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Cider

Along Came a Cider: Cider Review: Virtue Cider’s Baldwin

For once, I’m trying to be prepared and ahead of the game. When this goes live, I’ll hopefully be traveling with The Tall One. We need a bit of respite. But between this moment and that anticipated one there are snow storms and cross-country flights. I write in hope because I prefer it to other available options. Fingers crossed, cider friends!

Today, I’m sharing my thoughts on Virtue Cider’s Baldwin. For those who aren’t familiar with Virtue Cider. The company was founded in Michigan in 2011 by Greg Hall. The cidery offers many different cider styles, many of which are inspired by different cider making traditions from cider regions of the world or local Michigan ingredients.

This cider came to me as a sample of Virtue’s first Cider Society box. That’s their regular subscription or cider club. You can read more about Cider Society here: https://virtuecider.com/pages/cider-society

Virtue Ciders have appeared many times on this blog in the past. Here’s the full list. You can also find additional background information on Virtue in these earlier posts.

Spitz: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2021/10/cider-review-virtue-ciders-spitz.html

Pear: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/05/cider-review-virtue-ciders-pear-and.html

Michigan Apple: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/02/cider-review-1911-rose-and-virtue.html

Rose: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/02/cider-review-1911-rose-and-virtue.html

Brut: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/02/cider-review-citizen-ciders-tree-tapper.html

The Mitten Reserve: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/03/cider-review-whitewood-cider-cos-olivia.html

Percheron: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2017/10/cider-review-virtue-ciders-percheron.html

Ledbury: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/02/cider-review-roundup-virtue-slyboro.htm

The Mitten: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2014/05/cider-review-virtue-ciders-mitten-and.htm

Red Streak: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/06/trying-virtue-and-olivers-ciders-at.htm

You can find out more about any of these ciders and much more at Virtue’s website: https://www.virtuecider.com

Here’s the official description for the Baldwin, “Part of our Apple Fest Series which features a single apple varietal. The Baldwin apple is a large crimson red and coppery green apple that is crisp, juicy, and aromatic with a spicy sweet-tart flavor.” This cider’s ABV is 7.7%.

Appearance: bubbly, brilliant, medium straw

Virtue Cider’s Baldwin reminds me of many modern American ciders in its appearance. The cider is brilliant with visible bubbles and a medium color intensity. The hue reminds me of ripe straw.

Aromas: Cooked apples, apple skin, Pixi Stix

The Baldwin reminds me most of cooked apples when I let its aroma notes waft to me. I can get other inklings as well: green apple skins, Pixy Stix, and grapefruit.

Dryness/sweetness: Semi-dry

This cider is neither dominated by sweetness nor completely reliant on it. There is enough sweetness to keep things easy-going and approachable and not a bit too much. What sweetness I do detect is very appley and natural.

Flavors and drinking experience: tart, minerals, high acid, well-balanced

I appreciate how this tart and minerally cider feels so fresh on the palate. It really does feel so green apple tart to me; it’s somehow high acid without being overly austere or pointed. The Baldwin is a well-balanced crowd pleaser of a cider. I enjoy the strong bubbles and medium full mouthfeel.

I had this at a lovely quiet dinner of pescatarian okonomiyaki, dumpling soup, and cucumber salad. What a set of pairings! Each dish brought out a different element of the cider, and all were delicious. I would enthusiastically recommend exactly this to anyone who wants to explore such a well-balanced cider in all its visissitudes. And my eternal gratitude to my dear friends who cook so well and share their gifts.

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Cider

Along Came a Cider: Cider Review: Bent Ladder Cider’s Original

Yesterday I saw my first outdoor blooms of the season. What season, one might reasonably ask? It’s still Winter here, but I saw snowdrops. Yesterday the sun was powerful enough to melt feet of ice and tempt many people outdoors. I’m grateful for that little preview of Spring. Today, it’s a gray world of rain and mist, but I remember the look of a blue sky. Today’s cider is one that reminds me of Summer. A friend of mine sought out a selection of Bent Ladder Cider for me, and that makes me value it all the more. Bent Laddery Ciders and Wines come to us from Doylestown, Ohio. The company was founded in 2015. Here’s how the website describes the process,

Each cider is made from a selection of our estate-grown apples which we crush, ferment, age and keg in-house. Even if you have never tried a hard cider before, our wide selection ensures that you will be able to find something that you love.

I recommend learning about Bent Ladder Ciders and Wines on the company’s homepage here: https://bentladder.com/ As this is the cidery’s first appearance on the blog, I wanted to start with The Original. Here’s how the Original is described.

A blend of apples including Northern Spy, Jonathan and Winesap. Aromas of green apple and ripe pear. Fruit forward flavors of ripe apple, blossoms and nectar. Well balanced and easy drinking with a clean mellow finish.

Medium Sweet

6.5% ABV

Appearance: brilliant, lots of bubbles, medium intensity warm straw

This cider has a classic look with medium intensity warm straw color. I see many bubbles in the glass. As the image reveals, Bent Ladder’s Original is brilliant in terms of clarity. Aromas: baked apple muffins, spices, bready, ripe apple The Original reminds me of a brunchy weekend breakfast in the best of all possible ways. It smells like a fresh apple danish with notes of baking spice, clean yeastiness, powdered sugar, and ripe apples. There’s also just a hint sweet orange in the mix. I am so very reminded of baked goods! The aroma is clean and enticing. Sweetness/Dryness: Semi-sweet This cider strikes me exactly as the cidery it describes, semi-sweet. The sweetness in The Original is beautifully integrated in the whole experience, and it’s a super approachable level of sweetness in a cider. Flavors and drinking experience: bubbly, medium acid, honey, ripe apple So much of what I noticed in the aroma comes through in this cider’s flavors as well. It does remind me of a sweet apple-y dessert. The Original brings lots of bubbles to my glass, and I’m grateful. It has medium acidity, a beautifully honeyed flavor, and a generous share of fresh apple. The whole experience tastes jammy to me. Its a sunny, summertime cider in my book. I enjoyed this with a hearty veggie soup and homemade bread, but I’d love to see this with a quiche and muffins.



