archibald james cider leavenworth tasting room

Some of these ciders are seasonal or rotating, and some we try to keep around all the time.

Many of our barrel-fermented and -aged ciders will show natural variability based on season (warmer and cooler ambient temperature), apple varieties, yeast and bacteria selection, and barrel selection and aging times, which impacts native microbes and oak character imparted. We aim to strike a consistent target but we also appreciate the variability mother nature throws us and try to let that come through.

Dry-sider is our flagship cider. It’s fermented dry (no residual sweetness) and aged sur-lie in neutral oak barrels. We stir the barrels to rouse the yeast lees, building up the volume and mouthfeel and complementing the acid balance. Notes of dried apples and nuts, with a mineral quality and moderate carbonation.

SmashApple is our refreshing, off-dry cider with classic, fresh-apple flavors. After fermenting the cider dry, we blend in fresh apple juice to lend some sweetness. It’s like biting into a ripe apple.

Whole, organic apples are pressed and fermented dry, then transferred into oak barrels for a second fermentation on whole Rainier cherries. The result is a beautifully balanced cider with bright acidity from the cherries, a supple mouthfeel from the long fermentation and aging sur-lie, and zero sweetness. Notes of green apple, peach, and a touch of cooked sugar.

We co-ferment fresh whole blueberries with apple cider to produce a lightly colored rose with subtle, fresh blueberry character. This cider finished light, slightly tart, and totally dry. This one was tank-fermented and aged to retain the fruit character.

We tossed a healthy amount of fresh, home-grown apricots in this cider and allowed them to co-ferment with the apples in a stainless tank. The result is a characteristic tart-apricot cider with enough tannin to fill in the mouthfeel.

We were thinking of something seasonal and different on this one, and decided to sweeten the pot a little with some juice from fresh-pressed Pinot gris grapes. The result is an apricot cider on the sweeter side of the spectrum and really pushes notes of sweet peach and caramelized apricots, versus the dry and tart character of Cot in the Sun.

Technically a dry cider, the wee-sour is aged in barrels for a couple months to develop some depth. We blend in a portion of cider that was allowed to sour via lactic acid bacteria in the barrel in hopes to strike a balance of slightly sour with a hint of sweet on the finish to fill it out. We get some mild tannins on this one and enjoy this as a daily-drinker

Off-dry cider blended with aromatic hops from the Yakima Valley. Citrus and tropical fruit dominate, with a touch of pine resin. We continue to experiment with local hops and find blends that fit the mood and season.

Thai’d Up
This cider is off-dry, with approximately 1.5% residual sweetness from fresh-pressed apple juice. We age this cider in barrels with fresh Lemongrass, Ginger, Basil, and Turmeric to produce a refreshing, slightly spicy cider inspired by some of the great culinary herbs found in Thai cuisine. The lemongrass and ginger come out in front of this cider and the turmeric root brings up the finish with a little spice and minerality, while the basil ties it all together. This cider pairs with any spicy dish but drinks well on its own.

Solstice Cyzer
Our 2018 Soltice Cyzer began its journey around the longest day of the year when we co-fermented Apple Cider with a dark and flavorful Buckwheat Honey form our friends at Otto’s Honey in East Wenatchee. This long and slow barrel fermentation was followed up by a secondary fermentation with wild-harvested Elderberries and home-grown Lavender Flowers. The result is a rich, mineral, cross between a cider and a mead with the aroma, tannins, and tartness from ripe Elderberries and a floral component from Lavender that just comes across in the aroma and flavor. We release this cider on the Winter Solstice and it should drink well now and cellar well for the year to come. This is NOT a sweet cider or mead, and it’s been only lightly carbonated to add some texture to the glass. We are interested to see how this one ages!


Beautifully balanced, refreshingly dry, 100% fruit

We love the drier side of ciders, pure and unmasked by sweeteners or additives. When we want sweetness, we blend in fresh-pressed apple juice. We never add sugar.

We press whole apples on-site and allow natural fermentations to complicate our ciders. We never use concentrate, and we keep sulfites to the bare minimum.

Just like wine, our cider ferments in steel and oak barrels, gaining complexity as it ages. To mix things up, we toss whole fruits, roots, and herbs into the barrels, yielding subtle, delicious new flavors.

Want some pairing suggestions?