Doc’s Draft – Pumpkin Hard Apple Cider

Doc's Draft Pumpkin Hard Apple Cider

Doc’s Draft Pumpkin Hard Apple Cider

I found one more pumpkin cider! Okay, now that Halloween is over I know everyone’s on to peppermint everything, but I couldn’t resist sneaking in one more. Besides, the Pumpkindrome isn’t over so we’re not done with pumpkin season here at Bad Rider anyway.

Doc’s Draft is a production of Warwick Valley Winery in NY, and the bottle copy mentions roasted pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg.

I do actually get some pumpkin in the aroma, along with the spices — mainly the cinnamon and ginger.

A little mustiness comes out in the flavor, which is acidic and medium-dry. The pumpkin gets rather drowned out by the tartness, acidity and spices, but it’s still there in the background.

It’s slightly fizzy and a clear light yellow, with a 6% ABV. As ciders go, it’s kind of strange, but neither terrible nor great. I wouldn’t pass up a really good cider in favor of this one, but if you’d like to give it a try it’s not the worst choice you could make when it comes to pumpkin cider. I know, I know, damned with faint praise, etc.

It is, at least, more likely that East Coast folks will be able to find this one than many of the other ciders I’ve reviewed — in fact, Warwick Valley’s locator site only lists locations in New England. So give it a try!

Ace – Pumpkin Cider

Ace Pumpkin Cider

Don’t do it, kids.

Hailing from California, Ace is not the local-est of local operations, but in my quest to bring you comprehensive coverage of pumpkin ciders I’m allowing it.

Buuuuuut I’m allowing it for one specific reason: to bring you a warning that it’s bad.

To start off with: it smells bad. Yes, there are spices there, and even some pumpkin. There’s also a smell that I most strongly associate with Nickelodeon Gak — that kind of sharp, chemical, plastic smell.

The taste never really makes up for the smell, nor does it particularly distinguish itself. It’s almost anticlimactic: sugary and pretty stock apple-juice with a side of pumpkin pie spices.

Don’t look for some Ace Pumpkin cider of your own. Try some Crispin Steel Town instead – while not strictly speaking a seasonal cider, given the competition it’s turning out to be one of the better ciders I’ve tried this fall.