Forget pumpkin spiced lattes — cider is totally where it's at this fall. Hard cider, that is. These four from Angry Orchard are nothing like the watery, insipid ciders we sipped in our first days at college. These are bold, bright, and packed with crazy amounts of tart-sweet apple flavor. They're good. Really good.
As a homebrewer and cidermaker, I have high standards for hard cider. I want it to taste like apples, but I also don't want it to taste too sweet or too much like it's just fizzy apple juice. I want to know that I'm drinking something grown-up.
These four ciders from Angry Orchard definitely pass the test — even better, they sold my skeptical husband on the whole idea of hard cider and he now requests six-packs regularly! Here's the run-down of our dual tasting notes:
Crisp Apple Cider (5% ABV)
Definitely the most easy-drinking of the bunch. Sweet, but with a nice edge of tartness and a semi-dry finish. This falls slightly inside my "fizzy apple juice" no-fly zone, but the play of different apple flavors was enough to keep my interest. If you're new to hard ciders, I think this would be a good place to start.
Traditional Dry Cider (5.5% ABV)
My favorite of the four! Dry and crisp with a very pleasant tart flavor to temper the sweet. It has a clean apple flavor like just-pressed juice with some apple peel tannins. If you have been craving traditional English dry cider, this one gets it pretty close.
Cinnful Apple Cider (5% ABV)
An aroma like red hot candies (!!!) with a cinnamon-y, mulled cider flavor. It feels warming and comforting, like a slice of apple pie. The cider itself is the sweetest of all these ciders, making this feel more like something to sip with dessert.
Apple Ginger Cider (5% ABV)
A fall-time cider without going to quite the extreme of the Cinnful Apple. Warming from the ginger and a touch spicy, while the cider comes across with a not-too-sweet, not-too-tart apple flavor. I was surprised at how much I liked this one. It went especially well with food.
Have you tried any of these ciders? What do you think of them?
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Image: Emma Christensen)