Strongbow Cherry Blossom by Bulmers Cider

Rating: 5/5

Strongbow Cherry Blossom by Bulmers Cider is a 4.5% ABV

Sweet and tart hints… Good stuff

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Passion of the Mango Saiyan by Nubis Sanctum Ales

12670524_10103153472178440_208368482966789237_n 12795293_10103153473031730_5232904621522431181_n 11416332_10103153474239310_5285692143008164167_oRating: 4.5/5

Passion of the Mango Saiyan by Nubis Sanctum Ales is a 7% ABV Hard Apple Cider made with Mango and Passion Fruit.

==Introduction==
12043051_10103089759055050_5161831082288574054_n
Project# 19 came up as the eventual need to go back to something basic. The fact that I have not been making ciders in and while my ciders have all been Belgian inspired, this was my first opportunity to make cider with the basic cider yeast. Nothing too fancy but definitely something of experimenting with natural and organic flavorings. As many should know by now, some ciders made commercially are like this. I will be making more of an actual cider using real fruits but for now, my attempts to mimic the common came to question, How good of a cider can I make with just simple to get ingredients and little effort? Don’t get me wrong, it still enough work to make sure it is made correctly, but I wanted to contrast this versus what I have done with beer which is drastically different amount of workload. Regardless, I bring forth my new creation. Let’s see how this one came out, Cheers!

Aromas:
Apple cider, passion fruit, mango, peach, pineapple hints, vanilla hints, cane sugar and stone fruits.

Flavors:
Passion fruit, Mango, Pineapple, Apples, Stone fruit peach, apricot notes, honey, starburst candy, strawberry notes, honey dew melon, agave nectar, cane sugar, grapes, vanilla and guava hints.

Aftertaste:
Finishes dry with notes of the mango and the passion fruit. No alcohol in the flavor, clear light golden body, crisp, clean and super refreshing mouthfeel and very easy to drink.

Overall:
A very good cider. Not much to it really in terms of complexity but damn is this very drinkable, super delicious and great for the coming summer. Who would of thought just going to the basics can be rewarding. Even if it is not super complex or a lot of work like brewing it proves one thing, if you really want to make your own fermented beverage, ciders and wine are on the easier end. Next time, I’ll want to make this with the real fruits to see the difference.

Anime Corner:
Android 18/Lazuli, Trunks and Vegeta from the Dragon Ball series were used in this pairing to represent the Passion Fruit and the Mango. In the series, Vegeta and his son Trunks both get beat down by Android 18. While they still have the passion to keep going, in they still lose. The representation here is pretty much like punishment for making something so easy using basic ingredients. Many people may see it as cheating in some context but as long as you keep trying different things, you will eventually find great things. Plus, Vegeta’s hair as a super saiyan looks like a dried mango and the cider is all yellow like Android 18 and both Super saiyan’s hair.

Sources:
http://static.zerochan.net/Android.18.full.1561469.jpg
https://fingerbook.com/uploads/fingerbooks/3429/81125/preview_large_10806_dragon_ball_z.jpg?1427359660

La ManzArcángel Chapter 2: Mālum Ex Machina by Nubis Sanctum Ales

11406383_10102665597019170_9079363880870840017_oRating: 4.65/5

La ManzArcángel Chapter 2: Mālum Ex Machina by Nubis Sanctum Ales is a 13% ABV Belgian Trappist Honey Crisp Apple Cider made with Organic Blue Agave Syrup and Mexican Cane Sugar.

==Introduction==
11200932_10102545811011290_3535862612140122927_o

Project#8 is the return of my original recipe for the Belgian Cider made with Blue Agave Syrup and Trappist Yeast but using Honey Crisp Apple Cider and Mexican Cane Sugar/ Azucar Morena. The idea for the name came from the original Holy Cider theme that I was going with and in essence since I was going to use the left over Trappist yeast cake that I had left from the Blinding Lunar Currants Cider. In essence, the second chapter is a play at the word for Apple and Evil and Latin ‘Mālum’. Yes, it seems there is dual meaning here. Although, this cider is supposed to be Holy, it should be more Godly than anything but can a God be pure? Well, It’s like comparing apples and oranges so lets find out. Cheers!

Aromas:
Sour Apples, peppercorn, citrus, honey, brown sugar, grape hints, dark fruit hints, Belgian phenolic notes, vanilla, dulce de leche, cherry notes, and piloncillo.

