23 February 2017
It never ceases to amaze me just how many different cider combinations the cider makers are inventing. From unique ingredients, specialized apple combinations and new techniques, the cider market is expanding at a rapid fire pace. It should be no surprise to see Angry Orchard leading the pack, and today we get to try not one, but two of their new ciders: Tapped Maple seasonal release and limited release Spiced Apple.
Tapped Maple is made with apples that are higher in acidity. After fermentation, the dry cider base is backsweetened (a common cider making technique) with Vermont maple syrup to balance the flavors. Tapped Maple uses
culinary apple varieties from the Pacific Northwest including Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith, Gala and Pink Lady apples and you can’t miss them in the nose. This cider has a pleasant crisp apple aroma with the faint sweetness of maple syrup in the background. I was expecting a cider that leaned toward sticky sweet maple, but the flavors surprised me with some pleasant bright apple flavors up front. This is followed by a dull maple syrup sweetness, but the cider never loses it’s overall balance and bite. In the end this cider actually leans a little toward the dry side of the cider-fence, but again the balance of crisp apple and dull maple syrup is really nice. Tapped Maple hits 5%-AbV and it is packaged in 12oz bottles.
Up next we poured the limited release Angry Orchard Spiced Apple. From the aroma to the flavors, this cider was screaming “apple pie” to me. I found some traditional mulling spices in the aromas, but the fresh apple definitely still leads the way. This cider uses a
mix of culinary apples like Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith and Gala French, and bittersweet apples, such as Amere de Berthecourt, Beden, Medaille d'or, Michelin, and Binet Rouge….and while I can’t tell what each of these apples adds to the flavor, I can tell you the sum of the apple-parts makes for a really fresh apple flavor. The late flavors lean a bit toward the spicy side, but the crisp and fresh apple flavors slide in at the end to round things out nicely. Spiced Apple also hits 5%-AbV and it is packaged in 12oz bottles.
Both Tapped Maple and Spiced Apple are available as part of the Angry Orchard
Winter Orchard Sampler Variety 12-Pack nationwide through April 2017…so be sure to get out there are try these unique ciders for yourself. And as always, when you do try them, be sure to let us know what YOU think.