The kind humans at Sonoma Cider sent us 1 bottle each, of their 3 cider varieties.  We decided to try these during the mash stage of our BelMartian IPA.  Each alien poured a small taster and we exchanged tasting notes and here is what we came up with.


The Hatchet Apple Cider has a nice golden appearance with a light white head that quickly dissipates to a halo. The nose is dry of tart apples and not much sweetness.  The taste is very similar to the smell… dry and crisp with tart green apple flavor and a bit over carbonated.  The Hatchet was better than most hard apple ciders I’ve had and I do prefer the dry types.  This one has a lot of champagne qualities.  3.5/5


The Pitchfork Pear Cider appears slightly lighter in color than The Hatchet and is quite a contrast in flavor too.  The aroma is of sweet, fresh pear and the taste is even more so.  Very smooth and sweet but I don’t think so sweet that it would be too much to drink more than one.  I would recommend The Pitchfork for those into the sweeter as this one is refreshing but a bit sticky on the mouthfeel. 4/5


The Anvil Bourbon Cider is really like no cider I have had before.  This one is a bit of a mystery.  It says on the description from Sonoma that they added “proprietary barrel-proof bourbon flavor”.  I honestly am not sure what this means, and maybe it’s a secret, but the result is quite interesting.  The appearance was the darker of the three with little carbonation. The taste had vanilla, oak and a touch of bourbon flavor.  The experience was much better once The Anvil warmed up a bit.  I would enjoy this if there were more bourbon flavor than it has.  I would also like to see this one spiked up a bit on the ABV.  This one has huge potential, but I just can’t see myself drinking this one too much. 3/5


Sonoma are making quality ciders that do not all appear rushed or plain.  They only have 3 cider varieties but they are all very unique and could appeal to different occasions and food pairings.  I really hope to see them distributed to the San Diego area soon.

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