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?