Sonoma Cider: The Pulley

Cider Name: The Pulley

Brewer: Sonoma Beverage Works (Healdsburg, CA)

Draft, can or bottle?: 12 oz (355 mL) bottle

APV: 6.0%

Color: Cloudy, greenish amber

Available at: Total Wine and More, other liquor stores.

Manufacturer’s Description: Crisp, refreshing apple cider with overtones of black licorice, a hint of anise, the botanical heart of absinthe.

Our review: To truly embrace Sonoma Cider’s The Pulley, you have to understand what Absinthe is. Absinthe is  historically described as a distilled, highly alcoholic (45–74% ABV / 90–148 U.S. proof) beverage. It is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium (“grand wormwood”), together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs. (per Wikipedia).  Absinthe has often been portrayed as a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug and hallucinogen. Outlawed in the US from 1915 to 2007, Absinthe is making its comeback. What better way to bring the spirit back than an Absinthe-Style Cider from Sonoma. This cider almost seems healthy for you, with its USDA Certified Organic status, being sulfite free, of course gluten free, and it only has 3 organic ingredients (Organic Hard Apple Cider, Organic Apple Juice, and Organic Fennel Juice)!

This cider was not at all what I expected. I expected something very strong, almost undrinkable. I was mistaken. When taking my first sip, a crisp flavor was noted with a strong, liquorice (the fennel) taste coming in, then finishing with another crisp taste. It’s amazing for as strong as the fennel taste is, it does not linger. To the untrained person however, they may think of this cider as mediciney. However, again, looking at what Absinthe stands for and realizing it once was used as medicine, it is a brilliant mix from Sonoma.

This was a very fun cider to drink. Not a flavor you see everyday. If you’re sick of the cinnamons, vanillas, maples, hoppys, honeys, try this one.