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Cider

Blake Cider’s Paloma Release & Review

Blake’s Hard Cider (BHC), the Midwest’s largest craft cidery, announces the release of its first-ever Bar Cart Series, a line of hard ciders inspired by favorite cocktails. Drinkable on its own or with the addition of liquor to create a proper cocktail, Paloma is the first of three in the new line. It will be available across BHC’s 20+ state footprint beginning Friday, Jan. 7 with the two others to follow later in the year.

Paloma, a nod to the traditional cocktail made with grapefruit juice, lime, and tequila, is a semi-sweet hard cider that delivers the perfect balance of citrus and sweetness from agave flavors over an apple cider base. Serve it chilled, over ice or add a shot of tequila and a salted rim to take it to cocktail level. The Bar Cart Series (ABV 6.5% – 8%) will be sold in six-pack 12 oz. cans, MSRP $10.99-$12.99.

“The idea behind our Bar Cart Series stemmed from the variety of cider-based cocktails Blake’s Hard Cider fans make and enjoy, so it was a natural evolution for us to create a line of cocktail-themed ciders,” said Andrew Blake, founder and president, Blake’s Hard Cider. “Cider drinkers are adventurous and not limited to just classic apple. They appreciate the craft side of the beverage and will enjoy the versatility and complexity of our new ciders on their own or with added alcohol if you choose.”

Our Review of Blake’s Paloma Cider

The ready-to drink-market (RTD) has exploded recently and Blake’s joined in on the fun with their Bar Cart Series. Their first offering is the citrusy Paloma. Starting with the can design, we are greeted with bright orange and pink tones, highlighting the ingredients in the product. The design is punchy and simple, with a creative font used for the word Paloma. Looks like a pre-made cocktail can so their mission is accomplished.

Once you open the can, you get the aroma of grapefruit, high acid, and lime juice — a citrusy burst, really. Some of the sweetness pokes through via natural sugars and added agave. It smells mostly citrusy with the smaller and later notes being sweetness. On the pour, you are greeted with a light pinkish product with a healthy amount of carbonation, but it is certainly not overdone. Much of the color looks like it comes from the grapefruit itself. A fun color if you use this cider for a cocktail base. It has more character in the color department than most ciders.

As you take your first sip, you become fully aware of the tangy, tart, citrusy notes that we caught on the nose. This 6.5% ABV is slightly bitter from the involved fruits. You get a bunch of those bitter, tangy fruit notes throughout the experience. Given the qualities of some of these fruits, you experience some of that drying effect on the mouth, too. Moves from the roof of the mouth to the cheeks and so on with its drying magic. After a few sips, you gain a deeper understanding of the sweetness and it comes into deeper balance with the acidic notes. High acid accentuates the agave and they dance well together like most tequila or mezcal drinks that include the same ingredients.

All in all, we see why this is a cocktail-inspired cider and it is elevated with a salt-rimmed glass or some added boozy punch from tequila. This might not be for individuals that hate grapefruit or can only handle so much citrus, but the bitter notes and long-term sweetness make this a perfect RTD beverage and an even better mixer for those that like their hard liquor.

For more information on Blake’s Hard Cider, store locations and availability, visit www.blakeshardcider.com


About Blake’s Hard Cider Co.

Blake’s Hard Cider Co., established in 2013, is an independent, family-owned, and operated craft cidery. Located on a 1000-acre orchard in Armada, Mich., Blake’s Hard Cider was founded on the values ​​of its more than 75-year farming roots. By growing, pressing, and fermenting our own apples on our farm, we’re able to proudly and consistently produce a truly authentic and uncompromised craft hard cider experience. Blake’s Hard Cider’s success and growth has been driven by creating adventurous flavor profiles such as Mango Habanero, Triple Berry, and Caramel Apple. Its line-up has expanded further to include the industry’s first 100 calorie Lite Ciders and its rotating #KinderCider Series to support and raise awareness for social and environmental issues and organizations which share Blake’s values. Find and buy Blake’s Hard Cider online at www.blakeshardcider.com.

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Cider

Along Came a Cider: Cider Review: Stormalong’s Wicked Little Wickson

Apologies for the late post this week. Things are just really ramping up in every possible direction around here! Harvest is starting for apple growers. Kids are going back to school. Bats are flying through my house at night. Our county is at its highest level of active COVID cases yet. You know, all that normal August stuff. But sarcasm aside, I was completely excited to get some review samples from Stormalong Cider last week.

Stormalong is a Massachusetts based cidery that’s been around since 2014. It was founded by Shannon Edgar Sherborn. Since then, the company has created a wide range of ciders, including last year’s Rare Apple series. Of the recent releases, I’ve been particularly excited about Wicked little Wickson because Wickson Crabapples are consistently listed as apples used in my favorite ciders.

You can visit Stormalong online to learn about all the new releases and everything else that Stormalong has cooking: http://stormalong.com/.

I’ve reviewed a fair few of Stormalong’s ciders. Here’s the full list.

