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.

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

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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?