Potter’s Craft Cider of Virginia has recently released the first cider in what is going to be known as their Bloom Series. The series is going to be a year-round undertaking, in which a new infused canned cider will be released periodically throughout the year. These infusions could contain anything from fruits, herbs, spices, or hops. Although the Bloom Series is a new concept for the cidery, we here at CiderScene have the highest expectations for Potter’s Craft Cider, were thoroughly impressed with the first release, and look forward to what is to come from the Bloom Series.

Passionfruit Mosaic

The first cider in this series, Passionfruit Mosaic, was released in late May. Passionfruit Mosaic is made with 100% Gold Rush Apples, with the addition of passionfruit juice and Mosaic hops. This cider has intense aromas of citrus and is very hop-forward on the nose. It poured much lighter than I expected, a light golden yellow, rather than the pinkish hue I was envisioning. Although not heavily carbonated, a decent amount of bubbles remained after the pour.

In flavor, Passionfruit Mosaic is mostly dry, very crisp and clean. From both the can and the glass it is not as hoppy in flavor as in fragrance. However, from the glass, it becomes more fruit-forward and carbonated with the essence of lime. Passionfruit Mosaic is a delicate balance of hops on the nose and fruit on the palate. It has a beautifully light flavor profile, definitely stronger in aroma than in flavor, making it quite enjoyable. I would consider this a perfect summer cider, suitable for both a warm sunny day and a more crisp and cool evening.

Because of my appreciation for this cider, I decided to dig a little deeper into the realm of passionfruit. Technically, passionfruit is a type of berry, due to its entirely fleshy nature. The juice of a passionfruit is acidic and musky, likely resulting in the citrusy essence and aroma experienced in this blend. The juice is also often added to other fruit juices to enhance the aroma…a pretty obvious fact in the case of Passionfruit Mosaic.

Watermelon Saison

To continue the Potter’s Craft Cider Bloom Series, we have the Watermelon Saison cider. As the name implies, this cider was fermented with fresh watermelon juice and Saison yeast, an unlikely yet delicious combination, truly highlighting the craftsmanship and innovation within the cidery. Watermelon Saison is aromatic, juicy, crisp, and a truly dry cider made with simple, clean, ingredients and no residual sugar.

Upon opening the can, I was surprised to discover how strongly it smelled off apples, rather than the artificial watermelon scent I was bracing myself for. It is very crisp and clear and straw in color. This cider is heavily carbonated on the pour with lots of bubbles clinging to the side of the glass as well.

The flavor is by no means artificial, and very much like fresh watermelon. Watermelon Saison is pretty dry, suggestive of a wine-like fermentation, with a clean flavor profile. The flavors are not intense, but instead remind me of a flavored water- type intensity where the cider is simple and straightforward but remains the star of the show, simply allowing the other ingredients to highlight its nature and provide a unique experience. These qualities make it refreshing and easy to sip on, despite its relatively high ABV of 6.9%. This cider is certainly a great way to hold on to the memories of summer as the heat begins to drift away.

Cherry Vanilla

We’re finally back with another addition to the Bloom Series: Potter’s Cherry Vanilla Cider.This cider is made with Virginia apples and two types of cherries: Montmorency and Sweet, as well as vanilla bean and hibiscus petals. The description alone sounded amazing so I was very excited to crack open a can! Cherry Vanilla is very forward on the nose with a powerful apple aroma along with tart cherries. I was surprised not to find such a heavy vanilla aroma, as I expected that to be the predominant flavor and fragrance. On the pour it was a beautiful, vibrant, bright red in color with mild carbonation.

The first sip was an explosion of flavors, bouncing from tart cherries to warming vanilla, crisp fresh apples, subtly floral hibiscus, and ending with sweet cherries lingering on the tongue. I was very pleasantly surprised as the scent of this cider doesn’t even begin to clue you n on what’s really in store. The complexity and elegance of all of the flavors present really shine threw in this blend. I even got a more ambitious flavor experience when I sipped slowly and really allowed for the flavors to mingle as it traveled along my tongue. I noticed that the slower you sip, the more predominantly the vanilla presents itself. The flavors balance each other out wonderfully and I think the incorporation of both sweet and tart cherries ties the cider together while the vanilla tones back the intense flavors and gives you that comforting warming sensation. At 6.9% ABV, this cider certainly doesn’t show it. It doesn’t come off at all “boozy” and is actually quite enjoyable. Overall this was a creative and delicious cider which exceeded my expectations.

Cranberry Orange Blossom

Two new Bloom Series releases in one night? You bet! I couldn’t decide which I was most excited for, so I tried them both. Cranberry Orange Blossom is made, again, with Virginia apples, along with cranberries, orange blossoms, and hibiscus petals. On the pour Cranberry Orange Blossom is a light, pinkish-orange with some very nice carbonation. It is citrus forward on the nose, but more so reminiscent of the bitter zest of an orange peel than the sweet juicy flesh. A tart and puckering mouthfeel greets the tongue with each sip.

You would think that the floral characteristics from the orange blossoms and hibiscus petals would shine through in this blend, and although they do provide an essence of floras, it’s the cranberry that really shines through. The cranberry flavor is the most predominant on the palate, but the crisp apple emerges on the finish. The flavors are mild, seemingly diluted, so the cranberry can’t entirely overpower the apple. There isn’t much residual sweetness due to the tart and bitter nature of the ingredients. This cider is definitely one you would find on a cider-loving American’s Thanksgiving table.