Cider Roundup III: New Flavors

I picked up two new varieties of cider last week. One wasn’t completely new so much as it was wrapped in a new label – Woodchuck Fall Harvest. I found it at Kroger. The other was Ace Perry Hard Cider, and I picked up a six pack of it at the Casual Pint. I’ll share my thoughts about both of them in this post.

Woodchuck Fall Harvest

wc_fall_harvestI generally think of Woodchuck as the Budweiser of hard ciders. It’s ubiquitous, and at least in the case of some of its flavors, pretty tasteless. Until Angry Orchard took over the “token cider on tap” market at restaurants and bars, Woodchuck held that spot with Woodchuck Amber. Woodchuck’s seasonal varieties are a bit different, however. I’ve had them all – Summer, Fall, and Winter. Winter is my favorite, but it’s not quite time for that, so I’m having Fall Harvest for now.

The tag line for Fall Harvest reads, “Just Like Apple Pie.” That’s a bit of a stretch, although it does remind me of another alcoholic beverage that really is just like apple pie. Calhoun’s makes a drink called Apple Pie Moonshine, and it tastes exactly like you’d imagine liquid apple pie would. Fall Harvest is reminiscent of apple pie, and that’s good enough for me. It’s sweet with a hint of both cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s fairly weak at just 5% ABV, but I like it all the same.

Ace Perry Hard Cider

ace_perryI’ve had mixed luck with Ace ciders. As I mentioned in my Alternate Fruits Cider Roundup, I was not impressed with the pineapple cider. I never wrote about it, but I tried and didn’t like Ace Joker cider at all.  I had higher hopes for the Ace Perry, but those hopes were mostly dashed when I read that, like the pineapple cider, the “pear” cider is really just apple cider with some pear flavoring. Crispin makes a pear cider that is 100% fermented pear juice, and you can tell the difference. Still, even though Ace Perry may be more like the pomegranate juices that are 99% apple and grape juice, I do like it. It’s sweet, with a light (what else?) pear taste. I wouldn’t want to drink it all the time, especially since the Crispin pear cider is so much better, but Ace is what I found, so Ace is what I’m drinking.

Buying Cider is Disappointingly Unpredictable

Writing this drives home just how frustrating it can be to love good hard cider but hate beer. My friends who drink beer can find a crazy variety of beers wherever they go, especially at local craft beer stores or breweries. I’m lucky to find even one cider on tap, and nine times out of ten that cider will be Angry Orchard. Thanks to Tennessee’s crazy liquor laws, in grocery stores I can still only find ciders below 6% ABV, and I have to go to a liquor store for anything stronger. Even what passes for a well-stocked liquor store only has a handful of ciders. The only store where I can consistently find an awesome selection of ciders is Frugal MacDoogal’s in Nashville, but that’s not exactly a convenient shopping location for me. I’d like to think we will eventually have better and more consistent choices here in Knoxville.

This is post 14 in the #NaBloWriMo #vDM30in30 30 Day Blog Challenge

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