I'm a fan of Woodchuck ciders. They're widely available and, for the most part, quite drinkable. While some of them I'm not too keen on (I'm looking at you, Pear) the Dark and Dry/Amber are classic cider stand-bys when I want cider and I go to the store. The coolest thing is they put out seasonal offerings which tend to tickle my palate. This is a comparison between the Winter and the Spring offerings. Here we go!
Woodchuck Oak Aged (Woodchuck Winter) - Nose is just plain apples. I think there's a predominance of Granny Smith or such because it has that tart, crisp apple smell to it. No oak smell to it at all, which saddens me. I want it to be an oaky bastard. Taste is quite nice though. Woodchuck is a rather sweet cider in its own right (I typically go for the Dark and Dry and even that's a touch sweet for a cider). The oak on this is definitely prominent in the taste and it provides balance to the sweetness. Mmm, this is a nice cider. Pleasantly sweet with a medium bodied oak profile on the finish. The color on it is gorgeous too. It's like an amber ale.
This would be a perfect cider to try out something I've always wanted to try...
The Stonewall Jackson.
The Stonewall Jackson is elegant in its simplicity. It's just cider and bourbon. Reputed to be what the old hard-nosed old bastard of T.J. Stonewall (Thomas Johnathan) used to drink in excess. If it's good enough for a Southern boy then well, shit, I want to try it. Add a touch of Elmer T. Lee here...
Oh...oh gods. Oh man. Oh man...It tastes like victory. Victory, success, and admiration. This must be what they serve to people upon entering Heaven. There's no huge gates up there. It's just St. Peter behind a bar called "The Pearly Gates". When you come in, he checks your mortal tab. If it's not too high, you just start drinking and this is always on special. I...I just want to fill a bathtub with it and wallow in it like a drunken pig. I may wean my future children on this stuff. It's terrific. I have not lauded something this hard ever on this blog. You know it's gotta be good. This Oak Aged NEEDS to be a regular release. It's too good not to be.
If that's your bag, go for it but...damn....I don't think I like it. This gets shelved with the Woodchuck Pear for me. I'm not gonna add bourbon to it because in order to make a Stonewall Jackson, you have to start first with cider, not fresh pressed daffodils.
Still <3 you though, Woodchuck.