5/1/15: Woodchuck Hard Cider's Cellar Series Ginger

4:12 PM


Woodchuck Hard Cider will always and forever hold a special place in my heart. I am yet to have a single offering from the cidery that I dislike. Sure, I like some of their brews more than others (Fall Harvest, for example, is my absolute favorite adult beverage whereas I think Woodchuck's Amber is only okay).

Because I haven't had a bad experience with Woodchuck I'm always excited when I stumble upon one of their styles that I've never tried. The last time this happened was with Cheeky Cherry in February, which was part of the Out On A Limb series. Out On A Limb has put out a new cider since then but I haven't been able to find it.

What I have found is one of Woodchuck's Cellar Series ciders. I've only had one of this series' offerings before and that was the Mint last summer. That seemed like an odd combination at first (mint and apple? Who would think that'd be good?) but the cider masterminds in Vermont found a way to pull it off in flying colors.

Nearly a week ago I bought their Ginger at Jungle Jim's (a Cincinnati area-based grocery store chain with giant animatronics). The 22-ounce bottle was somewhere in the neighborhood of two to five dollars. A price well worth the beverage.
I gave an overview of the cidery in my previous Woodchuck cider post (linked above) so I won't go into any great detail here. The barest bones of their background are that they're based out of Vermont and that they're credited with kickstarting the modern US cider craze.

The Cellar Series is small, comprised of only six styles. These are: Ginger, Mint, Dry Hop, Chocolate, Sour Cherry, and Smoked Apple. I really want to try that last one but it's one of the three in the series that I've never seen (the other two are Dry Hop and Chocolate). All six brews are available year-round and come in 22-ounce bottles and they all seem to be 6.9% ABV. This means that, should you be brave enough (or, like me, dumb enough) to have one by yourself you shouldn't plan on driving for anywhere for a hot minute.

Let's talk about Ginger now because I've gotten a pretty good start on it (I've been sipping/swigging it since sitting down to write this post). The bottle touts that it contains a cider with hand-cut organic ginger (which serves to give a spicy citrus flavor) and gourmet apples.

Wafts of the cider's aroma don't give any hints of the ginger. It smells purely of fermented apples. Which, seeing as how it's a hard cider, is a great thing that's to be expected. Purrl's so appreciative of Ginger's simple-yet-sweet aroma that she gave it 8 whiffs.

Nice and blurry. Just how you guys like it, right?
The ginger is present immediately upon tasting the cider. The name of the brew is honest: the first swig reminds me of ginger ale. But, after putting the bottle down to type, I found a Granny Smith apple flavor lingering on my lips and breath. The cider's really sweet and the combination of its two flavors is amazing.

Please allow me to carry that brief ginger ale comparison into the mouthfeel paragraph of this post because it's still applicable here. You know how a fresh opened 2-liter of the stuff is so carbonated it induces a coughing fit upon inhaling? This isn't like that. Ginger is more akin to a Canada Dry that's been sitting in the fridge for two days after being opened: not wholly flat, but nowhere near as fizzy as it used to be.

My parents live in the country and have since just before I started high school. But before that, during my elementary and middle school years, we lived in a quiet mid-Ohio neighborhood. It was a great place to grow up and on Independence Day we could see the fireworks from our yard.

One year for the holiday we went to a party being thrown by a neighbor up the street. At this party I experienced two firsts in my life. The first of these was ginger ale. There was a bottle of it on a picnic table and I decided to try it. After pouring myself a glass and inhaling the fizz (and having the associated coughing fit) I tasted it. I was surprised; I expected it to basically be seltzer water. The sweetness of it had me coming back for glass after glass.

When I was around the middle of my second glass of the stuff my neighbor walked by and warned me to be careful with the stuff because "...it'll make you feel funny." That's when I experienced my second first for the evening: a placebo effect. I acted a little loopy the rest of the night. I couldn't have been older than eleven years-old. It was a damn fine Fourth of July.

Woodchuck's Ginger is a treat. I don't say that simply because of its sweetness--that's not all of it. The combination of the cider is something that doesn't make sense but the cidery pulls it off in spectacular fashion and should be applauded for it. Do you know where you can find this? Good. Go get it. It's easily an 8.5/10. If you like apples and ginger ale you won't be disappointed. I promise.

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