To finish our series with Starcut’s traditional variety pack, we are reviewing the remaining offerings – Octorock and Magpie. We will again look at each flavor, the cans, and the full cider experience. Come with us to finish the trip around the sun with Starcut Cider.
Octorock is a light, refreshing Hard Cider made with Michigan apples. A perfect balance of sweet and bright apple flavors that blend to mimic the experience of biting into a fresh-picked apple on a crisp fall day. Lucky for you though, it’s available year-round.
2019 – GLINTCAP Bronze Medal
2018 – GLINTCAP Bronze Medal
Octorock starts the cider-drinking experience off with a galactic blue can and a character riding a space turtle around. Yes, you heard that right this is an out-of-the-world experience right from the get-go and our favorite can design of the lot.
When you pour from the can, you notice a similar bubbly and crisp cider that creates a small foamy white head. Once this quickly dissipates you see a medium amount of carbonation floating up within the golden clear cider.
On the nose, you get a full orchard of apples and a bit of sweetness on the nose. You also get a bit of light floral scents with a bit of honey. In short, it is very reminiscent of a walk through an orchard in Michigan when the apples are ripe.
As for tastes, this is in our opinion is the most apple forward cider offering of their flagships. While there is some sugar left from the apples themselves this is not a sticky sweet cider. The medium body of the cider helps carry the crisp flavors of the apple that were not depleted through the cider-making process. With this bright apple flavor, you get a nice acidic pop that would appease a cider fan that enjoys ciders that have some sweetness left.
The smell and taste are the most apple forward of their flagships. This one is sweet and bright acidic flavors that really pops and would appease a cider fan of anything with a bit of sugar left over. The smell is bright apple flesh and skin, light floral notes and honey, sweet cider smell like from the orchard in fall. We would categorize this as a sessionable cider that is perfect for a hot day or to introduce a new cider drinker to the category. Overall this is a very enjoyable cider to drink and its finish lasts for a longer time than a dry cider leaving you with apple flesh on the tongue.
Magpie is a hard cider made with Michigan apples and cinnamon. Aromas of cinnamon and baked apples are followed by similar sweet apple pie flavors throughout. A pleasant balance is achieved through the right amount of acidity, creating a dry finish.
Magpie has a more subtle design with its can which is fitting for this cider. The trees wrap around the skyline with magpie birds flying around in the red and yellow/orange backdrop. With the flavor of cinnamon, these colors are appropriate and fit the flavors inside the can.
This cider pours very similar to Octorock although it is a touch thinner and less sweet. You will notice the body of the cider as the medium amount of carbonation floats quickly to the top of the cider.
The smell of this cider is the most unique of the bunch while being such a recognizable experience. Right away when you raise the glass to your face you get a rush of cinnamon, warming spices, and a hint of apple on the back end. There is a familiar scent of a fresh-baked apple pie coming out of the oven.
As for taste Magpie is slightly less sophisticated than the rest of the variety pack but is a tasty cider. The cinnamon is quite strong on the front of the taste but does not agitate the nose or palate as some cinnamon ciders can do. The apple brings a slight amount of acid and tartness on the tongue that leads back to a dry almost tannic effect from the spice. Again the flavors remind you of a baked apple with cinnamon that was dried in the oven. I could see us using this in baking recipes or as a replacement in savory dishes that use warming spices. After a few sips, the apple becomes more apparent at the end of the drink which was nice and unexpected.