This is a mini review of the Angry Orchard ciders I’ve tried. To be honest, I’m not a big of a fan of Angry Orchard…I much prefer Woodchuck in general. Unfortunately, Angry Orchard is all there is to be had at many restaurants & bars, and is what you see at just about every grocery & liquor store. As of last year, Angry Orchard had a 56.8% market share in the hard cider category (compared to 10.5% for Woodchuck, the second most popular brand), despite only being released nationwide in 2012. Before Angry Orchard, Woodchuck was the market leader.
Crisp Apple: This is their most popular variety, and found everywhere. It is quite sweet…I think moreso than Woodchuck Amber. The flavor to me is a bit syrupy and fake tasting. I won’t drink it unless its free!
Traditional Dry: I like this variety much better then Crisp Apple, and still wouldn’t call it dry, or even semi-sweet. Without so much sweetness a bit more true apple flavor comes through. Unfortunately this one isn’t found in restaurants & bars like Crisp Apple is.
Elderflower: This was their summer release in 2014 (this year it is Summer Honey). It was actually quite good & unique. I would almost call this dry, but not quite. It has an herbal/floral flavor. Woodchuck Oopsy Daisy is the most similar, which I think I slightly prefer.
Summer Honey: This is their summer release this year. I wasn’t a fan. Again, the syrupy flavor, except this time, honey. I didn’t pick up any floral notes as were described. Its not quite as sweet as their Crisp Apple though. Thankfully I only bought a single bottle.
Iceman: This is part of their Cider House Collection, and runs around $15 for a large 750ml bottle, 10% ABV. It is a barrel aged ice cider (made from fermenting frozen apple juice concentrate). I think even for ice cider it is a bit too sweet, a small glass after dinner is pretty tasty. The flavor is quite good, with a mellow oakiness and some vanilla. The bottle is also quite pretty (hey, that is what people notice!). However, I think consumers can do better for the price, as there are a number of good craft ciders available for less money. For folks who don’t have much craft cider availability in their area, and want to try something different, this could be a good choice though.
The Muse: This is part of their Cider House Collection, and runs around $15 for a large 750ml bottle, 7.7% ABV. It is reminiscent of sweet sparking wine (highly carbonated). Again, very sweet, but not quite as much as Iceman. It is also barrel aged, but I don’t really taste it. Apparently it has spices in it, but I also don’t pick that up. I like it though, even if I can’t really identify the flavors. As my cider palate has matured to like slightly less sweet ciders, I prefer this slightly more than Iceman for some reason (maybe the bubbles?). Again though, I think better can be had for the money…plus I prefer to support local cideries instead of Angry Orchard wherever possible, which is owned by the Boston Beer Company.
Angry Orchard’s other varieties (which I haven’t tried):
- Apple Ginger (regular release; here is a review from Fermentedly Challenged)
- Green Apple (regular release; here is a review from Drink Hacker)
- Cinnfull Apple (cinnamon spiced cider available August-March; here is a review from Through the Drinking Glass)
- Hop’n Mad Apple (hopped; regular release; their newest cider besides Summer Honey; here is a review from Along Came a Cider)
- Strawman (Cider House Collection; runs around $15 for 750ml and 10% ABV; a dry barrel aged Farmhouse-style cider; here is a review from Cider Sage and here is a review from Bad Rider Reviews)