Woodchuck Tank Series Pear Ginger

Review of Woodchuck’s Pear Ginger, the first release in their new “Tank Series”, about which they said “Woodchuck has always been synonymous with innovation and our cider makers honor this pioneering spirit with the Tank Series.”  I’ve tried most of their lineup; see here.

>>This is a review of a sample can 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:  Pear Ginger
Cidery:  Woodchuck
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz cans (and kegs)
Style:  American commercial cider with ginger and pear flavors

Photo Feb 27, 3 50 17 PM Photo Feb 27, 3 50 29 PM Photo Feb 27, 3 50 42 PM

Availability:  wide release for 3-4 months, then replaced by the next Tank Series

Cider Description:  A crisp ripe pear cider bursting with ginger for a taste that is light and refreshing.

Cidery Description:  Vermont Cider Company is a leading hard cider maker in the United States, with a state of the art cidery located in Middlebury, Vermont. Vermont Cider Company crafts a variety of ciders for a variety of consumers. There’s ultra-craft Vermont Cider Co., iconic Woodchuck, fruit-forward Wyder’s as well as the classic Magners Irish Cider and Blackthorn, rounding out our import offerings. Vermont Cider Company reinvigorated American hard cider in 1991, with the launch of Woodchuck, and stays focused on the category today through our commitment to crafting innovative and refreshing hard ciders.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $8.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Nearly still (very low carbonation).  Smells of sweet pear juice with spicy ginger.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of syrupy pear, pineapple, spicy ginger, and a hint of citrus.  Moderate finish with lingering ginger.  Low apple flavor.  Mild to moderate ginger flavor (more spicy than burning).  Moderate pear flavor, sessionability, and flavor intensity.  Mild complexity.

My Opinion:  I’m not a ginger fan, so I was a bit ambivalent, but my husband really liked it.  Light and refreshing, with the mild ginger made even milder with the sweet pear.

Most Similar to:  Woodchuck Out On a Limb Ginger Lovin’, except with more ginger and the added pear.

Closing Notes:  This was originally released in summer 2017, as a new version of their Summer Time (which was previously blueberry).  They also plan to have two more Tank Series releases this year.

Have you tried Woodchuck Pear Ginger?  What did you think?

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Woodchuck Summer Time Pear Ginger

Review of Woodchuck’s Pear Ginger, a new variety of Summer Time (which has previously only referred to their blueberry cider, which won’t be released this year at least).  I’ve tried most of their lineup; see here.

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>>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:  Summer Time Pear Ginger
Cidery:  Woodchuck
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American commercial cider with ginger and pear flavors

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Availability:  wide release, seasonal, starting in March

Description:  Summer is here, bringing warm, carefree days and fun, festive nights.  Woodchuck Summer Time delivers a crisp pear cider bursting with fresh ginger for a taste that refreshes like a cool jump in your favorite swimming hole.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $8.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Nearly still (very low carbonation).  Smells of sweet pear juice with spicy ginger.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of syrupy pear, pineapple, spicy ginger, and a hint of citrus.  Moderate finish with lingering ginger.  Low apple flavor.  Mild to moderate ginger flavor (more spicy than burning).  Moderate pear flavor, sessionability, and flavor intensity.  Mild complexity.

My Opinion:  I’m not a ginger fan, but my husband really liked this cider.  I could see it being a big seller.

Most Similar to:  Woodchuck Out On a Limb Ginger Lovin’, except with more ginger and the added pear.

Closing Notes:  Interesting that they decided to also name this Summer Time…it may get confused with the blueberry version.  I liked the flavor of the blueberry Summer Time, although it was rather sweet.  The Woodchuck variety I really miss however is their Spring seasonal which had maple syrup; oddly enough they are currently skipping over Spring, and only doing Summer, Fall, and Winter seasonals.

Have you tried Woodchuck Summer Time Pear Ginger?  What did you think?

Cherry Cider Tasting

There was recently a cherry cider tasting at my house (thanks Sarah, Merce, Kevin, and Si from Cider Log for sharing all the ciders!).  I took a few tasting notes.

