Cider (32 reviews)

Boylan's Limited Release Sparkling Cider

Boylan's Limited Release Sparkling Cider

When I see the word “cider” I have a very specific flavor in mind. It’s a fall flavor that is created by juicing apples in a certain way, and a lot of the time it involves spices. It is not simply just any apple drink. It’s a flavor that I am particularly protective over, because there is a cider mill in my home town and to be honest, it’s one of the best beverages ever created.

This, this is not cider. It definitely tastes like apples, but nothing like apple cider. To me it tastes like all of those apple sodas that you can get in the UK. My ladyfriend tells me that it tastes like alcoholic cider, without the alcohol. It’s sweet, it’s appley, but it lacks the bold warmness that comes with real cider (even when served cold).

If this were not presented as cider, I would say that it is one of the better apple sodas, but as I said I’m a protective man, and cider this is not.

Website
http://www.boylanbottling.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Cider, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on November 23rd, 2015
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Boylan's Soda Sparkling Cider 12 Oz, Glass Bottle (Pack of 12)
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Trader Joe's Spiced Cider

Trader Joe's Spiced Cider

Back when things on this planet were younger and simpler there was no such thing as money. Sure gold and jewels were precious and held value, but for normal transactions a barter system was used. If you’re like me an image of Mad Max and Master Blaster just floated through the sea of your thoughts. While that may have been a utopian society in the making, it is nothing but fantasy. In the real world bartering did occur, and I’d like to think that the king of bartering was Joe, or the Trader fame.

Joe was the master trader. He was able to tell the way the winds of favor would blow, so he knew what to trade and when. It was like a predecessor of Wall Street. He would trade grapes for cherries in a town where cherries were prevalent. Then he would move on and trade those cherries in a pit free village for some animal furs. He was always trading up and eventually he trader for land and opened a store. Since he knew where he could get all of the highest quality products for the cheapest, his stores prices were low. It was the birth of an empire.

Nowadays things are run differently but Trader Joes remains. One actually just opened up in Buffalo. For those who don’t know the company buys products from other companies in bulk and then slaps their own label on it. It’s a lot cheaper than buying and running a factory to make each individual foodstuff. I’m not sure who originally made this spiced apple cider, but my hats off to them. It’s just apples and spices to flavor. There is nothing artificial, and there is no added sugar. They have bottled the taste of autumn.

I’m from the area of the country where cider flows like water during these months. I am very picky about my cider and normally I do not like any that was not made at a local mill. This though, this is wonderful. The levels of the spices are at a perfect balance with the apple flavoring. It’s a dangerous drink in that I could easily be a glutton and drink all 64oz in one sitting. I’m going to do my best not to do that, even though I just finished my second glass.

Website
http://www.traderjoes.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Cider
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 23rd, 2013
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Grove Square Cider Caramel Apple

Grove Square Cider Caramel Apple

It as if nature knew I had bought this cider because it decided to drop the temperature twenty five degrees. All of a sudden, I want to just walk around wearing a hoodie with headphones on and not acknowledge anyone or anything, as I enjoy doing because I can be a bit of an introvert and sometimes enjoy when people think I'm just creeping around. I'm not, I just want everyone to leave me the hell alone for a little bit. If those same people knew that I was thinking of things like apple cider, they would probably be alright with me lurking around the city.

I rarely eat candy apples and eat caramel apples even less. Why? Well, a beard does not mesh well with a ball of sticky candy, for one. For two, they are impossible to eat on their own. I thought that if I got this I could drink the fall up in an old coffee cup. Was I right? Sure, if you are concerned about drinking all that fall has to offer and, even in your imagination are concerned about your weight.

This initially tastes very strong. The first two or three sips really taking some getting used to as this cat is a sweet treat if I have ever had one. Subsequent sips are a mix between a pretty good rendering of a liquid caramel apple and a rendering of a liquid caramel apple of your gluttonously and stupidly dipped your caramel apple into aspartame. Ahh, yes. The ingredient that we all loved in the early nineties but now venomously despise is back and hiding in our caramel apple drinks. The sweetener is very strong but the flavor of the cider is pretty good and close to it's model so I can only penalize it so much. It tugs me in both directions so much that I can only cop out and give it a three and wonder how long it's going to take me to get through the other seventeen K-Cups. Dilemma.

