Angry Orchard Unfiltered Crisp Apple

Review of Angry Orchard’s newest regular release, an unfiltered less sweet version of their Crisp Apple.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve had a number of their other selections (see here).

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Cider:  Unfiltered Crisp Apple
Cidery:  Angry Orchard
Cidery Location:  Walden NY (their R&D facility)
Cider Production Locations:  Cincinnati OH & Breingsville PA
ABV:  6%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American commercial cider from dessert & bittersweet apple varieties, unfiltered, less sweet

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Availability:  wide release

Cider Description:  Crisp Apple Unfiltered is an homage to traditional cider with a natural, less sweet, fresh apple taste.  It is made with bittersweet apples, the gold standard in cider making.

Ingredients:  hard cider, water, cane sugar, apple juice from concentrate, malic acid, honey, natural flavor, carbon dioxide, and sulfites to preserve freshness

Price:  ~ $2 / single bottle (runs ~ $8.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  browsing

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First Impression:  Hazy light amber hue.  Smells of sweet baked apple.  Very low carbonation.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Hints of tannins and bitterness.  Notes of unfiltered apple juice, orange, honey, and chemicals.  Moderate length tart finish.  Moderate apple flavor and flavor intensity.  High sessionability.  Low complexity.

My Opinion:  The weird chemical flavor ruined it for me, and my husband agreed – we ended up dumping it out.  Maybe it had gone bad, but it didn’t taste like ciders I have had before which were truly flawed (the most common I’ve found is those which have turned vinegary).

Most Similar to:  Angry Orchard Easy Apple, Crispin The Saint, and some favorites of mine, Downeast Original Blend and 2 Towns Return of the Mac, except with a chemical twist…ick

Closing Notes:  I was hoping this would be a full-ABV version of their Easy Apple (their less sweet, less filtered, low ABV cider), but that one is much better.

Have you tried Angry Orchard Unfiltered?  What did you think?

One Tree Crisp Apple

Review of One Tree’s Crisp Apple cider.  I’ve tried it before, but only a draft sample, not canned.  I’ve also tried their Lemon Basil, Caramel Cinnamon, Huckleberry, Dark Cherry, and Raspberry ciders.

Cider:  Crisp Apple
Cidery:  One Tree
Cidery Location:  Spokane WA
ABV:  6.8%
How Supplied:  four pack of 16oz cans
Style:  American craft cider made from dessert apples

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Availability:  Year-round in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana; see here.

Cider Description:  An army of apple have made their way to your door, housed in a tough metal can. This cider is crisp and delicious with just enough tart apple flavor to keep you coming back for more. Keep that ice chest stocked with One Tree Hard Cider cans. Your taste buds will thank you.

Cidery Description:  It all started with a love for the Washington apple and a father’s day gift of an at home cider kit … and the rest is history. One Tree Hard Cider is made from locally grown ingredients right here in Washington State. When we started on the journey we wanted to use a wide range of ingredients and flavors in our hard ciders to show that it all starts with apples but it doesn’t end there! Our flavors range from Lemon Basil, Crisp Apple, and Caramel Cinnamon to Huckleberry, Cranberry and other seasonal or limited release options. Whether you like your cider sweet or tart, you’ll find a One Tree Hard Cider just for you!

They have a tasting room in Spokane WA.

Price:  ~$ 3 / single can (runs ~$10.99 / four pack)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I tried Crisp Apple at One Tree’s release party at the Schilling Cider House in Seattle awhile back (see here), and wanted to give it another go, but only a single can.

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First Impression:  Hazy orange lemonade hue.  Low carbonation.  Smells of baked apple.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  No sourness, bitterness, tannins, or funk.  Notes of baked apple, citrus, and a hint of cinnamon.  Quick finish length.  High apple flavor.  High sessionability.  Low complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  Yum!  Its simple, but tasty.  I like that its less filtered and flavorful, and less sweet than their other ciders (my preference is semi-dry to semi-sweet).

Most Similar to:  2 Towns Out Cider, except it is slightly sweeter and more flavorful.

Closing Notes:   This is probably my favorite One Tree cider so far; it is the most drinkable of their ciders for me, something I could actually have an entire pint of.  Sweet sells though, and One Tree’s ciders are very popular in the Seattle area.  They won the Fruit Cider Challenge at Cider Summit Seattle 2016 with their Raspberry cider with peanut butter whipped cream (see here).

Side note:  “Crisp Apple” is a popular name for ciders…Angry Orchard, Flatbed, Zeffer, Hornsby’s, Foster’s, and Newton’s all also use it.

Have you tried One Tree Crisp Apple?  What did you think?

Flatbed Cider Crisp Apple

Review of Flatbed Cider’s Crisp Apple.  They are a new cidery (launched in January) which currently offers Crisp Apple and Pear Cider varieties.

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Cider:  Crisp Apple
Cidery:  Flatbed Cider (owned by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates)
Cidery Location:  Milton-Freewater OR (made by Blue Mountain)
ABV:  6.7%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz bottles
Style:  American craft cider
Ingredients:  hard apple cider, apple juice concentrate, sulfites

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Availability:  OR and WA

Cider Description:  Flatbed Crisp Apple Cider is all natural. Jonagold apples deliver the balance and acidity behind Flatbed’s exceptionally bright taste. Red Delicious apples provide tannin structure. Golden Delicious apples add a rustic apple character with a twist of subtle sweetness. And, heirloom varietals hand-selected from batch-to-batch add to the Northwest charm. With a taste that leans toward the drier side and delivers cool refreshment, Flatbed Crisp Apple Cider pairs with nearly anything that comes from the sea, farm or food cart.

Cidery Description:  The Northwest stokes our passion to create exceptional ciders. And, since the best apples in America, arguably the world, come from the Northwest, it makes sense that it carries our local stamp. Flatbed Ciders are made with local apples picked at their peak and pressed into a mixture that’s equal parts crisp and refreshing. A cider that’s truly Northwest of normal. No artificial ingredients, no sugar added, no shenanigans. Flannel up and enjoy!

Price:  $9.99-$10.99 (although I bought a single bottles for $2)
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I read about Flatbed Cider online and have already seen them at a number stores, but waited until I could buy a single bottle of each variety.

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First Impression:  Light straw yellow.  Low carbonation, a mix of small and large bubbles.  Smells of dry, tart, and acidic apple with champagne yeast, citrus, and floral notes.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No sourness, bitterness, funk, or tannins.  Light bodied.  Very low carbonation.  Citrus and honey notes.  Quick finish.  Moderate apple flavor and flavor in general.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  This is one of my favorite craft ciders from dessert apples that I’ve had.  Its odd they chose to use concentrate in addition to fresh juice, although that adds more apple flavor.

Most Similar to:  Tod Creek Tod Cider Vancouver Island, which was also semi-dry with distinct citrus notes (but made from Golden, Granny, Sparton, Macintosh, and Jona apples).

Closing Notes:   I thought this cider was pretty tasty.  I’m curious to try their Pear Cider next.

Have you tried Flatbed Cider?  What did you think?

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):