Numbers 106-107: Woodchuck Semi-Dry & Seattle Semi-Sweet

SemisThis sampling was all about testing. First off, I wanted to see if I could truly taste the difference between a semi-dry and a semi-sweet cider. Secondly, I wanted to try something different, as every other group review I have written thus far has been about ciders from the same cidery. Not only were these different varieties of ciders from different makers, but one was from a can and the other a bottle, and both originated from opposite ends of the country. I have a lot of ciders to get through, and there are a number of interesting ways to group them.SemiDry

I began the sampling with the Woodchuck Semi-Dry. This cider greets the nostrils with a wholesome aroma that often accompanies darker, more amber-colored ciders. The dryness certainly comes into play with the aftertaste, as it leaves a lingering bitter taste on the tongue, which almost amounts to a mustiness. The cider certainly lives up to its name, as it isn’t overpoweringly dry and there are definitely notes of sweetness present. That said, dry is certainly the impression that it leaves. Historically, Woodchuck ciders are almost always a home run for me. I suspect that this one would appeal to someone who cares for dry ciders, but I think it might be my least favorite of the cidery’s body of work.

SemiSweet

The next cider on the docket  was Seattle Cider’s Semi-Sweet. This was a much livelier cider, with an aroma of crisp green apple. The Semi-Sweet was also quite full-bodied, and carried a pleasing tang that bordered on sourness. This cider also featured a very balanced flavor, with the scales tipping only ever so slightly in favor of sweetness over dryness. The liveliness of this cider’s smooth finish and lack of bitter aftertaste made it the more appealing of the two. I have not sampled much of Seattle Cider’s body of work, so as a manufacturer, it’s hard to rank this against their other varieties. But, as a bare-bones cider, I certainly enjoyed this one.

One of my favorite quotes from Parks & Recreation comes from Ron Swanson, who advises “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.” I understand that sweetness/dryness is a spectrum, but I feel that the Semi-Dry might have been stronger had it just been a full-on dry cider, rather than getting muddled in the mixture. Here, the Semi-Sweet excelled, executing the balance between sweet and dry almost perfectly.

The Ciderman’s Rating:

Semi-Dry: 5/10

Semi-Sweet: 7/10

Advertisements

Number 82: Seattle Cider’s Gin Botanical

As an avid eater of food, I have never found myself eating a meal (or drinking a beverage, for that matter), and thought to myself “Hmm, you know what this could really use? What this is really missing? The taste of juniper berries.” Juniper berries are the primary flavor of the beverage gin, and as far as I know, are used in nothing else. I suppose that, in the flavor of some of my previous posts, it’s about time I stated my opinion about gin.

I do not like gin. Gin tastes like drinking a pinecone soaked in air freshener.

Seattle Cider’s Gin Botanical is a far cry from the ordinary.Seattle Gin Botanical It takes everything that is interesting about the flavor of gin and applies it to a beverage that is tasty to begin with. The cider is dry, but it crests at such a unique flavor that any dryness is forgiven. The color is light, the finish is clean, the cider is good.

I’m excited to try more of Seattle Cider’s varieties, as they range from the usuals like dry and semi-sweet to more interesting takes such as citrus and three pepper (which might be the strangest cider I’ve ever heard of).

The Ciderman’s Rating: 8/10