Winesap: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2021/04/cider-review-stormalong-ciders-winesap.html

Happy Holidays: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/11/cider-review-stormalong-ciders-happy.html

Esopus Spitzenburg: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/08/cider-review-ravens-moon-craft-ciders.html

Ashmead’s Kernel: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/07/cider-review-brannland-just-cider-and.html

Peariful: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/05/cider-review-left-foot-charleys-fortis.html

Legendary Dry: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2016/12/cider-review-stormalongs-legendary-dry.html

Kingston Black: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2019/08/cider-reviews-ninepin-light-cider.html

Light of the Sun: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/08/cider-review-descendant-cider-company.html

Mass Appeal: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/12/cider-review-prospect-ciderworks.html

Boston Heirloom: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/01/cider-review-stormalong-ciders-boston.html

Here’s Stormalong’s official description:

Cider aged in neutral oak barrels. It’s dry yet bursting with fruit flavor and bright acidity with a hint of oak rounding out the flavor profile. Alcohol 6.8%

Appearance: intense popcorn yellow, transparent, few visible bubbles

The cider has an appealing popcorn yellow color. To me it looks transparent with few visible bubbles.

Aromas: melon, ripe apple, summer fruit, barrel, hint of volatile acidity

The Wicked Little Wickson smells like melons and summer fruits as well as ripe apples. I do get just a bit of volatile acidity. The aromas are tempting and vivid. There’s also a low mellow note that reminds me of barrels.

Sweetness/dryness: off dry

This is a perfectly balanced off-dry cider. It’s not austere, but the Wicked Little Wickson’s flavors do not come from sweetness.

Flavors and drinking experience: herbal, green, high acid, medium tannins

The first thing I noticed is the strong contrast between the Wicked Little Wickson’s taste and smell. The cider smells fruity, but the taste has more excitingly complex dimensions. Yes, it tastes fruit, with notes of peach and overripe apple, but this cider brings so much more to the table.

The Wicked Little Wickson tastes savory, herbal and green. It’s sappy, tart and strongly flavored. I am super into this! I love this strong acid and medium tannins. The cider’s flavors come across as golden and lovely.

The complexity doesn’t stop there. I appreciate this cider’s strong bubble, medium body, and warming peppery finish. I enjoyed this cider with a new kind of potato chip I’ve never seen before. I tried them with a flavor called Syracuse Style; to me, the chips were a bit like all dressed chips. The snack was successful, and the cider matched the intensity of the chips well. Next time though I think I’ll have a Wicked Little Wickson with a creamy shrimp scampi with cherry tomatoes and fresh corn.

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Cider

Along Came a Cider: Cider Review: Virtue Cider’s Spitz

Fall is showing a strange facet this week; it’s warm and rainy. Much of the summer was the same way, so this feels like a look back at the season just passed. But it’s still Fall, the season of apples. That’s the perfect time to review Virtue Cider’s Spitz and introduce Virtue’s Cider Society.

Virtue Cider comes to us all from Michigan. This cidery was founded in 2011; congrats on turning 10 Virtue! Greg Hall started this cidery after his tenure at Goose Island Brewing. Today, Virtue cider has three cider houses and an array of farm animals, including pigs and chickens.

I’ve reviewed several Virtue Ciders in the past. Here’s the rundown.

Pear: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/05/cider-review-virtue-ciders-pear-and.html

Michigan Apple: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/02/cider-review-1911-rose-and-virtue.html

Rose: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/02/cider-review-1911-rose-and-virtue.html

Brut: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/02/cider-review-citizen-ciders-tree-tapper.html

The Mitten Reserve: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/03/cider-review-whitewood-cider-cos-olivia.html

Percheron: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2017/10/cider-review-virtue-ciders-percheron.html

Ledbury: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/02/cider-review-roundup-virtue-slyboro.html

The Mitten: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2014/05/cider-review-virtue-ciders-mitten-and.html

Red Streak: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/06/trying-virtue-and-olivers-ciders-at.html

You can find out more about any of these ciders and much more at Virtue’s website: https://www.virtuecider.com/

Part of what I want to do today is to introduce Virtue’s Cider Society!

This cider club will allow members to taste special small batch Virtue ciders that are not available to the wider public. The club ships four times a year, unlocks special discounts, gains member access to club events, and includes gift certificates in each box.

Read all about it here: https://virtuecider.com/pages/cider-society.

I was lucky enough to receive a sample of October’s box with four new Virtue ciders: Spitz, Jonathan, Golden Russet, and Baldwin. These ciders highlight special apple varieties, hence being named after these four heirloom apples. As you can see the package is stunning. I think this is such a treat, and would make an awesome gift for any cider lover in your life.

I don’t have a lot of individual info about the Spitz, aside from it featuring that apple. It’s ABV is 7.3%, and it won a Silver medal at this past year’s GLINTCAP competition. I wish I knew more.

Appearance: Brilliant, warm straw, no visible bubbles

This is a lovely cider. The color classically describeds what I see most often as warm straw. It’s brilliant and shining, but I don’t see visible bubbles in the glass.

Aromas: fusel oil, peach, minerals, ripe apple

The Spitz offers up an intensely inviting aroma. It reminds me of tart apples, peaches, minerals and just a bit of fusel oil. It smells tantalizing.

Sweetness/dryness: Semi-sweet

Everyone tasting agreed that this cider is a semi-sweet. It’s fruity but not cloying.

Flavors and drinking experience: Tannic, high acid, overripe apples, creamy

I appreciate it so much that the Spitz cider manages to taste tannic and pleasingly tart. The cider brings flavors of overripe apples, sweet cream, oranges, and peaches. None of the elements or flavors comes across as sharp or pointed; Instead, the cider feels creamy in my mouth. The level of fizz is relatively low; I’d call it petillant rather than truly sparkling.

We paired this cider with two vegetarian pizzas from a beloved local pizza place I can’t believe I’ve not yet tried. Takeout pizza is always a treat, but having this super-fresh delicious pizza with a wonderfully full-bodied cider was amazing.

