Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ace: Joker Hard Cider - Saturday, Feb. 7th

As you know, I love cider. A lot. I'm always on the hunt for new cider brands and when I find them I typically drink more than my weight in them. When I found out about the California Cider Company out of Sonoma County, I was elated. A whole company dedicated to making cider. How wonderfully buzz-copping is that? I contacted them asking if their cider made it out NY way and they said no. I was a sad panda. But they said they'd be more than willing to send out a few bottles for me to try. I went from a sad panda to a happy panda. Here she is:

Ace Joker Hard Cider
The Ace cider is a European styled dry cider with a 6.9% ABV. It is an intriguing cider, although not in a hurry to replace my favorite ciders. The ABV makes it punishingly deceptive. It is easy to drink and gets you tipsy in a hurry. The aroma is straight apples with a slightly yeasty edge. I could almost swear that there is some pear in this as well as it has light pear-y notes too. The pear follows slightly into the taste as well. It says it has "natural flavors" in it so maybe it has pear in it as well. The taste is quite dry and has, as it states, a fine dry bubbly quality of a good champagne. The ingredients list is slightly disconcerting though. It appears to be made from hard cider, carbonated water, apple concentrate, and natural flavors. While "natural flavors" may be all natural I don't really view anything made with them as a "natural" product. I really do think there's some pear in there because the label has a joker juggling not just apples but pears as well. Gotta get to the bottom of this.

Overall, it's an alright cider. The pear/apple flavor is nice (if a touch light) and I think the addition of the carbonated water results in the light/weak flavor but it is an easy-drinking cider with a huge ABV to boot. I'd be curious to see what the price point is. The fact that it's 6.9% in a 22oz. bottle does not go unappreciated.


  1. The "Joke" is on you! There isn't any Pear or fresh local apples, just 100% Chinese concentrate. Oh and water

  2. I just tried this, and I like it quite a great deal. It is a nice alternative, when you don't exactly want a beer...don't exactly want wine...and don't exactly want a typical hard cider.My grocery, HEB Central Market in San Antonio,TX, keeps it stocked in the cold case.