3/23/16: Woodchuck Hard Cider's Oopsy Daisy

4:40 PM

Good news, folks. It's looks the hypothesis I made in my last post actually came to pass: Winter has hidden it's hideous face from the world until the end of the year. It's very obviously springtime here in south-western Ohio. My windows are open, the birds without them are singing, and I've started to notice people outside exercising with greater frequency.

How am I choosing to celebrate the changing of the seasonal guard? With a limited Woodchuck cider that was in production nearly a year ago. Regardless of its age and current availability (I shouldn't have been able find it) I think this cider is a great choice for weather like this.

I've written about Woodchuck time and time again. See that magnifying glass in the upper right corner of the page? Just click it and type "woodchuck" into the search bar to see all the posts I've written on the cidery's offerings. I think this is about the fifth or six time I've found myself needing to write a spiel on their history, so here's the super brief version. Woodchuck has been making hard cider since the early 1990s and were one of the forces the spurred the current US cider movement. Read more, if you're interested, on the Vermont cidery's story page.

The bottle of cider I'm currently enjoying was the fourth to come out of Woodchuck's Out on a Limb series--one in which the cidery's brewers flex their creative muscles to come up with one-off masterpieces. Each of these can only be found for a few months at a time before they vanish for (presumably) forever.

I got lucky with Oopsy Daisy. When it was announced, I really wanted to try it. Unfortunately, the places around me where I used to be able to find Out on a Limb suddenly and inexplicably stopped carrying it. Only recently did I realize that a store across the river stocks the series. I went to pick up the latest (and seventh) offering (Campfire Pancakes, which they did not have) and instead found shelves packed with Oopsy Daisy.

I bought a pack, took it home, and immediately dug into the first bottle. Here's a spoiler for the rest of my review: This is good cider.

According to the official page for the cider, Oopsy Daisy was brewed with chamomile and honey. Although, in contrast to its name, daisy aren't listed among the ingredients, it does have a 5.5% ABV, a sweet flavor with a delicate aftertaste, and a smooth mouthfeel. Or, at least, that's how it's described.

Aroma-wise, the cider is all honey. Sweet and alluring, it's begging to be drunk. It sets up a great entrance for the flavor. Hell, even Purrl like the aroma--she gave the cider seven whiffs.

It may look like she's looking outside, but, I swear, she's smelling the cider.
The flavor is more complex than the cider's nose. It is sweet, both from the honey and the chamomile, but subtly so. The chamomile gives it a nice floral twist and the honey is most prominent in the finish. This is, undoubtedly, a deliciously spring cider.

The mouthfeel is, true to what Woodchuck claimed, smooth. Bubbly in all the right spots, but nothing so much as to detract from the easy-going drinkability of the cider.

Oopsy Daisy reminds me of a time when my fiancée and I were still living in Athens. My senior (and her junior) year at Ohio University was just about wrapping up. The cherry blossom trees that lined the western portion of the Hocking were in full bloom, so we decided to spend a lazy afternoon lounging beneath them. We weren't the only ones with that idea.

When we got there, we quickly found a spot amongst the rest of the students and families enjoying the day's pleasant weather. There was a harpist and lutist who were putting on an impromptu performance for the gathered crowd. It was refreshing. It was calming. It washed away the stress associated with the end of a school year. It was everything Woodchuck aimed for Oopsy Daisy to be.

This is a fine cider. When I said earlier that Woodchuck crafts masterpieces with its Out on a Limb series, I wasn't being facetious. Everything I've had from the series has been nothing short of phenomenal. If you're lucky enough to ever find some Oopsy Daisy, do yourself a favor and buy some. It gets a John Likes Beer rating of 9.0/10.

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