Unique Cider: Finnriver’s Habanero Cider

Unique cider reviews are dedicated to non-traditional cider styles and combinations.
Cidery: Finnriver
Cider: Habanero Cider
Serving: 22 oz. bottles
Alcohol Content: 6.9% ABV
Style: Unique Cider
Availability: Year-round
A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of attending a Duckhorn wine dinner at the Duck Inn in Chicago. After a wonderful dinner (and the food at The Duck Inn is always wonderful) we had the opportunity to try Finnriver’s Habanero Cider at the bar.
We sampled this cider at the River North Winter Cider fest, but this was our first chance to try more than a small pour. As you would expect this cider is spicy, but not in a bad way. The spice level is akin to red pepper vodka that you might find in a Bloody Mary. And just like red pepper vodka, while it is drinkable this cider really shines when mixed. After drinking a glass Sean asked the bartender to add it in place of the ginger beer in a Moscow Mule, which is traditionally a blend of Vodka, Ginger Beer and Lime. The Habanero Cider really added a nice spice and light apple flavor to the Moscow Mule and got our creative juices flowing. 
Tasting Notes
Straw color and almost flat when poured. Spicy habanero aromas hit your nose followed by a slight apple flavor. The flavor profile is very similar to the aromas – habanero apple spice hits the pallet and then lingers on the tongue. The cider does retain some sweetness, but is still in the off-dry category. A small glass is good for drinking however this cider is exceptional for mixing.
Wine Lovers — Why Drink It?
Wine lovers who enjoy peppery flavors especially in the finish of a wine will enjoy this cider. Since we had it at after a Duckhorn winery dinner we decided to highlight a Duckhorn wine with pepper flavors. The Discussion, a red blend primarily composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, has flavors of savory aromatics layered with tart red fruit. While not as an aggressive finish as the Habanero Cider this wine finishes with notes of white pepper, cedar and tobacco.
Score: 7/10 – Very Good

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