Brewery: Lost Boy Cider (Alexandria, VA)
Style: Cider – Dry
6.9% ABV / N/A IBU
Look, let’s just cut right to the chase: The very concept of a pickle-flavored cider is an abomination. It is neither overwhelming or underwhelming, just as predictably terrible as you would imagine a pickle in any form other than a pickle to be. Lost Boy Cider’s Gherkin is like a screening of Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo—you can find ways to enjoy this, but it means that you are totally dead inside. But you’re probably still curious, wondering whether anything could actually be that bad, because that was totally the author of this review three sentences ago, before he poured this cider into a glass, and realized:
The smell of Gherkin is fairly revolting, like a wet dog wearing sweaty gym shoes on a mildew-y carpet. The undertone is earthy, which is a big thing in dry ciders right now, particularly ones brewed with botanicals. The idea is to reinforce a connection to the natural world, where the core (no pun intended) components comes from, so you can have an experience that’s akin to picking up the freshest fruits and vegetables from a farm stand. That’s all great in theory, but Gherkin doesn’t really smell natural and it’s kinda hard to get excited about drinking it.
The cucumber flavor in this cider is mostly good. Gherkin could use more of it and would probably work better as a dry cider with cucumber notes, like a gin and tonic, or a sweeter cider with cucumber paired with a stronger flavor like lime or mint. It’s the pickling spice that sabotages this because an herbed beer or cider should be made with one seasoning, not a combination of 12 different things. The potential for disaster is just too great. And Gherkin would certainly benefit from a higher level of carbonation—again, back to the idea of a gin and tonic as a model, something that’s crisp and effervescent and slightly funky. At least Lost Boy had the decency to super-charge the ABV; if you’re going to open the hatch for something like this, you might as well get bombed.
For more info, check out Lost Boy here.