Julian Hard Cider Cherry Bomb

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Julian Hard Cider Cherry Bomb“Add one more to the great tradition of American Cherry Bombs! Julian Hard Cider Cherry Bomb is a clean, crisp, hard apple cider infused with juice from the Montmorency Cherry, (a world-renowned “superfruit” loaded with antioxidants and prized for it’s intense, tart cherry flavor). 100% gluten-free, Julian Hard Cider makes all their hard ciders from the freshest apples in the United States.”

Rating: 3.5/5

Location: Julian, California
ABV: 6.99%

Mindy’s Thoughts: Not too sweet, not too tart, not overly acidic, Julian Hard Cider Cherry Bomb (or just Cherry Bomb for short) is like Goldilocks a “just right” entry in the flavored cider world. They take a multi-apple blend and add Montmorency cherry juice to give it that tart but sweet cherry flavor. The apple cider itself is well rounded, neutral in a way, and makes a good base for the cherry juice to stand out against.

On a sidenote, there is some complicated history with Julian Hard Cider that I uncovered when I was trying to find their god damn website. At the time of this article being written their website does not exist, and instead shows the worst maintenance page ever when you go to it:

julian-websteI also found that they are in the middle of defending themselves in a lawsuit that would, if successful, make them change their name. While they may have facilities in Julian, California, their parent company is Blue Mountain Cider (headquarted in Oregon) and they don’t really use Julian, California specific apples. Sounds like a bunch of horseshit to me, but people from California are horrific so I’m not really shocked (sorry, not sorry, if you’re from Cali).

What did surprise me is learning about Blue Mountain Cider owning Julian Hard Cider. Blue Mountain’s Cherry is so much better, why didn’t they just relabel it and sell it as Julian? Why create a separate recipe that is inferior? The outcome of the lawsuit is expected any day now, so maybe we’ll see a label or recipe change in the near future. Either way, if you like cherries, I recommend that you pick up a bottle of this while you still can, it’s certainly worth a try.. or two, or three.

Dixon’s Thoughts: While not my favorite cherry apple cider, this is certainly a great cider. It’s well balanced, but a bit tart for my tastes. This is an issue it’s Blue Mountain cousin does not have. It’s very lightly carbonated, and as a result is pretty easy to drink, and while it is a bit tart, the other flavors are all well blended. Not overly sweet or dry, I recommend this for a nice spring/summer porch-sitting session with friends.

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Lake Chelan Gold Cider

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Lake Chelan Gold CiderLake Chelan Gold Hard Cider

“The color of this cider is a beautiful pale-straw while the delicious aromas and flavors are robust and balanced as you would expect from the cool climate orchards of eastern Washington. Fragrant apple pie and fermented apple notes form a great presentation.”

Rating: 3.5/5

Location: Chelan, WA
ABV: 7%

Dixon’s Thoughts: Chelan Gold has been one of my go-to ciders for a few years now. It’s a bit of a one-off from our normal fare, due to the fact that it’s a completely un-carbonated (still) cider. It’s also made with champagne yeast, and while that’s not completely uncommon, Chelan Gold is the only champagne-yeast cider that makes it into my regular rotation.
It’s extremely light and smooth, with a finish that borders on watery without being offensive. Drinking it is kind of like eating 6 different apples at once, which is how it’s made. Overall, this is a very drinkable cider that is light enough to be consumed in large quantities, but delicate enough with a strong enough presence to be served with grilled pork or lighter fare.

Mindy’s Thoughts: I rated this lower than Dixon did as it’s not a favorite of mine, but I basically agree with everything Dixon said — Chelan Gold tastes very apply but not overpowering. Really light, almost like apple champagne without the bubbles. Borders on so light that it tastes like water? Or at least not like cider. If you like to pair liquor with food, it would go well with a lot of subtler foods as it’s not overpowering but has sweet apple “notes”.

Woodchuck Summer Cider

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Woodchuck Summer Cider

Woodchuck Summer Cider

Woodchuck Hard Cider

The sounds of the lapping lake-shores, the mountain views, and memories of fresh picked blueberries. Exhibiting a slight tartness, this cider begins with a full, robust flavor followed by a rich summertime taste.

Rating: 5/5

Location: Middlebury, VT
ABV: 5%

Mindy’s Thoughts: Woodchuck offers a few seasonal cider selections, most of which are gross because people need to stop putting fucking cinnamon and pumpkin in everything that exists. However one special seasonal cider, their Summer cider, tastes like a little piece of heaven. It starts off with a tart apple base and then they add blueberry juice to the mix. The combination is refreshing, perfectly sweet, a little fizzy, and the best thing you can imagine tasting on a hot summer day. Hell, it’s a cold winter day and 9 in the morning but I still want one right now.

Generally you will see Summer in stores right around the beginning of June, and the last bottles leave the shelves sometime in early September. Though, if you’re like me you will just stock up and hide 6-packs throughout closets in your house to make it through the winter.

Woodchuck Summer Cider

A portion of the Woodchuck Summer Cider that I’ve saved for the long dry period.

The other packs live in the kitchen. There is always at least one in the fridge, because you never know when you’ll need what my doctor calls “a cooler”. Stressful day? Need a cooler!

Anyway, you should definitely try Woodchuck’s Summer cider sometime next year when it’s available again. Unless you know somebody at Woodchuck that could get you an inside line. In which case, please email me!

Two Towns Made Marion

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2 Towns Ciderhouse presents Made Marion

2 Towns Ciderhouse presents Made Marion – I would have included my own photo, but I drank it and forgot.

2 Towns Ciderhouse

“The sunrise of summer, the Oregon Made Marion is a blend of Oregon grown Marionberries and hard apple cider. Ripe berry flavors and a crisp apple bite combine with a rich ruby color to make this cider a delicious way to celebrate the bounty of Oregon!”

Rating: 3/5

Location: Corvallis, Oregon
ABV: 6.9%

Mindy’s thoughts: This is a solid cider, but it seems like there is just a whole fucking lot going on at the same time. While you can certainly taste the sweet marionberry, the most prominent flavor is the apple. I think it would probably be better if the apple flavor was more subtle, as it ends up overwhelming the entire cider. I was really excited for this, as it’s a seasonal selection only available during the summer, when the Oregon marionberries are ripe. And who doesn’t like marionberries? I’m not sure it totally lived up to my extremely hyped up expectations, but I liked it anyway. I would not re-buy 2 Towns Made Marion, but it’s worth your while to give it a try!