It’s no secret that, come late fall, there are few places better to pick apples than Washington state. It’s here that the people of Spire Mountain started the country’s “oldest modern” cidery, opening in 1985. This is a strong example of what ciders should be, starting with the aroma and the inescapable scent of fresh apples when you uncap the bottle. Stick your nose in the glass, however, and you’ll also detect a wonderful alcohol tinge that melds with the apples to make a honeylike bouquet. The flavor is equally impressive, with crisp red apples dancing across the tongue and nothing at all to distract from their goodness. This cider finishes relatively sweet and juicy, not at all syrupy or sticky, and the crisp apple skin flavor lasts well into the aftertaste.