Thanksgiving is a time of celebration, which means you’re probably going to have a few boozy beverages. We’re of the firm belief that there is no wrong beverage to serve with turkey and mashed potatoes. Vodka works and so does beer. But this thanks-giving celebration falls in the heart of fall, so why not knock back a seasonal cider that showcases the bounty of the season. We ranked 82 of the best ciders in the country during a blind tasting a little over a year ago. Now, we’ll take a look at a six pack of truly special, limited release ciders that are perfect for Thanksgiving and fall in general.
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Portland Cider Company's Cranberry Cider might feel a bit too "on the nose," considering there's already a big bowl of cranberry sauce on the table that nobody is going to touch. But PCC uses Oregon-grown cranberries and apples for this seasonal cider, that's just as appropriate for Christmas as it is for Thanksgiving. Look for it in 22 oz. bombers until January.
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Okay, we know Angry Orchard isn't the most artisanal of cider makers—they're the biggest in the land. But they killed during our blind tasting, winning the top spot and they've got the resources to make a truly great seasonal. This Cinnful Apple plays into all of your guilty holiday pleasures, with cinnamon spice hitting heavy beneath all that apple sweetness.
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Speaking of cinnamon-flavored cider, Ciderboys (which earned a couple of top 20 spots on our blind tasting) has a seasonal cider with a cinnamon hit called Mad Bark that has been slaying at the US Open Cider Championship for the last three years. In fact, it won gold this year.
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California's Sonoma Cider does some pretty weird things with apples, but they manage to pull it off, like in this limited release rhubarb gose cider called The Wimble. It was crafted to win over craft beer fans who think cider is too sweet and fruity. It's tart, it's salty, it's kind of like a gose.
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You like apple pie, so why not try a bottle of it? Bold Rock's Orchard Frost pulls no punches and gives you a seasonal beverage full of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
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Shacksbury's Petritegi Espumante isn't really a seasonal—it's just a super limited release that could take the place of your bottle of Champagne at your next big dinner. Like say, Thanksgiving. It's even been given a secondary fermentation in the bottle to promote Champagne-like bubbles. And don't worry; I can't pronounce it either.