Wednesday was tap night at Special Brews in Lynnwood WA, and this week was a special treat, with four ciders on tap from Woodchuck. Their NW representative, Jen, was even on hand. She brought plenty of giveaways (my husband got a sweet Woodchuck polo). Gumption, Fall Harvest, Pumpkin, and Hopsation were listed.
However, as the night went on, the Pumpkin came into question, as it was reported as pouring a very light color and not being very pumpkiny. After some taste testing, it was determined it was actually Local Nectar! Yes, the 100% Vermont apple Local Nectar cider which Woodchuck only sells in Vermont (they also have a Michigan version though). The keg must have got mislabeled. So, this may have been the first time that Local Nectar was sold in Washington!
I tried Local Nectar before at Ciderbration 2014, Woodchuck’s grand opening party for their new cidery, which we were lucky enough to win a free weekend trip to! They are having a repeat this year by the way, Ciderstock, happening this very weekend. Too bad I didn’t win their contest again this year… Anyway, back to Local Nectar. It is one of Woodchuck’s drier selections, pretty middle of the road as far as sweetness. Its not one of my favorites as it has some bitterness on the tail end, but it is a very nice cider, clean & refreshing. I had thought I liked it more, but after re-tasting it, I think I was thinking of their special-release Ciderbration cider. Now that stuff was awesome! Sweet and very sparkling. Otherwise, I would have got a growler, as Local Nectar in Washington is rare indeed.
Before we found out the Pumpkin was actually Local Nectar, I had ordered Gumption, their newest core cider which I recently reviewed. Its even better on tap! Of course, I also did some bottle shopping. It becomes very easy to buy cider while drinking a cider.
We also chatted with the Woodchuck rep Jen. She had some great inside scoop to share with us:
(1) Woodchuck’s next Out on a Limb release (next month) will be a spicy cider, Hot Cha Cha Cha. Woodchuck tested this variety out in April with a “Firkin” keg, per their Twitter feed. I’ve had a few spicy ciders but haven’t been a fan so far, as the heat seems to overwhelm the cider. I imagine it will be more likable though if it has more sweetness and less heat.
(2) A Washington version of Local Nectar is in work. This will be made at an unspecified cidery in Washington for Woodchuck, using 100% Washington apples. Should be interesting. I wonder if it too will only be sold in the state the apples are from (Washington), because if so, it has a lot of competition here. No release date yet.
I’ll definitely be reviewing both of those once they are out, so stay tuned! Be sure to follow Cider Says on Facebook, through Wordpress, or by e-mail (link in sidebar on right, or at the bottom of the page on mobile devices) to get blog post notifications.