Fall is a fitting time to enjoy the wonders of cider. In other terms, it's harvest season, and apples are one of the season's most beloved crops. Having been a casual fan of the pre-eminent "hard" cider, Woodchuck, for many years, I've never properly compared or reviewed their many varieties. This year, with the rise of other craft cider brands, as well as a fascination with the historic significance of cider, I set out on a mission to sift thru these often-found, but seldom-discussed beverages.
I began my mission with the new cider brand on the block, Angry Orchard, who are produced by the Boston Beer Company (aka Samuel Adams). Having appeared on the scene just about a year or two ago, Angry Orchard is clearly the biggest competition for Woodchuck in the states. These are their three mainline varieties.
Angry Orchard - CRISP APPLE
This clear amber cider pours with a little fizz, and an aroma of apples and alcohol. Not bad, but not great, either. Tastes like a rip, red apple with a hint of sulfite. This one has a bit of tartness, but overall this is like straight apple juice (albeit alcoholic). I thought this one was a wee tad too sweet overall.
Angry Orchard - TRADITIONAL DRY
This one is an old English-style cider, and discernibly more sour than the "Crisp Apple" variety. I get a more green apple feel here, and I did find it better balanced between the sweet and tart. Enjoyable.
Angry Orchard - APPLE GINGER
I vote this to be my favorite of the Angry Orchard line, easily. The aroma has a slightly spicy warmth to it, and the addition of ginger to the sweet apple provides a great and unique palate experience. A great blend, and one I'd pick up again.