Long Drop Vanilla Honey

Review of Long Drop’s Vanilla Honey cider, from near Boise Idaho.  I tried this cider awhile back (see here), and thought I’d give it a full review.  I’ve also tried their Tanager Pear Cider, Derby Canyon, Semi-Sweet, and Electric Cherry.

Cider:  Vanilla Honey
Cidery:  Long Drop Cider Co.
Cidery Location:  Eagle ID
ABV:  6.0%
How Supplied:  four pack of 12oz cans
Style:  American craft cider with Madagascar Vanilla beans and Idaho honey

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Availability:  throughout Idaho, and in Seattle WA & Portland OR

Cider Description:  none given, but it has Madagascar Vanilla beans and local Idaho honey

Apple Varieties: Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Granny Smith

Cidery Description:  We do cider right. We start with the best apples in the world – 100% Northwest grown fruit. We ferment the fruit with only the most carefully selected yeast strains preserved since prohibition, each designed to retain classic apple flavors and aromas. And then we skillfully blend our handcrafted ciders together into unique offerings. No high fructose corn syrup. No phony flavors, or colors. Just the best apples from on high, the ones that make the long drop.

Price:  $2.50 / single can
Where Bought:  Full Throttle Bottles in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  This is the first time I’ve seen single cans since trying it at the Schilling Cider House (see here).

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First Impression:  Hazy dark straw yellow hue.  Nearly still.  Smells mild, of apple juice and honeycomb.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of honeycrisp & green apples, honeycomb, honey, and hints of vanilla.  Quick finish.  Moderate to high apple flavor.  High sessionability.  Low complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  I’m a big fan of honey, and especially enjoyed the honeycomb flavor of this cider.  Its easy to drink, tasty, and not too sweet.

Most Similar to:  Finnriver Honey Meadow; it also has the awesome honeycomb notes.

Closing Notes:   I’m usually not a fan of sessionable cider, but I find this one keeps my interest.  Its my favorite from them so far.

Have you tried Longdrop Vanilla Honey?  What did you think?

Woodchuck Winter Chill

This is probably my favorite cider, especially for the price.  Not too many barrel aged ciders are available in affordable six packs (most are expensive single larger bottles).  I like this stuff so much I bought six 6 packs to try to tide me over for the year, since it is a seasonal release.


Cider:  Winter Chill
Cidery:  Woodchuck
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT
ABV: 5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Availability:  Winter (approx. Nov-Feb)

Description on Bottle:  The chill of winter sends some running for the mountains, while others prefer to stay cozy in the comfort of the great indoors. Whichever way you enjoy winter, this cider is built to get you through. Aged in premium french and traditional american oak, Winter Chill brings a rich depth of apple flavor with hints of vanilla and Oak throughout.

Price:  $7.99 / six pack
Where Bought:  Total Wine
How Found: I think I originally found this just by browsing.
Where Drank:  home

Opinion:  This is some really tasty stuff.  It is one of Woodchuck’s more dry offerings, but definitely still on the sweeter side.  I definitely pick up the vanilla & oak flavors, and can tell it is barrel aged.  It is very easy to drink, and although it is more of a wintery cider, I like it year round.  I sure wish it was available year-round.  To me this cider is a very good value, as typically barrel aged ciders start at a higher price point (as they are typically from craft cideries).  I definitely did some stocking up this winter between Woodchuck Winter Chill & Barrel Select.  It is part of Woodchuck’s seasonal line of ciders, which currently include Summer Time, Fall Harvest, and Winter Chill (now that they aren’t releasing the Spring one).  When I went to the Woodchuck cidery I got to see the giant stack of barrels which held the aging cider.  Apparently this flavor has been available since 2008.  I highly recommend it!  Its a good intro to barrel aged ciders, as it isn’t as strong of a barrel aged flavor (I’d guess it is aged less than some of the others).