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Rating: 4.3/5 (8 votes cast)

Beer Profile

  • Brewery: Green Mountain Beverage
  • Website:
  • Country: United States
  • State: Vermont
  • Style: Hard Cider
  • Malts: N/A
  • Hops: N/A
  • ABV: 5.0%
  • IBUs: N/A
  • Tasting Notes: Apple, vanilla
  • Preferred Glass: Pint
  • Food Pairing: Apple pie, grilled chicken and potatoes
  • PHM Grade: B-

Woodchuck Limited Release Winter Cider

Written by

Taylor: Ever since tasting Woodchuck Cidery’s amazing Limited Release Fall Cider, I have been on a quest to try the other 3 Limited Release ciders and decide which of the family is king. Thankfully I was able to procure a 6-pack of the ever-popular Winter Cider at my local Binny’s, and gave it a go this weekend.

Available only in December and January, the Winter Cider boasts a frosty white-and-blue label and is heralded by its makers as “a balanced culmination of Premium French and Traditional American Oak.” Remembering full well how excellent the flavor profile was of the Fall Cider, I was, needless to say, excited to try this version, which supposedly boasts a cool, vanilla-y finish. And, as Woodchuck points out, this cider is crisp and refreshing because it’s made of apples … never woodchucks.

I poured the Winter Cider into my Woodchuck pint glass (cute). Like pretty much all ciders, there is no head to speak of. The color is more or less the same as ever, since you really can’t get too creative with what goes into an apple cider. Winter Cider is crystal clear, and looks like apple juice, with a golden amber hue. With no head and no heavily aromatic ingredients used, the nose is simply that of fresh apples.

Tasting the Winder Cider is definitely a treat. Its 5.0% ABV makes it, of course, a very drinkable cider. Which is pretty much the case with all ciders. The apple flavor is a little more tart with the Winter Cider (compared to the Fall Cider), and there is definitely a velvety aftertaste that likens to vanilla, however faint.

As far as competition goes, I feel pretty strongly that the Fall Cider is still the better cider … mostly because I think it is more complex and hearty. That being said, the Winter Cider is still really good and should definitely be considered by anyone that fancies themselves a cider enthusiast. Grade: B+

Tom: When sampling this winter delectable I was not really sure what to expect. It’s cider. How different can it taste from the original brand? After chilling the bottle for days I poured the champagne colored cider into a shaker. It tasted like I was biting into a cold, crisp, juicy, granny smith apple. Possible notes of cinnamon (not sure if spice was used), but overall I did not get the impression that this was a variety worth consuming during the winter months. Maybe if it was heated up? Rather light and very crisp it was indeed palatable and possessed a slight hint of bubblegum towards the finish. The carbonation might make it a viable option for a New Years toast. However, I did get a vinegary bitterness that spoiled my experience. Grade: C+

Woodchuck Limited Release Winter Cider, 4.3 out of 5 based on 8 ratings
  1. I completely agree; the Fall Cider is by far their best, but I like the Winter quite a bit as well. I don’t remember the Spring and Summer ciders making too much of an impression on me, but I’ll try them again this coming year.

    Lisa — December 20th, 2010, 4:39 PM
  2. While the Fall is great and the Winter is enjoyable as well, let’s not forget the wonderful hint of blueberry that accompanies the Summer Limited flavor of Woodchuck. And if you hadn’t tried the extremely rare Pumpkin Reserve, you are missing out. At least there’s something special to look forward to about every other month or so. Cheers

    LeeWood — December 21st, 2010, 12:03 PM
  3. The rare Pumpkin reserve is the best…tried it this year and I am in love

    Mocha — December 21st, 2010, 12:43 PM
  4. Word on all that! I’m really looking forward to trying the Pumpkin, Spring, and Summer Ciders. We’ll definitely review them here on the PHM! Thanks for your comments!

    Taylor — December 21st, 2010, 1:33 PM
  5. i have only had the fall and winter of the limited releases. the fall was good but i thought it was a bit too spiced where as the winter seems almost under flavored (it seems a lot like 802, then again i cannot find 802 around any more so i do not have a side by side comparison). i am looking forward to getting the spring and summer this coming year and hope i can magically snag the pumpkin in the fall

    matt — December 21st, 2010, 1:40 PM
  6. This is my favorite of the seasonal ciders I’ve tried. The spring one is sickly sweet and flowery–it tastes like drinking perfume. (It’s the only Woodchuck product I dislike, and I’ve tried all but the fall and pumpkin reserve.) The summer edition is light with a very pleasant blueberry aftertaste. As with the pear and raspberry ciders, this is distinctly summery drink. I haven’t tried the fall or pumpkin ciders, but I’m a big fan of this winter cider. Like the 802, it’s less fruity than the Woodchuck mainstays (granny smith and amber).

    alex — January 15th, 2011, 5:38 PM
  7. I had a great experience with this cider. Really nice vanilla finish. Reminded me of a cider complement to a good kentucky bourbon.

    chris — April 13th, 2012, 12:46 PM
  8. I’ve tried most of the Woodchuck ciders, so I was excited to find this gem in the liquor store. Maybe it went bad since it had been sitting so long, but to say it was a disappointing experience is an understatement. It was light bodied and tasted mostly of oak barrel. It had a finish very reminiscent of Jack Daniels and the over all impression was similar to a Zima with a shot of Jack in it. I have had worse beverages, but not often. I would say 2.5 out of 10

    Patrick — April 2nd, 2013, 2:00 AM
  9. It’s oak guys… it tastes like oak barrels, like a great cabernet. Freaking delicious. I’m sad it’s only available during the winter, but it’s something great to look forward too every year. I have to say, all the fruity flavors really turn me off, but they are on to something amazing with the barrel cure. I really want to try their bourbon barrel version now, but unfortunately that one’s only around in the winter too!

    Phil — April 27th, 2013, 10:03 PM
  10. I love this cider,but then I love whiskey …if you don’t like the oak finish it’s not for you. But I’m going out for more

    dave — December 24th, 2014, 3:52 PM
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