In our exploration of Banter’s Hard Cider, we have seen a diverse and refreshing list of offerings. From Green Drank to Deez Coconuts, there are some real winners! For today, however, we are going to focus on two ciders with stellar names, Say New Normal Again Mutha Fucker & Swamp Frog. The flavors of these two bad boys are a berry cider and the other a limeade hard cider, respectively. Let’s explore the sights, smells and tastes with our review breakdown.
Their Description: Made with a blend of Pennsylvania apples and blackberry puree, this fruit-forward cider is a delightful balance of tart and sweet.
ABV: 6.9% ABV
Say New Normal Again Mutha Fucker is a 6.9% ABV hard cider made with Pennsylvania apples and blackberry puree — a fruit-forward cider that is distinctly tart and sweet.
On the pour, you see orange and pink hue, haziness, and some very light carbonation. Obviously, the berries bring in the majority of the color, but the apples turn the traditionally dark purple color down into a more appealing, almost peachy, hazy color. As for the carbonation, the pour brings some volume, but the bubbles are few and far between within a small diameter afterward. The consistency is also thin overall, not thick from berry juice.
On the nose, this one starts with a tartness, a bit of blackberry, yeast, and a slight fermentation scent. You are getting more of the tartness in the smell than the sweetness you would generally expect. Some unexpected honey and light white wine aromas come through and blend with the berry nicely. It smells more like blueberry with some blackberry. Small traces of yeasty fermented berry, in a way, and very little apple scent. Some wafts of butter and popcorn to boot.
From my tasting experience, it approaches with a very smooth mouthfeel, almost tastes like a berry smoothie with a creamy wave of tart blackberry. The mellow backbone is where the apples reside. The puree sings through but you can still tell there is an apple background to this. Some sweetness and tartness finish on the palate but it is quite balanced between tart and sweet. I would put this in the middle of the sweetness scale. Say New Normal Again Mutha Fucker would be great to make into a smooth or slushie on a hot day. It has body left to it but not in an overwhelming amount. Not a tannic endeavor. Like the scent of the cider, there are some interesting buttered popcorn notes as well. The easiest way for me to describe it collectively is a fresh berry fruit rollup with some extra elements in the experience.
Overall, this one is easy to drink one or two. This cider would appease a fan of fruited ciders and sweet ciders. Say New Normal Again Mutha Fucker brings fresh elements in the taste department as if it was made recently. A solid berry hard cider!
Their Description: Sweet citrusy and refreshing, this green colossus is made by blending real limes with Pennsylvania apples.
ABV: 6.9% ABV
Swamp Frog, like many of their ciders, is a 6.9% ABV offering. Unlike many ciders from other cideries, I have not had a cider like this one. Sure, there are other lemon or lime ciders, but none quite like Swamp Frog. This one is electric green with sweet citrusy oozing from every pore. This green colossus is made with real limes with six varieties of Pennsylvania apples.
On the pour, this one comes out like ectoplasm in color, if not a touch lighter. You can still see through it, but it looks more like a rich green highlighter. Odd comparison, I know. The carbonation is healthy on this one and makes this look like bubbling cartoon swamp waters. Makes the name even more fitting.
One the nose, you are undeniably getting lime. Most of that scent is the juicy pulpy goodness. Sweeter, citrusy, and aromatic. There also is a layer of peel scent, too. Some of the more bitter, earthy notes come through after a few whiffs. You really get the full essence of the entire lime experience. There is apple on the nose. Don’t you worry. I would say this apple scent blends with some of the lime skin scents while being overwhelmed by the main lime scent. The apple helps balance, though, as to not hang all the pungency on you all at once in an overwhelming fashion.
As for tasting, I would describe by as a familiar taste tied to many childhood food memories, lime Jell-O. Sweet to start and falls into a slight bitterness, almost like the rind of the lime or just a slightly bitter lime. You can sense the acid when you drink this offering and this leaves a bit of that thicker feeling on the mouth due to how your mouth takes it in sip after sip. The backend of the sip, and with progressive sips, you are getting a sweeter overall experience more than anything else. The bitterness and slight apple flavor just help prevent this from seeming sticky sweet. More balanced, really. Most of the flavors are also experience on the back of the tongue, mellowed on the front end of your palate. As for dryness, it is drier than I would expect. Some of the acid and lime act with tannic, drying the palate and asking for a taste of nostalgia.
Overall, I think lime and/or lemon ciders are a perfect summer drink or just something worth trying. I think they balance so well, honestly, and can draw in non-cider drinkers or young drinkers (college age). Worth a visit alone for the color, but I think you will find much more hiding in the depths of this swamp.