Angry Orchard Maple Wooden Sleeper

Review of Angry Orchard’s Maple Wooden Sleeper, a bourbon barrel aged cider in collaboration with Crown Maple, a maple syrup company.  Here is an article with more information on the cider, and here is an article about recent Angry Orchard’s Innovation Cider House releases.

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<a mini bottle of maple syrup was included too!>

>>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:  Wooden Sleeper
Cidery:  Angry Orchard
Cidery Location:  Walden NY
ABV:  12.0%
How Supplied:  750ml waxed top bottles
Style:  American cider (made from bittersweet & bittersharp apples), with Crown Maple syrup, bourbon barrel aged for 5 12 months

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Availability:  only at Angry Orchard’s Innovation Cider House and Crown Maple’s tasting room, 400 bottles released March 2017

Cider Description:  For this very special and limited cider, we collaborated with our friends up the road at Crown Maple by using their estate grown organic maple syrup to blend with our barrel aged Wooden Sleeper.  The resulting cider is deep, complex, and layered with notes of oak, bourbon, and of course, New York maple syrup.  Maple Wooden Sleeper is best shared with family and friends to finish out a great meal.  Enjoy now or cellar for years to come.  Cheers!

Cidery Description:  The cider makers at Angry Orchard have been experimenting with apple varieties, ingredients and processes to develop hard cider recipes for more than 20 years. The cider makers have traveled the world to find the best apples for cider making and chose specific varieties – like French bittersweet apples from Normandy, culinary apples from Italy and the Pacific Northwest U.S. based on each cider’s desired flavor profile.

In fall 2015, Angry Orchard opened a new home for research and development on a historic 60-acre apple orchard in the Walden, NY. There, the cider makers will continue to drive experimentation at the Innovation Cider House, and drinkers are welcome to visit for samples of exclusive ciders made on-site. Despite the recent growth of hard cider in the US, the category is still small and relatively unknown. Angry Orchard is committed to drinker education and awareness-building to help grow the category for all craft cider makers.

Price:  n/a ($25 retail)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I asked my Angry Orchard rep about it.  They spoil me!

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First Impression:  Dark amber hue (natural).  Still (no carbonation).  Smells rich, of caramel, maple, oak, and alcohol.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low tannins.  Low bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of caramel, brown sugar, maple, oak, vanilla, bourbon, and molasses.  Long warming finish.  Low maple flavor.  Low oak flavor.  Moderate bourbon flavor.  Very low sessionability.  Low to moderate apple flavor.  High complexity and flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  Amazing!  This is my favorite type of cider – rich, complex, and boozy.  However, this definitely won’t be for everyone, and isn’t very cider-like.

Most Similar to:  Alpenfire Smoke, which is also a rich, complex, and boozy cider (although Alpenfire’s cider is slightly more refined tasting).  This didn’t have as much maple flavor as the other maple ciders I’ve had, likely as it had so much else going on too.  The other maple ciders I’ve had are Angry Orchard Tapped Maple, Seattle Cider Oaked Maple, and Woodchuck Campfire Pancakes.  I’m actually surprised I haven’t seen more ciders with maple, as I think it is a great combination.  Rich and complex ciders are my favorite kind.  I’d love to try Downeast’s Maple cider, but they aren’t available out West.

Closing Notes:  I’m glad I got the chance to try this special release.  This is the second batch of Wooden Sleeper (the first didn’t have maple), and another is already in the works.

Have you tried Angry Orchard Wooden Sleeper?  What did you think?

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