Not many know this, but there is royalty in the south. Asheville, North Carolina has been ordered to deliver on the promise of high-quality hard cider and they have met that challenge. There are a few cideries in the region and one that looks to take the throne, Noble Cider. And in every royal family, there must be a queen that lives decadently, and she prefers peaches to apples.

She also prefers to drink her fruit rather than eat it. But, knowing the jester, he puts apples and hops in with her peaches, making for a dangerous combination. Here ye, here yee, this is what Noble cider calls The Royal Peach Cider. As the dirty scoundrels we are, we stole some of the queen’s lot and can tell you the tales of the taste.

Noble description of this offering: “Delicate peach meets aromatic hops. For drinking on the deck.”

The Royal Peach Tasting

From the company name to the bottle design, even to the cider names, Noble has developed a definable and intriguing brand. The Royal Peach is no exception. Simple background with a cartoon-ish queen. It says enough without saying too much.

The same can be said about the ingredients in this 6.9 ABV cider. This cider contains apples, peaches, citra hops, sulfites for freshness, and that’s really it. A lot of flavor with only a few ingredients.

Opening the bottle, you are greeted with the aroma of peaches, like the smell of grandma’s house after making peach pie. Probably the strongest sense of peach I received was through the nostrils. The scent was fuller than the average cider and pronounced as I poured the light gold cider into my tasting glass.

The color remained clear and golden, with light carbonation forming around the top. As it dissolved, the remaining few bubbles of carbonation hung to the glass. The cider was deeply carbonated when tasting, but the visual would say much less carbonation.

The tasting was unique in the sense of how the bottle and glass experience differed. From the bottle, my tasting experience was more muted, taken over by the bitter qualities of the citra hops. That flavor mellowed less into the sweet qualities or the definable fruit essence.

The glass, as it tends to do, opens up the flavors tremendously. Like perfectly timed charges, the Royal Peach flavors fell onto my palate. First, a rush of carbonation and bitterness. Second, a developing dryness that remained even on the tongue. Next, a rippling underbelly of sweetness gathered on my tongue — never too much or too little. It was a dry experience, from the hops, but surprisingly refreshing and drinkable for a hopped cider. I would say the flavor profile was 95% champagne and 5% peach/apple. A very accessible dry cider, I would think.

This cider would pair nicely with fish or some form of cajun food. The mellow qualities would accentuate the ciders complexities. The spicy elements of cajun food would just enhance the bitterness or sweetness, depending on your personal palate. A drink fit for a meal of the kings and queens of the region.

Final Notes

Overall, we were never overwhelmed with bitterness or sweetness, but a drier variety of cider that develops peach-qualities and sweetness over time. This cider balances an assortment of flavors and keeps all of them in the castle. We just can’t help but feel like a  welcomed guest of the queen’s court. Noble’s The Royal Peach received 4 out of 5 apples.