Home>Regions>US - Rocky Mountains>Hard Ciders from Montana>Review: The Colonial – New England-Style by Western Cider Co
Western Cider Co The Colonial New England-Style

Review: The Colonial – New England-Style by Western Cider Co

Review Date: December 31, 2020

Sweetness: Semi-Dry

ABV: 10.60%

Cider Maker’s Description

The Colonial is a New England-style that originated in the Northeastern colonies over 300 years ago. At the end of apple harvest, barrels of cider were sweetened with brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, or molasses. The added sugar boosted alcohol levels to keep the cider safe from spoiling until the next harvest. Raisins were added for flavor, as well as a source of yeast and tannin.

We mimicked this early-American method by mixing a blend of Northwest apples, Belgian Candi, and spices. It rested 6 months on raisins in ex-bourbon barrels - allowing the wine to take on subtleties of orange and fig. Made the Old Way.


  • caramel root beer color, clear, bright


  • moderate, nice frothy pour


  • earthy, woody, maple syrup, caramel, faint hints of raisins and bourbon


  • oak, raisins, caramel, orange peel, bitter


  • sharp acidic bite, acidic astringency


  • back of throat bitterness lingers

Tasting Notes / General Impression

Before I knew it, the bottle was empty. I'll try to get notes next time.

Reviewer Notes


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Cidery Information

Western Cider Co
Missoula, MT

Matthew Ostrander
Matthew favors dry hard ciders with body and leans towards traditional English styles, and he’s also developed a serious appreciation for hopped ciders and creative flavor infused ciders. Though he prefers sweets in solid forms, he does enjoy semi-sweet to sweet ciders responsibly when the mood strikes. Learn more about our Chief Cider Curator here.