Angry Orchard Pear Cider

Review of Angry Orchard’s Pear Cider.  This is a new release.  See the press release here.  Note that this isn’t perry as it is made from both pears and apples.  I’ve previously sampled their Crisp AppleTraditional Dry, Elderflower, Summer HoneyThe MuseIcemanStone DryThe Old Fashioned, Knotty Pear, Walden HollowEasy AppleUnderstood in Motion 01, Tapped Maple, Spiced Apple, Maple Wooden Sleeper, and Understood in Motion 02.

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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:  Pear Cider
Cidery:  Angry Orchard
Cidery Location:  Walden NY (their R&D facility)
Cider Production Locations:  Cincinnati OH & Breingsville PA
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American commercial pear cider made from dessert apples & pears

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Availability:  wide release, year round, since October 2017 (they have a Cider Finder)

Cider Description:  Angry Orchard Pear Cider is delicately crafted to highlight the mellow sweetness of pears. Using apples and pears grown in the US, this hard cider blends ripe pear taste with crisp apple notes for a well-rounded and smooth drink.

Made from pear varieties including Bartlett, D’Anjou, and Bosc, and apple varieties including Gala, Fuji, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith.

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

Price:  n/a (retails for $7.99-9.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  a cidery rep contacted me

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First Impression:  Medium straw yellow.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells of pear juice and apple juice.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of pear, pineapple, green apple, and mango.  Long tart finish.  Low to moderate pear flavor and complexity.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  The finish was really surprising though, as the tartness lingered much more than I’d expect (maybe the malic acid?).  It was easy to drink and it didn’t bore me, although tasted a bit commercial.

Most Similar to:  Crispin Pacific Pear.  Or, for a craft choice, Longdrop Tanager Pear Cider.  Or in between, Flatbed Pear Cider.

Closing Notes:  I was told that they will also still continue to make their Orchard’s Edge Knotty Pear (a pear cider with cardamom and oak barrel aging).

Have you tried any pear ciders?  What did you think?

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Understood in Motion 02 (Angry Orchard & EZ Orchards Collaboration)

Review of Understood in Motion 02, Angry Orchard’s second release in the collaboration series, this time with EZ Orchards.  The first was with Eden Specialty Ciders and released nearly a year ago (see my review of Understood in Motion 01 here).

>>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.<<

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Cider:  Understood in Motion 02
Cidery:  Angry Orchard & EZ Orchards
Cidery Location:  Walden NY & Salem OR
ABV:  7.2%
How Supplied:  750ml corked & caged bottles
Style:  American craft cider from bittersweet & heirloom apple varieties, wild yeast fermented, partially Cognac barrel aged, dry & still

 

Availability:  Angry Orchard’s facility in Walden NY and at select locations in Oregon, released August 2017

Cider Description:  The east meets west coast with Understood in Motion 02, a collaboration between Angry Orchard Hard Cider and E.Z. Orchards Cidre.  The cider is a homage to style, tradition, and a shared respect for the integrity of the fruit.  Apples used are Bittersweet Muscadet de Lense and Marie Menard from Oregon, and heirloom, acid-forward Gold Rush and Northern Spy from New York.  The fruit was naturally fermented in a process that requires very little intervention but lots of careful attention.

Angry Orchard’s Ryan Burk and EZ Orchards’ Kevin Zielinski worked together on this cider over the last year.  This article has more information.

Price:  n/a (retails for $25)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I read about it online.

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First Impression:  Still (no carbonation).  Light pumpkin yellow hue.  Smells mild, of citrus and must.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  Low tannins.  Hints of bitterness, sourness, and funk.  Notes of lemon, grapefruit, straw, cork, honey, must, and wood.  Moderate length warming finish, which is when a slight Congac flavor shines through.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate to high complexity.  Low to moderate sessionability.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.  Low barrel influence.  Low to moderate spirit influence.

My Opinion:  I liked it, but didn’t love it.  I was hoping for more bittersweet apple flavor.  Although this definitely wasn’t a fully heirloom apple cider (as the acidity was muted), the bittersweets didn’t get to shine through, as it was lacking their richness.  The flavor notes I got from this were really interesting and unique.

Suggestions:  I liked this cider best in between fridge and room temperature, as the complexity increased as it warmed up.  I think it would taste good with something creamy, like cheese or a cream-based soup.

Most Similar to:  A mild farmhouse-style cider, such as releases from Wrangletown, Dragon’s Head Wild Fermented, and Angry Orchard Walden Hollow.

Closing Notes:  I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to try these special releases not available locally – I’m spoiled with these samples!

Have you tried any of the Angry Orchard special releases?  What did you think?

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?

Angry Orchard Spiced Apple

Review of Angry Orchard’s Spiced Apple, their newest limited release cider, with pie spices, only available in their winter variety pack.

