Angry Orchard – Orchard’s Edge – The Old Fashioned

Review of The Old Fashioned, 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”.  It is modeled after the Old Fashioned cocktail, which often includes whiskey, water, bitters, sugar, and muddled cherries & oranges.  The series also includes Knotty Pear, 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 The Old Fashioned
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 aged with charred bourbon barrel staves, dried cherries, and orange peel

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Availability:  Year round, nationwide, released in late February

Cider Description:  The Old Fashioned is made with a blend of American apples and is aged on oak with dried tart cherries, California grown navel orange peel, and charred bourbon barrel staves, offering citrus and cherry aromas with a bright apple flavor and slight vanilla notes. It has lasting tannins and a full, round mouthfeel.

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

Ingredients:  Hard cider, water, cane sugar, orange peel, malic acid, cherries, natural flavor, carbon dioxide, and 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 Old Fashioned and two bottles of Knotty Pear (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.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells acidic, slightly sour, with hints of oak and orange.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  It starts with acidity and finishes with fruitiness (although not specifically cherry), citrus, oak, and honey.  Moderate acidity.  Mild tartness.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins (the sourness I smelled didn’t continue into the flavor).  Moderate length finish with slight warming and hints of bourbon.  Moderate apple flavor.  Mild oak influence.

My Opinion:  Although it is far from craft cider, this is one of my current favorite commercial ciders, along with the new Woodchuck Barrel Aged Cherry.  It has a bit of complexity, isn’t crazy sweet, and isn’t too “fake” tasting either.  Definitely a better option than their Crisp Apple and even Stone Dry (although I think their Traditional Dry is pretty ok).  Unfortunately I only ever see Crisp Apple when going out, which I won’t pay for as I think it tastes like alcoholic apple juice and I don’t get $4-$6 enjoyment out of a bottle.

Most Similar to:  The citrus and oak notes remind me of ciders such as Schilling King’s Shilling and Crispin 15 Men, both of which were also fuller bodied.

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.

Have you tried Angry Orchard The Old Fashioned?  What did you think?