Angry Orchard – Orchard’s Edge – Knotty Pear

Review of Knotty Pear, one of two new releases from Angry Orchard, part of their new Orchard’s Edge series, an “innovative line of ciders developed at the orchard”.  The series also includes The Old Fashioned, which I reviewed here.  This is their latest release since Stone Dry, part of their Core selection, which I reviewed here.

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by  Angry Orchard.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received it for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review cue.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.<<

Cider:  Orchard’s Edge Knotty Pear
Cidery:  Angry Orchard
Cidery Location:  Walden NY (their R&D facility)
Cider Production Locations:  Cincinnati OH & Breingsville PA
ABV:  6.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American commercial cider from dessert apples with pear juice & cardamom, oak aged

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Availability:  Year round, nationwide, released in late February

Cider Description:  Knotty Pear’s main ingredient is juice from American apples, and also features pear juice, which adds a new dimension to the cider, creating a pleasantly dry flavor. Cardamom imparts a slight spicy flavor. With subtle notes of citrus and mint.  This cider and showcases fresh acidity, lasting tannin, and a pleasantly dry finish from oak aging.

Apple Varieties:  Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith

Pear Varieties:  Bartlett, Doyenne de Comice, Bosc, D’Anjou

Ingredients:  Hard cider, water, cane sugar, pear juice from concentrate, malic acid, natural flavor, cardamom, carbon dioxide, sulfites

Price:  n/a (suggested retail of $10.99-$11.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Angry Orchard sent me two bottles of Knotty Pear and two bottles of The Old Fashioned (and my favorite, large quantities of bubble wrap!).  Oddly enough this was a couple weeks after I started seeing info about these online from folks trying it.  Things do take awhile to get to me in Seattle all the way from the East coast though.

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow.  Nearly still.  Smells mild, of sweet apples & pears with a hint of herbal spice.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Low tartness.  Low to moderate acidity.  No sourness, bitterness, tannins, or funk.  Medium bodied.  Notes of sweet baked apples & pears, spice, citrus, and mint.  Moderate length finish.  Very low oak influence.  Moderate apple flavor.  Moderate sessionability.

My Opinion:  The cardamom in this one is interesting.  It adds some complexity, but I’m not really a fan of the base pear cider, which is a bit fake/syrupy tasting.

Most Similar to:  The slight mint notes remind me of Jester & Judge Columbia Belle, although the flavor besides apple with that one is peach, not pear.  The base pear cider is rather similar to most commercial pear ciders I’ve had.

Closing Notes:   I think Angry Orchard is making an attempt at stepping up their game.  However, I’ll take them more seriously when the ingredient list doesn’t include water, sugar, and natural flavor.  I liked their The Old Fashioned better than this one.

Have you tried Angry Orchard Knotty Pear?  What did you think?

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