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?

Atlas Session Cider

Review of Atlas Cider Company’s Session Cider.  I’ve tried most of their lineup (see here).  This is their newest release, their first canned cider, and their first available in a multipack.

Cider:  Session Cider
Cidery:  Atlas Cider Company
Cidery Location:  Bend Oregon
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  six pack of 12oz cans
Style:  American craft sessionable cider made from dessert apples

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Availability:  Year round in ID, OR, NV, and WA.

Cider Description:  During WW1 British legislation limited drinking to 2 sessions, lunch from 11am-3pm and evening from 7pm -11pm. During these 4 hour sessions workers wanted a highly drinkable beer with a lower abv, around 4-5%, so they could return to work without being drunk and disorderly. Some workers are said to have up to 8 pints per session. A true session drink also does not necessarily mean it will have less flavor like a light beer. We are aware that our session cider does contain 5.5% abv; this is above the threshold of a session beer, but being a cider it is still significantly lighter, just as flavorful, and more drinkable than other craft ciders with higher ABV’s. Thus we thought our apple in 6 pack-cans was the perfect “session cider” Enjoy.

Cidery Description:  ATLAS Cider Co. produces authentic hard cider fermented from 100% fresh pressed fruit from our region. Partnering with Northwest farmers to source our fruit has been a priority of ours from the beginning. Our ciders start with a base of NW fruit that are pressed to achieve a balance of sweetness, tartness, and dryness. We forge our ciders in the heart of the NW in Bend, OR.

Price:  <$2 / single can (retails for $10.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  Special Brews in Lynnwood WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I had read about its release through Atlas Cider Co.’s Facebook page, but this was the first time I saw single cans available, so I picked one up.

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First Impression:  Pale straw yellow.  Low carbonation upon pouring.  Smells like crisp apples, citrus, honey, and apricots.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Medium bodied.  Nearly still.  Low tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, or funk.  Notes of honey, citrus, tropical fruit, green apple, and muscat grapes.  Quick finish.  Moderate apple influence.  Very high sessionability.  Best enjoyed very cold.

My Opinion:  One of my favorite sessionable/canned ciders so far.  It is more flavorful than many are, probably as it is a bit on the sweeter side, and was back sweetened (but avoids the overly apple juice flavor which I’ve often found).  For being medium bodied, it still tasted very light (probably due to its crispness and light flavors).  It also had some nice complexity and flavor notes, which surprised me.  I also found it lacked the watered down type flavor which I often taste with similar ciders.

Most Similar to:  Other slightly sweeter flagship/sessionable ciders, such as Atlas Hard Apple Cider (in 22oz bottles, and slightly different than this one…sweeter, less complex, and higher carbonation, Crispin Original, Flatbed Cider Crisp Apple, and Henry Hotspur’s Hard Pressed for Cider.

Closing Notes:   I wouldn’t mind keeping this cider in the fridge.  Session Cider is a probably a close second to their Apricot as far as my favorite Atlas cider.  The only thing I would change is to increase the carbonation.

Have you tried Atlas Session Cider?  What did you think?