Review—A Smoking Good Cider From Sonoma County: Tilted Shed
Tilted Shed Ciderworks 2013 January Barbecue Smoked Cider
Located in western Sonoma County in California (a region once famed for its apple production) Tilted Shed Ciderworks is the real deal…real, honest, dedicated craft cidermakers who believe cider is the equal of wine or any craft beer in significance and meaning and that it deserves to be taken seriously. Their use of Sonoma County heirloom cider apples, their orchard where they are experimenting with a number of traditional cider apples and their decidedly artisan approach to their craft makes them special. This particular cider is different. It really is made with a percentage of apples that have been smoked before fermentation. Seek out Tilted Shed Ciderworks.
Production: 4,440 375ml bottles
Source: Sonoma County, California
Fruit: Cider and heirloom apples
RATING: * * * * of 5
Tilted Shed has delivered a light golden cider with a slight cloudiness to its appearance. On pouring there is a quick eruption of bubbles, but those go away immediately, letting us know that this cider possess only the slightest amount of carbonation. Aromas of young strawberries at the beginning of the season, hints of underripe red apples, and the most unusual finishing aroma of smoke. Not oak. Not caramel. But smoke. On the palate of this only slightly rustic cider a slight astringency spreads out broadly. Carbonation is minimal. I think this cider shines most in its flavors. This is a wonderfully complex cider and its serious too. Well-ripened lemons, notes of apple sweetness, a hint of bitterness that reminds me of biting into seeds. And on the finish, more smoke. The finish is very long and persistent. The smokiness in this cider is a result of actually smoking a portion of the apples before fermenting them. This novelty makes this a truly unique style of cider. But the skill with which the January Barbecue Smoked Cider has been put together and left to be itself leads one to believe that the folks at Tilted Shed have created an honest, new style of cider. Very attractive stuff and very highly recommended.