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.”

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  • 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.

Wild English – Sea Cider (Saanichton, BC, Canada)

Wild English – Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, 7.5% ABV, 750ml, (Saanichton, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft cider*)


on the back label:

“Earthy, robust and ultra dry, Wild English is not for the faint of heart. Named for the wild yeast fermentation of English cider apples, Wild English delivers the country aromas of a crisp autumn day in the orchard. Raise a glass of Sea Cider and indulge your wild side!”


  • Style: (Dry) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Dry woody slight funk red apple juicy tangy tart more woody exhale
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey /N. Burnaby
  • How much: $16.60 CAD (after 12.5% off) – 750ml., March 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: decent, but too dry for its juiciness

Visual: Bailer top re-sealable bottle. Pours medium-deep golden apple juice yellow with no significant head, very thin ringed retention, a bit of activity but not a lot.

Nose: musky apple juice, some woodiness, trace amount of funk. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, acidic-dry impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-1)-sweetness, juicy woody red apple juice, medium tart, trace funk, tangy crisp acidity

Finish: woody apple exhale, residual tart puckeriness,

Summary: The woody depth and slight funk adds some interest to this – a decent meal cider and an palate-whetter.

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

Plum Cider (blended with apple cider) – Salt Spring Wild Cider House, 6.8% ABV, 750 ml., (Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada) (*local BC cider*)


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

prunes-400x400

“Homegrown Italian prune plums straight from our farm and blended with organic apples make this a refreshingly distinct cider. Not too sweet, this unique fruit fusion allows the richness of the plums and the delicate tartness of the apples to shine through. Viva la prugna!”

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  • Style: (flavoured – Italian prune plum) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Fizzy-frothy semi-sweet apple juicy straw/raspberry soft tangy acidic
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $17.70 CAD (after 10% off) – 750ml., March 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: non-noteworthy

Visual: Bailer-top resealable cap. Pours slightly hazy rose red with dissipating fizz w/o a head, one tight clusters as well as several single streams.

Nose: grapey-berry apple juice, medium acidic tang. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: fizzy, off-dry, tart, fruity apple impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), tart-tangy sour red apple juice, generic berry/grapish overtones

Finish: tart acidic, medium sour, thin carry

Summary: Despite the quality bottle, label, pricetag and appearance, this drinks rather average at best. Dominated mostly by sour apple, the plum hardly makes an appearance to warrant calling it a “plum cider”.

Fameuse 2011 – Rustic Roots Winery (Cawston, BC, Canada)

Fameuse 2011 (apple cider and plum wine blend) – Rustic Roots Winery, 11.5% ABV, 750 ml., (Cawston, BC, Canada) (*local BC cider*)


description from the Rustic Roots website, and a photo of a Fameuse apple and Santa Rosa plums:

fameuse-applesanta-rosa-plum

“This beautiful sparkling Rosé, made with the Fameuse Apples from the almost Century Old Fameuse Apple tree that stands as our label, is blended with 30% Santa Rosa Plum.  Aromas of Apple Blossom, Strawberry, Raspberry and a touch of caramel are well balanced on the palate with creamy bubbles that roll across the finish.”


  • Style: (flavoured – 30% Santa Rose Plum) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Fizzy-frothy semi-sweet apple juicy straw/raspberry soft tangy acidic
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $23 CAD (after 10% off) – 750ml., September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to fruit wine aficionados: way, yes way

Visual: (cellared for 6 years). Quality frosted hefty bottle & sturdy cap. Pours light blush pink with a plethora of clustered champagne-like activity, quickly dissipating soda-like 1cm head.

Nose: mainly semi-sweet apple juice with a bit of alcohol detection and slight berry notes. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: fizzy-tingly-crisp, fruity slight acidic impression

Mid-palate: fizzy-frothy mouthfeel, green apple, apple wine tangy acidity, (lvl-3-sweetness), mild strawberry, background red apple juice, subtle short sour

Finish: hint of raspberry, lingering tart sticky gums, mild alcoholic bitter, fruity apple exhale

Summary: Full flavour bouquet at 16°C. Lots of lively mouthfeel here with a solid-bodied fruity apple-berry chassis. Its semi-sweet sugar level is appreciated as it doesn’t leave a cloying feeling in the mouth. Would be excellent with a meal.

Ginger Perry – Sea Cider (Saanichton, BC, Canada)

Ginger Perry – Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, 5.5% ABV, 750ml, (Saanichton, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft cider*)


(no longer available on their website, checked 2/2017)

on the back label:

“Ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg were prized by European explorers. Finding new routes to source these spices led to Cabot’s voyage of discovery in 1497 and Victoria’s early tea culture. Sea Cider pays homage to the history with Ginger Perry, made from the pears of early British Colonialists and the spices traded by our seafaring ancestors. Raise a glass of Sea Cider to the voyage of discovery!”

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  • Style: (flavoured – ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon) Pear Cider
  • Taste: Sour vinegary soft puckery acidic ginger/nutmeg pear wine tart sticky gums
  • Where I got it : Firefly / Vancouver
  • How much: $16 CAD (after 10% off) – 750ml., December 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: discontinued, but worthy

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Bailer top re-sealable bottle. Pours crystal clear light yellow with quickly disappearing fizz, a few singular streams, no head, thin spotty-ringed retention.

Nose: nutmeg, slight cinnamon, apple-pear wine (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: sour-vinegary, crisp light fizzy, slightly thicker

Mid-palate: (lvl-2-sweetness), mild tart-medium sour acidic, medium puckery, benign ginger notes, pear wine

Finish: persistent puckery acidity, nutmeg and pear juice exhale, sticky gums.

