1/8/17 Blake's Hard Cider Company's Archimedes

2:33 PM

New year, new me. Well, not really. But kind of. I'm nearly done with school (which'll hopefully mean that I'll have more mental energy to dedicate to the blog, which is nice) and (here's another hopefully) I'lll transition smoothly into a ~career~.

What better way to signify and celebrate all of that than with the successor to one of my favorite ciders? I'm consistently impressed with everything Blake's produces and I believe that Archimedes will continue that trend. But, the question is, how does it hold up to Wayward Winter's standard?

If you've been reading my blog on the regular, than you probably know just as much (if not more) about Blake's than I do. If you're new to these parts, here's a rundown: Blake's is located on an orchard that's been growing apples for nearly 70 years. That orchard grows 49 varieties of apples and houses roughly 45,000 fruit-bearing trees. With this enormous amount of fruit, Blake's is able to produce a wide array of ciders, including blog favorites like Beard Bender, Black Phillip, and the previously mentioned Wayward Winter among other greats such as El Chavo, Wakefire, Aurora, the Tonic, Cyser (all of which, while not reviewed on the blog, showcase cider excellence), and many, many more. Seriously, check out Blake's' website for all the information regarding the cidery and it's offerings that you could want.

According to the Seasonals section of Blake's' website (in the highly unlikely event you didn't explore it for yourself via the link directly above this sentence), Archimedes contains both elderberry and vanilla. While there is mention of an oak tree in the 6.5% ABV cider's story, I believe that's merely for mythic effect. I'd like to note that while there is a noticeable differences between Archimedes and it's predecessor, namely the new cider's exclusion of coriander and addition of vanilla, they both share two important commonalities: they're winter offerings that rely heavily on elderberry.

Speaking of elderberry, Archimedes has incredibly strong elderberry notes in its bouquet. There's also some trace amount of vanilla in there. It's odd because, while there is some sweetness in it, it mostly reminds me of a dry cider, bitter because of the apple base and added berries. I like it. So does Purrl--she gave it 6 whiffs.

The bitter dryness hits first when I take a swig. There's sweetness from the berries in there and some warmth that I attribute to the vanilla. It all finishes in a bite of sour from the elderberries, but the sweet parts of the cider linger around on my lips. The flavor's unique as well, and, I'm sure as your reading this, it sounds like a jumble of sweet and sour parts. But trust me, it all comes together remarkably well.

Archimedes has a bright liveliness in its mouthfeel. While it doesn't scream carbonation there's an effervescent quality that seems like an innate part of the cider.

This reminds me of stargazing at the pond of the camp I worked at one summer nine years ago. I only did it once, and it was at the end of the summer. All the campers had left and my friends and I walked however many acres from one side of the campgrounds to the pond at the other. There was a chill in the air from the approach autumn and we shivered without any jackets. There were no owls. There were no oaks. There were only innumerable stars shimmering brightly overhead.

I like Archimedes a lot. I like that I can easily found it here in southwestern Ohio. Unfortunately, I'm not as drawn to it as I was Wayward Winter. But, hey. That's okay. This wintry elderberry cider still gets a hearty recommendation from me. If I had to put a number on that recommendation, it'd be a 9.5/10. Kudos, Blake's. You've done it again.

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