Review: Cellar Series Chocolate, Woodchuck

Cellar Series Chocolate
Woodchuck Hard Cider — Middlebury, VT

  • Style:  Hard Apple Cider w/ cocao nibs
  • ABV:  6.9%
  • Ingredients:  Hard Cider, less than 1% of natural flavor, and sulfites
  • Calories:  230 per 12 oz.
  • Sampled:  22 oz. bottle (provided by cidery)

Description:  The use of crushed cocao nibs allowed for this cider to showcase chocolate's true character. The infusion of the beans brought out those strong natural chocolate notes, without the sweetness found in a chocolate bar. The balance of the apple against the cocao creates a truly distinctive tasting experience. I'm thrilled with the result and hope our fans are too. — John Mattson, Cider Maker 

Random thoughts:  This is the third release in Woodchuck's Cellar Series. I previously profiled Dry Hop and Smoked Apple, the first two releases.  Woodchuck's blog has an article that explains how this cider was made.

The tasting:  Golden orange in color, clear, with little effervescence. Cocoa is prominent in aroma and comes through on the first sniff along with some light vanilla notes. In taste, chocolate is at the forefront and reminds me of a Hershey bar. Perhaps I’m influenced by the label image, but that’s what I taste. Apple flavor comes through in the middle with a moderate amount of sweetness. Alcohol is not present in aroma or taste. It's medium bodied, softly carbonated and finishes with lingering chocolate sweetness.

4 star.  Really Good.  I want this again!  I had my doubts when I first learned about this cider. First, I didn’t think the chocolate would be noticeable. Second, I didn’t think chocolate would work in a hard cider. I was wrong on both counts!  I’m amazed by how well the chocolate flavor comes through in both aroma and taste. I’m even more surprised by how the chocolate pairs with the apple. It just works!

In general, I can't drink sweet ciders. This is sweeter than what I’m usually able to drink, but it went down quite easily. I wish I wrote about this sooner, as it’s now nearing the end of its release. If it comes back for an encore, I’ll be back.

If you thought chocolate was unusual in a cider, what do you think of mint? That’s up next in Woodchuck’s Cellar Series… 

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