January 12, 2015

Barrie House Hot Apple Cider Single Cups Review

Barrie house cider single cups IMGP6177

With the cold weather upon us, we decided to try out a cold weather-inspired drink which is usually served throughout fall & winter but especially around this time of year… hot apple cider. Apple cider is the unfiltered version of apple juice made from pressed apples. It can be prepared as-is and served chilled as a form of naturally unfiltered juice, it can be mulled with various seasonings and spices (cinnamon is usually the norm in this instance) and served hot or it can be fermented and and turned into an alcoholic hard cider. 

Apple cider is even the official state beverage of New Hampshire (a fact we were totally clueless about until doing research for this review which seems odd since we visit NH each summer). The fact that Keurig Green Mountain have since made 2 different versions of their apple cider K-Cups meant that competitors couldn’t be too far behind and today we’re checking out the latest addition to the single serve cider realm with Barrie House’s Hot Apple Cider Single Cups.

Brewing these Single Cups resulted in warm inviting aromas of apples & a light hint of cinnamon in the background. Flavor was sweet & tangy with notes of juicy apples up front quickly followed by more light hints of cinnamon in the background. The cinnamon flavors are very light at best and aren’t too saturated or overdone, so those who like a light dusting will be please while those who prefer a Cinnabonbardment level of spice will be left wanting more.

Barrie house single IMGP6179

Acidity is naturally present in apples, so it’s no surprise that we get a sharp hit of tangy sour notes which we’ve come to expect from your average cider. This is executed perfectly here as we get the tartness in the foreground which quickly gives way to the sweet apple flavors throughout the cup. Body was a bit lighter than we were expecting with a pale light yellow giving way to an amazingly bright & almost ethereal display of glowing greenish-yellow when held to a light source. It reminded us of the colors of Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples, spot-on for added effect. Mouth feel was super smooth and had the consistency of actual cider with a silky, light syrupy feel overall. Finish was sweet with some mild lingering notes of tart apples in the aftertaste.

  • Aroma – 9 – Warm inviting aromas of apples & a light hint of cinnamon in the background. We only take a point off due to the fact that the cinnamon is barely noticeable and could have been a wee bit more pronounced.  
  • Acidity – 10 – Spot-on with how you’d expect a cider to be. The natural acidity of apples appears present here at we get the tartness in the foreground with an abundance of sweet notes quickly following through on each sip. Nicely executed overall.
  • Body – 10 – Shades of light yellow had us a bit surprised as things seemed lighter than what we’d normally expect, but then all was forgiven as an almost ethereal display of ghostly glowing greenish-yellows burst forth when held in front of a light source. The colors reminded us of Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples which further played into the cider motif.
  • Flavor – 10 – Much like the aroma, cinnamon is kept to a bare minimum here as we get mostly sweet & tangy notes of apples throughout which are undeniably identical to fresh-pressed natural cider. The taste profile is definitely sweet instead of spicy, so this should appeal to a wide variety of folk who aren’t too crazy about spices.
  • Mouth Feel – 10 – Smooth & silky with an almost light syrupy feel overall which is much like actual apple cider. Finish was definitely on the sweet side with light tangy apple notes in the aftertaste.
  • Coffee Drinker – This one is obviously not a coffee, but if you like the sweet & tangy taste of apple cider without a ton of cinnamon mixed-in or are just looking for a sweet alternative to your evening decaf, this mades for a delicious option in our opinion. We think adults & kids alike will get a kick out of this. Just don’t be surprised if there’s a line-up of people in front of your Keurig brewer as everyone clamours to be the first one to give these a try. 

Overall Rating: 99 – Excellent

Barrie house cider single cups IMGP6183

So we can see how Barrie House have decided to go with a sweeter vs. spicier approach with this apple cider and to be honest, we actual like that they’ve gone this route since it gives us an alternative to what’s already on the market. The fact that this is more along the lines of a hot un-mulled cider can appeal to those who don’t like a ton of cinnamon in their foods/drinks and it can also appeal to kids who prefer sweet vs. spicy anyway. All in all, it’s a drink the entire family can enjoy on a cold winter day or around the fireplace during the holidays, and throughout the colder months. 

We also noticed that Barrie House have slightly changed the design of their Single Cups as well and we think it works for the better. The old design had a peel-away foil lid on the top AND the bottom of the Single Cup… now the bottom is made of a solid plastic which is integrated into the form of the cup itself (similar to how K-Cups are made). We were a bit concerned at first that we’d have trouble piercing through it since it appeared so thick, but our trustworthy B70 had no problems at all.

As for these Single Cups? We rather enjoyed them overall and hope that Barrie House have plans to introduce a Caramel Apple Cider Single Cup (similar to KGM) or perhaps introduce an entirely new type of cider… Honeycrisp Apple Cider Single Cups perhaps? Regardless, we’ll definitely be adding these Single Cups to our rotation of holiday Single Cups this week & recommend you give them a try if you get a chance to do so. 

Barrie House Hot Apple Cider Single Cups work in all K-Cup Brewers BUT NOT Keurig 2.0 and are available in various size formats at Amazon.com. Canadians can also order these Single Cups in 24-packs via ECSCoffee.com. Please also note that Single Cups will NOT work without using adapters in Keurig Vue brewers.

A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to thank ECS Coffee for sending us samples of these Single Cups for the purpose of this review.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at January 12, 2015 7:27 AM
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