The Snack Report: Woodchuck Private Reserve Pumpkin Cider
So we’ve found ourselves knee-deep in Fall once again, and with the coming of orange leaves comes pumpkin variations of every edible item on planet Earth. I kid, but don’t get me wrong, I love Fall, I love pumpkin, and I enjoy seeing the pumpkin variations of different foods and drinks.
If you remember last year, PCFG took to reviewing three autumnal editions of hard ciders in October. This year, we’ll be doing the same, simply because ’tis the season. Today we take a look at an offering from Woodchuck, a personal favorite of mine.
Woodchuck continues to be one of the best domestic cider brands we have in America, and unlike bandwagon ciders which just jumped in because there was a buck to be made *cough*angryorchard*cough*, they’ve actually been around for quite a while, at least 20 years. They release a lot of awesome, different variations at different times of the year, and for all intents and purposes is probably the most legit big-name cider you’ll find here in the U.S.
Woodchuck does have another seasonal variant for Fall, which I have had before. I haven’t seen it in stores lately, so I’m not sure if they still produce it, but from what I can recollect it essentially tasted like a craft store. I mean that in a good way too. I mean it as in, know how when you walk into your local arts & crafts supply store, you immediately smell that potpourri scent in the air? That’s what it tasted like. I do miss it, but this newer edition, Woodchuck Private Reserve Pumpkin, is a decent replacement.
One thing I must clear up from the get-go here is that Private Pumpkin is NOT pumpkin spice flavored. That traditional blend of cinnamon and nutmeg and the like, which we’ve come to associate with all things pumpkin (sometimes if they don’t even contain pumpkin) is a long-time favorite of the autumnal season, however this Woodchuck batch is pretty neat in that it tosses that idea out and just goes for real-ass, actual pumpkin flavor.
Woodchuck Pumpkin is a little bit on the dryer side of the cider spectrum. It’s not very sweet, but that’s okay. Admittedly I don’t like when ciders are so dry to the point they taste like some shitty, yeasty champagne concoction, but this cider avoids that. Rather, it’s the actual pumpkin that’s present in the drink that gives it a bit of a dry flavor. Remember, pumpkin doesn’t naturally taste like the incredibly sweet, spiced up ideas that we associate it with. Rather it has a really smooth, earthy flavor to it. The first couple of sips in Woodchuck Pumpkin actually don’t taste very pumpkin-y. But once you start to drink it for a bit, the pumpkin flavor starts to overtake the apple cider taste, and that aforementioned earthy flavor starts to linger for a while. It’s actually really good, albeit very, very different from what most people associate pumpkin editions of foods with. It could be seen as bitter to some people if you like your ciders sweet like candy, but honestly that feeling wears off pretty quick when the pumpkin kicks in. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of hard ciders, and especially if you’re a Fall-o-phile.