Newton’s Folly Semi-Dry

Review of Newton’s Folly Semi-Dry.  This is a Trader Joe’s exclusive, made at the Woodchuck facility, and appears to replace their two previous versions in 12oz bottles (red & green labels).

Cider:  Newton’s Folly Semi-Dry
Cidery:  American Hard Cider Company
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  four pack of 16oz cans
Style:  American commercial semi-dry cider, partially from bittersweet apples

Photo Mar 18, 4 54 18 PM Photo Mar 18, 4 54 26 PM Photo Mar 18, 4 54 39 PM

Availability:  only at Trader Joe’s

Cider Description:  Hard Cider has a history that reaches back hundreds of years in Vermont, where our Newton’s Folly is fermented and canned.  Newton’s Folly Semi-Dry uses bittersweet apples to deliver a cider that is not too sweet and leaves you thirsty for another!  We do offer a heads up, however.  Enjoy this fine cider under an apple tree at your own risk.

Price:  ~$2.50 / can ?
Where Bought:  Trader Joe’s
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing

Photo Mar 18, 4 54 00 PM.jpg

First Impression:  Dark straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, of apple juice.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Low to moderate acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of apple, honey, apple pomace, pineapple, and lemon.  Moderate apple flavor and flavor intensity.  High sessionability.  Low to moderate complexity.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  Easy to drink, but it had some complexity and wasn’t too sweet.  I thought it was far better than their previous “Authentic” version, which just tasted like a slightly watered down version of Woodchuck Amber.  However, although the can mentioned bittersweet apples, I believe only a small amount were used.

Most Similar to:  Bertolinos (except Newton’s Folly is lower carbonation) and Bite Hard Semi-Sweet

Closing Notes:  This was far better than I had been expecting, a nice surprise.

Have you tried Newton’s Folly?  What did you think?

10 thoughts on “Newton’s Folly Semi-Dry

  1. I got hooked on dry cider in Brittany & in Normandy while living in France. Most American ciders are undrinkable to my palate. I thought this was a very good effort. I’d like to see Newton’s explore a true dry cider similar to the Brittany & Normandy dry ciders. These are typically much more complex in flavor and almost remind one of champagne. Glad Trader Joe’s is carrying this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • intergenerationaltrauma – What part of the U.S. do you live in? You may be able to get real French cidre here if you live in or near a larger city. Also, ships imported French cider straight to consumers, but they don’t yet ship to every state. Interesting you call French cidres truly dry though, as I’ve tried a lot, and too my tastes, even the ‘Brut’ ones are semi-dry, as keeving retains a higher amount of residual sugar than traditional cidermaking. Trader Joe’s also sells imported Dan Armor French cidre, and its pretty decent for the $5 price.


      • cidersays – thanks for the info! I appreciate it. I live in Oceanside, California, and haven’t really explored imported ciders at speciality shops assuming the cost would be prohibitive. After spending 2-3 euros for a wine sized bottle of very drinkable cider in Brittany I’ve assumed the same bottle here would be much higher, as I can’t imagine there is much of a mass market for low end dry French cider in the U.S. 🙂

        I’m certainly not knowledgeable about French ciders versus anything but the syrupy sweet American product I’ve tried both in artisan shops and the major brands in stores like Angry Orchard. I always liked the bruts in France, though as you suggest they may be dry only in comparison to the very sweet American product. I’ll look for the Dan Armor French cidre and give that a go.

        Are there any American ciders that seem to mimic those Brut Brittany & Normandy ciders in you experience? I’d appreciate any further suggestions. Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. intergenerationaltrauma – No, I haven’t found many U.S. ciders that are French-style, as those bittersweet cider apple varieties are rare here, and very few cidermakers know how to keeve (French technique). The only I’d actually recommend is 2 Towns Cidre Bouche – see

    French ciders I’ve been able to buy in the U.S. run from $5 to $35 for a 750ml, with most in the $10-20 range. It actually costs about the same to get a good quality U.S. made cider, $15-20 / 750ml. Actually a good deal considering the cost of importing, and that the quality is like a moderate to high end wine.

    Besides the Dan Armor, you might be able to find 1 or 2 affordable options if you have a Total Wine or Bevmo, but besides that, it is specialty shops (like the type you’d find rare single bottles of beer) and online sales.


    • cidersays – I’m going to try the Dan Armor next. Between your review and the price it sounds like a very viable option. Thanks for sharing your suggestions.

      Warm regards – Gary

      Liked by 1 person

    • cidersays – Just sitting here sipping the Dan Armor for the first time. It’s like drinking my 2.99 euro a bottle cider back in Brittany! I love it. I’m no cider gourmet for sure, but I must say this stuff does it for me. Just what I was looking for. Thanks. – Gary

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Newtown’s Folly semi-dry is one of the better mass produced ciders canned ciders. It’s only about 3 % residual sugar, so not quite as sweet as some others. Perhaps a bit overcarbonated, but not too much. Flavors are good, a bit of apple remains (or perhaps comes in from the yeast?). We just mixed it about 1:1 with some homemade that went dead dry, and it was a really excellent mix – once you cut the sugar, interesting flavors (cinnamon) started showing up that were definitely not from the homemade. Don’t serve it ice cold, but at cellar temp rather (about 60F), and you’ll get a bit more flavor. It doesn’t hurt that it comes in a 1 pint / 500 ml size which is just right as a single serving.

        We’ve had the Dan Armor from Trader Joe’s often over the past few years. It’s a consistent product, a bit sweet (even as the “brut”), but has a bit of an odd taste (to my New England palate) that has nothing to do with cider. The taste may be a result of the apples used, or the keeving process (used to keep the sugar from going dead dry). Not unpleasant, just different. A French co-worker who is definitely a foodie (family runs a pastisserie in SE France, and his own cooking is primo!) says the Dan Armor is the same as at home, and considers it a solid product. For the price, I’d say you can’t go wrong buying a couple of bottles to have with pork based meal. Serve it cool, not cold (50 – 55 F, not 35 – 40 F).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Newton’s Folly…..I just bought a 4 pack of the Semi Dry Hard Cider at TJ’s. So delicious, not too sweet, refreshing apple flavor. I am hooked! thank you. Going back to TJ’s to get back up supply.


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