Wildcide Wild Mule

Review of Wildcide’s Wild Mule, a moscow-mule inspired cider with lime, ginger, and cane juice syrup.  It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.  They also offer an original / flagship cider simply called “Wildcide”.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Wildcide.  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:  Wildcide Wild Mule
Cidery:  Aurum Cider Co. (Gordon Biersch)
Cidery Location:  San Jose CA
ABV:  5.2%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American cider from dessert apples, with ginger, lime, and cane juice syrup

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Availability:  newly-released, year-round in California, Hawaii, and Nevada

Cider Description:  If you LOVE Moscow Mules, you will LOVE WILDMULE. It’s CRAFTED from our ALL-NATURAL hard cider, pure cane sugar syrup and the FRESH juice of limes and Peruvian Ginger. POP the TOP and ENJOY a perfect Mule; no mess, no shopping list, and no food pairing necessary! This sweet and spicy libation stands alone.

Cidery Description:  What is Wildcide? It is a hard cider from the fresh-pressed juice of Fuji, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious apples!

Price:  n/a (retails for $11.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  the cidery contacted me

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First Impression:  Hazy dark lemonade hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells sweet, of spicy ginger and tart lime.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, tannins, sourness, or funk.  The flavor was rather straightforward, of granny smith apple juice, ginger, and lime.  Long finish with a spicy ginger bite.  Moderate ginger intensity, which remained in the mouth (not at the back of the throat like it can sometimes).  Moderate flavor intensity and sessionability.  Low apple flavor and complexity.

My Opinion:  I’m not a fan of ginger, so this isn’t to my personal preferences.  I found it refreshing and very fresh-tasting.  I imagine this will be appealing for folks who like ginger more than I do though, as it has some nice unique flavor and remains mid-level perceived sweetness.  The lime seemed to help cut some of the ginger’s spiciness, and the ginger and lime seemed balanced.

Most Similar to:  I’ve had a number of ginger ciders, but nothing cocktail-style like this with lime and so unfiltered.  The style of it reminded me a bit of Elemental’s “Margarita” cider, with jalapeno, lime, and cilantro.

Random Fact:  Wildcide flash-pasteurizes their ciders, so they avoid needing to add sulfites (which most ciders contain).

Closing Notes:  If you enjoy ginger-infused ciders, moscow mule cocktails, ginger beer, and the like, you may find this appealing.  I think it would be nice with a shot of tequila or vodka in it too!

Have you tried Wildcide Wild Mule?  What did you think?

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.

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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?

Strongbow Gold Apple, Red Berries, and Ginger

Three for one!  Review of Strongbow’s Gold Apple, Red Berries, and Ginger varieties.  These were freebies from a friend, along with a can of original recipe Strongbow, the kind they no longer sell in the U.S. (which will be a future review).  These are relatively new cider varieties from Strongbow, supposedly made for the American palate.  It looks like the can of Gold Apple is from Canada by the way (which is where my friend got the original recipe Strongbow), although I’ve had it here.

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Cider:  Gold Apple, Red Berries, Ginger
Cidery:  Strongbow (Bulmer’s, Heineken)
Cidery Location:  Edinburgh UK, Aubel Belgium, Aubel Belgium
ABV:  4.5%, 4.5%, 4.5%
How Supplied:  15oz can, 11.2oz bottle, 11.2oz bottle (Gold Apple also comes in 11.2oz bottles).  The Gold Apple comes in 4 packs of 15oz cans, 6 packs of 11.2oz bottles, or as part of a multipack of 12 bottles.  The Red Berries and Ginger varieties appear to only be sold as part of a multipack of 12 bottles.

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Availability:  wide release, year round

Gold Apple Description:  Sweet and golden with a crisp kick, a hint of green apple and a long, bittersweet finish.
Red Berries Description:  Hard cider with Strawberry and Elderberry flavors, a hint of lemon notes, and an apple finish.
Ginger Description:  Hard cider with just the right hint of Ginger, floral aroma, and light muscato notes, and an apple finish.

Cidery Description:  From the orchard to the glass, we are inspired by the power of nature to deliver the golden, crisp refreshment in every drop of Strongbow Hard Apple Cider. And like our namesake, Richard “Strongbow” de Clare, who was legendary for his skill with the bow and arrow, we’re setting our sights and making our mark. Our cider’s crisp, refreshing taste sets the tone for the rest of the night. We’re the go-getters. The makers and doers. To us, every hour is golden.

After the ripest apples are harvested, they arrive at the mill where they’re washed and crushed. This pulp is pressed to extract pure juice, which is then concentrated and stored (with the apples’ natural sugars acting as a preservative). The concentrated apple juice is then fermented and left to mature, allowing smoother flavors to develop.

Our apples are grown to produce crisp and refreshing cider, and nothing else.  We have over 125 years of expertise in extracting their natural flavors.

Price:  n/a (but it runs $7 for a 4 or 6 pack and $14 for a 12 pack in my area)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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<I didn’t bother with photos of the ones in the clear glass bottles, plus I only had one sip of each of those>

Gold Apple:  The most drinkable of the three, but still definitely among my least favorite ciders.  It starts with a sweet strong fake apple scent.  The fakeness continues with the flavor, which is overly apply, syrupy, and sweet.  I didn’t even pick up any noticeable acidity or tartness.  Only the lightest carbonation level.  It goes down easily though.  I’ve had this one before at events that had free drinks and this was the only cider, but I won’t pay for it.

Red Berries:  Tastes like what I would imagine a strawberry wine cooler tastes like, although admittedly I’ve never had one.  Way artificial tasting.  However, it wasn’t as sweet as I was expecting (although definitely sweet), and it wasn’t overly syrupy.  No complexity though.  One sip was plenty.

Ginger:   The ginger remains mild, more like an aftertaste, but is still ginger.  However, I’m just not a ginger fan, so one sip was plenty.  This one like the Gold Apple was a bit syrupy, and like both, was fake tasting, but a bit less so.

I wouldn’t recommend any of these at all.  They give cider a bad name.  These are aimed at folks who like their alcohol well-hidden and sweet.  Even as an introduction to cider / inexpensive option / easily available option, I think Angry Orchard, Woodchuck, Crispin, etc, are better.  Apparently some folks like them, but there is a lot of talk online of folks being disappointed they can no longer get the original drier Strongbow here in the U.S.  Its pretty bad they import cider this bad.

Have you tried any Strongbow cider varieties?  What did you think?