Ace Pumpkin Cider continues pumpkin season with an offering from the west coast. Coming from Sonoma, California, Ace offers a variety of ciders, ranging from apple to pear to berry. Their ciders are a little more restrained, and tend to be a bit dryer in nature, but overall very good. Adding to their list of offerings is Ace Pumpkin Cider, which promises to bring out the best of pumpkin using all-spice.
For the past year, Woodchuck Pumpkin Cider has gone unchallenged as the predominate pumpkin cider on First Pour Wine. Can Ace Pumpkin Cider knock off the reigning king, or is it headed to the gallows?
Sight: A muted jewelry gold color.
Smell: Squash and spice. It’s a sort of sour kind of smell, with a lot of nutmeg and clove.
Sip: The flavor is overwhelmingly weird, the first notable feature is the acid is right up in the forefront, followed by a massive impact of spices. The spices are a brutal assortment lead by all-spice, but seem to gravitate toward nutmeg and clove, resulting in a sort of sour, bitter flavor around the pumpkin flavor. The fermenting apples are drier in style contributing to an oxidized sort of flavor that when mixed with cinnamon creates something rather unpleasant, and almost entirely like licking cinnamon and eating an old apple wedge while trying to call it pie. [A.B.V. 5%]
Savor: This is one of those rare moments where it’s wonderful that it ends. Perhaps not fast enough.
Ace Pumpkin Cider is resoundingly disappointing. This is a huge shame, since in terms of likability, the premise is way up there. Pumpkin flavored everything is all the rage from September to November, but for whatever reason, Ace just completely missed the mark on this one. Their ciders are generally pretty good, even awesome premium stuff in some cases, but the spice combination is just way too over the top. If the spices were toned down, this could be a reasonable dry style of cider to compete with Woodchuck Fall, but the spices in current form make this a bottle to be avoided unless you’re dying for a really unbalanced cider.
Verdict: Spice Cabinet, Acidic, Brutally Overpowering