I had heard of beer inspired by breakfast cereal—perhaps more accurately, brewed with breakfast cereal—but similarly inspired cider was a new one to me. Such was The Jax Breakfast Cereal, a limited-run cider from Sonoma Cider, released in early December. As you might surmise from the name, The Jax was inspired by Apple Jacks breakfast cereal. Here’s the press release blurb they had released with it:
The Jax Breakfast Cereal is part of the brand’s Limited Run series, a collection of unique flavors that express the team’s creativity and inventive nature. Hard cider made from Organic Pacific Northwest apples are combined with gluten-free buckwheat, cinnamon and honey to create this full-bodied cider. Scents of toasted grain and apple-cinnamon and the taste of sweetened honey and tart apples embody this cider leaving you wanting more. The flavors of The Jax Breakfast Cereal make a perfect complement to Pop Tarts, mac n cheese and strawberry ice cream.
Cider brewed with buckwheat and honey, so technically something akin to a cyser, perhaps, though that is more of a mead style.
Sonoma had sent a sample bottle and we did drink it a couple of months ago. So far I can say it’s probably the most unique cider I’ve had to date, at least conceptually.
From a very clear golden color came the aroma that was very much like Apple Jacks cereal—they nailed the smell (and it’s been years since I’ve actually had the cereal itself). There was a slight cinnamon note overlaying a toasty, light grainy note (presumably from the buckwheat). A bit of sweet apple with a very slight tart note rounded out the nose.
The taste was more of a tart cider with a honey-sweetened effervescence and a touch of cinnamon. There’s a sour character that comes out as it warms, perhaps malic acid of green apples. Hints of toasty buckwheat (think Grape Nuts cereal) give way to the tart cider character. Sherri noticed the sour character as well. Otherwise no Apple Jacks cereal flavors like the aroma indicated, though upon reflection that’s probably not a bad thing.
This was a fun one to sample, and I’d be curious to know if Sonoma is planning any additional cereal-themed ciders.