I can’t wait to try the rest of the ciders in my October box from Virtue’s Cider Society!


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Cider

Along Came a Cider: Cider Review: Wild State Cider’s Semi-Dry

We’re almost a month into Fall here in the Northern Hemisphere, but sunny days with highs in the 70s are still occasionally surprising us. Since so much of the summer was cool and rainy, I’m not going to complain overmuch. These sunny days are tremendously pleasant, and I find them perfect for enjoying a cider on my porch. That’s exactly what I did with Wild State Cider’s Semi-Dry.

Wild State Cider comes from Minnesota. The cidery is based in Duluth with a spot that hosts both production and a tap room. You can visit the cidery seven days a week. The company takes its identity from the notion of wildness. The founders Adam Ruhland and Andrew Price both make a point to speak about their connections with nature in their professional bios on the Wild State website. And the company’s most prominent slogan is “Naturally good cider” going on to emphasize what they do not add to their cider: concentrate, sweeteners, sorbates, and interestingly, compromises. It’s a clear vision, and I’m excited to see how that translates to taste.

I’m starting with the Semi-dry as it’s one of the flagship ciders. It was shared with me for review, so my thanks to the folks at Wild State! This is my first Wild State Cider review.

Read more for yourself online here: https://www.wildstatecider.com/ciders

Here’s how Wild State describes the Semi-dry online, “This is where it all started – a crisp cider with champagne vibes. 6.4% ABV, 165 calories and only 3g sugar.” And I was able to find just a bit more description elsewhere online, “Our original cider, Semi Dry is a staple in the taproom. Light floral, crisp, hint of spice.”

Appearance: brilliant, goldenrod, bubbly

The color reminds me of the goldenrod blooms that I’m still seeing in the edge of gardens and forests. The cider is brilliant and bubbly with a medium intensity of color.

Aromas: mineral, ripe apple, anticipating tannins

I’m tantalized by the limestone mineral aroma, it’s slightly bitter. I get instant acids and tannins on the smell. It’s not exactly that I smell them directly, but something about what I smell leads me to expect them. I wish I could articulate that better. What I do smell are notes of sun-warmed apples. It’s approachable and appealing.

Sweetness/dryness: off dry

Wild State says semi-dry, and it’s legitimately off-dry. Nice work. I am very used to hearing that a cider is quite a bit drier than what I taste. I appreciate that it doesn’t have the usual commercial inflation of dryness.

Flavors and drinking experience: high acid, high tannins, spruce, woody

Oooh, complex! The Semi-dry tastes bitter but pleasant! The whole experience feels full and low in the mouth. The cider brings a different acid profile than I’m used to. These acids are present and blend with carbonation effortlessly, but are not the bright pointed malic notes that I taste most either in canned ciders or the more austere sharp acids of northeastern dry ciders.

I taste no sourness; the Semi-dry is beautifully clean in its fermentation. There are woody notes and a little spruce too. The cider has a very nice filling mouthfeel and a clean, tannic finish.

I paired this cider with veggie pizza and it cuts through fats like a knife. What a wonderful pairing for anything cheesy. I cannot recommend that enough! This is a lovely cider, and I’m excited to taste the rest of what Wild State makes!

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Cider

Along Came a Cider: Cider Review: Stormalong’s Bittersweet Symphonie

I need something cozy, cider friends! It’s time for veggie chili, warm blankets, scary movies and rich satisfying cider. This shift to dark chilly mornings still feels very new to me, but I know it’s time to settle in for a long season or two of blustery weather. That’s why I knew it was time to break out a can of Stormalong Cider’s Bittersweet Symphonie.

Stormalong Cider was kind enough to share this cider with me as a review sample. As always, review samples are much appreciated but do not sway my opinion of a cider or necessarily guarantee a review. I do try to review as much as I can though. Stormalong is based in Massachusetts, where this company has been making cider since 2014. I’ve reviewed almost as many of Stormalong’s ciders as I’ve tasted. The cidery’s range of styles is impressive as is the consistent quality. I think of Stormalong as a reliable favorite, and I look forward to new releases.

Check out Stormalong Cider online and see new releases and info on all things Stormalong: http://stormalong.com/.

Here’s the rundown of my Stormalong reviews.

Wicked Little Wickson: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2021/08/cider-review-stormalongs-wicked-little.html

Winesap: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2021/04/cider-review-stormalong-ciders-winesap.html

Happy Holidays: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/11/cider-review-stormalong-ciders-happy.html

Esopus Spitzenburg: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/08/cider-review-ravens-moon-craft-ciders.html

Ashmead’s Kernel: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/07/cider-review-brannland-just-cider-and.html

Peariful: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/05/cider-review-left-foot-charleys-fortis.html

Legendary Dry: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2016/12/cider-review-stormalongs-legendary-dry.html

Kingston Black: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2019/08/cider-reviews-ninepin-light-cider.html

Light of the Sun: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/08/cider-review-descendant-cider-company.html

Mass Appeal: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/12/cider-review-prospect-ciderworks.html

Boston Heirloom: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2020/01/cider-review-stormalong-ciders-boston.html

I knew to be excited about this cider because it won big at GLINTCAP. Bittersweet Symphonie got 3rd place Best in Class 2021 in Traditional Dry and took a Gold medal. That’s a great category and a high honor, so I’m hoping for something wonderful.

Here’s Stormalong’s official description for the Bittersweet Symphonie:

This cider is made with a blend of British bittersweet cider apples that are high in tannin and low in acid. This batch is finished in the French style where some cider is left unfermented retaining residual sweetness.

