4 out of 10
Retails for about $10/6-pack. 5.5% alcohol by volume.
So guys. I have a problem with cider. Wait, no. I mean a solution. I have a great solution to the problem. The problem is not enough cider. The solution is, apparently, my liquor cabinet. Which always has cider.
I’m not allowed to mention cider without mentioning Strongbow Honey, which is my favorite of all the ciders I’ve tried. And I’ve tried a lot. It has a smooth taste with a sweet arc. There are floral notes and citrus notes and-well that’s not why we’re here is it?
We are absolutely here for Angry Orchard again. I have tried and reviewed two of their varieties now. However, I went out of my way to try a new variety in the Angry Orchard line up. It’s not a drink I would normally pick up, but it is definitely something my sister would. Or possibly my boyfriend. He’s crazy, but whatever.
The line is called Stone Dry, and it’s for all the people out there who don’t like the Strongbow Honey because it’s too sweet. Stone Dry balances out nicely with any sweet drink. It begins with a rather simple taste of bittersweet apples. It doesn’t expand from there as well as I would like it to. Instead of blossoming into the acidic and dry apple taste I want, it sort of just sits.
It fulfills the dry part of the picture nicely. I certainly enjoyed that it felt like a dry white wine when I began drinking it. However, about two sips in, I realized that there was very little dynamic to the rest of the drink. I wanted it to blossom into acidic apples and slightly floral bits. Or more of a puckering, electric aftertaste. But it genuinely began and ended on the same note with a dry overtone and very little acid.
I’ll be honest, I’m not too fond of acid. I prefer floral and sweet with my booze. However, I would have been much more fond of this cider if it had something other than dry as an adjective. Honestly, as I was drinking it, all I could think is that very bland and boring girls would like this because it tastes more like an apple wine than a cider. And not a good apple wine.
All in all, I can’t recommend this cider. If you enjoy rather dry white wines, you may enjoy this. Otherwise, I could steer you to some other ciders.
8.5 out of 10
Would recommend if you like non-alcoholic apple cider.
Retails for about $9 for a 6-pack. More information can be found on the Angry Orchard Website.
I have to face the facts. I have an obsession with hard cider. It’s like a plague in my fridge. I always have it on hand. I feel like I’m an alcoholic, but really I’m not. I just really like ciders. Cider of almost any brand sounds delicious to me. I once even had a contest between the two most popular hard ciders known to the US. Woodchuck won.
That’s right. With the power invested in me as the token white-trash alcoholic, I pronounced Woodchuck cider the victor. And I did this knowing I was judging Angry Orchard’s crispest, most refreshing cider. For this, I apologize Angry Orchard. For I should have known better, but I had forgotten the delicious glory that was Cinnful Apple.
Perhaps I should rethink my contests for ciders. Perhaps I shouldn’t have them. Perhaps I should just be grateful that I can have my cider and drink it too. And in this case, I definitely am.
Cinnful Apple is a flavored cider from Angry Orchard. But it doesn’t come out of left field. Cinnful Apple is natural. It makes sense. What goes into every apple pie? Sugar. Well, that and Cinnamon! It was absolutely the best place to go with a hard cider. Incorperate that warm cinnamon smell and taste into the delicious apple undertones.
Cinnful apple differs wildly from Crisp Apple. It loses a lot of the acidity that makes crisp apple refreshing. It replaces that acidity with a spicy warmth. It fills up the bones with a feeling much my brandy or bourbon would. Except, instead of burning like the heat of bourbon, it’s smooth and sweet. It’s far from syrupy. The apples used are not ripe enough for that. Something more like a Fuji than a Gala or Red Delicious.
All in all, it’s hard for me to find a cider I don’t like. The Cinnful Apple falls at the higher end of the spectrum. It doesn’t quite beat my one true love, the Strongbow Honey. Or the love I still chase in the night, McKenzie’s. No truly, I do love it more. I found it in a New York bar and they only sell it in one location in Maryland. It makes me truly sad. Until I reunite with these, Cinnful Apple supplies all I need, and then some. Truly a happy cider for me.
