Review of Woodchuck’s newest Out on a Limb release, Hot Cha Cha Cha. The ciders rotate every couple months in the same six pack. They were nice enough to send me a sample bottle.
>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Woodchuck. Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received it for free. The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review cue. I love free stuff, especially cider! Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here? Contact me.<<
Cider: Hot Cha Cha Cha (Out on a Limb)
Cidery Location: Middlebury VT
How Supplied: six pack of 12oz bottles
Availability: Wide release, but only for the next 60-90 days or so (as Out on a Limb rotates varieties).
Cider Description: Hard cider made with bittersweet apples and infused with Bird’s Eye Chile Peppers. The peppers compliment the bittersweet cider apples and bring out a sweet taste up front with a hot and spicy bite at the finish. Lookin’ for some extra heat? Grab a bottle, take a sip, and let’s do the HOT CHA CHA CHA!
Cidery Description: Here at the Woodchuck Cidery in Vermont, we handcraft every batch of Woodchuck Hard Cider. Our Cider Makers utilize the highest quality ingredients and meticulously oversee each small batch from start to finish. We reinvigorated American cider in 1991 and continue to lead the category through our commitment to craft innovative and refreshing hard ciders.
Price: n/a (but it runs $9-11 a six pack)
Where Bought: n/a
Where Drank: home
How Found: n/a
First Impression: Orange-amber hue (which appears to be natural as coloring isn’t listed). Very little carbonation. Smells sweet and of bittersweet apples with a hint of spiciness.
Opinion: Sweet (but it didn’t perceive as sweet as I was expecting with the listed 25g sugar content). It starts off with a rich & flavorful bittersweet apple cider flavor (similar to their Gumption), then finished with a kick of spice, mostly at the back of the throat (instead of the tongue). Low acidity and tartness. No bitterness, sourness, or funk. No to low carbonation. Medium bodied. Longer finish with the spice presentation I described.
Most Similar to: Other spicy ciders I’ve had, such as Schilling Sriracha Lime, Finnriver Habanero, and Sonoma Crowbar (Habanero Lime), except significantly sweeter and less spicy. I also notice that the base cider has a lot of similarities to Woodchuck Gumption, both made using bittersweet apples (a flavor profile I really love).
Closing Notes: Spicy ciders just aren’t my thing, and I think of them as more of a novelty. A few sips was plenty for me, and the others I shared this with. However, due to the additional residual sugar and less perceived spice of this one, this is probably a more manageable spicy cider for the average person. Also, with the amount of calories (270) & sugar (25g), I’m not sure I’d want an entire bottle let alone more than one in a sitting. I think it will be a tough sell to get folks to buy a six pack of this unless they really like spicy ciders, buy every Woodchuck variety, find it very intriguing, or are getting it as a gag gift or to bring to a party. Thankfully a number of stores such as Total Wine sell singles of six pack ciders such as this, so you may be able to find a single bottle for around $2. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, you better hurry, as each Out on a Limb variety doesn’t stay on the shelves long.
Have you tried Woodchuck Hot Cha Cha Cha? What did you think?