I turn down the lights. The scratching on the windows from passing branches. Deep-seeded tearing into the glass. The scratching continues. I walk to the bedroom. It becomes more of a knock, and then a bang. I open the window to relieve the branches. The tree pushes through… and it kindly hands me the wildly popular Legendberry cider from Gnarly Grove. He just needed a drinking partner, and I can’t pass up the opportunity. Cheers, Branchy!

A product of a 120-year-old farm in Columbus, Indiana, Gnarly Grove comes out of Simmons Winery & 450 North Brewing Company. Gnarly Grove describes this offering as “crafted using 100% fresh pressed Indianan apple cider. The myths are true, we add only a lush blend of fresh blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. It boasts an abundant aroma of berries that shrouds itself in sweet mystery.” This cider has a 6% ABV and boasts their fresh pressed berries. Now, let’s dig in, plant ourselves, and tell you about our experience with the Legendberry.

I normally pass on the opportunity to talk about can design, but Gnarly Grove has some of my favorite external containment designs. This can is interesting for the aesthetic and mood it creates. The font and darkness of the can are eerie, playing well with the story on the back and their tagline “wicked to the core”. You almost feel sinister as you pour it into a glass.  As you unload the can, A lush purple tint rushes into the glass. You can very clearly see through the liquid, but you get the berry color that makes you feel like you are drinking witches brew.

This cider supports a light carbonation that forms subtle bubble roots up the edge of the glass. The scent has the tinge of wine, a somehow acidic scent diving into the nostrils. The cider is sweet, but not too sweet. It’s wine quality meet the sweetness well. You receive a deserving bitterness, too. This presents itself in berry qualities, but it forms, like I said, very much like wine. The berry flavor tastes tart and unripe, but it is a nice step away from the “in your face” qualities of most fruity ciders. It even has the subtle buttery quality of a Moscato. The overall acidity is balanced and a delight, making me feel like I am drinking something a bit more expensive. Drinking this cider makes me feel classier than normal. All in all, this cider is root-ical (radical)!

Of the entire experience, I really enjoyed the dry & bitter qualities of this cider. There are so many “branches” of complexity going on but it tastes very accessible for the modern-day consumer. Enough sugar with enough complexity. And, for that reason, I give this cider a 4 out of 5 apples. A great small farm company with great people making great products. It is great! They even have a great event that blends a corn maze with a beer/cider festival. When that event is available for 2017, it will be posted here.