nd Salt Spring Wild bottled tasting, 1st being their Plum Cider [C].

on the front-left label and a pic of an Italian prune plum:

“We’ve blended cascade hops, apricots, and organic apples together to create an aromatic cider that challenges conceptions of what cider can be. Both cider lovers and beer lovers will find a perfect union in this flavourful hefeweizen-esque all season cider.”


  • Style: (flavoured – apricot, cascade hops) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Crisp tangy tart dry apple grapefruit hopped subtle apricot
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $16.15 CAD (after 10% off) – 750ml., March 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes

Visual: Bailer-top resealable cap. Pours clear apple juice yellow, no head, very slow and steady countable spread out micro streams.

Nose: muscat, filtered apple juice, slight perfumey apricot. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: firm crisp, bright fruity impression

Mid-palate: micro-tingly, (lvl-2-sweetness), background tangy-soft tart, dry apple juice, juicy grapefruit hopped exhale

Finish: lingering apricot, residual fruity dry apple

Summary: I really appreciate that you can ACTUALLY taste hops and apricots. Good integration and balance of flavours, very nice transitions. Solid stuff, and better than their plum cider.

Isastegi Sagardo Naturala – Sidreria Isastegi Sagardotegia (Tolosa, Spain)

Isastegi Sagardo Naturala – Sidreria Isastegi Sagardotegia, 6% ABV, 750 ml., (Tolosa, Spain)

  • Style: (barrel aged) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Puckery sour soft tart pukey woody apple cider vinegar
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $12.45 (after 20% off) – 750 ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: no

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Plastic wrapped top, real cork. Pours clear pale yellow with no head, large bubbles along the glass wall, bubbles sporadically surfacing. Large sediment settled in the bottle.

Nose: tangy woody apple cider vinegar (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: virtually flat CO2, very subtle tingly, sour-acidic impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-2-sweetness), huge wet woodiness, apple cider vinegar, big puckery sour pukey funk, subtle green apple

Finish: tart dryish, lingering woody apple juice exhale

Summary: Another traditional cider from Spain, the first Sidra Bere which I reviewed here [B]. This one is too aggressive pukey sour and is lacking in firm crispness in the entry. Too much vinegar and not enough apple coming through.