If you’ve been following this blog so far, you’ll remember that I kicked the whole thing off with a look at Julian Hard Cider’s Black & Blue, a tasty and extremely tart hard cider. I was a fan of it, for sure, but it wasn’t the only cider I purchased that day — it was just the only one I drank.
So now, what, eight weeks later? Yeah, eight weeks later, we’re finally gonna have a taste of Black & Blue’s straightforwardly named sibling, Apple Pie.
The receptacle of choice for this beer is a pint glass whose origin is a bit fuzzy to me. I wanna say this is from the Keg ‘N’ Bottle in Isla Vista, CA? However, the graphics on the glass say “Centex 2016,” and below that, “Austin, Texas, [little graphic of the state of Texas] March 19 – 20,” which leads me to believe this glass is from elsewhere.
Bottle Art: The bottle features the Julian Hard Cider Logo (which still looks like the American League crest to me) above an artistic rendering of a slice of apple pie. The name of the beer — Apple Pie — sits beneath the vaguely van Goghish slice of pie like a label: “Yes, that drawing is what you think it is.”
When I stare at the pie slice, I can’t help but see some kind of scary monster face. The top of the crust has the creature’s eyes (the crossed pickaxes logo), and the crust extends backward into a grotesque, bony crest, sorta like that of a mutated triceratops. The apple filling of the pie looks like a bunch of stained and jagged teeth that are somehow interlocked in a hideous grin. Could you imagine what this thing would look like if it opened its mouth? Terrifying, I say, terrifying. It kinda looks like something Lalo Alcaraz would draw in “La Cucaracha” — some strange chupacabra creature that likes to wisecrack about immigration issues.
Beer Appearance: The cider had the appearance of cream soda; that, or a particularly fizzy lite beer. Very weak, watery coloring — it was a light yellowish that resembled the urine of an adequately hydrated person. There was no opaqueness in any sense. It looked a lot like Martinelli’s sparkling cider, which I used to pretend was alcohol before I drank actual alcohol (is that bad?).
I saw no discernable head of any sort. I did my best to pour it badly to elicit some kind of reaction from the beer, but I got nothing. It remained headless.
Smell: This cider presented an almost cartoonish representation of what apple pie is supposed to smell like. It had the cinnamon and the nutmeg, and I swore I could whiff hints of the delicious, flaky crust. It wasn’t fresh-out-of-the-oven pie, mind you, but rather a really good apple pie that’s been left to cool in the fridge for awhile. Strong scents were at the forefront, but they were cool and subdued.
Mix those smells with the subtle booziness of a white wine, and you’ll get this cider.
Taste and Overall Impressions
Okay, damn. There was a lot going on during the initial sip. At the very, very beginning, I got the taste of sweet, ripe red apples. No sourness or particularly strong tartness, which you might associate more with green apples. The taste was quite literally like the gooey filling of apple pie… just the pure apple filling, though. No cinnamon or spice yet.
As the cider hit the back of my tongue, that was when just the quickest kick of tartness came into play. It stung not only my taste buds but also the sides of my mouth, pleasant little stings (that sounds like a Pat Benatar song).
The finish was accompanied by a peculiar sort of spice taste — lots of cinnamon and nutmeg. I don’t even think calling it a “taste” is totally accurate because I could feel it in my nose, too. I mean I could obviously taste it, but I could kinda sense the spiciness in my nostrils. Make sense? Perhaps it’s better to say I was “experiencing” the whole thing rather than just tasting or smelling it.
The finish itself was dry, but it wasn’t exactly clean. The aforementioned taste part of the “experience” remained. My mouth tasted like I had eaten a pumpkin spice cookie an hour beforehand and then neglected to brush my teeth. I guess there are worse tastes to be stuck with.
This cider, like Black & Blue, is pretty chuggable. There’s no insane sourness, and while the flavor may be strong, I think most people will find it pleasant. Two thumbs up.
Apple Pie is a pretty great cider. I think I’m more fond of Black & Blue, but that’s just a matter of personal taste (I prefer sourness/tartness to the whole pumpkin spice thing.) Check ’em both out if you get the chance.
Recommended for: PSL junkies, Fall is Life advocates, apple pie lovers.