10 out of 10
Would recommend for anyone who likes sweeter drinks.
Across the nation, folks who attend Renaissance Festivals enjoy cider of some kind. Over at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, Angry Orchard is the brand of choice. However, at many others, Woodchuck is the go-to. It’s mentioned by several bands in the Renaissance circuit.
Of course, the most common style of Woodchuck Cider is the Amber. It’s marketed as the first cider Woodchuck made, and it’s known as the best if you’re looking for something “basically just cider.” I’ve said similar things about Angry Orchard Cider, which I reviewed in February. Between the two, I feel that you get the best sides of hard cider. I’m finding it really hard not to compare the two.
So let’s start with the Angry Orchard experience. Crisp Apple is exactly how it sounds. It’s sour and acidic. It’s a kick in the face with a deep smooth apology and a strong taste of apple. The aftertaste is where I live with Crisp Apple. It’s a little unfortunate that the best taste is in the last moment of a sip. However, it’s a little easier than beer, so if you have a hard time with hops, this is still a great alternative.
On the other end of the spectrum, Woodchuck has a very strange, but wonderful bitter taste to it as you first sip it. This bitterness is only a contrast to the smooth sweetness of it’s full taste. It lingers in a beautiful mix of apple, and possible honey or molasses. Woodchuck is a smoother ride than Angry Orchard. If you like sweeter drinks, or syrupy things like grenadine, this is the choice for you.
All in all, my personal favorite of the two is Woodchuck. I finally finished the battle that was started so many years ago. We had both ciders and no one could agree which was the superior one. I was still too new to cider to really have an opinion. And everyone else was too drunk to really make a decision that night, but I have my decision on this night. Indigo likes smooth, sweet drinks. As a result, Woodchuck is the winner.
However, it doesn’t have to be the winner for everyone. Some folks prefer the acid of Angry Orchard. Sometimes, even I want a drink that isn’t so sweet. However, my sweet tooth will usually prevail, and I will prefer Woodchuck Amber to Angry Orchard’s Crisp Apple.
I have another flavor by Angry Orchard in my fridge right now. How will that compare? We’ll have to wait and see.
9 out of 10
Would recommend for anyone who enjoys suave drinks. That’s right. Suave.
More information can be found here.
5% ABV. Retails for about $10 for a 6-pack.
Strongbow is a name in Cider that I’ve heard many things about. Most people agree that it is a high-class cider. It’s got a fancy art-deco label. It’s logo is an impressionist drawing of a fellow shooting a bow. It’s flavors are things like Gold Apple (the standard flavor) and Cherry Blossom.
However, there’s one thing I’ve heard, which I can’t shake: Strongbow has changed it’s recipe (for Gold Apple) and it’s not good. This worried me because I believe that if companies change their recipes, it should either improve the product or have a legitimate legal reason. I feel that transparency is key to the worth of a company. With that said, I still enjoy the Gold Apple. Perhaps it is my untrained tastebuds, but I do not taste a difference in the Gold Apple recently that my comrades do.
However, I’m here to talk about Strongbow Honey. And boy do I have opinions! As long as I have been drinking (legally or illegally), I have been drinking ciders. Honey is something new in my cider world, and it creates a wonderful drink that may usurp Angry Orchard for my favorite cider. (THIS IS A BIG DEAL, FOLKS.)
The Strongbow Honey is described on it’s website as fruity and floral. This is basically true. What they fail to mention is that all of these things apply to smell and MORE IMPORTANTLY, taste. Like all ciders, the drink hits your tongue in a rush of sour and acidic. The apple really kicks in the moment you take a taste of Honey.
