Happy Humpday, my friends. Welcome to night 12 of the 13 Beers of Halloween. I’m sure many of you are busy taking care of the finishing touches for your costumes, hoarding candy, and stockpiling plenty of eggs to throw at the neighbor kids, but I’m here to provide you with a moment of tasty relaxation, with a dose of seasonal spookiness for good measure. Tonight, I’m dialing things back just a bit with another cider. And not only that, it’s the second Goblin on our list. Green Goblin Oak Aged Cider, in fact, from Thatcher’s Brewery. I don’t know anything about it, other than its awesome label, but sweet labels haven’t led me astray for the past 10 nights, so I’m feeling pretty good about it. The only hesitation I have is…what if this goblin is in cahoots with the Goblin King? What if they’re…brothers? (flash of lightning, dramatic thunder).
The initial aroma is an earthy bloom of apple peels, straw, and fall leaves. There’s a gentle, underlying sweetness that stays somewhat distant, promoting the hearty, aged characteristics of the cider, rather than ending up with a juicy sweetness. There’s not a lot of complexity to the aroma, but when the only ingredient is “100% fermented apple cider”, there shouldn’t be too much going on besides apples. The simplicity is almost poetic. Hey, speaking of poetic…
One night I wandered all alone
the length of a dark hall.
And realized that I stared upon
a figure in the wall.
I gazed upon its weathered face
the features worn from time.
And found within its dull black eyes
a door inside its mind.
A startled gasp, a hurried pulse
enraptured by its gaze.
A creature long thought to be dead
who stalked forgotten days.
The bottle flavors of this cider are super gentle, offering small hints rather than pushing potent apple into your mouth. It tastes more like an apple juice than an apple cider, but make no mistake; it’s a wonderfully refreshing and drinkable cider. The main flavor, of course, is fresh apple, with a medium, natural sweetness that retains a crisp earthiness. Hints of straw and autumn leaves mingle in from the sides, offering hints of dry earth, but without imparting an odd, unpleasant flavor. These few notes create a tasty combination of mild, earthy sweetness and crisp, fall apples.
The shadows danced around my sight
cast out by light of lamp.
And in that darkness witnessed I
ill movement from the scamp.
A winking eye, a curling claw
loose from his jail of stone.
And then before my eyes I saw
a sight that chilled my bones.
Poured, the aroma is even more dispersed than the bottle aroma. There’s still a definitive apple tang, but it’s much gentler this time around. There’s also still a noticeable earthiness atop the sweet notes, brought about by hints of straw and leaves. Visually, it pours a clear, cidery brown, wreathed in a curtain of bubbles, under a thin, super bubbly head.
“With your own eyes, you see me here.”
the once dead statue hissed.
“Then you must know to catch my gaze
will end with you quite missed.”
My mind screamed flee, yet still I stood
a statue of my own.
And helpless I did watch his hands
reach out with claws of stone.
“Your soul is mine, forever more
alone in this dark tomb.
And now I’ll have my freedom while
you rot here in this gloom.”
The poured taste is pretty much the same as the bottle. Mildly sweet apple peels make up the major flavor, while straw and leaves add a crisp earthiness. However, there is a warmth brought about by a nice, slight potent alcohol kick that bumps the sweetness up just a bit. The alcohol, and the moderate carbonation, fizz the flavors from the tongue fairly quickly, leaving the aftertaste as a distant apple essence. On the tongue, it’s crisp and bubbly, yet wonderfully refreshing and drinkable.
Allowed to only stand and stare,
his hands clawed at my face.
With no success I struggled fast
as he obtained my place.
My life I kept, he blessed me thus
I curse him every day
For trapping me within this stone
until his toll I pay.
Alone I wait for distant dawn
as I suffer this sin,
For glancing at that dirty scamp-
a darkness born Goblin.
This cider was surprisingly tasty, despite offering a more than mild flavor profile. The earthy apples promote a naturally sweet taste, without creating any unpleasant flavors. There are also hints of straw and autumn leaves that add some earthy crispness to the profile, providing a rustic cider flavor. There’s a faint alcoholic potency once poured, but in way that adds a warm kick without imparting a distracting flavor. Because of this, and a decent amount of carbonation, it rolls dry across the tongue, fizzing away fairly quickly. The aftertaste is just as fast, with a faint appleness that ends soon after you’ve stopped drinking. It about the same price as any other hard cider, which is a bit higher than any run of the mill macro beer, so if you’re looking for a mild cider without a super clingy feel, this would be well worth the price.
My recommendations for this cider start when you see the first hints of orange and yellow in the leaves, and ends when you have to break out the snow shovel. It sings of crisp autumn and lends itself quite well to chill fall nights. My horror genre is anything focusing on some kind of devious trickster, preferably with some kind of comedic element to it. Something like Trick ‘r Treat. Thatcher’s Green Goblin oak aged apple cider earns itself a devious A-.
Lasting Strength: 8/10
Overall: 9/10 A-