Angry Orchard Crisp Apple, Traditional Dry, Elderflower, Summer Honey, Iceman, & The Muse

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):

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