Flavors:
Tart Sour apple notes, grape hints, apples, pears, agave hints, strawberry notes, rich citrus, orange notes, lemon peel, brown sugar, cane sugar, banana hints, clove hints, pineapple hints, Stone fruit peaches, apricot hints, peppercorn, floral notes, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, cinnamon, toffee, pilocillo hints, toffee, pecan pie hints and plantains.

Aftertaste:
Tart and sweet finish, sugary apple remnants, banana notes, clove spices, honey, vanilla, pears. Chardonay hints, clove spice, hazelnut, berries and brown sugar. Slight boozyness in the taste but not as much as the original, Gold and brown Hazy body, sipping drinkability and a slight crisp and creamy mouthfeel.

Overall:
A slight mark above the original as the booziness has become more subtle but the complexity of it takes another direction from what the original did. It seems like it is more in the sweet yet tart taste which is most likely from the use of the yeast cake and the fact that there was some hints of the Black Currant cider in the yeast cake as well. All and all, it was mainly as way to see how the yeast cake can flourish even after the initial cider has completed. I think what I will do for next time is ferment the regular cider and then use the yeast for another cider but then any additives will be in the secondary. Either way, I really love how this one came and and definite on the honey and banana citrus edge.

Anime Corner:
Lightning Claire Farron, from the Final Fantasy XIII series was chosen in this pairing to go with the Belgian Cider as I wanted to use something that had to do with something Holy as it is a Belgian Monk themed cider and similarly, I wanted to do something like the saint. The Spanish name was give as it uses the Agave Syrup as I mentioned before. For lightning, she became a messenger of God, a holy knight of God in the series. Lightning returns in Chapter 2 holding the very power of God from the apples. She is not quite evil (which could be said something about the tartness about the taste) but because she is closer to God, she has no human emotions as she remains neutral. The strength of the cider to be something above of what it used be could be seen Godly. Thankfully, this cider is not evil and it is deliciously and holy goodness.

Sources:
https://financialpostcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/lightning-returns.jpg?w=940

Blinding Lunar Currants by Nubis Sanctum Ales

11141318_10102663544128180_4387582528316699403_o 11411648_10102663545330770_2455597721207330051_oRating: 4.85/5

Blinding Lunar Currants by Nubis Sanctum Ales is a 10% ABV Belgian Trappist Cider made with Arizona Wildflower Honey, Mexican Cane Sugar and Black Currant concentrate.

==Introduction==

11149534_10102508414983230_8572258118318212914_o
Project # 5 is my second attempt at a cider using 100% Apple cider, Mexican Cane Sugar (Azucar Morena), Ribena Black Currant Brittish Black Currant Concentrate, Arizona Wild Flower Honey and Monastery/Trappist Ale yeast. The idea here was give by Evelyn Silva, my sister from another mother who reminded me about the first time we tried the Fox Barrel Currant Perry Cider back in 2010 on UC San Diego grounds while we were all on vacation with my friend Jorge Silva. One of the best ciders I had ever had which is no longer being made. So as a result of wanting to reproduce that cider, I decided to give it the good ol’ Belgian treatment and rather than using pear cider, I used apple cider. The result was this. Cheers!

Aromas:
Floral, cinnamon, Belgian sweetbread, phenolic notes, honey, grapes, tart currant notes, agave, candi sugar, cane sugar, lots of berry and dark fruit hints, vanilla and caramel notes.

Flavors:
Sour Apples, tart currant skins, Cinnamon, honey, biscuit bread, candi sugar, dark fruit currant notes, hints of cherry, raspberry, dark fruit raisin hints, dulce de leche caramel, pear, stone fruit peach hints, cane sugar, clove spice, floral notes, grapes juice, chardonay, agave hints, citrus, toffee, blackberry, blue berry and flan hints.

Aftertaste:
More of the rich berry and currant in the finish lingers with the slight sugary breadiness but then goes off dry leaving some apple juice remnants and cinnamon. No alcohol in the taste as the black currant tartness care of that. Golden Crimson light to medium haze body, easy to moderate drinkability, crisp, clean and smooth mouthfeel.

Overall:
Unlike my first beer, The Black currant really popped in this one. I was able to incorporate the sweetness a little better in the bottling as well as measure the right levels of sugar so the ABV didn’t sky rocket like the last one. Also, in the secondary, It cleared up very nicely show casing a more cider appearance with some slight haze. As a while it was more pink in color but in the glass you could tell that the apple and honey colors took over. Overall, I think this was the better cider from my first one although many did like my other cider as it was more potent and stronger. Give or take, this whole Belgian cider thing is pretty damn remarkable.

