Ingredients: Hard Pear Cider, Filtered Water, Molasses, Apple Juice Concentrate, Spices, Sulfites. Gluten Free
Sampled: 22 oz. bottle (provided by Fox Barrel)
Description:"Fox Barrel Mulled Cider is perfect for cold days & nights. Hand crafted using apple-wine from fresh pressed apple-juice, uncarbonated and still, finished with a delicious blend of spices. All natural, with no artificial flavors, added colorants, or sorbate or benzoate preservatives." — Fox Barrel Cider
Random thoughts: The weather in Portland has been very clear and very cold lately (by NW standards, anyway). So I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try a mulled cider. The instructions on the bottle recommended warming the cider on the stove or microwave and warned against boiling. The Fox Barrel Cider Company is owned by Crispin Ciders.
The tasting: When I popped the cap open, there was absolutely zero carbonated fizzy noise. At first I thought I had a bad bottle, but realized it was normal after the label reminded me it's uncarbonated. I warmed the cider according to the instructions. Aroma of alcohol, apple juice, allspice and light clove. Flavor mirrors the aroma. Warming the cider causes the alcohol to dominate in aroma and flavor. The strength of the alcohol took me by surprise on the initial sip. After a few more sips, it seemed to mellow (or I likely grew more accustomed to it). Spicing was subtle, and well done. It didn't dominate and allowed the apple flavors to come through. I didn't notice the sweetness from the molasses. I expect it served to raise the cider's alcohol content without adding residual sweetness.
Rating: 3 star. Good. I would drink this again if someone gives it to me. I liked Fox Barrel's Mulled Cider, but would have preferred a bit less alcohol as it was a bit strong when warmed up. I think mulled ciders are the perfect accompaniment to cold winter days. Consider serving one at your holiday gatherings.