FLAVOR: Rich, Complex Tannins, Finishing with a Hint of Sweet Apple Flavor

APPLES: Ashton Bitter, Ellis Bitter, Dabinett, Yarlington Mill, Chisel Jersey

The website shows the cider clocking in with a sweetness level between dry and medium dry.

Appearance: bright caramel, brilliant, intense color, few visible bubbles

This cider looks like a brilliant bright caramel. The Bittersweet Symphony brings intense color but few bubbles to the pour. I recommend pouring it into a glass rather than drinking it from the can. This cider is too pretty to hide!

Aromas: apple sauce, spices, caramel

This smells like mellow homemade applesauce gentle spiced with baking spices. I get notes of caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Sweetness/dryness: semi-dry

The Bittersweet Symphonie is almost semi-sweet, but I think it comes out semi-dry at the end.

Flavors and drinking experience: cooked apples, custard, vanilla, tannic

What a lovely and gentle ride. This cider is mellow yet tannic. It has enough acid to keep from going floppy, but it’s never pointed. I love how the Bittersweet Symphony is balanced yet dynamic. The experience changes and rolls across my palate, but it’s not jarring.

I can taste so much of what I smelled: applesauce, baking spices and caramel. The extra dimension is very much one of rich and full mouthfeel. I’m completely into this! The finish is long and lovely. The bubbles lift up the layers of flavor, but they don’t ever dominate the experience.

I paired my cider with the last session of my online legend tripping class. A complex cider like this does go well with thoughtful camaraderie, curiosity, and expanding one’s worldview! It could also go beautifully with a tray of roasted veggies, sharp cheddar, and hearty bread. It’s a winner either way!

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Cider

Along Came a Cider: Cider Review: Wild State’s Triple Berry

I always greet November with both sighs and smiles. No upcoming holiday can hold a candle to Halloween and all the spooky fun it entails, plus this is frequently the month when the weather around here goes from being cute and quaint to rather more glum. To the contrary, November is my birthday month. This year is a big one. And pairing ciders for the Thanksgiving holiday feast is always a treat, but it’s still a bit early to get excited for that.

Today’s cider is my second sip from Wild State cider. I chose it to go with my last Halloween hurrah: a double-feature of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “Snoop and Martha’s Very Tasty Halloween.” We stayed in, hoping for trick-or-treaters, but alas we got none. Still, we enjoyed some candy, and I wanted a fruity cider as accompaniment. Voila!

I started with the semi-dry recently. You’ll find more background info on the company there: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2021/10/cider-review-wild-state-ciders-semi-dry.html

You can also visit Wild State online and learn lots more there: https://www.wildstatecider.com/ciders

Here’s what Wild State says about the Triple Berry.

“This blend of fresh locally sourced berries is the ultimate drinks in refreshing, sunny. A perfectly balanced fruit forward semi-dry to sip all summer and beyond

Triple Berry was crafted with fresh blueberries and raspberries from Blue Vista Farm in Bayfield, WI and strawberries from Uffda Organics in Wrenshall, MN.”

The cider is listed at 6.3% ABV and does not describe what apples go into this blend.

Appearance: brilliant, watermelon pink, few visible bubbles

This is such a fun color. I love how the Triple berry looks fresh, ripe and fun.the color reminds me of watermelon. I wish I was taking the pictures with natural light, but drinking cider at 7pm these days is just dark! The cider is brilliant with very few visible bubbles.

Aromas: ripe apple, raspberry, and strawberry

The Triple Berry smells like ripe apple, raspberry and strawberry. I appreciate how strong the berry notes are. What I’m getting makes me think of the fresh soft texture of berries.

Sweetness/dryness: Semi-dry

While the Triple Berry is semi dry rather than semi-sweet, it is on the sweeter and fruitier side of semi-dry. The sweetness that’s here comes across as very jammy berry sweetness.

Flavors and drinking experience: high acid, blueberry, lots of fruit, low bubble, tannic

The Triple Berry cider brings high acid as a first taste impression. I also notice how the cider’s crisp and tannic qualities are pleasantly contrasted by just a bit of jammy sweetness. The whole package is fun! In terms of texture the cider sparkles at a medium low level and has medium mouthfeel.

I tried it from my glass and from the can to see what would change. I can taste more blueberry notes from the can whereas raspberry and strawberry dominate from the glass. The cider makes a great pairing with milk chocolate candy like: Cookies and Cream Twix, Peanut Brownie Snickers, and Miniature Reese’s Cups. While these are not foods I pair with cider regularly, I appreciate having something light, tarty and fruity with the creamy mildness of milk chocolate.

Categories
Energy Drink

Hi Ball Energy Review (Real Thing) – REIZECLUB

If you’re following a strict diet, Hi-Ball Energy is an excellent option because it has no calories and sugar. Aside from that, it’s filled with 160mg of organic caffeine and antioxidants that could match your fitness level.

All of Hi Ball’s six flavors can enhance your physical and mental performance without any jitters. However, Hi-Ball taste might be a little lacking if you have a sweet tooth.

For me, it is a good choice when I want a chill beverage with a neutral mood in my mornings. It also works great when I really need an energy boost.

Therefore, you can say that it’s a good option for caffeine without sugar and calories. Read on and let me give you some more specifics about Hi-Ball.

Let’s get started!

Hi-Ball Energy Nutrition Facts

Every can of Hi-Ball Energy is rich with organic caffeine, organic ginseng, organic guarana, and B Vitamins as shown in this table:

Content Amount Per Serving
Calories 0
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 0mg
Total Carb 0%
Total Sugars 0%
Included 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 0g
Niacin (Vitamin B3) 150%
D-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B6) 150%
Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B12) 150%
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) 150%
Nutritional Information of Hi-Ball.

Hi-Ball Energy Ingredients

Apart from that, it also contains the following ingredients.