>>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.<<

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Cider:  Spiced Apple
Cidery:  Angry Orchard
Cidery Location:  Walden NY (their R&D facility)
Cider Production Locations:  Cincinnati OH & Breingsville PA
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  12 pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American commercial cider made from dessert apple varieties, with pie spices

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Availability:  January thru April, wide release, in the Winter Orchard Sampler Variety Pack (with Crisp Apple, Easy Apple, Stone Dry, Green Apple, Tapped Maple, and Spiced Apple)

Cider Description:  Angry Orchard Spiced Apple was Inspired by the spices in this classic dessert and connection to the American cider making tradition. This hard cider achieves its balanced profile by combining bright and festive warming spices and a blend of culinary and bittersweet apples. This new limited release style is perfect for evenings with friends and family during the last months of winter.

Apple Varieties:  Pacific Northwest dessert varieties (Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Gala French)

Ingredients:  hard cider, water, cane sugar, apple juice concentrate, malic acid, natural flavor, carbon dioxide, sulfites

Price:  n/a (but retails for $15.99-$18.99 / 12 pack variety pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Light amber hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells of sweet concentrated apple with pie spices.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to sweet.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No sourness, bitterness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of concentrated apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.  Low complexity.  Moderate spice intensity.

My Opinion:  This is a pretty typical sweet spiced cider, which isn’t one of my favorite styles.  I didn’t find any faults with it though.

Most Similar to:  Most spiced ciders I’ve had have been drier, like Elemental Seasonal Spiced Apple, 2 Towns Nice & NaughtyCarlton Cyderworks Sugar and Spice, Sonoma Cider The Sleigh, and AEppelTreow Sparrow Spiced.  D’s Wicked Baked Apple was on-par with this one as far as sweetness, but was more baked apple than spiced.

Closing Notes:  Angry Orchard still appears to carry their Cinnful Apple, which is a fall seasonal, while this is a one-off only available in this winter’s variety pack.

Have you tried Angry Orchard Spiced Apple?  What did you think?

Angry Orchard Tapped Maple

Review of Angry Orchard’s Tapped Maple, their newest seasonal cider, with Vermont maple syrup.

>>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.<<

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Cider:  Tapped Maple
Cidery:  Angry Orchard
Cidery Location:  Walden NY (their R&D facility)
Cider Production Locations:  Cincinnati OH & Breingsville PA
ABV:  5.o%
How Supplied:  6 or 12 pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American commercial cider made from dessert apple varieties, with maple syrup

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Availability:  January thru April, wide release, in individual 6 packs plus 12 pack variety packs

Cider Description:  Angry Orchard Tapped Maple blends American culinary apples with maple syrup tapped from Vermont maple trees. The maple syrup – rich in flavor and natural maple sweetness – adds a delicate balance, creating a not-too-sweet cider with a strong maple-forward aroma, and full, round mouthfeel. This new seasonal style is perfect to enjoy around the dinner table or fire pit with friends during cooler months.

Apple Varieties:  Pacific Northwest dessert varieties (Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith, Gala, and Pink Lady)

Ingredients:  hard cider, water, cane sugar, apple juice concentrate, malic acid, maple syrup, natural flavor, carbon dioxide, sulfites

Price:  n/a (but retails for $8.99-$9.99 / 6 pack, or $15.99-$18.99 / 12 pack variety pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Dark straw yellow hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells of concentrated apple with a hint of maple.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Low to moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of concentrated apple with hints of maple and citrus.  Quick finish.  High apple flavor.  High sessionability.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it.  Very drinkable, as it isn’t too sweet.  I was expecting more maple, but I’m glad they didn’t go overboard.

Most Similar to:  The other ciders with maple I’ve had are Woodchuck Campfire Pancakes (which was fake maple overload and very sweet) and Seattle Cider Oaked Maple (which had even less maple flavor than this one, and was drier).

Closing Notes:   This was a nice selection from Angry Orchard, although I’d like to see them improve their ingredient list.

Have you tried Angry Orchard Tapped Maple?  What did you think?

Angry Orchard & Eden Specialty Ciders Collaboration – Understood in Motion: 01

Review of the first collaboration between Angry Orchard & Eden Specialty Ciders, Understood in Motion: 01.  It is the first in a series of planned releases, made by head cidermaker Ryan Burk of Angry Orchard and co-owner & cidermaker Eleanor Leger of Eden Specialty Ciders.  It is named for the motion of apple harvest and the cider making process.

The apples were grown and pressed in Vermont at Eden’s cidery, then the juice was shipped to Angry Orchard’s Innovation cidery in New York for fermentation and six months of aging (some in tanks and some in Calvados barrels).  After that, Ryan and Eleanor met to blend the cider with some three year old Eden ice cider.

Here is an article with more information on the cider, and here is an article about Angry Orchard’s Innovation Cider House releases in 2016.

