#37 How Much Cider Would a Woodchuck Chuck If A Woodchuck Could Drink A Lot

**The following products were provided to me free of charge. The kindness shown has in no way influenced the words you're about to read**


I needed a slight vacation from the blog for a bit. I hope you all can forgive me for the lack of snark, sarcasm, and simmering rage. I really did go on vacation, too! I went to Mexico (Zihuatanejo to be exact) and had the time of my life. And now I am recharged and ready to write.

The first thing I want to write about on my triumphant return is Woodchuck Ciders. Woodchuck was one of the surprises for me of 2013. Sure I have always known about them, and had purchased their products in the past, but I didn't really know the depth of their commitment to the craft cider world. When I struck up a conversation with Devin and Nate at BBC13, they took the time to show me just how serious they are about their craft. That was when they explained to me about the wonderful world of Woodchuck's Cellar Series.

"Dry Hop"
"Smoked Apple"

First off, I have to ask you to take note of the swanky box they come in with the sliding top. I haven't been able to toss them in the trash either, even after both of these bottles have long been drank and peed away.

The party is inside the box.

This cider way more pale than I thought it would be for some reason. Which, I mean, is kind of a dumb thought to have. It's not like ciders ever have a stout or porter appearance.

The nose reminds me of a white zinfandel. Almost tart, crisp, fruity (obviously), and some alcohol. No hops really. But the former portion really kind of surprised me. I guess when it comes to things being "hoppy," I have this preconceived notion of what it should smell like. The smell I was getting wasn't even on my "oh what is this going to smell like" radar. You know, because of BEER. But this isn't beer.

This is super tasty. The base cider is juicy and light. There's an earthiness floating around in there, that kind of surprised me. I'm used to ciders being more clean than anything. Know what I mean? Not bad, just something I wasn't expecting. Starting cold, there is zero hop presence. Seeing as they used Cascade hops, I was expecting something...different. More pronounced. I'm just speculating here, stick with me on this, but
I wonder if hops take on a different characteristic inside of different beverages. Like, will the tart, and sweetness, and natural sugars, and science, and stuff subdue the somewhat strong characteristics of the Cascade hops? Am I making any sense? Bueller?

Who knows.

I also drank this bottle a couple months after receiving it. So I'm curious if along with my super brainstorm above, if perhaps the characteristics of a cider perhaps shorten the life of hops presence inside of it.

That said, I enjoyed it. I just was hoping for a balls out hoppy cider.

When the second bottle arrived, I was super intrigued. A smoked cider? Weird. 

To be quite honest, smoked stuff was never quite my style. But I know someone who DOES love smoked stuff, and he was on his way to my house in just a short while (I'm talking about my friend, CraftBeerCoach). 

When the time came for drinking, I was excited to bust this out, which I did. Now I didn't take notes for this, but you're just going to have to trust me on this. I was surprised that the smokiness of it wasn't completely overwhelming like I was expecting (dreading). It meshed well with the more natural cider, fresh squeezed, cider characteristics I was getting. It looked beautiful, and had a nice full taste to it, and nice pronounced body to it. I'm going to attribute that to the smoked pomace they used to make this. 

What's "pomace," you ask? Well, I had the same question, so to the Internet!

"Pomace (/ˈpʌməs/ pum-əs), or marc (/ˈmɑrk/; from French marc [maʀ]), are the solid remains of grapes, olives, or other fruit after pressing for juice or oil. It contains the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems of the fruit."
Suck on that, stock photo! I'm still using you!

We all enjoyed it, and compared to the Dry Hop, this one is vastly superior. Big on complexity, wonderful deep flavors, and balanced. GO BUY THIS NAO!

That was a great night.

I know you're thinking "hurrdurr cider isn't beer and Woodchuck? Aren't they like, a big business conglomerate or something?" No, you're wrong. They are wicked great people making a wicked good product. Give them a shot. Also, the cellar series isn't done. In fact, I have a bottle of their latest release, which is a chocolate cider...

This Cider Pairs well with: Soundgarden - Applebite

Check them out online!