Reiss Design Studio Hosts Blind Cider Tasting / by Anne Bussone

On Tuesday, October 11th, Reiss Design Studio hosted its first blind cider tasting at their offices in downtown San Luis Obispo. See the official results and tasting notes listed below:

First place (77.8 point average out of 100 possible points) went to San Luis Obispo's own See Canyon Boneyard Dry Cider. It also had the widest deviation amongst tasters (53 points between lowest and highest!), meaning that some loved it, and some weren't so fond. On average, the gentleman liked it more than the ladies. Notes on Boneyard included "mild nose, semi-sweet taste, and tingly on the tongue finish." At $8.99, this hard cider is quite the deal, and we loved it because it's local. But you wouldn't want to drink too many—at 9% a.b.v. (alcohol by volume), it had the second highest alcohol content of the five.

Second place (75.2 point average) was a Trader Joe's brand called Henry Hotspur's Ginger Hard Pressed Ginger Cider. Obviously heavily ginger influenced (tasted almost like ginger beer), this light cider (5.8% a.b.v.) was even more popular with the guys. By far the lowest priced cider at the tasting ($2.49), we decided this one would be great to take to a Thai or dinner party by the dozen!

Third place (74 point average) was an elegant and gorgeously packaged cider called Templetucky by Tin City Cider Co., also produced in San Luis Obispo County. Fermented and aged in old bourbon casks, this dry, unfiltered cider had an undercurrent of sour cherries and a buttery after taste. It was by far the most complex of the five ciders, so between that and the beautiful packaging, it's no wonder the price point is $19.99. Templetucky had the highest alcohol content (9.5%), and we loved that it, too, is local!

Fourth place (73 point average) went to Reef Points Kid Neptune. Reef Points, started by two young men in Cayucos (San Luis Obispo County), is small but growing, and it has somewhat of a cult following in the area. From the stunning label to the wax-sealed top, this cider was close in "likability" between the guys and gals (76 .5 point average with the males; 70.6 point average with the females). Unfiltered, light in color, and bone dry—it has been compared to champagne by the locals. The Kid Neptune variety comes in at 7.6% a.b.v. and a price point of $11.99.

As you can see, the Top Four were all very close on the total average points amongst tasters—ranging from 73 points to 77.8 points. But the cider which placed last was by far everyone's least favorite! This 51 point average "Brut" was another Trader Joe's brand called Dan Armor Cuvée Spéciale Cidre Brut from France. The reason it was so unpopular is because of its horrendous nose! One person noted that it smelled like "rotten applesauce." Not as carbonated as the others, this sweet, very apply cider couldn't get past anyone's nose—it was that bad! At only 5% a.b.v., it also had the least amount of alcohol content, and at $4.99 it was the second least expensive bottle (we thought it should have cost $1.99!). Ironically, the label says "Brut," which in the champagne world equals dry, and this cider was wickedly sweet!

Reiss Design Studio hosted Inner Light Interior Design staff, and it was a lot of fun tasting all five ciders, writing notes, and sharing laughs. What will our next event be?