Being near Atlanta, a southern city, you don’t usually think high-quality cider. When I took my cider trip to the city, I found the contrary. A bustling, ever-growing environment for cider lover and cider makers. Of my ventures, I came right to the front door of Treehorn Cider.

I loved the simple interior, the knowledgeable staff, and the assortment of flavors on hand. I tasted all of them, one by one. Of all the deeply complex and inspired flavors, I came across one that I have never experienced before, Miyabi. Because I loved it so much, I had to bring a 6-pack home. And this is where the real fun begins…

Miyabi, like all of their other offerings, is made from northern Georgia apple juice, a part of their local approach. To counterbalance the local ingredients, Miyabi pulls deeply from Japanese culture and ingredients.

Treehorn describes it as such:

Elegant refinement defines the Japanese ideal of Miyabi. We blended aromatic shiso with bright, citrusy yuzu to create a refreshing and delicate cider that honors that tradition, but creates something very new. Each moment we have with friends only happens once and should be celebrated with fine drink and good cheer. In Japan, the saying is “Ichi-go ichi-e” — literally “one time, one meeting,” or loosely translated as “once in a lifetime.” Shiso and yuzu are infused in cider prior to packaging.

I wasn’t exactly sure what shiso or yuzu was before I drank this cider, but in describing the cider, you will get a good sense. This 5.9% abv cider really takes you on a trip.

The Tasting

I, honestly, wasn’t sure what miyabi meant before I tasted it or even what shiso and yuzu were, but those flavor profiles were about to take me on a ride! As soon as I cracked the can open, I got a sweet, citrusy, fermented smell. It was a bit funkier than most ciders right off the nose. On the pour, from the can and the tap at Treehorn, I saw a decent amount of carbonation. Nothing crazy about the thickness or carbonation, but it held a slightly golden glow in my glass. Very clear and aromatic.

Now, the tasting was probably the most intense, winding road of taste I have had in the cider world. The flavor was complex. The experience started with a sweet flavor, melting into a melon or citrusy sting, and having a rising spiciness towards the end. The flavor opened up many times into different flavored sensations. The cider ends on the tongue almost as it starts, a bit funky, a bit confusing, but truly mouthwatering. That is not simply a term of endearment, this cider waters the mouth as it is hitting the tongue.

The experience is different from the glass and the can. From the glass, it is a better blend of sweet to champagne. From the can, it is a much funkier, fermented experience — one I actually prefer. This cider is tart, sweet, spicy, tangy, sour, and changes flavors three to four times.

I wouldn’t say this should be anyone’s starter cider, but I will say this is perfect for sophisticated palates. I feel like this cider is experienced differently by all consumers. Some will get more of the sour. Some will get more of the tang.

I wouldn’t pass up Treehorn. And, I truly couldn’t miss out on Miyabi. It opened up my eyes to what cider truly can be. I have never thought of a cider as a puzzle, but this one makes me ponder.