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

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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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Wyder’s Pear Cider

Review of Wyder’s Pear cider (previously “Dry Pear”).  I’ve tried this before, but pre-blog.  I’ve also had their Reposado Pear, Raspberry, and Prickly Pineapple ciders.  They sent me a nice sampler of three ciders (plus a cool tote bag!), featuring new labels/packaging.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Wyder’s.  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.<<

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Cider:  Pear
Cidery:  Wyder’s Cider (part of Vermont Cider Co.)
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT (at the Woodchuck cidery)
ABV:  4.0%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles (and 22oz bottles)
Style:  American commercial apple cider with pear juice

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Availability:  wide release (in 40 states), year round (they have a locator here)

Cider Description:  This light, crisp cider presents a tangy aroma while offering a distinct pear taste, and ends with a lively mouth feel that tickles the tongue.

Cidery Description:  We have specialized in eclectic fruit-forward ciders for more than two decades. It’s a pretty hyper-connected world out there, grab a Wyder’s when you’re ready to unplug. Wyder’s wants to be a part of you finding the good in life and your Happy Place. We hope you enjoy, and bring us along!

Price:  n/a (although it runs ~$9.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Initially, browsing, although this time it just showed up.

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow hue.  Very low carbonation.  Smells mild, of candied pear and pineapple.

Tasting Notes: Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, bitterness, or tannins.  Notes of pear, pineapple, and green apple.  Quick finish.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate pear flavor.  High sessionability.  Low complexity.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it, and can definitely see why it is popular.  Its easy to drink and refreshing.  This would be a nice summer BBQ type cider.  It doesn’t really have any complexity though, and is slightly commercial tasting.

Most Similar to:  Woodchuck Pear, Crispin Pacific Pear, Spire Mountain Sparkling Pear, Fox Barrel Pacific Pear, Pear UP Pear Essentials, Rambling Route PearScandi Cider Pear, Flatbed Cider Pear, and Finnriver Pear, and Steelhead Peargatory.

Closing Notes:  I’m glad to see they dropped the “Dry”, as it isn’t.  I think my favorite Wyder’s cider is the Reposado Pear (tequila barrel aged), which is one of the few ciders that pairs well with Mexican food.  Hopefully they continue making that one (it wasn’t included in this sample box).

Have you tried Wyder’s cider?  What did you think?

Wyder’s Raspberry

Review of Wyder’s Raspberry cider (previously “Dry Raspberry”).  I’ve tried this before (see here).  I’ve also had their Reposado PearPrickly Pineapple, and Pear ciders.  They sent me a nice sampler of three ciders (plus a cool tote bag!), featuring new labels/packaging.

>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Wyder’s.  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.<<

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Cider:  Raspberry
Cidery:  Wyder’s Cider (Vermont Cider Co.
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT (at the Woodchuck cidery)
ABV:  4.0%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles (and 22oz bottles)
Style:  American commercial cider with raspberries

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Availability:  wide release (in 40 states), year round (they have a locator here)

Cider Description:  This cider is light in body and features mouthwatering raspberry notes. It retains a dry and sparkling finish.

Cidery Description:  We have specialized in eclectic fruit-forward ciders for more than two decades. It’s a pretty hyper-connected world out there, grab a Wyder’s when you’re ready to unplug. Wyder’s wants to be a part of you finding the good in life and your Happy Place. We hope you enjoy, and bring us along!

Price:  n/a (although it runs ~$9.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Initially, browsing, although this time it just showed up.

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First Impression:  Light pink hue.  Nearly still.  Smells of mild slightly-candied raspberry.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Light bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  The flavor notes are just raspberry, maybe with hints of lemon & floral.  Quick finish.  Low complexity, flavor intensity, and apple flavor.  High sessionability (as expected at only 4% ABV).

My Opinion:  I thought it was pretty average, definitely commercial tasting.  The flavor was very light and it seemed a bit watered down tasting.  I liked that it wasn’t syrupy sweet though.  It was refreshing and easy to drink.  I almost thought this was a perry wih the flavor profile (especially as Wyder’s makes a couple pear ciders), but the ingredient list said “hard cider”, so I assume it is from apples.

Most Similar to:  Woodchuck’s Raspberry cider, which is also only 4% ABV, although slightly sweeter.

Closing Notes:  My favorite raspberry ciders remain Schilling Raspberry Smoothie and One Tree Raspberry.  Both were very full-bodied, literally smoothie thickness, and quite sweet, but very very flavorful.  I also really enjoy Pear UP’s Raspberry Perry (from pears not apples).

Have you tried Wyder’s cider?  What did you think?

