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.

Habanero Hard Cider – Finnriver Cidery (Chimacum, WA, USA)

Habanero Hard Cider – Finnriver Cidery, 6.5% ABV, 16.9 oz., (Chimacum, Washington, USA)


On the front-right label:

“Finnriver’s Habanero Cider release was inspired by the quest for something strange and a hankering for heat. In the winter of 2013, cold days on the farm coincided with the annual Strange Brew Festival in Port Townsend, WA. This gave our crew the inspiration to take the hottest thing we could get our hands on and blend it into our hard cider. The combination of chili heat and tart apple, mellowed by a dash of sweet, makes for a memorable fermented adventure. Enjoy in any latitude with rice and beans, fish tacos, burritos of all kinds, or just a crackling bowl of chips & salsa.”

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  • Style: (flavoured – habanero) Apple Cider
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : Bainbridge / Burnaby
  • How much: $17.40 CAD (after 10% off) – 16.9 oz., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes

Visual: Batch #115B, hand numbered. Pours slightly hazy light orange-yellow with no head, some bubbles clinging to the mid-section of the glass, very active tight micro clusters.

Nose: sweet apple juice, nasal-tingly/cough-inducing habanero spicy. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: tart dry crisp juicy apple

Mid-palate: habanero med-high spicy heat, (lvl-2-sweetness), habanero flesh, thinnish green apple juice

Finish: lingering habanero biting heat, residual fleshy apple

Summary: Certainly drinks like an aggressively experimental brew. Not quite full-feeling enough in the mids to balance out the heat. And a fair warning: don’t inhale while drinking.

Black Currant – Finn River Cider (Chimacum, WA, USA)

Black Currant (flavoured apple cider), 6.5% ABV, 16.9 oz., (Chimacum, Washington, USA)


On the front-left label:

“Fermented with a seasonal blend of heirloom organic Washington apples, with black currant juice and organic cane sugar.”

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  • Style: (flavoured – Black Currant juice, cane sugar) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Interwoven tangy acidic semi-sweet black currant red/green apple woody smoky
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $18.15 CAD (after 10% off) – 16.9 oz., March 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes

Visual: Batch #1150, hand numbered. Pours deep dark magenta without a head, micro bubbles around the perimeter, very tight clustered active micro streams.

Nose: tangy sour black currant accompanied by some woodiness. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: incoming dark fruitness, apple cider alcohol

Mid-palate: light fizzy-crisp & tart acidic bite, (lvl-4-sweetness), black currant deep berry, woody red + green apple background

Finish: medium tart, tangy acidic, residual black currant sugars and exhale, sticky gums

Summary: I’m hugely impressed at how interwoven the base black currant and apple flavours are in this brew – sometimes you taste tart green apple, and other times the woody-smoky black currant jumps out. Fantastic. Great body and depth.