Cider Review: Cidergeist – Semi-Dry and Dry-Hopped

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Cider is a constantly growing market, and a few breweries have jumped into the fray, some are doing good jobs bringing interesting new ciders to market that people enjoy and some others seem to just be trying to cash in on ciders growth. Judging by these two ciders, Cincinnati, Ohio based brewery Rhinegeist is definitely not just here for the cash, it is clear they are passionate about brewing and it has translated to these initial cider offerings.

These ciders are created with apples from Washington state on equipment shared with beer, so there is a slight chance that a small amount of gluten may make its way into the final cider can, so if you are extremely gluten sensitive you may want to find another option. I was lucky to try these locally as they have launched in Boston and hopefully will show up on more of the East coast. So if you are in Boston, be on the lookout for these ciders! The two Cidergeist ciders I had an opportunity to recently try were the Semi-Dry and the Dry Hopped, these are the two initial launch flavors but more may be on the way. 

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Rhinegeist Semi Dry Hard Cider
Semi Dry Hard Cider – 6.2% ABV – Cider fermented to amplify the fragrance and essence of the apple whilst achieving a delightful, lip smacking dryness.”

From the 12 ounce can this pours a nice clean clear golden yellow with some visible lively carbonation that slowly calms leaving minimal lacing and mild carbonation in the glass with an aroma of fresh pressed sweet apples, crisp apple skins, honey, some slight bitterness but pleasantly tart. Taste is sweet up front with notes of earth, spice, musty, but not overly dry with subtle warmth and medium body that may be slightly syrupy. Some underlying sulphuric taste lingers which i find sometimes in canned ciders. What seemed like a pretty simple cider up front turned out to have a lot going on.

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Rhinegeist Dry Hopped Hard Cider
“Dry Hopped Hard Cider – 6.2% ABV – Dry as a bone cider that’s dry-hopped with Centennial hops from the Pacific Northwest for a kick of citrus aromatics that adds a delicious hoppy dimension.”

This canned cider pours a clear golden slightly orange color also with slightly noticeable carbonation, not surprisingly it looks similar to their semi dry. Lively carbonation, slows to a pleasing steady bubble. Aroma of tart culinary apples, sweet dessert apples, subtle lavender and pepper, starts out with hop contributed pithy citrus notes and finishes with light fresh green fruity floral aromas. The cider and hops taste here is pleasant, not overly hoppy or sweet and that goes well with the light, slightly dry finish that may be perceived as slightly more dry than their semi-dry. I found that the Dry Hopped did not have the hint of sulphur that the Semi Dry did.

I feel that both of these cider offerings from Cidergeist are worth seeking out. Reasonable, easy drinking, canned sessionable ciders. I am not really a fan of overly hopped beers but was surprised how much I enjoyed the Rhinegeist Dry Hopped cider and it was definitely a hit with my IPA loving friends that I have shared it with.