Dining & Drink

Cider Of The Week?

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(STAFF PHOTO J.T. WAMPLER) Granny Smith Woodchuck Hard Cider is a 5 percent alcohol offering made in Vermont.

Woodchuck takes a turn in off-script review

Wamp’s Wisdom

Granny Smith Woodchuck Hard Cider is a 5 percent alcohol offering made in Vermont.
I’m not sure how a hard cider got thrown in the Beer of the Week mix. Rico and I found it while sorting through the hundreds of bottles of company-purchased beer after a whirlwind trip to the liquor store. I was ready to throw them against the nearest wall just to watch them explode, but Rico said I should give it a chance so here it goes.
It pours with no head, which is probably normal. Color is opaque like white wine. It tastes like apples, as would be expected I suppose. It reminds me of a sparkling wine but very much apple flavored. It finishes crisp and clean, leaving a tartness that makes your mouth water for another drink. I was ready to hate this particular beverage but I have to admit it tastes pretty good. I won’t rush out to buy more any time soon, but it would be better than wine at a party where a longneck beer would be frowned upon. Pour this in a wine glass and no one would be the wiser. Pair with strong cheese.
Rating: 3 caps

Rico’s Reaction

Sure, it’s not technically a beer, but that’s how I play the game. Expect me to zig, and I’ll likely zag. Anticipate zagging and I’ll throw in a rhumba. So why not a fermented cidar here?
It may not be beer, but what Woodchuck Draft Cider’s Granny Smith varietal is is delicious. The taste conjures up shades of sour apple Super Bubble gum or a green apple Jolly Rancher but without the full sugary impact of those sweet treats. In other words, the Granny Smith cider — surprise — tastes just like a Granny Smith and just like apple cider.
And there’s the problem: this is truly a drink in which you can’t taste the alcohol. It’s as easy to down a bottle of this as it is to drink a soda pop, meaning your head could turn into a swimming pool all too quickly. Instead of bobbing for apples, you’ll be bobbing in front of the porcelain throne.
I was tempted to drink it while eating an apple, sucking on a sour apple Charm pop and going for the ultimate apple overload. Instead, I ended up pairing it with fried tofu drenched in soy sauce — don’t ask. Still it was a tasty experience and one I thoroughly enjoyed.
Rating: 4 caps

Rating System

One Cap: Put it back in the horse!
Two Caps: Consume only if the other choice is Tijuana tap water or Coors Light.
Three Caps: Acceptable without standing out. The Tito Jackson of beer, if you will.
Four Caps: Nice beer that rises above most but may not deliver enough to be considered great.
Five Caps: Truly great beer that delivers on all counts. A credit to its style. Could only be better if served by scantily clad concubines.
Six Caps: Any five cap beer served by scantily clad concubines.

▲ Beer O’ The Week is a joint production of two beer enthusiasts — J.T. Wampler and Richard Davis.

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