Anime Corner:
Rider from Fate/Stay Night Zero was used in this pairing as I wanted something that would greatly represent the color of dark fruit and currants. The name Blinding Lunar Currants is a play at the vizer that Riders uses while under the moonlight. The cider is called Blinding as the taste is enough to make one close their eyes in deliciousness. Also, the fact that you can’t really tell that the currants are really there, drinking this ‘blindingly’ brings one an awesome surprise of rich currant sweetness. It definitely worked out in my favor and the passion these currants Rider carries through the taste buds is amazing.

Sources:
https://i.warosu.org/data/jp/img/0130/54/1424165452872.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/db/bf/a9/dbbfa9a0912eb1f96e32dd16cf26b1b6.jpg

La ManzArcángel by Nubis Sanctum Ales

1540429_10102488535761350_3943524118295874068_o 10956465_10102488535771330_6750717636772418979_o 11037509_10102488558266250_4701078086080888783_oRating: 4.5/5* Cider rating

La ManzArcángel by Nubis Sanctum Ales is a 13% ABV Belgian Trappist Cider made with Organic Agave Syrup and Brown Cane Sugar.

==Introduction==
10993113_10102405138974180_2515712064596118947_o
Project # 4 was my first attempt at creating a cider using 100% Apple Cider, Organic Agave Syrup, Brown Cane sugar and Trappist yeast. The name derives from a combination of the word Manzana for Apples in Spanish and Arcángel. Basically the Apple Archangel. The original idea came from trying to replicate Crispin’s The Saint which is made similarly but with maple syrup. While I could not get the recipe exactly, I decided to make my own by using Organic Agave syrup. There were the results so let us see where my crazy experiment went.

Aromas:
Apples, honey, brown sugar, phenolic notes, vanilla hints, dulce de leche caramel hints, mild cherry notes and grapes.

Flavors:
Dark fruit hints plum, peaches, grape hints, apples, pears, strawberry, cherry hints, brown sugar, cane sugar, agave hints, banana hints, clove hints, pineapple, citrus, Stone fruit peach and apricot hints, peppercorn, floral notes, vanilla, cinnamon, dulce de leche caramel hints, toffee and pecan pie hints.

Aftertaste:
Slight dry finish with good sugary apple remnants, pears, berries, banana, clove spice hints, caramel, vanilla and chardonay. Slight boozyness in the taste, Gold Hazy body, sipping drinkability and a slight crisp and creamy mouthfeel.


Overall:
While I found this one very good, I still couldn’t help that the yeast pretty much ate the majority of the sugar but because it was this Belgian liquid yeast, it did not leave it dry. The problem I realize was that I had used a high gravity Trappist yeast instead of a low gravity one making this reach the 13% ABV mark. I felt it was pretty high for a cider and was concerned about the product being too boozy. However, after trying it when it was carbonated, it came out just fine. The weeks it took to bottle conditioned mellowed out the alcohol and really let some of the cider play well with the ingredients. This cider can use some aging for sure to see where it will be at several years later. For now, I was pretty impressed with the results either way and hope the next cider project becomes awesome.


Anime Corner:
Lightning Claire Farron, from the Final Fantasy XIII series was chosen in this pairing to go with the Belgian Cider as I wanted to use something that had to do with something Holy as it is a Belgian Monk themed cider and similarly, I wanted to do something like the saint. The Spanish name was give as it uses the Agave Syrup as I mentioned before. For lightning, she became a messenger of God, a holy knight of God in the series. The fact that I found an artwork where she is holding what appears to be an apple as well as the fact that she has the angel wings and is close to God, well, it couldn’t get any closer to exactly what I was looking for in this pairing. The fact that it became 13% ABV and the fact that she became just as powerful as God in the series, it represented the strength of the cider and well really well.


Sources:
http://www.deviantart.com/art/Save-my-soul-435626707

Angry Orchard The Muse by Boston Beer Company/Samuel Adams

10559905_10101948628449930_1687341242734249979_n 10580088_10101948628804220_4217440511140560654_nRating: 5.12/5

Angry Orchard The Muse by Boston Beer Company/Samuel Adams is a 7.7% ABV Apple Cider aged in French Oak Barrels.

