Saturday, October 17, 2015

Wicked Grove Hard Cider (Aldi)


I swore I had posted this review already over summer. Oops. Sorry for the lateness, now that it's fall and all.
Finally!  I’d been waiting with bated breath to see when Aldi would finally carry a hard cider, and upon looking through their summer catalog, I finally found my answer, in the form of Wicked Grove Hard Cider, which seems to be available through summer only.  As I believe I’ve mentioned before, I don’t drink beer at all, because it tastes disgusting; for me, life’s too short to acquire tastes.  So I’ve always enjoyed the ciders, which taste great and are perfect for cooling down on a hot summer’s day.

As the title seems to allude to, this is a knockoff of Angry Orchard, as far as I can tell, though its strong sweetness also reminds me strongly of Redd’s Apple Ale.  It tastes strongly of apples, but there’s also an almost overwhelming sweetness/tartness; it’s nowhere near the delicious crispness of Trader Joe’s own Woodchuck-produced Newton’s Folly, but it’s definitely drinkable.  Beer fans can just stay far away from this; while there are some ciders that have a certain dryness that I could see appealing to fans of hops and barley (Strongbow and Woodchuck’s 802 jump immediately to mind), this one tastes more like candy, and would deeply offend those with a strong disposition to beer.  Hell, I love sweet drinks, and there’s no way I could plow through more than two in one sitting, as the sweetness is almost too much to take.

The biggest downside probably has nothing to do with Aldi, and more to do with the State of Ohio…all of Aldi’s alcoholic beverages are $1-$2 more in this state than they are in surrounding states.  So while the price advertised on Aldi’s website is $6.49, it actually retails for $7.49 here.  This makes it $.50 more expensive than the much-better Newton’s Folly, and only $1 cheaper than the average price of the name brand ciders, when on sale.  On the other hand, anything that prevents me from having to go to a chain supermarket is also a plus in my book, so I’ll probably end up picking up a few of these anyway during the hot months, and as much as I prefer Trader Joe’s cider, it’s about fifteen minutes farther away…factor in the cost of gas, and it’s probably a little bit more expensive.

If you like Redd’s or Angry Orchard, you’re going to like this one.  But if you prefer your ciders a little dryer, or don’t like ciders at all, then Wicked Grove is certainly not for you.

Overall: 6.5/10.  Finally!  Aldi carries a hard cider!  While I was hoping it would be more in the vein of Woodchuck (like Trader Joe’s Newton’s Folly, which is produced by the Vermont cidery), I guess beggars can’t be choosers.  Wicked Grove Hard Cider is much more sugary and sweet, more along the lines of a Redd’s Apple Ale or, as the title suggests, Angry Orchard, than anything else.  While it’s definitely drinkable, the $7.49 retail price (in Ohio), means it’s only about $1 cheaper than the national brand drinks, while the sweetness means this isn’t something you can just sip on throughout the day to maintain a nice weekend buzz; in fact, I have a huge sweet tooth when it comes to alcohol, and I couldn’t drink more than two of these in a single sitting.  For all my complaints, I’ll still be picking up at least a few of these six-packs throughout summer, as it’s at least one more reason I don’t have to set foot in a chain supermarket.

NOTE: Since writing this review, the price has actually gone down to $6.49, representing a much stronger value.  Since Aldi prices have been known to fluctuate, I'm keeping the original price and score up for a while, just to make sure the price change is permanent.  If it is, then the score will be raised to a 7, on account of the excellent value--even Trader Joe's Newton's Folly has gone up to $6.99 per six-pack, making this the best private label value cider in Ohio, at least as far as price is concerned. 

13 comments:

  1. I really like the tart apple taste - to me, it tastes like old time hard apple cider (you know, before people thought it was supposed to be sweet). Disappointed I can't get it at our Aldi all year.

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    1. I like the apple taste, too, but it reminded me more of a Redd's Apple Ale (which, to me, are overly sweet) than a Woodchuck, or Strongbow. Admittedly, I was hoping for something a little more dry than sweet, but I'll take what I can get...I've bought a few of these six-packs over summer, and was ecstatic to see that they seem to be carrying them year 'round at our Aldi.

      Why aren't they carrying it at yours, I wonder? Does your Aldi just not have beer and wine at all?

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  2. Wicked Grove is made by Woodchuck

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    1. Are you positive about that? I mean, I don't have any concrete evidence to the contrary, but everything from the bottle design, to the packaging, to the name, and to the taste screams something more along the lines of Angry Orchard, or even Redd's Apple Ale.

      The one private label product that I'm certain is made by Woodchuck--Newton's Folly, available at Trader Joe's--has the same bottle, and very similar tastes, to Woodchuck.

      Wow, that's crazy. I never would have guessed that at all.

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    2. Just found this review and Y'all are funny. Of course its made by Woodchuck! ALDI is actually the parent company of Trader Joe's!

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  3. Definitely Made By woodchuck. Did research. But I am a big beer fan. And this year start to drink redds. Just got the wicked grove today. Trying it now. Very good stuff for the price. Redds is a little better. But will start getting this wicked grove from now on

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    1. Pretty much my thoughts, too...the regular is better, but not enough to offset the price differential.

      And not sure if you've seen them but they've also released six-packs of Green Apple and Elderflower flavors as limited editions. They were first only available in a 12-pack (four bottles each of the three flavors), but are now in individual six-packs. You might want to scope those out, too!

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  4. Just picked up a pack of Cinnamon flavor at my local Aldi. Not an overpowering spice flavor. Still fairly sweet, but I like it.

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    1. I saw this on my last trip and was tempted to give it a shot. I've never tried the national brand, so not sure what to expect, but apples and cinnamon is always a common (and delicious!) mixture, so I'll probably pick it up on my next trip.

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  5. The best cider on the market regarding quality and price. The sugar content is a little higher you compare it to coke cola.

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    1. It definitely tastes like it's loaded with sugar, but I agree that it's very good, especially at the $6.49 price tag. That's unbeatable in Ohio for a six-pack...everything else is at least $8 (and rising).

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  6. Have been drinking the Angry Orchard Crisp Apple for about 6 months and really like it. Have mostly cut grain out of my diet with the exception of some beers. I tried the Redd's Apple Ale and found it to be terrible, and it had grain. Found the Wicked Grove Crisp Apple today at Aldi's in Ohio and find it to be almost identical to the Angry Orchard Crisp Apple at about 65% of the cost. I'm into my second bottle and find it very good. I will be mostly switching to Wicked Grove. It's good to help a smaller company also. Cheers!

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    1. It's definitely the best value for a cider in Ohio, that's for sure!

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