>>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.<<

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Cider:  Understood in Motion: 01
Cidery:  Angry Orchard & Eden Specialty Ciders
Cidery Location:  Walden NY & Newport VT
ABV:  8.0%
How Supplied:  750ml corked & caged champagne bottles
Style:  American craft cider from Vermont heirloom apple varieties, a mix of tank & Calvados barrel aging, and mixed with ice cider

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Availability:  Limited release, only at Angry Orchard’s Walden New York Innovation Cider House, since November 18

Cider Description:  This cider was born of friendship among two Northeast cider makers, as well as a shared commitment to raising awareness of the American cider industry. With Understood in Motion 01, we worked with our friends at Eden Specialty Ciders (VT) to combine techniques and favorite ingredients to develop something completely new, while paying homage to the American cider making tradition.

This cider is made from a carefully selected blend of heirloom apples from Vermont, including Ananas Reinette and D’Arcy, resulting in a still, semi-dry cider with balanced acidity and low tannin, aged in Calvados barrels for 6 months.

It recently won Gold in the Cider/Mead/ Perry at the FoBAB Competition.

Price:  n/a (retails for $25)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I read about it online.

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First Impression:  Light pumpkin amber hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells rich, of brown sugar, honey, and baked apples.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Low tannins.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Notes of baked apple, brown sugar, honey, lemon, and grapefruit.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate to high apple flavor.  Moderate sessionability.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Moderate complexity.  Low oak influence.

My Opinion:  I really enjoyed it.  I was expecting more tannins and less citrus, but it worked.  It tasted like a high acidity citrusy cider mixed with some rich ice cider.  I actually enjoyed it even more the second day.  Because it is still, it didn’t have carbonation to go flat.  The acidity also seemed to calm down a bit, bringing out more richness.

Most Similar to:  This reminded me of Eden’s Semi-Dry cider (which also mixes ice cider into dry cider), as well as Slyboro Old Sin.

Closing Notes:  I feel privileged to have got a bottle of this limited release cider!  Special thanks to Diana Mask at Angry Orchard for hooking me up.  These two cideries would have been my last guess for a collaboration match up, but I can see how it benefits them both.  Angry Orchard is trying to improve their image from just a mass market sweet simple cider maker.  Eden is a small artisan cidery startup without the budget for marketing campaigns or nationwide cider releases.  I look forward to seeing what they come up with next.

Have you tried Angry Orchard & Eden Specialty Ciders Collaboration – Understood in Motion: 01?  What did you think?

Angry Orchard Easy Apple

Review of Angry Orchard’s Easy Apple, their newest release, added to their core ciders.  It is marketed as a less sweet and easy drinking (low ABV) cider.

>>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.<<

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Cider:  Easy Apple
Cidery:  Angry Orchard
Cidery Location:  Walden NY (their R&D facility)
Cider Production Locations:  Cincinnati OH & Breingsville PA
ABV:  4.2%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American commercial cider made from dessert & cider apple varieties

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Availability:  Currently (since early Aug) year round in RI, WA, OR, ID, MT, and AK, and it will be in variety packs Aug-Dec 2016.

Cider Description:  Angry Orchard Easy Apple is a less sweet, refreshing and easy-to-drink hard cider. It is unfiltered with an apple-forward taste, slightly hazy appearance and a refreshingly dry finish. It never weighs you down, making it the perfect drink choice for those long, relaxing days.

Apple Varieties: Dessert (Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Gala) and French Bittersweet (Dabinett, Harry Master Jersey, Frequin Rouge, and Bisquet)

Ingredients: hard cider, water, cane sugar, apple juice from concentrate, malic acid, natural flavor, carbon dioxide, sulfites

Price:  n/a (but retails for $8.99-$9.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Slightly hazy amber orange hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells of apple juice with a hint of sharp apples and citrus.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet to semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Low tartness.  Low to moderate acidity.  Hints of tannins.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Notes of apple juice, citrus (orange), honey, and honeycomb.  Hints of richer tannic cider apple flavor.  Quick finish.  High sessionability.  Moderate to high apple flavor.  Low complexity.  Low flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  Better than I expected–I actually enjoyed this.  It was very easy to drink and refreshing.  It was very simple, but had hints of complexity (I would have liked to see a higher percentage of cider apples).  While it remains on the sweet size, it isn’t too sweet for me (ie. I could actually drink more than one of these).  Too bad these drier (superior in my opinion) varieties don’t make it to restaurants and bars and such like their flagship Crisp Apple does.  However, I’m not all that pleased with the ingredient list (its definitely commercial).

Most Similar to:  2 Towns Out Cider, One Tree Crisp Apple, and Downeast Original, which are apple-forward and less filtered.  Easy Apple also reminds me a bit of Angry Orchard’s Traditional Dry variety, which I think they discontinued, which was a similar sweetness level and seemed to have hints of cider apple flavor.  The honeycomb notes reminded me of Long Drop Vanilla Honey.

Closing Notes:   This was surprisingly tasty.  Angry Orchard is definitely trying to keep up with changing expectations in the cider market, and they remain the market leader by far.

Have you tried Angry Orchard Easy Apple?  What did you think?