The Bourbon Barrel Cyzer is the third offering I’ve had from Green River Ambrosia. They seem to be doing well getting their name and bottles out around Massachusetts. Back in July, my wife and I went to Green River Music Festival – a yearly tradition for us. This year they were one of the only alcohol venders at the festival, serving their Ginger Libation.
The Bourbon Barrel Cyzer is Green River’s standard cyzer aged in Jack Daniels Barrels. It won gold in the Cyser category at the Mazer Cup mead competition.
This cyzer has been fermented with fresh-pressed apples from Clarkdale Fruit Farms and raw unheated Wildflower Honey from Warm Colors Apiary, both produced in Deerfield, MA. It has been delicately aged in a Kentucky Bourbon barrel to enhance the exquisite flavors and aromas.
It pours a light gold color with no carbonation. The aroma was a little strong and acrid at first – making my nose tingle. As it opened up, the aroma smoothed out giving way to fresh apple, white grape, and mild citrus.
It drinks smooth and fruity with a medium body. At 14% abv it’s much lighter and smoother than I expected. There are apple flovors throughout, but it definitely has more characteristics of mead than it does cider. I drinks like a fruity white wine. I’m not a huge white wine drinker, but I would say it drinks like a fuller bodied Pinot Grigio or a light Chardonnay (correct me if I’m wrong). There is a little bit of earthiness from the oak barrel aging though I don’t get much bourbon in there – it would’ve been nice to taste a little bit more of it’s namesake. I think it would make a nice summer sangria with apple, pear, peach, and some citrus…maybe i’ll give that a shot this friday.
As I’ve said in the past – I really like the arts and crafts styled motif on the label. While it could use some refinement, the “Green River Ambrosia” text fits that theme well. It speaks to the mission of the cooperative and the locally sourced ingredients they use. After that, however it falls flat. There are a couple fonts used for the rest of the text on the bottle that don’t go along with the brand and compete with each other. The background is a faded image of bees which just makes the whole label look sloppy. The Arts and Craft movement was all about simple forms and hand crafted decoration – a photograph shouldn’t really be a part of the design. I think the other two beverage types from the Artisan Beverage Cooperative have a more cohesive visual voice. Take the look of the mead a little further down the river!