Wyder’s Prickly Pineapple

Review of Wyder’s Prickly Pineapple, with pineapple and prickly pear juices.  I’ve tried this previously (see here).  I’ve also had their Reposado Pear, Raspberry, and Pear ciders.  They sent me a nice sampler of three ciders (plus a cool tote bag!), featuring new labels/packaging.

>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Wyder’s.  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.<<

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Cider:  Prickly Pineapple
Cidery:  Wyder’s (Vermont Cider Co.)
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT (at the Woodchuck facility)
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American commercial cider from dessert apples, with pineapple and prickly pear juices

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Availability:  wide release (in 40 states), year round (they have a locator here)

Cider Description:  An exotic duet, this cider combines the juices from both prickly pear cacti and pineapples. Tickling the tongue, each sip brings forward a light and sweet taste like a refreshing pina colada. Satisfy those fruit forward senses with Wyder’s® Prickly Pineapple.

Cidery Description:  We have specialized in eclectic fruit-forward ciders for more than two decades. It’s a pretty hyper-connected world out there, grab a Wyder’s when you’re ready to unplug. Wyder’s wants to be a part of you finding the good in life and your Happy Place. We hope you enjoy, and bring us along!

Price:  n/a (although it runs $9.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Initially, I looked for it after reading about it on Facebook.  This time it just showed up.

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow with a hint of green.  Low carbonation.  Smells of pineapple candy.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to sweet.  Medium to full bodied.  Low to moderate tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, tannins, or funk.  Notes of pineapple, green apple, and a little something unique which I assume is the prickly pear juice (kinda like passion fruit?).  Quick finish.  High sessionabiliy.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate to high flavor intensity.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it, as its a bit unique, and nice and flavorful.  Definitely on the sweeter and commercial tasting end though.

Most Similar to:  Other sweeter pineapple flavored ciders, such as Schilling Trouble in Paradise (which has passion fruit), Ace Pineapple, and Jester & Judge Pineapple Express.

Random Thought:  Has anyone made a cider with coconut?  I bet pineapple coconut would be fun.

Have you tried Wyder’s Cider?  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?

Woodchuck Semi-Dry

Review of Woodchuck’s Semi-Dry, their newest flagship cider.  I’ve previously tried nearly their entire line-up; 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:  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 Private Reserve Barrel Select

Review of Woodchuck Barrel Select, one of their three current Private Reserve ciders (along with Pink and Pumpkin).

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Cider:  Private Reserve Barrel Select
Cidery:  Woodchuck
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American commercial bourbon barrel aged cider

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Availability:  Wide release, Nov-Feb.  Winter Chill, one of their three current seasonal ciders, is also sold during that same time of year.

Cider Description:  Private Reserve Barrel Select is aged in small batches to bring out balanced hints of bourbon over a crisp apple backdrop. The cider is aged for six months in genuine white oak Kentucky Bourbon barrels. The barrels impart a copper hue on the cider as well as gentle notes of oak, vanilla, and whiskey. A truly rare cider which proves that patience is indeed a virtue.

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:  ~$2 for a single bottle (runs $9-$11 a six pack)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I’ve bought this cider the last couple years when it came out, along with Winter Chill, as I love barrel aged cider.

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First Impression:  Deep copper caramel amber (note that although barrel aging imparts color, they also list “caramel color” on the ingredient list).  A few medium sized bubbles and some foam upon pouring.  Smells of caramel, molasses, brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, oak, and toffee.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to sweet.  Low acidity and tartness.  No sourness, bitterness, funk, or tannins.  The scent notes continued into the flavor.  Medium to strong apple flavor.  Mild barrel influence.  Moderate bourbon influence.  Rich, bold, and full flavored.  Medium bodied.  Medium length warming finish.

My Opinion:  Yum!  However, its quite rich and caloric, so its something I’ll only drink one of.  However, that is perfect for a middle of the week treat.  It was especially tasty in a float with ice cream.  I really wish they wouldn’t add caramel color and flavoring though.

Most Similar to:  Not much…barrel aging programs at commercial cideries are pretty rare.  However, this reminds me somewhat of Woodchuck Winter Chill (oak & vanilla but not spirit flavor), Woodchuck 802 (rich caramelized sugar notes but its not barrel aged), Crispin 15 Men (rum barrel aged with honey notes), and Spire Mountain Dark & Dry (rich molasses & brown sugar notes but its not barrel aged).

Closing Notes:   Enjoying some Woodchuck Barrel Select is becoming an annual tradition for me.  I prefer Winter Chill though, and plan to stock up on that one (although probably not as much as last year, when I got a full case of four 6 packs).

Have you tried Woodchuck Barrel Select?  What did you think?