Indigo Tries Woodchuck Cider!

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.

Indigo Tries Angry Orchard Crisp Apple!

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.