  • Carbonated Purified Water
  • Natural Flavor
  • Organic Caffeine
  • Organic Guarana Extract
  • Original Panax
  • Ginseng Extract
Hi-Ball Energy can.
How the label looks on the can.

Are Hi-Ball Energy Drinks Good for You?

If you consume it responsibly, it can be pretty good. Apart from its ability to support your workout routine, it’s also keto-friendly. The idea behind a keto diet simply means consuming low-carb products.

As you cut down your consumption of carbohydrates, you’ll likely maintain or reduce your weight. According to this study, you can also Prevent some types of cancer if you practice having a keto diet. Therefore, Hi-Ball Energy can be pretty good if you’re following a keto diet.

If you’re looking for food that is low on carbs, here are some examples:

  • Fish and seafood
  • Low-carb veggies
  • Cheese
  • Avocados
  • Poultry
  • Egg
  • Nuts

Is Hi-Ball Energy Drink Healthy?

It claims to be, but I think energy drinks aren’t really healthy beverages.

That said, Hi-Ball has no carbohydrates, no sugar, no calories, and without even artificial sweeteners. This makes Hi-Ball a much healthier option than other energy drinks you can buy.

I’m not saying products with sugar, calories, or carb aren’t healthy. These elements can have an excellent benefit if it’s not over what’s recommended.

Take a look at this table below to have an idea of ​​what’s safe for your body. If you strictly follow the data shown, you can prevent weight gain and obesity:

Element Recommended Amount Per Day
Male
Recommended Amount Per Day
Female
Sugar 24g 36g
Calorie 2,000 2, 500
Carbohydrates 300g daily when eating a 2,000-calorie diet. 300g daily when eating a 2,000-calorie diet.
Recommended daily amount of sugar, carbs, and calories.

As I’ve mentioned, it doesn’t use artificial sweeteners either. For your information, artificial sweeteners are effective taste enhancers without using actual sugar. And it’s also safe for diabetic persons.

However, for me, this is a big minus point of Hi-Ball. This is because its makers could’ve improved the taste more if they had used artificial sweeteners.

How Much Caffeine is in a Hi-Ball?

Hi-Ball has 160mg of natural caffeine. With this moderate amount of caffeine, you’ll indeed have an increase in your brain and nervous system’s activity. However, I prefer a small dosage of caffeine because I think it helps me focus more.

Meanwhile, that’s not true for everyone. At first, I was nervous about its caffeine content, but that all went down the drain. While Hi-Ball lacks the taste factor, the good thing is that I didn’t feel any jitters.

Take note that the FDA advises taking only 400mg of caffeine per day for your reference. Consuming over that amount could lead to:

  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Nervousness
  • Palpitations
  • Jitters
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia

How Long Does Hi-Ball Energy Last?

Like most energy drinks, its effects can last between 2-3 hours after drinking it. This means that taking it right before you go to work means it won’t instantly help you.

I advise you to drink it 30 minutes before your workout. This way you’ll feel its strong push when you start your exercise.

A girl is exercising on a mat.
Get the right timing.

If you’re talking about its lifespan, that depends. Energy drinks that are still unopened would stay on their best quality until they reach their expiry date. However, you have to store it in a dry room with a moderate temperature, just as the label usually says.

When Should You Drink Hi-Ball?

According to their website, It’s best to drink Hi-Ball in the morning. I actually agree.

Its taste suits the morning vibes because it’s not that sweet. Please don’t take it late in the afternoon or late in the evening as it may cause insomnia.

In addition, consuming it in the morning would remind you to consume less amount of caffeinated products as your day goes. But then again, if you don’t have any reason to consume caffeine or have a low tolerance to caffeine, you should avoid consuming it.

Where Can You Buy Hi-Ball?

You can get Hi-Ball from their official website. However, it’s also available on Amazon. A twelve-pack of a single flavor costs around $50. In short, you can buy each serving for around $4.

It’s obviously pricey. I think it’s much more convenient to buy online because it’s much more expensive in convenient stores if you really want to try it.

But then again there are other brands out there who can offer the same energy boost and nutrients without being that expensive. So if you think Hi-Ball is too much for your wallet, you can look at my list of brands here.

Hi-Ball Flavor Review

As I’ve mentioned, Hi-Ball Energy has seven not-so-sweet unique flavors.

For me, the flavors that caught my attention are Black Berry and Lemon Lime. They taste light, but it actually creates an advantage for the flavor. It’s like carbonated water with a bit of flavor that makes your tastebuds curious.

On the other hand, I’m not fond of the Grapefruit flavor much because it has a bland taste. The same goes with Watermelon Mint. If it’s super cold, you won’t get to taste the mint, so I think it’s best to take it chilled.

Vanilla Flavor is the sweetest flavor of Hi-Ball. It’s like vanilla soda, and the scent is like vanilla too. While the Peach flavor has a strong smell of peaches, it does not taste the same.

lastly, Wild Berry doesn’t taste like wild berry. It smells like lipgloss, and it’s like a watery cherry that won’t excite you that much.

Watch them uncover Hi-Ball from its ingredients to its price.

Can Anyone Drink Hi-Ball?

If you’re a healthy adult, you can drink Hi-Ball.

160 mg of caffeine is slightly above average, but not that strong either. So if you’re used to drinking caffeinated drinks, then you shouldn’t have any problem with Hi-Ball as long as you moderate your consumption.

However, if you’re still underaged, caffeine is not recommended for you. This is because caffeine can negatively affect your body’s development.

Furthermore, caffeine is also not advisable for pregnant or lactating women since it’s not good for the baby.