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<Woodchuck Sour Cherry, Anthem Cherry, Julian Cherry Bomb, Reverend Nat’s Sacrilege Sour Cherry, Finnriver Chimacum Kriek, Griffin Cider Works Strong Woman, Doc’s Draft Sour Cherry, and Greenwood Cherry>

With all of these I didn’t pick up any flavor besides cherry, and maybe a bit of green apple or citrus.  The apple flavor was also none to mild.

Woodchuck (Middlebury VT) Sour Cherry (6.9% ABV):  This was part of their Cellar Series (since discontinued) and hasn’t been sold since July 2014, but this bottle held up better flavor-wise than the bottle I had that I opened a year ago (review here).  Semi-sweet to sweet.  Mild to moderate slightly cherry flavor.  Still.  Medium bodied.  Mild tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Not bad.

Anthem (Salem OR) Cherry (6.2% ABV):  This is sold year round and now also available in cans.  Semi-dry.  Mild cherry flavor.  Low carbonation.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Mild apple flavor.  I didn’t find it flavorful enough.

Julian (Julian CA) Cherry Bomb (6.99% ABV):  This is sold year round.  Semi-sweet to sweet.  Moderate real cherry flavor. Low carbonation. Medium bodied.  Moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  I liked it.

Reverend Nat’s (Portland OR) Sacrilege Sour Cherry (6.5% ABV):  This is a seasonal release.  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Moderate cherry flavor, slightly sour.  Low carbonation.  Medium bodied.  Moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  I thought it was pretty average; I’d prefer no sourness.

Finnriver (Chimacum WA) Chimacum Kriek (6.0% ABV):  This sour cherry cider is part of their Crew Selection series, a limited release in May 2016.  Semi-dry.  Mild to moderate cherry flavor, moderately sour.  Still.  Medium to full bodied.  Moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  I didn’t care for this at all, due to the sourness.

Griffin Cider Works (Westlake OH) Strong Woman (6.5% ABV):  This is an English-style cider finished with cherry, sold March thru October, whose proceeds go towards fighting breast cancer.  Semi-sweet.  Moderate cherry flavor.  Low carbonation.  Medium bodied.  Moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Mild tannins.  I thought it was pretty average.  There was an additional flavor in this that none of us could identify.  The tannins were unique.

Doc’s Draft (Warwick NY) Sour Cherry (6.0% ABV):  This is sold year round.  Semi-sweet.  Moderate to strong real cherry flavor.  Low carbonation.  Medium bodied.  Mild tartness.  Moderate acidity.  I really liked it.

Greenwood Cider (Seattle WA) Cherry (unknown ABV):  This appears to be draft only.  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Mild weird cherry flavor.  Low carbonation.  Light bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  I thought this one was a bit strange, but ok.

Between the six of us at the tasting, the clear winner of the evening was from Doc’s.  Unfortunately this variety isn’t sold in Washington in bottles, but can be found in Oregon, or sometimes on draft here.  My second favorite was from Julian.  What both of these had in common was they were a bit sweeter, more intense cherry flavor, and more “real” flavor (not medicinal).  The least favorites were the Anthem, Greenwood, and Griffin varieties.

Woodchuck Out on a Limb Ginger Lovin’

Review of Woodchuck’s latest Out on a Limb series variety, Ginger Lovin’.  I’ve previously tried nearly their entire line-up; see here.

ginger.jpg 2016-11-04 18.57.55.jpg

Cider:  Ginger Lovin’
Cidery:  Woodchuck
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American commercial cider with ginger

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Availability:  semi wide release, for the next few months until a new Out on a Limb release comes out

Cider Description:  Sugar and spice and everything…well, lots of spice. Like our favorite redheads, ginger adds a feisty bite to this cider. With zesty citrus undertones, the root and apple pair to Ginger Lovin’ perfection. Enjoy the brand that started the American cider revolution.

Ingredients:  Hard cider.  Less than 1% of: natural flavor and sulfites.

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 (runs about $10 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Very light straw yellow hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells of candied ginger and spices.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Medium bodied. Low tartness.  Low acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, tannins, or funk.  Notes of very mild ginger (mostly in the finish, but not spicy) with some pie spices and a hint of lemon.  Moderate length finish.  Low apple flavor.  High sessionability.  Low flavor intensity.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  I’m not at all a ginger fan, so I was surprised that I didn’t mind this.  The ginger remains very mild, unlike every other ginger cider I’ve had where it was overpowering.

Most Similar to:  I found the ginger in this less intense than ginger ciders from Argus, Apple OutlawFinnriver, Locust, Schilling, and Strongbow.  It also didn’t have that after taste/bite like most ginger ciders.

Closing Notes:   If you like a hint of ginger but don’t want it to be overwhelming or too lingering, this is a good cider choice.

Have you tried Woodchuck Ginger Lovin’?  What did you think?

Woodchuck Semi-Dry

Review of Woodchuck’s Semi-Dry, their newest flagship cider.  I’ve previously tried nearly their entire line-up; see here.

semidry.jpg 2016-11-04-18-29-18

>>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:  Semi-Dry
Cidery:  Woodchuck
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American commercial semi-dry cider, including bittersweet apple juice

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Availability:  semi wide release

Cider Description:  Ready for a cider session? You’re going to want a crushable cider. Crisp and refreshing, Semi-Dry uses bittersweet apples to deliver a cider that is not too sweet and leaves you thirsty for another. Enjoy the brand that started the American cider revolution.

Ingredients:  Hard cider, less than 1% 0f: natural apple flavor, sulfites

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 (runs about $10 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Light orange amber.  Low carbonation.  Smells of apple juice.

Tasting Notes:  One the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Low to moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  The flavor is purely watered down apple juice with a hint of alcohol.  Quick finish.  Moderate apple flavor.  High sessionability.  Low flavor intensity.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  The flavor wasn’t all that impressive, intense, or complex, but this is surely more sessionable than most sugar-laden commercial ciders.  I didn’t taste any rich bittersweet apple flavor.

Most Similar to:  Woodchuck Day Chaser, which is also semi-dry, although that one had some honey and citrus notes and a hint of bittersweet.

Closing Notes:   The color of this cider is a bit interesting.  It doesn’t say it was added (which has been listed in the past), so maybe there is a higher bittersweet apple percentage than I tasted…

Have you tried Woodchuck Semi-Dry?  What did you think?

Woodchuck Out on a Limb June and Juice

Review of Woodchuck’s newest (8th) Out on a Limb release, June and Juice.  It is pegged as a Juniper hard cider.  It is infused with juniper berries (which are used in making gin), rose buds, and orange peel.  Here is the press release.  The ciders rotate every few months in the same six pack.  I’ve reviewed a number of their ciders here.

june juice 6 pack 2016-05-13 19.59.49

>>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:  June and Juice (Out on a Limb)
Cidery:  Woodchuck
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles

2016-05-13 19.59.56 2016-05-13 20.00.04 2016-05-13 20.00.12

Availability:  Wide release, but only for the next couple months (Out on a Limb rotates varieties).

Cider Description:  True apothecary, thy cider art craft.  It was Out on a Limb of a juniper tree that we found this new concoction.  Like a classic gin, we steeped fresh juniper berries into our small batch hard cider.  With a fresh botanical aroma, enjoy a semi-sweet fresh apple taste with notes of juniper and citrus.  Gin & Juice?  Let’s try June & Juice.

Ingredients:  Hard cider, rose bud, orange peel, juniper berries, less than 1% of: natural flavor, citric acid (contains sulfites)

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 ~ $10.99 a six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  No carbonation upon pouring.  Smells of honey, floral, herbs, citrus, and vanilla.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Still.  Mild tartness and acidity.  Hints of tannins and bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of floral (rose), orange, and honey, with hints of earthiness and maple.  Quick finish.  Moderate apple flavor. Moderate flavor intensity.  Moderate to high sessionability.

Opinion:  This is a unique but approachable cider, refreshing, and great for Spring.  I couldn’t detect any gin botanical like flavor from the juniper, which was fine by me as I’m not a fan of gin.  The flavor was primarily floral/rose.  I liked how it was flavorful but not overly sweet.  I think it was a good choice to not carbonate it, as that would have taken away from the flavor (although Woodchuck never seems to use much carbonation).  I wonder how well it will sell though, as the Juniper may be a turn-off to many people (I wasn’t expecting to like this one at all, and was pleasantly surprised)….I probably would have played up the rose more.

Most Similar to:  Other ciders infused with botanicals or rose petals.  Seattle Cider makes a Gin Botanical cider, but I don’t think I’ve tried it.  I’ve actually had a number of ciders infused with rose petals though–Elemental Lavender Rose, Elemental Pomegranate Rose, WildCraft Wild Rose, and Finnriver Cranberry Rosehip.

Closing Notes:   I’m impressed, especially coming from such a large commercial cidery (side note – I don’t get how they can call themselves craft and say they do small batches?).  This is probably my favorite Out on a Limb so far…many of them have been too out there for me.

Have you tried any Woodchuck Out on a Limb varieties?  What did you think?

Woodchuck Day Chaser Semi-Dry

Review of Woodchuck’s newest core cider, Day Chaser Semi-Dry, from Middlebury Vermont.  It will launch to the public in March, but I got a sneak preview.  This cider is a digression from their primarily sweeter lineup, likely in response to consumers requesting a drier cider.  Angry Orchard also responded to this call with Stone Dry last Fall (my review here).  I’ve tried a number of Woodchuck’s other ciders (see past reviews here).

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>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:  Day Chaser Semi-Dry
Cidery:  Woodchuck Cider
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles or 12oz cans (and draft)
Style:  American commercial semi-dry cider

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Availability:  Year round, nationwide, once it launches next month.

Cider Description:  Day Chaser celebrates those adventure seekers that never let a minute slip by. This sessionable cider combines bitter and sweet apples to deliver a semi-dry cider that is not too sweet and leaves you thirsty for another. Get the most out of every day and reward yourself as you welcome the night.

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 (suggested retail price of $9.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I saw some other bloggers online post about it, then my sample bottle showed up in the mail.

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First Impression:  Honey straw yellow hue.  Very low carbonation upon pouring.  Smells mild, with hints of bittersweet apples, yeast, and honey.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Almost still (very low carbonation).  Mild tartness.  Mild to moderate acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness.  Citrus, honey, and slight mineral notes.  Quick finish.  Mild to moderate apple flavor.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  Pretty good–sunshine in a glass!  Definitely very approachable too as a drier commercial cider.  It is also significantly lower calories than most commercial ciders (160), and is still 5.5% ABV.  Its interesting though that they dumbed the description down to say they used bitter and sweet apples, which I assume means both dessert (culinary/supermarket) and bittersweet (a type of cider apple) varieties…I tasted a hint of bittersweet, but definitely more dessert apples.  It also was fuller bodied than I was expecting for the level of sweetness, which folks used to sweet full bodied ciders will probably enjoy.  There was only the slightest fake commercial cider taste, less so than many of their past ciders.  I think a bit more carbonation would have been nice, but overall I don’t have any real complaints.

Most Similar to:  The honey and citrus notes remind me of a few ciders I’ve tried recently, such as Schilling Cider King’s Shilling (which is sweeter), Honey Moon CiderHead (which is drier), and Flatbed Cider Crisp Apple (which is quite similar although thinner bodied)

Closing Notes:   A solid cider, and definitely easy drinking.  I like this better than some of their sweeter varieties like Amber, but my current favorites are still Gumption, Private Reserve Barrel Aged Cherry, and Winter Chill.

Have you tried Woodchuck Day Chaser?  What did you think?