As we venture into the depths of one best cider regions, Michigan, we naturally get to grandmother’s house, Blake’s Hard Cider Company.  This is a family business that has transformed an orchard into a unique venture for apple and cider lovers.  They focus on fresh and clean ciders that are made from orchard to bottle as simply as it can be done.  With no exception, the howling in the night is Archimedes. This blend for Blakes is one of the most non-traditional ciders we have had the opportunity to try.  Archimedes has an interesting back story, according to Blakes. As it is told: “A wise old owl lived in an oak, the more he saw the less he spoke, the less he spoke the more he heard, down below the peoples excited word, of a mythic cider and how merry that combination of vanilla and elderberry.”  We love the rhyme & rhythm of the description of the cider, but what does it taste like?

As we crack open the can you get a sweet scent of elderberries which for anyone who hasn’t had smells like a blackberry almost with a hint of vanilla on the nose.  The color is a light purple haze with small amount of carbonation.  On the first taste, the vanilla stays hidden for the most part and you get a swift kick of the tangy elderberry taste. Upon tasting a few more times, you get the smooth start of vanilla on the tongue then the tartness of the elderberry, finishing with apple.  The more you drink, the more well balanced the cider gets and the more intrigued we became!  This is by far one of other most uniquely flavored ciders we have tried and, for non-traditional cider drinkers, this could win them over. The sweet vanilla contrast to the tart berry is a nice pairing with apples, but it does lose some of its cider qualities. And, simply, we are fine with that!

We did this tasting out of The Original Cider Tasting Mug – 33 Books Co., which we reviewed!