If you’re not from Vermont, the numbers “802” won’t ring an immediate bell for you. The state’s sole telephone area code, 802 was recently deemed a befitting title for the new collection of ciders from Woodchuck Hard Cider, made exclusively from fresh-pressed Vermont apples. The 16-ounce cans are slapped with the motto of “Fermentation for Freedom and Unity,” a phrase that symbolizes bringing together drinkers while celebrating their uniqueness (according to this Woodchuck blog post) and is first seen on the Lil’ Dry, the inaugural release of the collection.
The cider clocks in at a sessionable 5.1 percent ABV, with a semi-dry designation that is explained by a mini brix scale — 1 being dry, 6 sweet— on the side of the can, registering this cider somewhere between 2 and 3 brix. All natural apple sweetness with no sugar added, the nose bursts right out fo the gate with scents of fresh Granny Smith apples, honey and baking spices. Big popping bubbles on the palate give way to simple and clean apple flavors, easy tartness and soft structural acid. Heaps of apple round the semi-dry, honeyed finish.