Review of Woodchuck’s newest (7th) Out on a Limb release, Campfire Pancakes, a smoked maple cider (more info from Woodchuck here). The ciders rotate every few months in the same six pack. They were nice enough to send me a sample bottle. I’ve reviewed a number of their ciders here.
>>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: Campfire Pancakes (Out on a Limb)
Cidery Location: Middlebury VT
How Supplied: six pack of 12oz bottles
Availability: Wide release, but only until April or whenever they run out (as Out on a Limb rotates varieties).
Cider Description: Campfire Pancakes brings you our small batch hard cider with an infusion of smoked apple pomace. Topped off with a dash of Vermont Maple Syrup, this cider brings forward a delightfully smoky and sweet taste. LoVermont? Then you’ll love Campfire Pancakes.
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: Medium straw yellow. Light carbonation with large bubbles. Smells like smoke flavor, maple flavor, and apple candy.
Opinion: Sweet. Low tartness and acidity. No bitterness, sourness, tannins, or funk. Medium bodied. It begins with the scent (but not flavor) of smoke, then apple juice with real maple and literally a starchy pancake-like flavor, then finishes with fake maple. The maple scent in the air is quite strong. Quick finish. Moderate apple influence. High sessionability.
Most Similar to: Not much. There are a handful of maple ciders (such as Seattle Cider Oaked Maple, Crispin The Saint, and Downeast Maple Blend) and smoked ciders (such as Alpenfire Smoke, Tieton Smoked Pumpkin, and Woodchuck Smoked Apple), but nothing like this.
Closing Notes: I was really looking forward to this cider as I love maple, and love smoked ciders (such as Alpenfire Smoke), but it was disappointing. It overall seemed very fake. Although they used real maple syrup and smoked pommace, there is the less than 1% natural flavor listed, and I think they somehow even added maple aroma. The fake maple scent lingered in the air after finishing the cider and putting away the glass. I think that without the fakeness and with some barrel aging, a maple cider can be awesome. Hopefully they will make an Out on a Limb cider more along the lines of Gumption or Winter Chill, which I enjoy.
Have you tried Woodchuck Campfire Pancakes? What did you think?