The cider freaks at Woodchuck never stop messing around with different ways to present fermented apples and pears, with this trio of offerings their latest on tap. As apple season arrives in full force, let’s dig in.
Woodchuck Bubbly Pearsecco Dry Hard Cider – Quite dry — surprisingly so, really — this cidery recreation of the Italian sparkling wine is interesting, if imperfect, but presents itself as a more refreshing alternative to sweeter ciders that might weigh you down — and as much less boozy as the higher-alcohol wine. As it stands, the up-front sourness of the beverage — made from pears, not apples, of course — gives it even more of a lift than the (heavy) effervescence, though the mild finish is ultimately so innocuous as to make the whole thing come across more like a spiked sparkling water. 6.1% abv. B+
Woodchuck Bubbly Rose Blush Hard Cider – A red apple cider with lots of fruit, this is a classic — and much sweeter — expression of fizzy, boozy applesauce. While designed to be fun and summery, it’s got enough authentic fruit at its core (no pun intended) to merit a serious look. Light herbal notes interplay well with the fresh, sweet apple character and spot-on sugar content, giving the whole thing an imminently drinkable quality. Light notes of toasted wood and coconut give the finish even more character. 6.1% abv. A-
Woodchuck Cucumber Mint Hard Cider – A significant departure from the typical cider experience, part of Woodchuck’s Tank Series. This one folds in cucumber and mint to create an experience that is heavy with spearmint on the nose, laden with spa water notes on the tongue. The combination works reasonably well, but it’s pretty far afield from the typical cider experience. That’s not a bad thing, but its tranquil attitude requires wrapping one’s head around to some degree, particularly as the quite savory finish evolves on the tongue. Not bad, but not what I typically think of when cider’s on the menu. 5% abv. B+
each $9 per six-pack / woodchuck.com