Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hard Cider Blind Tasting Results

Fall, Autumn, Harvest season... whatever you call it, the results are the same. Houses filled with apple, cinnamon and pumpkin smells. One of my favorite things to drink during this season is Apple Cider. Now enter Hard Cider. Oh my! Now this time of year has a whole new meaning! We were blessed to be able to host a blind Gluten-Free Hard Cider tasting at our house today. I think I have a new favorite Fall drink. While all of these were tasty, we put our serious faces on and got busy being critical. So here is your guide to the results. If you caught my blind gluten-free beer tasting, you will recognize the format. Like before, we decided to have a group of bind tasters over for the tasting. Half were Celiac, or "Gluten-Free". The other half were regular good ole drinkers. I was excited to join in on this one.

We had 4 to choose from. 3 were from Woodchuck, which I love them because as they say on their site: " We take Celiac Disease seriously, and since Woodchuck has always, and only, been made from apples (not wheat, barley or rye) none of our cider varieties have ever contained gluten. Further, we have all our ciders tested by an independent lab and we maintain a completely gluten free facility." SCORE!

The other brand is Samuel Smith'sSamuel Smith’s makes this cider at a small, independent British brewery, the oldest brewery in Yorkshire. Certified Organic and Gluten-Free. 

Gluten-Free Hard Apple Cider Tasting Results:
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Appearance: 3,4,4,4 = 3.75
Smell: 3, 4, 4, 4 = 3.75
Taste: 4, 4, 5, 4 = 4.25
Mouth: 4, 4, 5, 4 = 4.25
Overall: 4, 4, 4.5, 4 = 4.13
Comments: Looks like cider, Love the finish
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Appearance: 3,4,4,4 = 3.75
Smell: 4, 4.5, 5, 4.5 = 4.5
Taste: 4, 3, 3, 3.5 = 3.37
Mouth: 3, 3, 3, 4 = 3.25
Overall: 4, 3.5, 3.5, 4 = 3.75
Comments: Smells like a jolly rancher candy, Slight after taste
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Woodchuck Fall Hard Cider (Limited Release)
Appearance: 3,4.5 ,4, -4.00
Smell: 4, 3, 4, 3 = 3.5
Taste: 4.5, 5, 4.5, 4.5 = 4.63
Mouth: 4, 4.5, 4, 4 = 4.13
Overall: 4, 4, 4.5, 4.5 = 4.24
Comments: Smell of bubble gum and cinamon. Cinnamon & Apples, it doesn't better than this! Limited Release is right. This was by far the winner!
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Appearance: 3, 3, 4, 3 = 3.25
Smell: 2, 2, 3, 3 = 2.5
Taste: 2, 2, 2, 2 = 2
Mouth: 2.5, 3, 1, 3 = 2.38
Overall: 2, 3, 2.5, 3 = 2.63
Comments: Light amber, Smells like beer, Taste like apple beer
In fairness to the last one, our tasters were not beer drinkers (well one was a switch hitter) so they were expecting more of an apple cider taste and not a beer taste.

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Summary: Woodchucks Fall was the winner. It tasted like harvest time in a bottle. As I drank it, memories of pumpkin patches and hearty meals filled my mind. To find Woodchuck near you, you can use their store locator.

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