The Cider Stalker
I admit it, I am an online cider stalker or better yet, just call me a cider nerd. I can take it. I recently came across a cool event that Reverend Nat’s is hosting on Saturday March 29th. The Oregon cidery, located in Portland’s Rose Quarter, is playing host to a one of a kind, Hopped Cider Festival.
This is a perfect representation of collaboration at its best. Hop heads can chose between 18 different hop-infused ciders. For specific details see Reverend Nat’s event page here. Just like all NW cider events, I cannot make it, mainly because I live on the East coast- damn big country of ours. I’ll have my own damn hopped cider festival. I knew I had at least one hopped cider at home and low and behold I have three. I had four but that went down last week. Sure enough, I have two of the ciders featured on the festival’s tap list.
I will make this part one of three posts. For this post I will review Reverend Nat’s Hallelujah Hopricot.
The Cider Review:
For those tasting and reviewing cider, as far as the mousse retention goes, the glass does make a difference. To achieve longevity on your head, a Belgium beer glass or tulip glass provides the best results. Though this is not as much a concern as it would be for beer.
The Belgium wit-style cider has a similar cloudy appearance to its craft beer buddy. Nice attractive legs and tiny steady bubbles- less aggressive than a sparkling wine. Probably bottle conditioned.
It would have been fun if I didn’t know beforehand that apricots were the star here. The intense and immediate whiff of fresh apricot blew me away. In a great way. I can spend all day with my nose in the glass but I know there is more fun to be had. The hop nose was subdued. Like I said, the apricots took center stage.
Before I could assess the mouthfeel, I again lost myself in the fresh, non artificial world of my favorite stone fruit. The mouthfeel had decent structure, certainly more than any mass-produced cider. Tanins were soft and acidity balanced out the bitterness. I was initially unsure where the bitterness was coming from. Did they add whole fruit? Pits from the apricots would have provided a similar bitterness but I read apricot juice as well as bitter orange peel, coriander and grains of paradise were added. “That’s it!” The bitter orange peel and perhaps a little from the hops. The grapefruit flavor from cascade hops came out as the initial chill dissipated. Hops always shine through better once the cider or beer warms up. The finish was quite long. Apricots and light grapefruit kept me company until the next sip.
This is their flagship cider and coming from an area heavy on craft beer, it is no wonder. Hallelujah Hopricot is certainly not one-dimensional. Hopricot is one of the most distinguished ciders I have tasted. I forgot to mention Nat used a saison yeast for fermentation, typically used for Belgium farmhouse ales. I am envious of the cider fans who get to sample this on draft at the hop fest but like I said earlier, “I’ll have my own damn hop fest thank you very much.”
Thank you Dave White and Nat West for hooking me up.
Here is a great video and interview with Nat West from Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider