Gumption Cider Co. Citrus Freak

Review of Citrus Freak from Gumption Cider Co. (part of Vermont Cider Co., which also includes Woodchuck).  This is the second year-round offering from the series, along with the original Gumption (which I reviewed here).  Gumption started in 2015 under the Woodchuck brand, but it branched out as its own brand in 2016.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by the Vermont Cider Co.  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:  Citrus Freak
Cidery:  Gumption Cider Co. (part of the Vermont Cider Co.)
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American commercial cider from dessert apples, with citrus and Cascade hops

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Availability:  Year-round, wide release

Cider Description:  Part prankster, part gangster, Gumption’s right-hand man is the Citrus Freak.  A perfect pairing of eating apples, grapefruit, and Cascade hops, this semi-dry cider delivers an all-day enjoyable citrus experience.

Gumption Description:  The Circus of Ciders.  Originally launched under the Woodchuck brand in 2015, Gumption® is a bold and audacious brand which has been wildly successful with consumers. In December 2016, Gumption spun off from Woodchuck® as its own brand with line extensions including the rotational Late Show series and Citrus Freak.

Vermont Cider Co. 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 their namesake brand, the original American hard cider, Woodchuck, the northeast premium hard cider brand, Vermont Cider Co., 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 $8.99-$10.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

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First Impression:  Very pale straw yellow.  Nearly still.  Smells mildly of sweet citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low to moderate tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of grapefruit, lemon, orange, and a hint of citrus-forward hops.  Moderate length finish.  High sessionability.  Low apple flavor.  Low to moderate flavor intensity and complexity.

My Opinion:  I liked the start of this cider, but after a few sips the citrus got a bit fake, almost air freshener ish, more of grapefruit extract than grapefruit juice.  I was surprised the hops were almost imperceptible, but I imagine some folks will like that.  I liked that they went drier on this one too.

Most Similar to:  Schilling Grapefruit & Chill and Somersby Citrus Fruit (or for a more real-tasting grapefruit cider, Elemental Hydrogen)

Closing Notes:  I’d love to see this go more natural tasting, then I’d be a fan, as I like the idea of it.

Have you tried Gumption Citrus Freak?  What did you think?

Somersby Citrus Fruit

Review of Somersby’s Citrus Fruit cider, from Denmark.  I picked it up in Victoria B.C., a stop on our Alaska cruise.  Its the first cider I’ve tried from Somersby.

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Cider:  Citrus Fruit
Cidery:  Somersby
Cidery Location:  Copenhagen Denmark
ABV:  4.5%
How Supplied:  500ml can
Style:  Commercial cider from Denmark made from dessert apples with natural citrus flavor added

Availability:  wide release

Cider Description:  Somersby Citrus Fruit is a refreshing cider made from fermented apple juice and natural citrus flavouring. No artificial sweeteners, flavours or colourings. Its uniquely juicy apple taste makes it a tasty and natural choice for the relaxed moments with your friends.

Cidery Description:  Lord Somersby is the father of many great discoveries – but the most famous of them all is probably Somersby cider, which was once known as the favorite drink of celebrities like Napoleon, Cleopatra and Newton. Or at least that is what we have heard.

Available in many different delicious variants but the most popular variants of the Somersby portfolio is Apple, Pear and Blackberry. Somersby has obtained a reputation of spreading joy and sunny togetherness where ever it is served and attracting curious and open-minded people from all over the world.

If you are attracted to Somersby – but not exactly in the mood of travelling all over the world to taste one, don’t worry. You can enjoy a refreshing bottle of Somersby in more than 43 countries.  

Price:  $4 CAN (~$3 USD) / can
Where Bought:  The Strath in Victoria B.C.
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I think we get Somersby in the U.S., but I hadn’t seen this variety.

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First Impression:  Dark straw yellow.  Low carbonation.  Smells of strong slightly fake citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Sweet.  Full bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Moderate length finish.  Citrus notes–predominately lemon with some orange and grapefruit.  Artificial taste.  Low apple flavor.  High sessionability.  Moderate flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  This was disappointing, as I found the flavor fake, despite the claim to not use artificial flavor.  It was also rather sweet and syrupy.  I had hoped for something lighter.

Most Similar to:  Other simple sweet commercial ciders, although I haven’t had a predominately citrus one.  I’m a big citrus fan though.  My favorite alcoholic citrus beverage so far however isn’t a cider, but Crabbie’s Cloudy Alcoholic Lemonade.

Closing Notes:   I’m glad I got to try it, but I wasn’t impressed.  I couldn’t even finish it.

Have you tried Somersby?  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?