Summary: Good body, robust and noticeable advertised spices, complete with a sour-puckery-vinegary backbone that engages the palate nicely. Lightly carbonated, but sufficient.

Wolf in the Woods – Sea Cider (Saanichton, BC, Canada)

Kings & Spies – Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, 9.9% ABV, 750ml, (Saanichton, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft cider*)


from the seacider.ca website:

Botanically infused with hops and grand fir needles, Wolf in the Woods is a hard apple cider with a timberland twist. This unique union creates a dry cider that leads with grapefruit aromas and finishes with hopped herbal notes. As part of our Canadian Invasion Series, Wolf in the Woods draws attention to invasive species and their threat to farms and natural areas alike. Raise a glass of Sea Cider to the rainforest!

The Story:
As part of the Canadian Invasion Series, Wolf in the Woods was created to continue our awareness campaign around invasive species and their implications in farming and the natural world. A few years back, Sea Cider owner Kristen Needham, planted some hops on the perimeter of the Sea Cider forest to be used in our first hopped cider, Tillicum. Little did we know at the time, hops have many invasive qualities – spreading by underground rhizomes that can quickly get out of control. Wolf in the Woods was born as a juxtaposition of the agricultural landscape and the natural world. By combining grand fir needles that we’ve collected from the forest on Sea Cider Farm and Pacific Northwest grown hops, we’ve created a unique union of farmed and wild. Wolf in the Woods is here to tingle your senses with botanical delight!

Tasting Notes:
Appearance: Clear, bright, light verdé
Aromas, flavours: Grapefruit, pine, rainforest and hopped notes
Acid/sweetness: Off-dry, good acid balance
Mouthfeel: Soft astringency, gently effervescent

Suggested Food Pairings:
The balanced botanicals of Wolf in the Woods pair well with salty and fried foods – try french fries and jalapeño poppers. We’d even tackle the spiciest Indian and Mexican dishes with this rainforest wonder!


  • Style: (flavoured – grand fir, hopped) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Short-bodied off-dry crisp fizzy red apple yellow grapefruit sour light fir
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Burnaby
  • How much: $16.65 CAD (after 12.5% off) – 750ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: nah, too plain

Visual: Bailer top re-sealable bottle. Pours clear light apple juice yellow with no head, soda-like big CO2 activity, big bubbles clinging to the side of the glass.

Nose: faint apple juice, restrained fir aroma (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: sharp crisp, fizzy-tart

Mid-palate: off-dry (lvl-2-sweetness), fruity red apple, muddled yellow grapefruit, medium sour-puckery

Finish: fleeting fir exhale, residual tart sticky gum acidity

Summary: The crisp, fizzy, dryish mouthfeel are pleasant but there isn’t a whole lot of lengthy or bold flavours. The apple is neither woody or fleshy; the grand fir is only slightly noticeable at the finish; overall the taste experience is rather tart and thin, not leaving much of an impact.

Kings & Spies – Sea Cider (Saanichton, BC, Canada)

Kings & Spies – Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, 8% ABV, 750ml, (Saanichton, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft cider*)


from the seacider.ca website:

Victorian by provenance, Kings & Spies is a cider fit for royalty or rogues. Crafted from King apples, Northern Spies and others of mysterious lineage, this off-dry cider reveals a secret: Vancouver Island apples make winning cider. Proceeds support LifeCycles, a Victoria non-profit that promotes local Island food production.

The Story:
Kings & Spies is the result of our partnership with LifeCycles, a Victoria-based non-profit that promotes Island food security. Volunteers pick apples every Fall from backyards and local heritage orchards (such as the one at St. Ann’s Academy). Most of the apples go to people in need, but some are saved for us to craft into Kings & Spies. The name was coined when we noticed that our first shipment of apples from LifeCycles contained many King of Tompkins and Northern Spy apples. Kings & Spies is truly a community cider and proceeds support the community work done by LifeCycles. The blend of apples varies from year to year, depending on the fruit brought in by LifeCycles, but the style is consistently gently effervescent and off-dry. Depending on the year, it may show soft tannins, plus either fruity or floral and herbaceous notes on the nose.

After the apples are pressed to release the juice, fermentation takes place in pressurized stainless steel tanks to capture CO2, resulting in a naturally sparkling cider. The yeast strain used promotes a malolactic fermentation, which softens the acidity of the cider (Island apples can be very acidic). The cider is fermented to dryness then a juice reserve is added prior bottling to balance the acidity.

Tasting Notes:

  • Appearance: Clear, gently effervescent, light straw in colour, bright.
  • Aromas, flavours: Reminiscent of Prosecco; delicate; hint of floral and herbaceous notes; cut apple.
  • Acid/sweetness: Mellowed acidity, off-dry.
  • Mouthfeel: Minimal astringency, slight creaminess.

Suggested Food Pairings:
Delicate flavours and light sauces such as white fish, raw oysters and poultry. Salads and mild, hard cheeses. Prosciutto, margherita pizza.


  • Style: (off-dry) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Fruity clean tangy soft acidic champagne apple juice light woody
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Burnaby
  • How much: $16.60 CAD (after 12.5% off) – 750ml., March 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours clear golden yellow, just a few bubbles in the glass, a few singular very slow sporadic streams.

Nose: rounded woody apple juice. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, bright clean fruity

Mid-palate: light burpy, off-dry (lvl-3-sweetness), firm soft acidic bite, light champagne, tangy apple juice

Finish: fruity woody apple exhale, clean finish.

Summary: Pleasantly clean, structured, and drinkable. Visually and aromatically not that assertive but goes down crisp and smooth. A good aperitif.