10/1/17: Blake's Hard Cider Company's Apple Lantern

2:17 PM

Happy Spooky Finger Puppet Ghost Month! For the entirety of October, my posts will be solely about fall seasonals. The first brew lined up is Blake's Apple Lantern. You may remember way back in April when I wrote that Apple Lantern was my most-wanted cider. Well, guess what. I found some.


It took me a bit--I had to hit up all my beer regular beer stores--but I finally tracked it down. Because I didn't know how long the place would have it on its shelves, I was sure to nab two sixers. I wanted to wait until it felt like fall to post about it, so here we are. I'm wearing a long-sleeved shirt. It's fall. How is the cider?

This is where I typically talk about the company behind the beer. And I'll do that a little here: Blake's is based out of Armada, MI. They make cider from apples grown on their orchard, which contains a wide array of varieties. If you want more information on who they are or what they do, check out their website. You can also click here to see all the Blake's posts I've made on the blog.

While you're on Blake's' website, if you scroll down on the "CIDERS" page, you'll find a bit about Apple Lantern under "LIMITED RELEASE HARD CIDERS." This 6.5% ABV brew has apples, roasted pumpkin, molasses, and spices.

I have to say, Apple Lantern smells like fall. It's bouquet is the perfect mix of apple and pumpkin pie. I get the gourdiness from the pumpkin, the sweetness from the apple, and notes of molasses, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I love this aroma. Purrl does not. She only gave my newly-opened bottle four whiffs.


The cider also tastes like a blend of apple and pumpkin pies. However, the flavor isn't as perfectly blended as the aroma,. My first swing brings immediate earthiness from the pumpkin, which quickly gives way to apple pie sweetness. The pumpkin returns in the finish--it's what lingers on my tongue, vegetabley and roasty.

Apple Lantern is a very effervescent cider. It has some bite in its carbonation, but it's nothing that I'd call bubbly.

Look, I know that this is a Halloween cider. I definitely get that. But, as I'm drinking it, I'm thinking Thanksgiving. Blame it on the mix of apple and pumpkin.

Every other year we'd go to my dad's parents' for the holiday. As a kid, I wasn't really into pumpkin pie. And, every year we'd go there, someone would bring pumpkin pie as a dessert. But, luckily, dessert was always a big potluck (I mean, the rest of the meal was a potluck, too). My dad would always bring an apple pie that he made, which I loved. Sitting with my extended family, some eating pumpkin pie while others ate apple pie, that's exactly what Apple Lantern reminds me of.

I'm really glad I managed to track down Apple Lantern. Blake's Hard Cider company has managed to take the concept of an apple pie fall seasonal and reinvent it by adding roasted pumpkin. I'm giving it a 9/10, which means it's well worth the hunt if you're on the lookout for it. And, if you're not on the lookout for it, you definitely should be.

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