Woodchuck Cucumber Mint

Review of Woodchuck Tank Series release #2, Cucumber Mint.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had their Spring, Summer Time, Fall Harvest, Winter Chill, Amber, Granny Smith, 802, Raspberry, Pear, Crisp, GumptionPink, Hopsation, Ciderbration, Local Nectar (VT)Sour Cherry, Chocolate, Farmhouse ’91, Barrel Select, Pumpkin, Belgian White, Mint, Splitter Splinter, Oopsy DaisyLazy Hazy Lemon CrazyHot Cha Cha ChaCampfire PancakesBarrel Aged CherryDay ChaserJune and JuiceSemi-DryGinger Lovin’Summer Time Pear GingerGumption Citrus Freak, and Tank Series Pear Ginger.

>>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:  Cucumber Mint
Cidery:  Woodchuck
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz cans
Style:  American commercial cider from dessert apples, with cucumber and mint

Photo Jun 21, 6 43 30 PM Photo Jun 21, 6 43 50 PM Photo Jun 21, 6 43 41 PM

Availability:  wide release, July-September 2018, until the next Tank Series release (#3/3, due out later this year)

Cider Description:  Cucumber Mint cider is bursting with bright cucumber and mint for a light, refreshing taste experience.

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 $8.99-9.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

Photo Jun 24, 5 12 40 PM_preview.jpeg

First Impression:  Light straw yellow hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells mild, of mint.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  The flavor was primarily citrus (I didn’t detect any specific cucumber flavor), with a long mint finish.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I thought it was ok.  I personally wasn’t super into the mint flavor, but it was mild, not at all overpowering, and the cider was quite drinkable overall.

Most Similar to:  Schilling Watermelon Mint, which was similar to this in that the flavor overall was rather mild, and the mint was only on the finish.

Closing Notes:  This is the second mint flavored cider I have known Woodchuck to make – the first was cellar series “Mint”.

Have you tried Woodchuck Cucumber Mint?  What did you think?

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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

Photo Feb 27, 3 50 17 PM Photo Feb 27, 3 50 29 PM Photo Feb 27, 3 50 42 PM

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

Photo Mar 02, 4 29 21 PM.jpg

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?

Gumption Cider Co. Citrus Freak

Review of Citrus Freak from Gumption Cider Co. (part of Vermont Cider Co., which also includes Woodchuck).  This is the second year-round offering from the series, along with the original Gumption (which I reviewed here).  Gumption started in 2015 under the Woodchuck brand, but it branched out as its own brand in 2016.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by the Vermont Cider Co.  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:  Citrus Freak
Cidery:  Gumption Cider Co. (part of the Vermont Cider Co.)
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American commercial cider from dessert apples, with citrus and Cascade hops

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Availability:  Year-round, wide release

Cider Description:  Part prankster, part gangster, Gumption’s right-hand man is the Citrus Freak.  A perfect pairing of eating apples, grapefruit, and Cascade hops, this semi-dry cider delivers an all-day enjoyable citrus experience.

Gumption Description:  The Circus of Ciders.  Originally launched under the Woodchuck brand in 2015, Gumption® is a bold and audacious brand which has been wildly successful with consumers. In December 2016, Gumption spun off from Woodchuck® as its own brand with line extensions including the rotational Late Show series and Citrus Freak.

Vermont Cider Co. Description:  Vermont Cider Co. introduced the U.S. to the craft cider category 25 years ago. Dedicated exclusively to cider making, they are the proud producers of their namesake brand, the original American hard cider, Woodchuck, the northeast premium hard cider brand, Vermont Cider Co., the circus of ciders, Gumption, the west coast native, Wyder’s Cider, and importers of Magners Irish Cider and Blackthorn. With an unparalleled focus on quality and innovation, Vermont Cider Co. leads the category in releasing the most premium liquid and pioneering new ciders made from the finest ingredients. Under the watchful eyes of two award-winning cider makers, Vermont Cider Co. produces and distributes from Middlebury, VT, blending together the passion of their consumers, their creativity, and their heritage within the green mountains.

Price:  n/a (retails for $8.99-$10.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

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First Impression:  Very pale straw yellow.  Nearly still.  Smells mildly of sweet citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low to moderate tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of grapefruit, lemon, orange, and a hint of citrus-forward hops.  Moderate length finish.  High sessionability.  Low apple flavor.  Low to moderate flavor intensity and complexity.

My Opinion:  I liked the start of this cider, but after a few sips the citrus got a bit fake, almost air freshener ish, more of grapefruit extract than grapefruit juice.  I was surprised the hops were almost imperceptible, but I imagine some folks will like that.  I liked that they went drier on this one too.

Most Similar to:  Schilling Grapefruit & Chill and Somersby Citrus Fruit (or for a more real-tasting grapefruit cider, Elemental Hydrogen)

Closing Notes:  I’d love to see this go more natural tasting, then I’d be a fan, as I like the idea of it.

Have you tried Gumption Citrus Freak?  What did you think?

Woodchuck Summer Time Pear Ginger

Review of Woodchuck’s Pear Ginger, a new variety of Summer Time (which has previously only referred to their blueberry cider, which won’t be released this year at least).  I’ve tried most of their lineup; see here.