Country
United States
Sweetener
Aspartame
Categories
Cider, Diet, Keurig
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on September 3rd, 2013
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Grove Square Caramel Apple Cider, Sugar Free, 24-Count Single Serve Cup for Keurig K-Cup Brewers

Louisburg Cider Mill Sparkling Apple-Cranberry Cider

Louisburg Cider Mill Sparkling Apple-Cranberry Cider

One of my favorite things about traveling/touring is finding and trying regional beverages. Recently I found myself in a crappy little grocery store at 2am in Kansas looking for something to satisfy my hunger. There was no “natural” section to speak of, and hardly any vegetarian selections except for crappy chips and actual vegetables that I had no means to cook. Things were looking grim, and then I stumbled across a little display of these sparkling ciders. My night started to look up, but I left the store with a bag of flavored rice cakes and this bottle of cider. Sure I went to bed hungry that night, but I had a good taste on my tongue.

This is not a spiced cider, and I can only assume that they grow a different breed of apples in the Midwest than in Buffalo, so it ended up tasting more like a sparkling cran-apple juice than sparkling cider to me. I’m okay with that. It was still delicious. Basically if you give me a bottle of any juice that is carbonated with no added sugar, I am going to love it. The cranberry juice isn’t very strong, so the apples do most of the work. Apples: The backbone of America.

Website
http://www.louisburgcidermill.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Cider, Juice, Sparkling
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 10th, 2013
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McCutcheon's Cherry Cider

McCutcheon's Cherry Cider

It is important to note that this is firstly cider and secondly cherry flavored. That is the way these types of drinks should be. A lot of flavored ciders use too much of the flavoring and it completely takes over the taste, and ruins a perfectly wonderful fall drink. Did I say this was a seasonal drink? Not anymore my friends. I've had cider "out of season" before and it has always left me disappointed. McCutcheon's has broken the mold as this has the most authentic apple cider flavor that I have ever tasted for mass consumption single serving bottles.

Also important is that the cherry flavoring actually tastes like cherries and not cold medicine. It's shocking what you can accomplish just by using actual fruit. This is of such a high quality that I would not have been surprised if I had discovered that it was made by Cherry Republic, and that means a lot in my world.

Website
http://mccutcheonsblog.wordpress.com/tag/cherry-cider/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Cider
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on December 4th, 2012
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Blossom Valley Sweet Apple Cider

Blossom Valley Sweet Apple Cider

I'm surprised Jason hadn't already reviewed this, seeing it's made in his backyard. Well not literally his backyard, but his stomping grounds of West Seneca. New York has the best cider in the country (that I’ve had). I don't know what it is about the apples here, but they make incredible cider and I moved back at just the right time, when gallons of it are everywhere and on sale.

Blossom Valley is no different either. This cider is a prime example of how delicious apple cider from Western New York can be. I may be biased since I grew up here, but I stand by it.

Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Cider, Juice
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Derek Neuland on November 26th, 2012
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Nature's Nectar Sparkling Spiced Pumpkin Cider

Nature's Nectar Sparkling Spiced Pumpkin Cider

Would you look at that bottle? Seriously, just look at it. It’s a work of art. This is the type of bottle that draws me into the fancy beer section even though I don’t drink. Now Mike hands me a sparkling cider (that is pumpkin flavored no less) and tells me that it’s safe for consumption. Well I am one happy camper. My letters home to mom won’t be full of tears this time around. The kicker is that Mike found this in the most unlikely of places: Aldi. That’s right, a budget, cost effective store has the fanciest bottle of cider I have ever set my eyes on.

When I popped the top, oh and how the top popped, I took a big sniff and was concerned to note that it smelled of Worchester sauce with some spices in it. My expectations fell through the floor. I had a friend smell it as well and he said he had a similar reaction. Oh well, down the hatch it went. I felt weird drinking this from the bottle, as I felt like I should pour it into a fancy glass, but you do what you have to do, and I had to try this instantly. Luckily the scent had nothing to do with the flavor at all. It’s labeled as a pumpkin cider, but it’s really just a nicely spiced apple cider with a tiny bit of pumpkin flavor mixed in. It’s probably for the best, as I could see too much pumpkin being over powering. The best part of the flavor is that cinnamon isn’t the prime spice like it normally is in cider. It’s there, but it’s not the all-powerful Oz or anything like that. If I had to pick a prominent “spice” it would have to be ginger. There’s no burn to it (oh god that would have been the best. Simply the best. Better than all the rest.) but the flavor of ginger is there and I love Nature’s Nectar for it. I also love them because I would expect this to be around the $4/$5 mark, but I looked online and it’s only $2. I’m going to have to pick a couple up before the season is over.

Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Cider, Sparkling
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on November 10th, 2012
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Nature's Nectar Spiced Cherry Cider

Nature's Nectar Spiced Cherry Cider

'tis the season for cider. Finally. Look, I like fall because I like hoodies but I love cider and forget about it until it's everywhere and I think "Hey! Cider season really snuck up on us." I enjoy most ciders and I don't know if I've had a bad one. Maybe it's because it's a tougher drink, potentially perishable, and not really indigenous to most areas. The Northeast where two-thirds of the Thirsty Dudes live is chocked full of apples. That being said, I don't know where this drink is actually made since I'm not looking at the bottle. It was from Aldi's and is their home brand if that helps narrow down the location.

With the addition of cherry, I was hooked. It had to be good. You are probably expecting me to dis it now, right? You know me. Always taking you one way and spinning you around the other way. Pulling an old Mike 180 on you. Well, I'm not always that predictable because this was actually pretty good. No added sugar, 100% juice, decent cider taste, not a medicinal cherry taste. That's a recipe for something truly special and delicious. It wasn't as spiced as I would have wanted but that's just me being a snob. It was still good and I have no legitimate complaints.

This was probably a steal at the store, seasonal, delicious, and a decent juice. In the end, you win any way you look at it. Aldi's...seriously...keep it up. You're doing wonderfully.

Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Cider
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on October 24th, 2012
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Columbia Gorge Amazing Ginger Apple Cider

Columbia Gorge Amazing Ginger Apple Cider

Fall is here and so is cider. I love apple cider! It's 1000 times better than normal/boring apple juice. If you disagree then I'm sorry, but we can't be friends. Cider in the Pacific Northwest (at least in Portland) isn't as common as it is in Western New York. This is sad, but don't worry I’m surviving.

Leave it to Columbia Gorge to come up with this beautiful bottle of deliciousness. What are even better are the ingredients: Apples, Ginger Juice. That's it! Two ingredients!! And it's organic on top of it.

The best part is that it tastes EXACTLY how I imagined it was going to. It's a really nice clean and crisp apple cider, with a great ginger burn in the after taste. It doesn't seem that strong at first, but once it hit my stomach, it was strong. Personally I would have love to have had more ginger in this so it was really intense, but I understand they are trying to please everyone and I’m sure most people don't have the ginger tolerance that me and the other Thirsty Dudes have. I hope more companies follow their lead and make cider with ginger in it.

Website
http://www.columbiagorgeorganic.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Cider, Juice
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Derek Neuland on October 18th, 2012
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Red Jacket Orchards Apple Cider

Red Jacket Orchards Apple Cider

Sir, I’m sorry but I cannot let you in with your current attire, as this is a Red Jacket party. Yes, I know that the party is for the company Red Jacket Orchards, but they wanted to take it to the next level. The idea behind it was that “black tie” affairs are far too stuffy, but it would be fun to have a party where everyone just wore red jackets. If you want we have some extra coats here, since we knew people wouldn’t get the idea. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find red suit coats in this town. All I could find was this array of “jackets.” Yes, I had to take liberty with the word jacket and a bunch of these are actually coats and other. Sir, you are kind of a big man, so this parka looks like it will be the only one that will fit you. I know it’s the middle of August, but you need to ask yourself, “Do I really want to go into this party? Is the juice worth it?” Before you answer reach into the pocket of the parka. I believe there is a small bottle of Red Jacket apple cider in there. Taste that and then choose your fate. Well that sounded dramatic. Just taste the juice and then either put on the parka, or be on your merry way. It’s that simple.

Well it took only one sip and you’re all parkaed up. Sir, you don’t have to zip it up all the way. All that is required is that you have the jacket on. I know the juice/cider is delicious. I do work for the company, I’m not just some hired gun here to sling out jackets at the front gate. I also know that it is kind of weird to drink cider in the summer. It’s traditionally an autumn drink, but its not written on any law books that it must be drank during a certain season. The juice is sweet and appley just like a cider should be. It does taste a little lighter than most other Western New York ciders I’ve had, but I’ll blame that on the season and the apples that must have been used to make it. It doesn’t make it gross by any means. Obviously it’s a completely wonderful juice as you are willing to don a parka in 95 degree weather just for a chance to drink some more of it. No sir, I don’t think you are dumb at all. If our positions were reversed I’d be doing the same thing. I mean where else are you going to find a more than decent cider at this time of year? The answer is nowhere. Now get in there and drink juice until your heart is content.

Website
http://www.redjacketjuice.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Cider, Juice
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 11th, 2012
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