Vermont Cider Company Cerise

Review of Vermont Cider Company’s Cerise, a cherry barrel aged cider, the second of their series of seasonal barrel aged ciders.  I’ve previously tried their Addison and Wassail.

>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Vermont Cider Company.  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.<<

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Cider:  Cerise
Cidery:  Vermont Cider Company
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  four pack of 12oz bottles (thick champagne glass, but capped)
Style:  commercial cider from dessert apples (Sunrise Orchards in Cornwall VT), with Michigan Montgomery cherry juice, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon barrel aged

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Availability:  seasonal release, only available in the Northeastern U.S., first available in March

Ingredients: hard cider, cherry juice, sulfites

Cider Description:  It’s a limited-time offering that will delight the senses. “Cerise is built from our barrel-aged, 100% local and fresh pressed cider with the juice of tart Michigan Montmorency cherries,” said Ben E. Calvi, Director of Cider Making. “Aging cider in Napa Valley barrels infuses notes of Cabernet wine, vanilla and oak with fresh apple and a tart cherry fruits.”

Cidery Description:  Vermont Cider Co. introduced the U.S. to the craft cider category 25 years ago. Dedicated exclusively to cider making, they are the proud producers of the original American hard cider, Woodchuck®, the circus of ciders, Gumption®, the west coast native, Wyder’s® Cider, and importers of Magners® Irish Cider and Blackthorn®. With an unparalleled focus on quality and innovation, Vermont Cider Co. leads the category in releasing the most premium liquid and pioneering new ciders made from the finest ingredients. Under the watchful eyes of two award winning cider makers, Vermont Cider Co. produces and distributes from Middlebury, VT, blending together the passion of their consumers, their creativity, and their heritage within the green mountains.

Price:  n/a (retails for $10.99 / four pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I read about it online and requested a sample

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First Impression:  Bright cherry hue.  Nearly still / very low carbonation.  Smells very mild, with a hint of cherry.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of cherry juice, red wine, cherry skin, and oak.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Low to moderate complexity.  Moderate to high sessionability.  No apple flavor.  Low oak influence.  Low red wine influence.

My Opinion:  Yum!  I really enjoyed this, as did my husband (he kept stealing some).  Perfect levels of sweetness, tartness, and flavor.  The barrel aging was definitely noticeable, but not overpowering.  It was surprisingly flavorful compared to the mild scent.  All in all this actually tastes like what I except from a craft cider.  Nice price point too.

Most Similar to:  Woodchuck Private Reserve Barrel Aged Cherry, which was also a cherry cider aged in red wine barrels (except that was more commercial tasting / less refined), Virtue Cider Cherry Mitten (except that had added complexity from the apple & yeast varieties, and was Bourbon not wine barrel aged), and Apple Outlaw Oaked Sweet Dark Cherry (except that was less flavorful, and aged in new oak not wine barrels).

Closing Notes:  Too bad this isn’t available locally, as I would definitely purchase some.  I think its my favorite cider of the entire Vermont Cider Co. lineup.

Random Note:  My cider list has 27 cherry ciders listed that I’ve tried!

Have you tried Vermont Cider Company’s Cerise?  What did you think?

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