Bull Run Cider’s label is the most intimidating cider label I’ve ever seen. It looks substantial, the bottle looks thick, and I fully expect such a thing will be found as evidence if I ever get into a bar fight.
Seeing as how I had no idea Bull Run Watershed was Portland’s main water reservoir, I assumed Bull Run was meant more descriptively: this was a cider only for the manliest of men, the cowboy types. At $13-ish a bottle, with 750ml-only availability, Bull Run Cider was a major commitment to consume.
After numerous draft pours, my fears have been washed away. This cider is far simpler, and far better, than the presumptions I made after drinking while taking the bottle design and overall brand feel into consideration.
Approachably elitist? That’s a thing, right? Makes sense. Here are my initial notes.
Medium Dry Gravenstein Single Varietal
First sniff? Strong fuel and apple. First taste on the tongue? Non-descript, weak apple juice. First sip and finish? Amazing, flavorful apples the reminds of me picking an apple from my grandparent’s orchard and eating it, then heading inside to polish off the apple cobbler.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t sweet apples, but FLAVORFUL apples. Too many cider makers spice up their drinks, apparently for fear of people actually tasting the apples they used to make it. But not Bull Run, this single varietal screams: “These are good apples and you will like them” every finish from every sip.
This is what I want on my table when I don’t feel like champagne, but want something tasty and fancy looking.
Sometimes all I want is some non-throat-burning hooch, a bit of flavor, and some bubbles to help it all go down. While flavorful cider can complement many rich foods, I don’t always want what’s on my plate to taste like fermented, sweet-tasting apples and spices.
When these times come up, Powerhouse Dry is an excellent choice. Blazingly dry with a soft aroma and finish so quick I’ve thought about adding sugar (no, not really), it’s the cider version of scotch, without all the pretentiousness that comes from liquor.
This is dry cider at its most basic, and that’s more than good enough.