Drink Review: Ace Pumpkin Cider

November 17, 2011

First off, let me say that I love pumpkin. Not squash – I always gagged on it as a kid, and as an adult, it either has to have too much sugar or is too fried like tempera to be a healthy vegetable anymore. But pumpkin is a definite weakness for me. You know the Eliza Doolittle song “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” from My Fair Lady in which she sings, “Lots of choc-lat’ for me to eat”? Well, I sing, “Lots of pump-kin for me to eat” in a bad cockney accent. This is sort of the only time of the year which I will go to Starbucks because of the pumpkin syrup they have. I love pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin pie (with whipped cream!), pumpkin cheesecake, and pumpkin butter, which I have recently begun to put on granola and in my yogurt.

Admittedly, baked pumpkin goods aren’t quite as good to me because they are kind of like carrot cake but made with pumpkin instead, and something just gets lost in translation. My husband is also amused by my attempt to have pumpkin puree on my granola instead of pumpkin butter because it is cheaper, except that I have to ease up on how much I add and then add honey and spices. I think that the pumpkin puree is a little to squash like and hasn’t been processed into the nummy goodness.

Which brings me to a pumpkin cider from Ace Ciders. This cider has good color and a pleasant nose. When I first drank it, the cider and then the spices and then the pumpkin hit me in that order. I guessed cinnamon and cloves, and my husband thought anise. We were both wrong, as the label said it was made with pumpkin and all spice. I think the sweetness was at about the right level.

There were four of us pouring out of a 12 oz bottle. Honestly, everyone else took a small sample, leaving me to drink as much as I wanted. Unfortunately, the longer I drank it, the more that squash sensation was creeping up on me. I think I ended up drinking half of the bottle, with one quarter going to the rest of my party, and the other quarter I gave to a couple sampling other ciders at Bushwhacker Cider Bar. The gentleman took a sip and said, “Yes, this is good, but I could see how you would have a hard time drinking an entire bottle.” Pretty much sums up my thoughts.

My husband, Burtle Homebrewer, was able to attend The Great Pumpkin Beer Festival in October at Elysian Brewing Company in Seattle (I was unable to attend). Mind you, he is not as crazy about pumpkin as I am, but he did say that the best one had actually been fermented and tapped out of a giant pumpkin. He said that some beers are just too much pumpkin, some don’t have enough, and others can find the right balance. Maybe it is easier with beer than cider, though I have had a great creamy apple carrot pumpkin pureed soup before!

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