Alternative Energy Drinks to Hi-Ball

Runa Energy

Runa Energy promises a clean dose of energy with a refreshing tea taste. If Hi-Ball Energy gets its caffeine from natural sources such as ginseng and guarana, Runa uses a natural source of caffeine too.

Its 150mg of caffeine comes from guayusa leaves and will give you a different experience from most energy drinks that use ginseng. Aside from using organic caffeine, it also doesn’t contain any sugar and calories.

What makes it different from Hi-Ball is its four sweet flavors. You can also save money because it’s cheaper compared to Hi Ball’s price.

Celsius

Celsius energy drink is much more affordable because each can is only around $2. It’s also available at powdered stick if you want a much more flexible energy drink. More than that, it’s also rich in nutrients and energy-boosting elements.

It has very low-carb and does not also have calories and sugar. However, it has a 200mg of caffeine content that’s not suitable for caffeine-sensitive persons.

For me, its flavor is much more interesting than Hi-Ball. However, if you had jitters on Hi-Ball, you shouldn’t try Celsius, for it has much higher caffeine content.

REIZE (Top Pick)

REIZE A powdered energy drink is also perfect for your mornings. It has a gentle taste that gives off a hint of lime. It’s not too sweet nor bland, just refreshing and energizing for me.

While it only has 50mg of caffeine, this amount can actually power you for hours without making you experience pesky side effects.

It’s also packed with B Vitamins and taurine, which have an essential role in your veins, heart, and brain. All of which are essential for a mind of body-building activity.

REIZE energy drink with some lemons.
REIZE Energy Drink.

And another advantage it has over Hi-Ball is that REIZE comes in handy 4g sachets that you can take with you anywhere! Just grab a glass and add some water, and you have a deliciously fizzy drink in your hand.

You can get REIZE for only around $1 per sachet and you can even have your orders shipped straight to your door.

Try REIZE now!

Other Notable Mentions

Final Verdict

Hi-Ball gets 6/10 from me. It has B Vitamins that are good for your overall health, and it doesn’t have any artificial products.

Although the taste is quite bland, the flavors are still refreshing, and they don’t have any strange aftertaste. This makes me recommend Hi-Ball for those who want a better substitute for their regular coffee.

And it seems like I’m not the only one who agrees to this. Don’t you know that it has around 4-5 stars rating on Amazon? That’s a high rating considering that it’s a bit on the expensive side with around $4 per can.

While it’s a good option, I think REIZE is still much better. That’s not only because it’ gives you more value for your money but also because you have a lower chance of experiencing a sugar and caffeine crash.

Categories
Energy Drink

Summit Energy Drink Review (In-depth) – REIZECLUB

Summit energy drink is proudly manufactured by Australian brand Coles. It comes in 250mL cans containing 80mg of caffeine and 25.5 g of sugar. While other energy drinks have a lot of flavors to choose from, Summit Energy has only one flavor.

For me, it has the perfect amount of caffeine content, so don’t belittle it. Even a tiny amount can surely help you get your day done. Plus, it has beneficial nutrients like fiber, sodium, taurine, and B-vitamins.

On the other hand, it has lots of sugar that can cause harmful effects to your body. As we go on with this article, I’ll be sharing with you my experience when I tried out Summit Energy!

Let’s dive in!

Nutritional Information of Summit Energy

First off, here’s what you can find at the back label of Summit Energy.

Contents Amount
Per Serving
Energy 104 calories
Protein 0g
Total fat 0g
Carbohydrates 25.5g
Sugar 25.5g
Fiber 0g
Sodium 148mg
Caffeine 80mg
Niacin (Vitamin B3) 20mg
Vitamin B6 5mg
Vitamin B12 5ug
Pantothenic acid 5mg
Taurine 100mg
Nutritional Information of Summit Energy

Note that it has 104 calories which you can quickly burn by moderate walking for 22 minutes. However, compared to other energy drink brands which have pivoted to calorie-free drinks, Summit Energy seems to have a hefty amount.

It’s generally recommended that you shouldn’t take more calories than you can burn in a day, which can lead to weight gain. This article says that if you have taken a lot of calories you couldn’t burn for the day, it will be bad fats.

Ingredients of Summit Energy

Aside from the calories and their other contents, you can also find these in the can of Summit Energy:

  • Carbonated Water
  • Sugar
  • Acidity Regulators (330, 334, 331)
  • Taurine (0.5%)
  • Natural Flavor
  • Preservatives (211, 202)
  • Caffeine (0.03%)
Summit Energy Nutrition Facts
Here’s how it looks from the can.

Does Summit Energy Actually Work?

It does work because it has caffeine and other helpful nutrients. You can get caffeine from seeds or leaves of some plants like kola, cacao, ginseng, and guarana. Once you consume a can of Summit Energy, the caffeine is immediately assimilated into your circulatory system.

However, you might not feel its effects right away. You need to wait for at least 30 minutes to 60 minutes to reach the peak level of the caffeine boost. With this, you can really finish 5-6 hours of work before it gradually decreases.

That said, it might be different for you. Because I don’t have a high caffeine tolerance, I already feel alive and energized with the 80mg of it. In fact, I do prefer energy drinks with only 50-100 mg of caffeine since I want to avoid side effects.

If you happen to have a high caffeine tolerance level, you’d feel only a minimal effect of caffeine with this amount.

Downsides of Summit Energy

Like other products, Summit Energy has a few disadvantages too. Its caffeine content is very minimal at 80mg, but this might also tempt you to take more than one can in a day.

This might not be a good idea. According to the FDA, adults should only consume up 400mg of caffeine per day. Going above this suggested dosage might lead to the following side effects:

  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle tremors
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Frequent urination

Aside from that, its sugar content is too much for an energy drink. This article recommends that you need only 24g of sugar per day if you’re a female and 36g if you’re a male. Since Summit has 25.6 g of sugar, that’s already very substantial and may lead to weight gain or diabetes.

