Welcome back, everyone. We’re taking a stroll down Cider Lane once more, even after that last Smoky Woodchuck snafu. One experimental, gimmicky cider can’t hold us down. As Bill Pullman – president of the United States – once said, “We will not go quietly into the night. We will not vanish without a fight. We’re going to live on!” And we’re going to do so with J.K.’s Cuvée Winterruption Farmhouse Hard Cider. A cider with a name that long is either going to be epic, or it’s going to fail so hard. So let’s all put our cider hats on, and go have some fun.
Starting out, the bottle aromas of this cider are simple and straightforward – apples, apples, apples. Sweet and tart, like each breath is an apple fist punch you right in the nose, but in an awesome way. Hints of maple syrup, honey, and a touch of vanilla add on at the end, creating a nice edge of slightly spiced sweetness that makes my mouth water.
The first bottle taste is also all about apples. Hugely flavored fresh apples burst against your tongue, tart and super sweet at the same time. There’s an earthy vibe that runs underneath everything, as if nature itself is creeping into the cider. Hints of cinnamon and vanilla create a flavor similar to apple pie filling, with an additional alcoholic potency that kicks things up a bit. Each taste is super juicy, but an almost wine-like dryness and tang grips the tongue, forcing the flavors to linger on for a bit. It’s an intense flavor, where apples are definitely king, but pinches of cinnamon and vanilla (and an alcoholic oomph) bring the winter thunder right to your mouth.
Poured out into a cider glass, there’s not a lot of difference between the poured aromas and the bottle aromas. Post-pour, it takes on a vibe close to apple juice, with some of that same earthy heaviness that swirls around the bottom. It’s much closer to a wine-like aroma than I had initially thought. It’s a bit of a funk – like the apples fermented a bit before they were turned into cider. It’s not bad at all – just a bit heavier than other ciders, which gives it a more intense aroma. Visually, it pours a slightly cloudy burnt gold, and it’s a bit thicker than other ciders, which is nice.
The post-pour flavors are about the same as the bottle. Sweet and tart apples show up huge, along with notes of honey, maple syrup and cinnamon – adding a festive winter edge. Each taste is just as juicy, with that same prickly white wine quality that makes it feel as if each taste wraps around your tongue in a choke-hold. On the tongue, it pours thick at first, ending with a super fizzy bubble that feels almost like champagne. Finally, each taste ends with a deep, earthy funk that gives the experience a bit of a dark vibe – perfectly suited for winter.
This cider was downright tasty. Huge apple flavors allowed hints of maple syrup, vanilla, honey and cinnamon to come along for the ride and add some winter magic to the mix. Taking hints from its wine-ish cousins, it flowed over the tongue with a tart, tongue-gripping juiciness that ended with a champagne-like fizz that was both delicious and refreshing. There was also a bit of a fermented apple funk with each taste, that seemed to give it some alcoholic oomph, as well as a tone of darkness that situated it squarely in line for a winter brew. As a bomber bottle of cider, it’s a little more pricey than beer, but if you love yourself some cider, this is a must try.
I recommend this cider with any winter fruit dessert – like an apple pie. The bottle says it should be enjoyed with a close friend or unknown stranger, and I happen to agree. The flavors do everything they can to bring a smile to your face, so it shouldn’t be hard to get into a good mood while drinking this. J.K.’s Cuvée Winterruption Farmhouse Hard Cider earns the Longest Name Award, as well as a super juicy A-.
Lasting Strength: 9/10
Overall: 9/10 A-
Winter Warming Bonus: 7/10