4/26/17 Blake's Hard Cider Company's Grizzly Pear

5:53 PM

If it's not apparent by now, let me spell this out for you. I adore Armada, MI's Blake's Hard Cider Company. Sure, quick search of this blog will only turn up 4 hits, excluding this post, from the cidery. But that's a fraction of what I've had from the place (like, less than 1/2). When I see a Blake's on store shelves I haven't tried I pick it up, bring it home, and drink it. Each and every time. I haven't had anything anywhere near a bad cider from those Michigan boys.

So, you know what I did when I saw Grizzly Pear--the company's new year-round offering--on store shelves? I picked it up, brought it home, and drank it. That's right, dear readers. This isn't a blind review (to be honest, blind reviews on the blog are few and far between these days). But never fear, because I promise to showcase my raw, honest thoughts here, regardless of how many cans of this cider I've already consumed. I always give my raw honest thoughts.

Assuming you read the first paragraph of this post (or are an avid reader of my beer/cider thoughts and have read any of my other Blake's posts), you already know that Blake's is based in Armada, MI (which is a little north of Detroit). You avid readers probably also have knowledge of what I'm about to type. But, for the uninitiated, please let me talk about Blake's for a bit. The orchard upon which the cidery is located is pretty impressive. It's been cultivating apples for nearly seven decades and boasts over 45,000 trees comprised of 42 varieties of apples. With these 42 apples grown on their 45k trees, Blake's crafts 19 different types of cider (which means that I have ten to try [I've had one that's no longer in production] [I really want to get my hands on some Apple Lantern--it's my most sought after cider] so I'd better get drinking). If you want more deets, be sure to check out their website. They have a blog, too, where they post about what's happening at the cidery.

Grizzly Pear is, as noted above, the company's new year-round cider. It is, hopefully pretty obviously, a cider brewed with pears. So it's not a perry. It's a cider with pears. It's also got some elderflower in there for good measure. It's also only 5% ABV so if you like it you can throw back a few after a long day of hard work. And that's basically all the information available about the cider online.

What Blake's' website doesn't divulge is that there's a Belgian blonde yeasty twinge in the cider's bouquet. Other than that, which I love by the way, the cider has a very fruity aroma. Which makes sense given the inclusion of both pear and apple. I'm a huge fan of how Grizzly smells, but Purrl isn't. She gave it a quick two whiffs before focusing on a bird outside.

This is a fairly sweet-tasting cider. And it's big on the pear front. If I was given a glass of this without any description at all, I'd be able to tell you that it's a pear cider. Blake's knocked that pear flavor out of the park. Blake's' description of this (linked above) boasts an apple sharpness. And that's here. But it's pretty quickly mellowed out by the elderflower. There is a sour apple flavor that lingers inside my cheeks after each swig, but pear is the central player here and it shows.

On the mouthfeel front, this is on par with most ciders. It's got just the right amount of carbonation to be bubbly without being fizzy or overbearing.

You know, I don't recall exactly when I encountered my first pear. But I recall the experience. I thought it was a strange, misshapen green apple at first. But, when I bit into it, I discovered a completely different consistency and taste. Pears are, of course, more grainy than apples. They also have a sweet sourness to them (duh). But, as a child in elementary school, this revelation was mind-blowing. I came home from school and told my mom about the experience and then, for the next few years, pears replaced apples in my lunch box.

I am decidedly a pear man. I am also decidedly an apple man. I love both. And Blake's Hard Cider Company's Grizzly Pear gives me the best of two of my favorite fruits. I warrants a 9.5/10 from me. Please try it if you find it (unless you hate pears because this is pears to the core).

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