2017-03-17 19.27.29

>>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:  Summer Time Pear Ginger
Cidery:  Woodchuck
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American commercial cider with ginger and pear flavors

2017-03-17 19.27.37 2017-03-17 19.27.58

Availability:  wide release, seasonal, starting in March

Description:  Summer is here, bringing warm, carefree days and fun, festive nights.  Woodchuck Summer Time delivers a crisp pear cider bursting with fresh ginger for a taste that refreshes like a cool jump in your favorite swimming hole.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $8.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

2017-03-17 19.29.08

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, but my husband really liked this cider.  I could see it being a big seller.

Most Similar to:  Woodchuck Out On a Limb Ginger Lovin’, except with more ginger and the added pear.

Closing Notes:  Interesting that they decided to also name this Summer Time…it may get confused with the blueberry version.  I liked the flavor of the blueberry Summer Time, although it was rather sweet.  The Woodchuck variety I really miss however is their Spring seasonal which had maple syrup; oddly enough they are currently skipping over Spring, and only doing Summer, Fall, and Winter seasonals.

Have you tried Woodchuck Summer Time Pear Ginger?  What did you think?

Vermont Cider Company Wassail

Review of Vermont Cider Company’s Wassail.  This and Addison are their first two releases, described as “ultra-premium”.  Vermont Cider Company is part of Vermont Hard Cider (along with Woodchuck, Magner’s, Wyder’s, Hornsby’s, and Blackthorn).

>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by Vermont Cider Company.  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:  Wassail
Cidery:  Vermont Cider Company
Cidery Location:  Middlebury VT
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  four pack of 12oz bottles (thick champagne glass, but capped)
Style:  commercial cider from American dessert apples with mulling spices, rum barrel aged (note that I personally classify this as commercial not craft as it is made by a large company, the first ingredient is “hard cider” not apple juice, and they added apple extract for color)

2016-12-05-18-40-34 2016-12-05-18-40-46 2016-12-09-17-13-18

Availability:  This is a limited edition cider, only available in the Northeastern U.S., released December 2016

Cider Description:  Wassail is inspired by the age-old tradition of celebrating with the orchards to ensure a good crop. Wassail begins with small batch hard cider infused with traditional mulling spices, including vanilla bean, ginger and cinnamon. The cider is then aged in rum barrels to produce a unique, rich cider that is ideal for the holidays. Like Addison, Wassail is made only from 100 percent fresh pressed Vermont and Northeastern apples.

Cidery Description:  Vermont Cider Co. introduced the U.S. to the craft cider category 25 years ago. Dedicated exclusively to cider making, they are the proud producers of the original American hard cider, Woodchuck®, the circus of ciders, Gumption®, the west coast native, Wyder’s® Cider, and importers of Magners® Irish Cider and Blackthorn®. With an unparalleled focus on quality and innovation, Vermont Cider Co. leads the category in releasing the most premium liquid and pioneering new ciders made from the finest ingredients. Under the watchful eyes of two award winning cider makers, Vermont Cider Co. produces and distributes from Middlebury, VT, blending together the passion of their consumers, their creativity, and their heritage within the green mountains.

Price:  n/a (retails for $10.99 / four pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I heard about it online and requested samples.

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<No, this color isn’t only from the barrel aging – they added “apple extract” for coloring.>

First Impression:  Still (no carbonation).  Caramel amber hue.  Smells of sugar, spices, rum, and oak.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of brown sugar, burnt caramel, cinnamon, allspice, clove, ginger, and vanilla.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate spice.  Moderate rum flavor.  Low oak flavor.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Moderate sessionability.  Mild complexity.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  My favorite component was the rum flavor.  I’m usually not too into spiced ciders, but I don’t dislike them.  I could have done without the ginger here (I really dislike the stuff, although here it was very very mild) and had the mulling spices toned down a bit (although I wouldn’t say it was overpowering).  One of the spice additions was Cardamon, but I picked it up as allspice and cloves, which are more recognizable.  Overall it still tasted a bit commercial though, more like something Crispin would make as a special release, but its a good value for the price point (ie. I wasn’t expecting a cider on par one to I would pay $20 / 750ml for).  I think the mulling spices and rum barrel aging paired well together.

Most Similar to:  I’ve had a number of spiced ciders (such as Sea Cider Wassail, 2 Towns Nice & Naughty, Elemental Seasonal Spiced AppleTieton Spice Route, Reverend Nat’s Winter Abbey Spice, AEppelTreow Sparrow Spiced, and Carlton Cyderworks Sugar & Spice) and some rum barrel aged ciders (Crispin 15 Men, Sea Cider Prohibition, and Alpenfire Calypso), but not combined.

Closing Notes:  Next up, a review of Vermont Cider Company’s Addison.

Have you tried Vermont Cider Company’s Wassail?  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.

ginger.jpg 2016-11-04 18.57.55.jpg

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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2016-11-04-18-58-24 2016-11-04-18-58-33

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.

semidry.jpg 2016-11-04-18-29-18

>>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

2016-11-04-18-29-22 2016-11-04-18-29-34 2016-11-04-18-29-51

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?