Raven’s Moon Apple Blackberry Cider – Blue Moon Cider Worx (Courtenay, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: [B]

Raven’s Moon Apple Blackberry Cider – Blue Moon Winery & Cider Worx, 9% ABV, 500ml., (Courtenay, BC, Canada)


on the back label:

“The night air brings a fresh, rich scent as the raven settles on a branch heavy with apples. Beneath the moon an apple thuds as it hits the ground. The Raven swoops down on black wings, tonight he feasts.

Wild blackberries signal the end of summer on Vancouver Island. Our artisan cider is crafted from a blend of BC heritage cider apples and island wild blackberries picked straight off the bush and warm from the sun.

What’s in the Worx you ask? Juice from freshly pressed heritage cider apples and wild blackberries, not from concentrate. No water or artificial flavours added.”

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  • Style:  (flavoured – Blackberry) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Deep BLACKBERRY tart TANGY acidic medium sour apple backbone
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $7.55 CAD (after 15% off) – 500ml, February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours beet purple with no head, several slow and steady singular streams.

Nose: blackberry/fieldberry juice (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: crisp-tart, incoming dark berry

Mid-palate: big tangy-zingy, juicy (lvl-6-sweetness), acidic crisp bite, dissipating sourness, apple backbone, deep blackberry

Finish: residual tart and tangy, berry exhale, a bit cloying

Summary: Huge authentic juicy blackberry flavour with a solid apple backbone. Very nice depth, good balanced textures.

Amarcord Italian Craft Beer (Apecchio, Italy)

Amarcord Italian Craft Beer (Apecchio, Italy)

Preference: Amarcord Tabachéra

1) Gradisca (Prima Donna), 5.2% ABV – 330ml

from ratebeer.com:

“Prima Donna Special Lager is a classic lager noted for its unique aroma and its unsurpassed hoppy flavour. It is characterized by a brillant golden color, a compact head, and its fresh, thirst-quenching qualities.

An Oscar-winning beer
…we chose to call our beer Gradisca, because we brew it in this corner of Romagna and San Marino, between the sea and the hills, a land rich in history and amazing stories. But above all, as a tribute to an illustrious celebrity who was born here, film director Frederico Fellini, who conquered cinema-goers the whole world over with his rich and poetic vein of inspiration, winning as many as four Oscars for his films, including, of course, Amarcord, where Gradisca is the protagonist. 4.7% Alc. Vol.

Note: Uses the name Gradisca on the local market, and Prima Donna for export. Known for being 4.7% ABV in the past, now at 5.2% ABV.”

  • Style: (blonde) Lager
  • My Rating: C-
  • Taste Profile: Yeasty/tingly -> bread/barley/malt -> off-dry bitter hoppy finish.
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek
  • How much: ~$4 (after 10%), Winter 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours almost clear golden yellow, smallish head, almost no retention, lots of active CO2 streams. Bready barley malts on the nose. Drinks very yeasty and tingly CO2 up front, 5/10-sweetness, transitions to grainy bread, barley, and off-dry med bitter hops in the finish. Light-bodied, somewhat thin/watery, crisp mouthfeel. Low-medium complexity, low-medium depth, okay transitions, below average carry, not that interesting drinkability.

2) Tabachéra, 9.0% ABV – 330ml

  • Style: Strong Ale
  • My Rating: B
  • Taste Profile: Sweet caramel malts -> coke/root beer -> med-bitter malt finish.
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek
  • How much: ~$4 (after 10%), Winter 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours medium dark brown with a smallish head, lots of CO2. Sweet caramel malts on the nose. Drinks with 8/10-sweetness, caramel/toffee up front, transitions into malts, coke, root beer, ending with a med-bitter malty finish. Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, good carry, good drinkability.