Never have I been a huge cider fan, but in the interest of doing something a little different, I picked up a bottle of Woodchuck….the Granny Smith variety, as I do love me some tart green apples. I do also have some history with Woodchuck – I spent two summers in Vermont back in the mid 1990s, 20 or so miles away from Middlebury, Woodchuck’s home. As a camp counselor, we’d have camp-sanctioned counselors’ parties on Saturday nights, so there was a small budget to go to a State Liquor Store and grab some booze. As you might imagine, I ended up drinking a lot of Magic Hat and Woodchuck. I’d never had cider before that; I remember being quite impressed that there was such thing as alcoholic apple juice. Ah, youth. Anyway, let’s get to it.
I poured it into a sexy Radeberger pilsner glass, as I wanted to showcase the carbonation, which isn’t quite as furiously effervescent as I thought it might be. In any event, the cider is gin-clear, nearly zero color at all save for a thin patina of white-grape.
It smells very similar to sparkling wines I’ve had. Uncomplicated, just white grape and some apple Jolly Rancher.
Hmm. There’s a lot of sweetness up front, all obvious green apple, but there’s just enough tartness to play against it and allow it to come to a just off-dry finish. Very clean in that there’s no funk, fusel alcohol, off-putting esters, etc. Of course, it has zero body, as it lacks barley or wheat – naturally gluten-free per the bottle.
Though I doubt I’d order this in a bar, I’m still surprised I like this as much as I do. It’s an easy sweet warm-weather drinker. Not bad. Readily available at many area supermarkets and liquor stores.