This summer our friends at Blake’s Hard Cider decided to release two new ciders to entice our taste buds! Below we have some details from Blake’s to give you a bit of background on the project. We were also able to try them and give our honest review of these two new offerings. Spoiler alert, they are great!
About Jam Session & Their New Original Cider
Blake’s Hard Cider, the Midwest’s largest craft cidery marking its 10th anniversary this year, introduces two new year-round ciders in June. The first new release, Original, a clean, crisp classic apple hard cider, is available now, followed by Jam Session the week of June 19, BHC’s low calorie, low sugar offering made in the style of its popular Triple Jam hard cider. Both will be sold across BHC’s 29+ state footprint.
“We got excited about making delicious, flavor-packed yet light in body ciders to be enjoyed on any occasion when we talked about them internally,” said Andrew Blake, Owner and Founder, Blake’s Hard Cider. “And, as we spoke to consumers, we knew this was something they were eager for also.”
Paying homage to the simplicity and approachability of a classic hard apple cider, right down to the throwback apple character on the can design, Original offers the perfect balance of bright acidity and sweetness from farm-fresh apples. With a 5.5% ABV, Original has a lower alcohol content than most Blake’s ciders, making it both refreshing and session worthy. Original will be sold in 6-pack cans ($9.99 – $10.99) and on draft across the country.
“We developed Original to complement our imperial-style American Apple released last fall and be its counterpart for different occasions when you seek easy drinking with lower ABV,” said Blake. “This sessionable cider is designed to directly compete with national brands, line priced competitively with macro cider brands to increase accessibility to budget-conscious shoppers.”
Jam Session is ‘the best friend’ to one of the best-selling ciders in the country, BHC’s Triple Jam, and filling the lite cider void left by retired versions. It has a jammy aroma and flavor profile with only 110 calories and 4g of sugar, which is 80% less sugar than the national leading hard cider. Jam Session (4.5% ABV) will be sold in 12-ounce 12-pack cans ($16.99 – $18.99).
“Jam Session drinks much differently than Triple Jam and we expect it to draw new fans who typically reach for seltzers or light beers to consider hard cider as an alternative,” said Blake. “It’s the go-to cider for those moments when you want something a little lighter, with low sugar and calories as well as alcohol content, without compromising flavor.”
Let’s start off by saying that the can design is one of our favorites we have seen in a while. It has the feel of a throwback but still is fresh and modern. The colors invite you in to grab a can and crush the contents. When it comes to the overall experience with the cider, it is as you would expect. Crisp, approachable, and fresh with a familiar apple cider flavor. On the nose, you get fresh-pressed cider notes with honey and a bit of sweetness. Much like their other products there is a light/medium carbonation that accentuates the apple flavor. At 5.5% this is definitely a “daily drinker” type of cider and will appeal to the mass market and cider drinkers like ourselves that prefer it less sweet.
Taste – Classic and crisp, a true-to-the-apple experience
Looks – The can design is fun and inviting while the juice inside is what you would expect from a clear hard cider
Smell – Welcome to the cider house, the cider is full of fresh apples and notes of honey
Overall – Crushable, perfect sweetness, a true fridge staple
When it comes to fruited ciders Triple Jam is a familiar fan favorite. As we stated above we are drinkers of drier ciders so we tend to just play around in the fruited space. What Blake’s has done here is something we need to applaud. Not only does Jam Session have the punchy tart flavors of the original, but it only has 4g of sugar in it. This is a task, but one that was executed perfectly. The cider is bright, full of berry flavor, slightly tart, and completely refreshing. Make sure to snag this one to drink out of the can or make a cocktail with!
Taste – Punchy, tart berry flavor with a not-so-sweet finish
Looks – A rose/purple hue in the glass that is pretty to look at
Smell – Fresh berries, slight sweetness, like a freshly baked pie, less the crust
Overall – A new favorite of ours, the perfect level of sweetness for a fruited cider and lower calories too (more room for pie)!
About Blake’s Hard Cider Co.
Blake’s Hard Cider Co., established in 2013, is an independent, family-owned craft cidery. Located on a 1,000-acre orchard in Armada, Mich., Blake’s Hard Cider was founded on the values of its more than 75-year farming roots. By growing, pressing, and fermenting our own apples on our farm, we’re able to proudly and consistently introduce a truly authentic, uncompromised craft hard cider experience. Our line-up includes core and limited-edition hard ciders, a hard limeade, a Bar Cart Series of cocktail-inspired ciders, and rotating #KinderCider Philanthropy Series. Find Blake’s Hard Cider online at www.blakeshardcider.com.