Boyden Valley Winery: Honey Hopper
Basic Info about the Cider
Cider: Honey Hopper
Cidery: Boyden Valley Winery
Origin: Cambridge, VT, USA
Color: Pale gold, clear
Our Review of the Cider
Julia's Thoughts and Rating:
Given its name, it should come as no surprise that Honey Hopper has an aroma of hops and honey. Upon sipping the cider, there is a slight bite, as well as some tingling, upfront, but once those dissipate, notes of lemon accompanied by some acidity comes through. It is also at this point that the hops and a fair amount of bitterness become noticeable. Also perceptible at the beginning of the sip is a slight hint of honey, but it becomes masked by the hops, lemon notes, and bitterness relatively quickly. By the end of the sip, only the lemon, hops, and bitterness can be tasted, and those are the flavors that continue into the aftertaste. This is a light-bodied, off-dry (not much sweetness to it, except for the hint of honey at the beginning) cider with medium levels of carbonation and tannins (there is a drying of the tongue sensation, as well as bitterness).
Overall, this was not my favorite cider, as it was too bitter for me. Specifically, I found that the bitterness had a cumulative effect; that is, the more sips I took, the more bitter it tasted. The cider became so bitter tasting after multiple sips that I was unable to finish my glass. That said, if you are a fan of IPAs or other bitter-leaning beers, you would probably enjoy this cider.
Ramsay's Thoughts and Rating:
Has a sharp bite that fades somewhat slowly.
Honey Hopper has a somewhat light body. I'd say it gets heavier toward the halfway point of the glass, but it stays relatively light.
This has a higher acidity for sure. You're hit with a high amount in the first half of the sip. By the halfway point, it drops off dramatically, but it's still present in the remainder of the sip. The carbonation is on the medium-high end. Definitely from the high amount of hops. Sits somewhat heavy in my stomach after drinking most of the glass.
I would have to say this has a medium amount of tannin. Had some trouble deciding if it was from the hops, but I still think there's a fair bit of tannin that dries your tongue out.
When I tasted this, I immediately was hit with a combination of bitter but manageable hops and lemon-citrus notes. Both had an equal amount of intensity until around halfway though the sip. Then, those notes started to fade, and I got more of the honey notes. The honey and the hops stuck around in the aftertaste, but I got more honey than hops.
This came off as being off-dry. I picked up on some sweet notes, but all in all, this had a lip-smacking dryness to it.
Overall, I wasn't too sold on the flavors. I did like the honey element, but I wasn't as crazy about the hops and the high amount of citrus notes. Wouldn't say no if I was offered this, but wouldn't go out of my way to get it. That said, if you like IPAs, you might like this.