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:

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“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:

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“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.

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.

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

Pippin 2011 – Rustic Roots Winery, 11.5% ABV, 750 ml., (Cawston, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)


description from the Rustic Roots website, and a photo of a cox orange pippin apple:pippin-apple

“This Crisp, Clean White Sparkling Wine made with 100% Similkameen Valley Fruit, contains 70% Pippin Apple and 30% Organic Nectarine.  This wine has beautiful Aromatics with a clean, light and crisp palate, displaying aromas and flavors of green apple, floral, a touch of nectarine skin on the finish and creamy bubbles.”


  • Style: (frizzante, Iced Orin apple) Sparkling Fruit Wine
  • Taste: Crisp refreshing dry tangy light sour green apple light nectarine exhale
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $29 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: 1x is okay

Visual: (cellared for 6 years). Quality frosted hefty bottle & sturdy cap. Pours clear bright apple juice yellow with lots of soda-like activity, big bubbles hugging the glass, champagne-like streams.

Nose: very faint nectarine candy. (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: fizzy-crisp, fruity

Mid-palate: tingly, dry (lvl-1-sweetness), light green apple, light apple wine, tangy-sour-acidity

Finish: soft tart, light nectarine exhale

Summary: Lots of fizzy activity in this one along with a dry-tangy acidic backbone to keep things going. Not a ton of apple nor nectarine flavour, thus not leaving much of an impact. Goes down easy and hits pretty stealth, but ultimately forgettable.

Coastal Blue – Todd Creek Craft Cider (Victoria, BC, Canada)

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Coastal Blue (Cider w/ Blueberries) – Todd Creek Craft Cider Inc., 6% ABV, 750ml, (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft cider*)


on the front-left label:

“For a true West Coast flavour; Islanders love their ample fresh fruit every summer. We’re a little spoiled that way… and this cider celebrates being spoiled! This is not a sugary or sweet cider. Coastal Blue is a special blend of our craft cider and local blueberry juice sourced from the Island and the Lower Mainland. The blueberry juice adds a fabulous fruit flavour to the cider and is perfect of a hot summer day!”

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  • Style: (flavoured – blueberry juice, maple syrup) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Tangy soft acidic very woody blueberry apple light smoky tart
  • Where I got it : Libations / Vancouver
  • How much: $16.70 CAD (after 10% off) – 750ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: enjoyable 1x only

Visual: Glass bottle with a handle, unique. Pours magenta purple with no head, bubbles hugging the side of the glass, suspended micro sediment, micro bubbles here and there.

Nose: musky blueberry, applewood smoky, background apple cider. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: tangy-light crisp/half flat

Mid-palate: tangy acidity, (lvl-6-sweetness), blueberry juicy body, medium sour-dissipating, woody apple juice

Finish: light smoked wood exhale, mildly tart-sticky sugars

Summary: First and foremost, let me say it: I like wood! And there’s lots and lots of it in this one from start to finish. Authentic non-candied blueberry flavour. Wished for a bit more body, more CO2, and more punch this being only 6%.

Rekorderlig Passionfruit Cider (Sweden)

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  • My Rating: [C+]

Rekorderlig Passionfruit Cider – produced by Åbro Bryggeri, 4.5% ABV, 50cl., (Vimmerby, Sweden)


Ingredients: Carbonated water, pear- and apple wine, sugar, flavors, acid: citric acid, preservatives: potassium sorbate, sulphor dioxide, acidity regulator: sodium citrate, colour: caramel colouring.


  • Style: (flavoured – passionfruit) Apple & Pear Cider
  • Taste: Moscato d’asti white grape-pear partially cloying candylike
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $3.80 CAD – 50cl., April 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: not really

Visual: Pours very light white wine yellow with only a few barely steady large bubble streams.

Nose: moscato without the acidity (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp-soda fizzy, burpy

Mid-palate: (lvl-7-sweetness), moscato d’asti-like grape/pear, dissipating cloying sugar hit, background apple,

Finish: artificial candy-like passionfruit, subtle alcohol bitterness

Summary: Drinks something like a Moscato d’asti but more sugar and less acidity. Quite basic, but enjoyable if you like sweet and fruity cider/frizzantes. No real depth.

Cherry Bomb – Julian Hard Cider (Julian, CA, USA)

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Cherry Bomb (Apple-Cherry Cider) – Julian Hard Cider, 6.99% AB, 22 fl. oz., (Julian, California, USA)


printed on the back of the bottle:

“Our mission at Julian Hard Cider is to produce the highest-quality traditional ciders with ingredients harvested from sustainable American farms. We present to you CHERRY BOMB… a 100% natural elixir, handcrafted with juice from the famed Montmorency Cherry. This intensely flavored powerhouse of vitamins and antioxidants is celebrated for its health benefits and anti-aging properties. Blended with our premium hard apple cider you have the perfect  balance of tart and sweet with a respectable 6.99% ABV. We’re not saying by drinking Julian Hard Cider CHERRY BOMB you’ll live forever… it just might feel that way.”

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  • Style: (flavoured – Montmorency Cherry) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Big tangy sweet deep cherry background apple cloying sugars
  • Where I got it : Costco / Portland
  • How much: $6.50 USD – 22 fl.oz., November 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: good but not great

Visual: Pours clear dark cherry red, no head, tight clusters of micro active streams.

Nose: tangy mildly woody cherry juice, background apple. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp acidic bite

Mid-palate: tangy deep cherry juice, (lvl-8-sweetness), light-med acidic sour, apple cider background

Finish: residual tart, fruity cherry exhale, cloying tangy apple sugars,
hint of cinnamon

Summary: Big cherry flavour, a bomb indeed. Lots of tartness, rich, albeit-predictable cherry flavour; it becomes cloying halfway through the bottle.