Apples, on their own, are pretty good. If Congress passed some law requiring all cider to be apples only, I’d be okay with that (you may too, considering the many thousands of apple varieties). But plain apple cider, despite all its tastiness, are GREAT when mixed with other flavorings. From apricot to cinnamon and hops to pepper, mixing it up can produce amazing flavors.
Below are my initial reviews for both Dry Hopped and Black Currant from Finnriver. I thoroughly enjoyed the Dry Hopped in my first book, and was happy to see Black Currant did not fall far from the tree. (Apple jokes!) Now if you’ll excuse me, I have another long day of sampling to do, starting with an Atlas from Bend, OR, followed by Bull Run’s Gravenstein. Enjoy!
Finnriver Dry Hopped
Hopppppppppppssssss. Seriously, so much hops, just swallowing the fumes is making me think of BBQ and burgers and everything summer time. The tartness of the apple brings this one back, like a great apple pie made with supercharged Granny Smiths. My wife puckered a bit when she first took a sip, as this sourness isn’t for amateurs.
The bubbles are fun to play with here. They separate and reform like Dipping Dots, instead of froth up like a typical hoppy beer would.
The drink holds its taste as long as it’s kept cold, and the aroma of sour Granny Smith is nearly cologne worthy. This may be the only time getting a drink tossed on you would be a pleasant thing, though I do not condone such alcohol abuse.
Best when paired with something salty to balance. I’m sucking the salt from Glutino pretzels between sips of Finnriver Dry Hopped, and starting to think of salty foods for dinner. Up for a fancy elk burger, anyone?
Finnriver Black Currant
This smells like fruit wine. Not that crappy Bartles and James stuff or a wine cooler, but full-bodied fruit wine that could hold its own next to a salty steak or spicy taco. Upon first sip, it’s unmistakably apple, but then again, it’s something sweeter.
Know the grapples in stores? That’s about what this starts out like, but its mouthfeel isn’t as sweet, though the tartness more than makes up for it. Sips two through the rest taste exactly like liquified blackcurrant, with a smoothness and slight bitterness that’s almost like a perfectly dill pickle.
Oh man, this is going to be so good with fish and grilled brussels sprouts.
Check back Wednesday for an exclusive interview with a member of Finnriver’s team.