Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Trying the Woodchuck pumpkin cider

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 2:03 PM

There is a big difference between the taste of actual grape juice and the sugary purple drink. But every so often, I indulge in a Fanta or the generic version. I know, there is nothing better than fresh grape juice but I'm a child of the artificial era and sometimes "fruit" flavored sodas hit a certain spot.

Thus is the case with Woodchuck's pumpkin cider. It's not pumpkin-spiced, this cider is made with real pumpkin.

Woodchuck's Private Reserve ciders are made in small batches and released in very limited quantities. I've been fooled by the sweetness of Woodchuck's Amber cider, which goes down like the fake sparkling wine kids used to get at family get-togethers. The first time I tried the pumpkin cider, it didn't go well. I wanted fall the way a Glade candle smells, which is exactly (if not more elegantly) what the fall cider tastes like. Not the pumpkin cider, this is a more authentic cider.

At 6.9 percent ABV, the pumpkin cider's alcohol content is higher than most of Woodchuck's other ciders. They made two versions, one at 6.9 percent and one at 5.5 percent, because certain states (like Pennsylvania and Tennessee) have regulations that prevent the cider of that alcohol content.

The taste is more squash-like, as in how an actual pumpkin tastes. Pumpkin mash doesn't taste like that hand soap they sell at Bath & Body works, pumpkin is earthy. The taste is almost creamy, with apple and vanilla lingering on your tongue. The color is an orangey-caramel. Since this cider isn't super sweet, it would be a great halfway point between cider and beer. Be sure to let the cider spend some time out of the fridge before drinking; this is one brew that doesn't like to be served ice cold. The flavors will develop more as it heats up a bit. After that, prepare to taste what a real pumpkin tastes like in cider form. Even if you don't love it, your beer-brain will be better off for knowing the difference.

A final thought:

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