Recently, the folks at BC Tree Fruits Cider Co. reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to try their line of Broken Ladder Cider, since it’s unavailable where I live (Ontario). “Absolutely!” was essentially the response. After a brief email exchange, they sent me out a package. There were no requirements or requests expected of me, it was just simply a gift of cider.
The BC Tree Fruits Cider Co. is located in Kelowna, British Columbia. Kelowna is situated in the Okanagan Valley. The area is known for its great agriculture. Its unique microclimate allows for a long and warm growing season and that means quality fruits, like apples. Where there is quality in fruits, there is going to be quality wine and cider.
In 2014 the BC Tree Fruits Cider Co. launched their line of Broken Ladder cider. They pride themselves on providing an authentic cider experience, without additives, like sugar or artificial flavors.
My package of Broken Ladder cider was quick to arrive. The shipping was outrageously fast – one day from BC to Ontario! I received doubles of their 3 main flavors of cider in tall cans. This included ‘Apples’, ‘Apples & Hops’, and ‘Pears & Peaches.’
I stretched out the sampling so I could try each product independently. I felt that I could appreciate them more this way and that I could pay close attention to what each of these ciders had to offer. So first up is Apples.
Apples is the first release by Broken Ladder Cider. They say it’s a blend of 6 apple varieties but to which apples are in the blend is a secret.
It has an ABV of 5.2% and I was surprised at how light the pour was. There was light carbonation with an aroma of apple. The first sip was tart – I almost puckered my lips. That being said, I love a cider with a nice acidic base to it. The cider itself is very fruit-forward, a strong apple flavor. That apple flavor you get tastes almost sweet but the finish is dry. This cider is very well-balanced.
Flavor Profile: Tart, Crisp, Fruit-Forward.
The Good: Amazing balance of sour, sweet, and dry.
The Meh: Could be a little too tart for those who like more semi-sweet to sweet ciders.
Revisit? There is something great about just a plain, good ol’ cider. If you’re looking for an easy-drinking everyday cider, this one is for you. Would recommend for social gatherings and campfires.
Apples & Hops
Apples & Hops was is the third release by Broken Ladder Cider. They took their original Apples recipe and infused it with hops to bring a truly different cider experience.
This cider has an ABV of 6.0%. The pour on this one was a little more golden than that of the Apples. Again, there was a similar light carbonation present. The aroma was herbaceous, mixed with apple and earth. The flavor of this cider is so dynamic. There’s a tartness and light sweetness from the apples and then there is present, but not overwhelming, hops. The hops create hints of grapefruit and herb. This cider was also dry and there were light tannins on the finish.
Flavor Profile: Hops, Crisp, Fruit-Forward, Dry
The Good: Great hops infusion, well-balanced
The Meh: Hopped ciders aren’t loved by all 🙁
Revisit? Not everyone is a fan of hops – but if you are, you’re probably going to remember this one.
Pears & Peaches
Pears & Peaches is the second release by Broken Ladder Cider. And as the name suggests, it is blended with BC pears and peaches – a true orchard experience.
This cider has the lowest ABV at 4.3%. The pour was light gold with light carbonation. It took me several sips before I understood what was going on with this cider. This cider is fruit-forward but it is less about the apple and a little more about the pear. The pear plays a heavy part in soothing and rounding out that tartness of the apple. There are strong floral and citrus characteristics present. On the finish, the peaches say hello by tickling your taste buds. It’s incredible. There is such an authentic and complex flavor profile here.
Flavor Profile: Crisp, Pears, Stone Fruit
The Good: Complex with great pear and peach flavor.
The Meh: Umm….Not sure. You decide.
Revisit? If you’re a sucker for peaches and enjoy a nice crisp cider.
The folks at BCTF Cider Co. have got it going on and I encourage people to give these ciders a try. (They didn’t even tell me to say that, I swear!) They may only offer 3 main ciders, but they offer something for everyone. You can tell that each of these ciders have been carefully crafted. Overall, I was very impressed with the quality of these ciders.
For now, you can only find Broken Ladder cider in British Columbia and Alberta but I hope they can expand their reach across Canada and move into the States.