Over the summer, I was waiting with great anticipation for the crop of seasonal autumn ciders. Already a fan of California Cider Company’s ACE Blackjack 21, I made ACE Pumpkin my first seasonal autumn cider purchase of 2016, and I’m glad I did!
The company’s website declares ACE Pumpkin “tastes like pumpkin pie.” Read on to see if the product lives up to the claim.
In keeping with the theme, ACE Pumpkin has a more orange color than a golden one. I assume no pumpkins were harmed in the making of this beverage, so there’s probably some food coloring involved to help enhance the experience.
I was expecting a bit more “pumpkin pie” to the nose than I experienced. The pumpkin pie spices are there, for sure, but they’re more subtle than I expected. The nose reminds me a bit of what cider would taste like if steeped in pumpkin pie spices instead of traditional mulling spices.
I very much enjoy the added complexity of the pumpkin pie spices. One of the greatest weaknesses of so many hard ciders is the lack of complexity compared with other alcoholic beverages. The addition of the spices makes a world of difference.
Even though ACE Pumpkin smells of sweet apples, the taste leans more toward sour apple, which pairs quite nicely with the spices. The sour apple flavors are stronger up front, followed by a blend of apple and spice, with the spices lingering on the finish. In a normal sip, the spice flavors are subtle, but you can enhance the “pumpkin pie” flavor by letting the liquid linger in your mouth a while and even swishing it around a bit. With just a little work, it really does taste something like drinking a pumpkin pie. Who wouldn’t want that?
ACE Pumpkin more than met my expectations. I was hoping for something with a little more complexity than a typical hard cider, and I got it. If you enjoy the flavors of pumpkin pie and enjoy drinking hard cider, give ACE Pumpkin a try!