Drake (8030) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - DEC 30, 2008
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
12 ounce bottle courtesy of a friend. Pours a pale
yellow color with a thin head. Poor head retention and lacing.
The aroma is tart apples. Very sweet and tart apple taste.
Medium bodied with a sticky feel.
otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - NOV 27, 2008
2.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
It is fall which means tis the season for multi-colored leaves, brisk breezes, sweaters, and crisp apples and pie. Apples? Yes, apples. Freshly picked, crunchy, crisp, and sweet with nips of tartness while a little trail of juice trickles down your chin. Imagine standing amidst an orchard while you watch the mountain leaves change color, shivering a bit as the breeze bites at your nose, hands shoved deep into your pants pockets. Take that, ferment it, bottle it, and you have a year-long yet always fall-inspired delight known as the cider. Sounds romantic doesn’t it, and fiction or fact aside, a good cider is a pleasure to behold and to drink. I was unfortunately none too impressed with the Irish Raspberry Cider from Kelly’s, so I am hoping that their standard Irish Cider will fare better with my palate. If not, I’ll have to retreat once more to the fall paradise in my mind.
A clear straw gold, my glass is topped off with absolutely no head whatsoever, though a steady stream of bubbles scream for the surfaces. Bursting forth, they release a cacophony of crunchy apples, crisp pears, and juicy peaches. Honey and sunflowers weave in-between the fruit notes, binding them together in a tantalizing harmony. No hint of the artificial sweeteners in this Kelly’s Irish Cider. Her mouthfeel is full and sticky sweet, clinging to my tongue and roof of my mouth. Very little carbonation to speak of, despite her outward appearance. A bitter bite in the finish lingers well into the aftertaste. Shining amidst all is a delightful palate of honey, apples, and pears that dance along my tongue. A far cry better, the only downside is the bitter bite which tarnishes the finish of this otherwise well-crafted cider as I savor my last quaff.
I can see how back in the day Kelly’s Irish Cider won multiple awards for best American craft cider. While she still has her shine, either times have moved past Kelly’s or Kelly’s has fallen by the wayside. I wouldn’t say she is the best cider I have quaffed, but I enjoyed our time spent together.
Beershine (5212) - The Sunshine State, Florida, USA - AUG 20, 2008
1.5 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 6/20
Uber-clear and uber pale like juiced straw. No head but sparkling appearance. Apples are pronounced strongly in the aroma with lots of fermented skin overtones. Insipid mouthfeel is thin, fizzy, and watery. No flavor, barely even apple soda, thankfully. Vapid.
redlight (2316) - Orlando, Florida, USA - AUG 19, 2008
2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
Apple juice aroma, slightly musty. Pours clear blonde with a white head. Sweet apples with some apple skins, very sweet with an acidic finish. Not much going on here.
Oakes (12234) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - AUG 5, 2008
0.8 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 2/20
Very pale straw. Dead flat...what is this? Light apple and glue aroma. Quite spritz, with a vague plasticy apple note. Quite tart in the finish, from added acids. One of the worst ciders I’ve ever had.
nodine (2) - Virginia, USA - FEB 26, 2008 does not count
1.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 5/20
This beverage pours with a light fizzy head that burns off quickly. Resembles sparkling apple juice more than hard cider. Detect an aroma of pears with a barely discernable hint of apple cider vinegar (go figure). Pleasant initial flavor but left a sour finish in my mouth. The level of carbonation diminshed the experience for me as well. An inferior hard cider for my money.
mabel (5414) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 11, 2008
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
[923-20071206] Tap @ Meg O’Malleys. Faint apple aroma hints at dirt. Clear, pale yellow body with no head. Sweet sweet leafy apple flavour. Light body. Average.
obguthr (3651) - Staunton, Virginia, USA - OCT 14, 2007
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 14/20
Perry-like apple aroma, slightly doughy and almost buttery. Clear, light golden color. Fantastic balance and even tastefully salty. Hearty for a cider. Fair amount of carbonation. Listed ABV of 4.6% is suspect; mine seemed considerably less potent. Highly recommended.
ChainGangGuy (4351) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - SEP 9, 2007
2.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
Appearance: Pours a quite clear bo--ah, heck, it just looks like white wine.
Smell: Fleeting apple scent before it drifts off into white wine territory. It seems the only thing "hard" about this hard cider, is finding the cider in it.
Taste: Brief, moderately sweet apple flavor before the whole thing goes white wine on ya. Finishes acidic.
Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Manages to by both syrupy AND spritzy.
Drinkability: Perhaps not the best way to spend $1.29.
Rosewood (2) - USA - MAY 13, 2007 does not count
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
If you are looking for a dry hard cider, this is the deal. It has the taste, color and finish of the stuff that I used to get in the pubs in England. A total pleasure to drink.