Label:
THE LEGEND OF
THE MUSE
The Muse is the newest addition to our Cider House Collection. Inspired by the festive nature of slightly sweet Demi-Sec champagnes and sparkling wines, the Muse is bubbly and effervescent. It is made from traditional culinary and bittersweet apples and aged on French oak. The Muse is sweet up front with a juicy apple aroma and bright acidity, and slightly drying on the finish with a lingering sweet apple note. The French oak adds a subtle wood impression, imparting notes of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and hints of vanilla.
___

Many have known the Angry Orchard series to be pretty unique in terms of good hard ciders. I have not done any reviews from them but I have done dozens of great Samuel Adams beers. Today I bring forth a Cider that really caught my attention and I really wanted to bring it forward for a nice review. I got this one at Bevmo! In the city of Walnut California while visiting a friend of mine. There are 2 other variants aside form this one (Scarecrow and Iceman) but I may do those in the future. For now, let us dig deep at craft cider and see what this one is all about. Cheers!

Aromas:
Apple cider, chardonay, champagne, oak, vanilla, cinnamon, caramel, flan hints, clove spice, plums, white raisins, allspice, nutmeg, wine grape hints and funky brett hints.

Flavors:
Red apples, sour apples, peach, wine grapes, cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, biscuit bread, nutmeg, cherries, herbal spice, white raisins, plums, chardonay, champagne, honey, sourdough bread hints, hazelnut hints, baked apple pie with pecans.

Aftertaste:
Sweet apples, oak , wine grapes, vanilla and cinnamon linger momentarily. No alcohol in the taste, light body, very easy to drink despite the fact that it gets moderate at times and should be sipped. Very crisp and refreshing as well.

Overall:
This is a great cider for sure and it does exceed some expectations to the level of good ciders. You can tell this is not the usual cider as some of the complexity not only makes it go toward that natural state of natural apples but give a push into very nice flavor spectrum. There is some level of tart but it is more sweet than tart. I would highly recommend it as it is very good, but the price may kind of push you away ($14/750ml). Don’t worry though, if you do decide to get it enjoy and you will find some really nice things.

Anime Corner:
Vocaloid Gumi was used in this pairing not only to pair with the colors of apples and the label but the very definition of a Muse. Like the daughters of Zeus, they became an inspiration and represent the artistic traits and the sciences. Vocaloid Gumi is a Musician type of bot like Hatsune Miku so in essence, she is the Muse, Art form and science! As you can also see, the aspect of the beer calling it Effervescent & Bubbly, surely is depicted in the second picture as well.

Sources:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SUKWXDgE90k/UyUvXqSH8DI/AAAAAAAAFII/-EiraoXK4dA/s1600/VNLIVES.NET-Headphone_vocaloid_Headphone_girl_megpoid_gumi_anime_girls_1800x1024_Size_Wallpaper_2560x1600-1127.jpg
http://blogs.c.yimg.jp/res/blog-38-d6/kkky0502/folder/485437/25/11483425/img_0?1399720740

Cho-tokkyu (The Cider “Super Express/Bullet Train”) by Crispin Cider Company

582061_10101370715537040_1152586743_nRating: 4.8/5 *Cider Rating

Cho-tokkyu or Choutokkyu (The Cider “Super Express/Bullet Train”) Artisanal Reserve by Crispin Cider Company is a 6.5% ABV Cider Fermented in Sake yeast and organic rice syrup.

Label: 
Naturally fermented with authentic Sake yeast using a premium blend of fresh pressed apple juice, not from concentrate, with no added malt, spirit, or grape alcohol. A racy, high-speed cider that remains crisp and well balanced. Cloudy and straw colored with an exotic polished complexity. Cho-tokkyu is clean, vibrant with an authentic dry sake finish and a distinctive apple backbone. Cho-tokkyu Artisanal Reserve cloudy hard cider is unfiltered and uses racked apple wine smoothed with pure organic, gluten free, rice syrup. No added colorants, sorbate or benzoate preservatives. Best served cool to cold. As with all our Artisanal Reserves, give a full bottoms-up tilt and swirl to disperse unfiltered apple-wine sediment evenly.
___

Next in the line of sought after ciders I have tried. Many of them awesome, like the ones that use Irish Stout and Trappist yeast and even the Whiskey barrel aged ones. Simply phenomenal and delicious. Yes it may be made by Coors, but Ciders tend to be on a league of their own. This one is made with Sake yeast. I have tried many sake before I am familiar with the taste and the smell. Also, this beer unlike many ciders I have seen is actually more clearer white than yellow. Almost a Lemonade kind of color,

The aromas are of sake for sure, rice, apples, vanilla notes, sugar dough, and hints of coconut. Not much to the aromas but these little aromas a pretty dead on.

The sake notes in the flavor definitely shine as well as the bit of milky rice and vanilla notes. The cider has flavors of apples, slight earthy bitterness, melons, small hints of coconut but extremely subtle, chia seed juice, citrus hints, cinnamon, tapioca pudding, sweet bread and honey.

The aftertaste is pretty dry leaving only a little bit of the apple, rice and milky coconut aftertaste. Not much alcohol to talk about either but it definitely goes down smooth and is quite refreshing

Overall it is a very good cider. Maybe not as complex as the other ones but this one started getting a lot better as it warmed up. Some more notes of like doughy red bean ice cream, tapioca and milky coconut started to come out which made it very enjoyable. Hell, even some horchata notes in there too  . Definitely a different cider for sure.

Bird on a Wire by Crispin Cider Company

1017680_10101265120500340_1931197068_nRating: 5.25/5 *Rating based on ciders reviewed and compared so far only

Bird on a Wire by Crispin Cider Company is a 6.9% ABV Blended Hard Cider aged in Bourbon whiskey casks with Tupelo Honey.

Label: 
Authentic American alt.country cider. Not forever, just for now.

Dances across the palate, like a band playing and people swayin’. Spend some time, wait a minute. Set it free. 
Blended using 4 unique apple-wines aged in both rye and Bourbon American whiskey barrels. Apple-wines fermented with:Irish Stout yeast, Belgian Trappist yeast,Sake yeast and our original Colfax Classic.

The final blend is finished with Tupelo Honey aged in Bourbon barrels and a lingering open-mouthed kiss of fresh-pressed apple juice. 
Balanced and very smooth, toasted oaktannins, whiskey notes, with soft rye spice, cask-woody vanilla and cinnamon.

Blended straight from whiskey barrels.Give a solid bottoms-up tilt and swirl to disperse sediment evenly and best enjoy whiskey aromas and unique bouquet.

Enjoyed at cellar temperature, 50/55F.With or without 1 or 2 ice cubes. Age-worthy.
___

Regardless of being a Coors subordinate, they make some hell good ciders. So far I have reviewed the ciders fermented in Irish Stout yeast and Trappist yeast, the latter being my favorite. Now I think I have a new favorite with this one.

First aromas that come as soon as you open the bottle is whiskey and rich stuff at that. It is followed by that bourbon vanilla sweetness, caramel, coconut, rye bread, cinnamon, apple, honey, oak, spices and brown sugar.

The flavors are of cider apples, whiskey, bourbon vanilla, oak, slight coconut notes, dulce de leche caramel flan notes, honey, crème brulee, white wine, champagne, brown sugar, cinnamon, french toast with apple butter, rye bread and cinnamon, bear claw doughnut with apples and cinnamon, and apple pie with rich caramel.

No doubt about it, a little at that, but still freaking amazing. Really brings about great Cask/Barrel aged goodness as some of the best bourbon liquors and bourbon aged beers can bring but in cider form. Who knew cider can deliver a good level of craft in its own way. I gotta find more of these bottles. They need to make 22oz. Bottles of this or even make like a 6 pack. This would make for a great cider for people to try for those that are skeptical of trying the Craft Cider side of beverage connoisseurship.

Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat by Anheuser-Busch, Inc.

181064_10101089983680930_1872732502_n 733939_10101089982857580_1593195364_nRating: 3.75/5

Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat by Anheuser-Busch, Inc. is a 5.8% Witbier brewed with cider and spices with natural honeycrisp apple flavor and other natural flavors.

Description:
Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat is a unique, hand crafted brewed hybrid of Belgian wheat beer and sweet cider, with natural Honeycrisp flavor added to produce an innovative new brew that is crisp, refreshing and flavorful. This unfiltered brew is the perfect beer to welcome the warming Spring days.
___

Other natural flavors? Hmm I wonder what it could be. Anything could be a natural flavor. Like grass or dirt. However I am sure that is not what they mean. The fragrance is very fruity all the way. Apples, Jolly ranchers green apple candy, cinnamon, slight apple pie crust, citrus, cherry fruit juice and pilsner, a good amount of pilsner. The flavors are of Green Apple and Jolly ranchers candy, slight citrus, very slight Belgian bready esters here and there like a wheat but hardly noted, some hidden grain and pilsner flavor (it is well hidden by the sweet candy apple flavor at first but it comes in later), some slight cinnamon and brown sugar, honey, good amount of cider and maybe a slight hint of peach. I’m pretty impressed. Despite how many of the other shock tops are pretty average, this is the best scoring one. It mainly swings to a cider side more than a beer side. The beer side is there to keep it alittle balanced, although it doesn’t keep it balanced well. Still, the sweetness is pretty good and lots an lots of apple flavors are noted well. I say give this a try. Who knows, you may like this one