Dry hopping* ciders seems to be all the rage right now. I saw Finnriver’s version in the local shop cooler some months ago and, at that time, it was the only dry hopped cider available ’round these here parts. This past weekend I went to check in and noticed a couple of new additions: Central City’s Hopping Mad and Cider Creek Hard Cider’s Cascade Hopricot.
After seeing these newcomers, I just couldn’t not pick them all up to do a comparison of sorts.
The scoop on Central City Hopping Mad Dry Hopped Apple Cider…
The Nose: WEEEIRD. Not bad. Just, unlike any other cider (SO FAR!!?!). You can definitely smell the hops (which I like). Light, sort of floral, hoppy, vaguely sweet. It smells fresh but not crisp. Smells like the mountains in summer.
The Colour: Very pale, green-y yellow. A little hazy.
The Mouthfeel: Barely discernable carbonation– this usually is a non-starter for me, but taken into consideration with the flavour I actually think this serves the cider well. Not heavy or sticky. I can barely discern any residual film (in muh mouth or in muh glass).
The Taste: Sweet. Then a soupcon of bitterness which gives way to a tart … beerness? It’s my understanding of dry hopping that the additions don’t add a tonne to flavour so much as aroma, but I definitely do pick up a hop presence in the taste. If I had to interpret the drinking experience in broad strokes: lightly sharp and then very round. Does that make sense? Maybe not! But you’re reading my words by choice so what does that say about you?! Haha. Sucker.
The Verdict: Verra nice. The hops are well balanced and feel necessary (particularly because of the sweetness). That said, the cider isn’t so sweet that I couldn’t see drinking several in one session (*cough*I have already*cough*). I’m pleased with all aspects of the cider and yet it didn’t knock my socks off. It’s lovely and well-balanced but not interesting. I’m not sure what’s missing (if, in truth, anything is), but I wasn’t “wow-ed”. I would absolutely recommend it, though. Overall: 7.5/10.
*Dry hopping simply means adding some dry hops to a cooled brew/cider/liquid to enhance the aroma. The hop pellets are added and allowed to soak to infuse the aforementioned bevvie.