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.