The acidity does not linger, however. It quickly turns into a wonderful smooth feeling that reminds me of actual honey sliding on my tongue. The taste in this mid-point is sweet and floral. It reminds me of my favorite honey brand. I catch myself thinking of summers spent in honeysuckle patches and running with a golden retriever. This sounds really cheesy, and I wish I was kidding, but I’m really not. This cider genuinely reminds me of summer nights.
It finishes off with a nut and apple taste with some of the sweetness going down. It’s smooth the whole way through and lingers so beautifully.
In short, I love this cider. It’s become a regular for my fridge and I hope to be drinking it for years! Also, Strongbow has this flavor quiz that makes me really happy for nostalgia reasons:
8 out of 10
Would recommend for anyone who likes refreshing drinks. Also serves as a fantastic substitute for beer.
Angry Orchard has it’s orchard in Walden, NY. However, it’s packaging plants are in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Tours can be booked at the NY location (can you say “dream vacation”). There’s more information here.
Angry Orchard has been a staple in my life for about 9 years now. I was 15 when I began work at my favorite Renaissance Festival. The drink found it’s way into many of the patrons who drunkenly threw Whiffle balls at the medieval Plinko I was in charge of. It was on the breath of every one who leaned in too close, and in the mug of every older guy who thought I was of legal age.
Later, it became my drink to order when I was on breaks or having a day off. It was the drink I was sent to fetch when I moved from games to clothes and got the coolest boss ever. It became the drink commonly spilled on the clothes and floor. It’s been in the background of almost every get-together I’ve been to in my adult life.
Angry Orchard has many flavors that I’ve tried, and some that I have not yet tried. This time, I am reviewing the Crisp Apple flavor, which is arguably the “base” flavor of Angry Orchard. It is typically found in 12oz bottles (sold in 6 pack, 12 pack, 24 pack, etc.).
The flavor of Crisp Apple is described (by Angry Orchard) as “biting into a fresh apple.” This description is actually fairly accurate. I am not a fan of Green apples, but drinking Angry Orchard is surprisingly close to taking a bite out of a Granny Smith. It begins quite tart and acidic as you take the sip. This transitions smoothly into a sweet middle taste. This is all finished by a very apple aftertaste that lingers with acid and sweet at the same time.
Personally, I find that I take many sips to finish an Angry Orchard (I’m a slow drinker). However, I swallow the sips quite swiftly to get to that aftertaste. The apple part of this drink is held almost entirely in the aftertaste somehow. I relish each sip in the aftertaste, and rarely waste my time holding it on my tongue.
However, I do love this cider. It not only holds nostalgia for me that I’ll never be able to shake. It also serves as a great alternative to beer when I’m out drinking with friends. It’s a universal drink that most if not all bars will have. If I’m not feeling adventurous, I can go for the cider and know that I’ll enjoy the drink.
“But Indigo! The real question is how does it feel in the morning?”
Well, there was this one incident that occurred during the Renaissance Festival where I became quite drunk and then sober over the course of about 7 hours. During this time, my Cow-Wife became a poop wizard with a hilarious drunken train of thought. I had started early, and finished my last drink at 3pm. By 7pm or so, with the addition of a meal, I was sober enough to drive to taco bell with from friends. I was fairly sober, but hungover and tired. I drove home and passed out. The next day, I was scheduled to go into work. I never made it.
I woke up that morning and I was ready to end it all. I was so depressed, I barely got out of bed. I managed to make and eat food at some point, but I was physically and emotionally wiped out. This had not been a bad weekend, or even life-changing. I was just so poorly hungover that I felt this way. As a result, I no longer get drunk from cider. I have one, two at most and then I stop. I never want to wake up ready for the end.
It is worth noting: Alcohol is a depressant, which is bad for someone WITH depression. So there’s that too I guess.
Overall, Angry Orchard is a staple in my fridge. It’s easy to drink. It tastes good. When I have no more than two, it’s going to be a good night. However, more than two and I know it’s going to be really rough the next morning. The only way that this cider could be improved for me is if I manged to process sugars better with hangovers.