I keep tabs on Woodchuck's Out on a Limb series and they make it really easy for me by sharing many of these new limited-release ciders with me. Today's review is one of these: the June and Juice a gin botanical inspired cider.
This cider builds more anticipation for me than lots of flavored ciders because I love many gin botanicals, and gin is my favorite spirit because of its limitless range and herby flavors. Fellow gin lovers, comment with your favorites! I'm definitely game to try a couple of new ones.
I've reviewed a lot of ciders by Woodchuck; they have been around a long time, and they make a wide variety of beverages. Much of what they release is sweeter than I like to drink most of the time, but sometimes they make something pretty exciting. I'm hoping this is going to be one of those times, but first, here are a few links to previous reviews.
Most recently, I toured the Woodchuck facility as part of my cider vacation this summer: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-great-vermont-cider-tour-day-3.html
My very first cider review was Woodchuck's Winter back at the start of 2013: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/01/cider-review-woodchuck-winter.html
A cider that I've tried with a wide variety of foods is their Barrel Select: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2014/01/cider-review-woodchucks-private-reserve.html
And my most recent actual Woodchuck review is of their Local Nectar:
You can read the June and Juice's introduction, "Like a classic gin, we steeped fresh juniper berries into our small batch hard cider for this new concoction. The Cider Makers filled our custom extraction tank with juniper berries, rose petals, and orange peels, yielding a fresh botanical aroma. June & Juice has a refreshing semi-sweet apple taste with notes of juniper and citrus, a perfect alternative to your Friday night G&T!"
And here's a link to the main Woodchuck website with even more information: http://www.woodchuck.com/
Appearance: brilliant, marcona almonds, some visible bubbles
There's a cool tone to the color that it hard to describe because most shades of yellow, amber, and gold are warm colors. This however seems like the color of Marcona Almonds, yes it is a pale shade of creamy yellow, but the color is a cool one. Its easy to see that the cider is completely brilliant, showing of a nice number of active bubbles.
Aromas: freshly cut apple, juniper, lavender, citrus, rose,
These aromas are more complex than most Woodchuck ciders; I smell the fresh juicness of a freshly cut apple, meyer lemon, juniper, and the sweetly clean smell of lavender. I do smell notes of rose but they are subtle.
This is a sweet to seme-sweet cider. Woodchuck calls it a semi-dry, but I found it sweeter. Compared to other ciders by the brand I'd move it to semi-sweet. The sweetness is a fruity one.
Flavors and drinking experience: apple, citrus, herbs, loads of fun
This cider tastes a lot like it smells. Yes, there are notes of rose and lavender but the juniper and citrus stand out more. Everything is well blended with lots of fresh apple flavor. No tannins. Medium bubble. I like the acidity; it balances the sweetness but doesn't dominate the experience.
I paired this cider with cat cuddling and eating rosemary olive oil bread topped with slivers of Goblin cheese by a local creamery (http://www.crosswindsfarmcreamery.com/store/p18/*NEW*_Goblin_.html). Crosswinds Farm and Creamery makes this amazing alpine style cheese with tons of nutty richness and those simply flavors brought out all of the fresh herbal deliciousness in the June and Juice. All in all, I was more than satisfied by the experience.