I bought this bottle without reading the label and up until the moment I opened it I thought I had bought a cherry sour beer. Then I took a closer look at the label — oh, a cider! Well, I’m not one to turn down alcohol (except whiskey perhaps) and a cider certainly sounded quenching, so I rolled with it. I was also very curious because I realized this label is produced by Wandering Aengus, a local cider producer. The Salem-based company is very well-known in town and I’ve often bought their ciders at the Farmer’s Markets.
Upon tasting it, I was a little less enthralled. It was nicely tart and refreshingly crisp, but the cherry profile was a bit lacking. I really caught only a mere hint of it when sipping this, which was disappointing as I tend to love anything with cherries in it.
I did a bit of research after the fact and found that Anthem takes their cold-fermented apple cider and blends it with a variety of Oregon-grown cherries, everything from tart to sweeter bing cherries. So it’s certainly possible that (for me at least), the cherry was just over-powered by the apples. It’s not that the flavor was bad — it was certainly an acceptable cider — it was just much more mild than I wanted. It was not something I would remember and it didn’t scream (or even whisper) cherry to me.
Verdict — I would definitely drink this if it was offered to me, especially at a BBQ or while sitting in the sun, but I wouldn’t seek it out in a store. I would be more apt to buy a different one from Wandering Aengus, like a bottle of their Wanderlust. I’ve also heard good things about the Anthem Dry Hop Cider (which just sounds like I would love it!) and their pear cider. I surely won’t stop trying their products just because I didn’t fall in love with this one.