Cider Making, Cider Reviews


This weekend I’ve had a new pleasant visit. Sarah and Matt, from California based Hemly Cider, came to the Basque Ciderland to live the txotx experience. She is in charge of cider making, he grows bartlett pears. And they are married. A perfect combination! They brought me some Sloughhouse Jalapeño Pear Cider. This is their story.

We visited the Sagardoetxea Basque Cider Museum, tasted some ciders and had a walk in the educational orchard. Finally, we went to Egi Luze cider house, where they could enjoy the excellent ambience you’ll find in any cider houses in this time of the year.

They have quite an old history. The Gold Rush brought their great- great-great-grandfather to the California Delta in 1850. But Josiah didn’t follow the herd, and he decided to buy some lands for growing pears and apples. His own gold. 165 years later, they begun making cider from those fruits, straight from their orchards.

Sarah and Matt brought some ciders for me. Thanks a lot! So I take the opportunity to review a flavored cider here for the first time. It’s not an usual one. It’s flavored with sweet oak jalapeño peppers! I tasted it last night and the result is perhaps surprising, but excellent.

It’s made with 100% fresh juice mainly from bartlett pears and a small amount of gala apples and bosc pears, blended with oak jalapeño peppers grown at Sloughhouse Ranch, hence the name. It’s medium sweet, it has a light carbonation, a nice and fresh pear aroma with a spicy end in mouth, conferring an astringent finish and extolling the soft tannins. It reminds me of ciders with ginger, with that explosive finish and the spicy touch.

A craft pear cider 100% honest, with a clear labeling (unfiltered, contains yeast and added sulfites, no added sugars, never from concentrate, gluten free, vegan) of an exquisite quality, good design and a beautiful story behind, past and present.

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