Sugar can be helpful since it can also energize you but if you are health-conscious, it may be best to try sugar-free energy drinks instead.

These drinks use artificial sweeteners instead of regular sugar since they’re 300-600 times sweeter and are calorie-free alternatives, making them the ideal choice for those watching their weight or are diabetic.

Excessive sugar consumption can cause the following side effects:

  • Tooth decay
  • Inflammation
  • Overeating
  • Skin aging
  • Wrinkles

Is Summit Energy Safe For Everyone To Drink?

Unfortunately, it’s not. You cannot drink Summit Energy if you’re still a kid, pregnant or lactating.

Despite the low caffeine content of Summit, caffeine, in general, is not recommended for those under the age of 18 since it can negatively affect their body’s development.

Furthermore, caffeine can also affect the unborn child’s development and even make its way to the mother’s breast milk, which is why it’s also not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Is it Okay to Drink Summit Energy Every Day?

It’s fine to drink Summit every day as long as you limit yourself to one can a day.

Considering its caffeine content is equivalent to that of a cup of coffee, you can drink it every day without really risking side effects. A study states that consuming a safe amount of caffeine every day for women lowers their chance of getting heart-related diseases.

However, its sugar content is another matter altogether. As I explained earlier, 25.5 g of sugar is quite a lot already, so make sure you keep to one can a day only even if it has low caffeine content.

Vitamins in Summit Energy

Another plus to the goodness of Summit Energy is its other beneficial contents. Aside from the following B-Vitamins, it has amino sulfonic acid called taurine, too, which is good for the nerves, heart, and brain.

B Complex Functions
Vitamin B3 This vitamin reduces blood pressure and boosts cognition.
Vitamin B5 This vitamin helps you relieve your stress. Apart from that, it can also improve heart health and the immune system.
Vitamin B6 This vitamin can improve your mood and help you with depression and stress.
Vitamin B12 This vitamin can help you prevent anemia and macular degeneration.
How can B Vitamins help your body?

How Does Summit Energy Taste?

It tastes like Red Bull but it has a mix of sweet medicine-like flavor instead of cola. For the most part, it does taste fruity and I didn’t really experience any strong aftertaste. All in all, it reminded me of the gummy vitamins I used to take as a kid.

Unlike other energy drinks, Summit Energy has only one flavour. While this flavor is pleasant enough for me, I do wish their range is bigger so their consumers would have more choices.

I also like the moderate caffeine boost it gave me. Just enough to keep me alert for a few hours and I didn’t experience any jitters or headaches.

Here’s a video you can watch about Summit Energy.

Even though this review is taken years ago, it’s never outdated because Summit Energy doesn’t change its quality.

Where Can You Buy Summit Energy?

Summit Energy in store.
Grab it at your favorite store.

The lone question left is where to get them. Fortunately, Summit Energy is available in most convenience stores and gas stations at around $1.25.

You can have it for about $1 each on OzBargain. On the other hand, it isn’t always available on online platforms like eBay and Amazon.

Alternative Energy Drinks

Here are other Aussie Beverages that can help you make you have a productive day. It’s always good to have substitutes if you don’t find Summit Energy great.

Red Eye Energy Drink

Another energy drink that is gladly Australian-made is the Red Eye energy drink. It contains 149 calories and has 106mg of caffeine. In addition, it also has amino acids, B nutrients, guarana, and Ginkgo Biloba.

Just like Summit Energy, this one is high on sugar. It has 36.3g of sugar. I think this could give you a much higher chance of getting sugar crashes, so do be careful of how much Red Eye you drink.

Its advantage to Summit is that it has many flavors available. But it’s pretty costly at around $2.75 per bottle.

V Energy Drink

V energy drink contains a minimal 85 mg of caffeine, 29.2 g of sugar, and 128 calories. Quite a lot, so I’d recommend this for those who regularly do heavy workouts.

Its caffeine is sourced from natural guarana, which lessens the possibility of side effects. It also has a smattering of B Vitamins.

You can choose between the original and sugar-free versions of V for about $2 per can on Amazon.

REIZE (The Best)

If you head is swimming at the prospect of such high amounts of sugar and calories entering your system, let me introduce you to the best energy drink brand I’ve ever tasted!

REIZE contains a low 50mg of caffeine, which still delivers a solid energy boost that can get you through the day without taking you through the pesky side effects highly-caffeinated beverages can give you.

REIZE Energy Drink
Ready to drink REIZE Energy Drink

Just like Summit Energy, REIZE has B-Vitamins and taurine as well. However, REIZE is better because it’s sugar-free and has only 11 calories. This means that REIZE is a suitable choice for a wide range of lifestyles and dietary needs.

And I just love that REIZE comes in portable 4g ​​sachets that I can take with me anywhere! You can just easily slip it in your gym bag pocket or tuck it inside your tote bag so you can have a fresh and fizzy glass anytime you want.

You can get REIZE for only around $1 and you can even have your orders shipped straight to your door. That’s amazing value for your money.

Try REIZE now!

Other Notable Mentions

Conclusion

In general, Summit energy is a decent caffeinated product. I like that it has low caffeine content, but the sugar and calories turned me off.

Its flavor is pleasantly sweet, but nothing groundbreaking. It’s a pity they don’t have more flavors to offer their audience too since you’d be pretty much stuck with their one flavour.

For example, I’m a big fan of tropical and citrusy flavors in my energy drink. Since Summit is going for a more candy-like taste, I don’t really think I’d be drinking it more often.

If you are going to try Summit, make sure you stick to one can a day only since excessive sugar and calorie intake can lead to negative side effects.