Angry Orchard The Muse

Review of Angry Orchard’s The Muse, part of their Cider House Collection (along with Iceman and Strawman).  I had forgotten about this bottle, as for some reason it was in with our champagne & white wine, instead of with my ciders.  So, especially since I didn’t know how long ago I bought it, I thought I’d better drink this one!

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Cider:  The Muse
Cidery:  Angry Orchard
Cidery Location:  Cincinnati OH
ABV:  7.7%
How Supplied:  750ml corked & caged champagne bottle

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Availability:  wide release, year round

Description from Angry Orchard:  Our Cider House Collection includes rare and innovative ciders, harvested from our cider makers’ passion and creativity. To bring you these new distinct styles, we experimented with juice blends, wood aging, fermentation techniques, and other traditional processes learned from 15 years of cider making exploration and craftsmanship.

Inspired by the festive nature of slightly sweet demi-sec champagnes and sparkling wines, The Muse is a bubbly, effervescent cider made from traditional culinary and bittersweet apples and aged on French oak. The cider is sweet upfront with a juicy apple aroma and bright acidity, and slightly drying on the finish with a lingering sweet apple note. The French oak adds a subtle wood impression, imparting notes of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and hints of vanilla. 7.7% ABV.

Price:  ~$15
Where Bought:  Costco?  Its pretty widely available though, even at the supermarkets near me.
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing.  I’ve had The Muse and Iceman probably a few times each.

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First Impression:  Darker amber.  High foam & carbonation.  Cooked apple scent.

Opinion:  Sweet to very sweet.  Tastes like a sparkling ice wine.  High carbonation.  Moderate acidity.  Medium bodied.  Effervescent mouthfeel.  No noticeable bitterness, tartness, or astringency.  I don’t pick up any barrel influence or the spices that are mentioned in the description.  I do however pick up some bittersweet apple, cooked apple, and vanilla notes.  There are some poor syrupy and juice-like qualities to this cider.  Longer length finish.  Slightly less sweet than Iceman.  In contrast, Iceman has a higher ABV, some discernible barrel influence, and less carbonation.

Most Similar to:  Angry Orchard’s Iceman.  Check out this post I did with mini reviews of all the Angry Orchard ciders I’ve tried.

Closing Notes:   This cider is pretty good, but I think much better can be had for the money.  Also, I’d really rather support a local craft cidery.  This is however a good introduction to a more craft-like cider product for those with limited cider availability and for those whose palates like a sweet cider.  I have tended towards drier ciders lately and this one is a bit too sweet now for me.

Have you tried Angry Orchard The Muse?  What did you think?

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7 thoughts on “Angry Orchard The Muse

  1. I had this cider over a year ago and found it to be a middle of the road cider that was overpriced. I also didn’t pick up any of the oak notes that they advertised. I haven’t had any of the other Angry Orchard large format bottles since then, but after having this one, it obviously didn’t make me run out to get more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • beerproof: Thanks for reading! I agree. When I was first getting into cider I really enjoyed Iceman & The Muse, but they just don’t stand up against craft cider, especially for their price. There is way too much good cider in the PNW for me to be buying Angry Orchard, although I do have a place in my heart for Woodchuck (mostly as they were my first cider, I was one of their Ciderbration content winners, and there are many of their varieties I enjoy when I want an easy drinking sweeter cider). I had forgotten about this bottle and thought I may as well drink it!

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      • One of the things that really surprises me about cider is how quickly it has grown and all of the choices that are now available. I too, have a very soft spot for Woodchuck since that was the first cider I’ve had. As you can tell, I’ve been having lots of different ones since my other half loves them. For me, when Angry Orchard first came out, I really enjoyed them. But since they’re one of the most readily available ciders in this area (New Jersey metro area), I feel like their prices are just way too high. I do like the bottle art though.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My approach to this cider is similar to yours- it isn’t terrible, but if there is a better option, I will buy that instead. I live in South Carolina where more craft ciders are trickling in, but options are still pretty limited. This one is usually what I pick up when I am at the local liquor store and I want something other than the 6-pack ciders.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jessicamshaw: Thanks for reading! I hope the craft cider selection in your area picks up.

      Buying online (or doing a trade with folks online from another area) may be another option too. ShipCider.com is a new website that ships craft cider for a semi-reasonable price to folks in many states. Shipping is high of course, but the bottle prices are lower than stores, so especially if buying a large quantity, its really not that bad of a total cost.

      Some cideries also ship directly to consumers. There is also the road trip option!

      I’ve found Crispin to be one of the better readily available commercial ciders (besides Woodchuck), especially their Browns Lane (in a green can), and their Blackberry Pear. Check out my Crispin Browns Lane review: https://cidersays.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/crispin-browns-lane/

      Original Sin is kinda between craft & commercial and they are from NY, so you may be able to find them. I’m not a huge fan, but they are a solid choice.

      You may want to go to the websites of some of the cideries as they often have a locator (or a form to e-mail someone) so you can see what you can find in your area. Sometimes there are bottle shops you hadn’t thought to look at, or cider may be hiding at restaurants and convenience stores you don’t frequent. Also, ask your local privately owned bottle shops if they can get certain ciders for you, or even just more craft cider in general. Happy cider hunting!

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  3. beerproof: Agreed! I feel very lucky to live in the PNW since we have a huge selection of craft cider. At least when I buy commercial cider I can get just a single bottle of most stuff (at Total Wine or a number of bottle shops in my area only sell singles, no six packs). I have been known to get cases of Woodchuck Winter Chill and Barrel Select though…

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