Angry Orchard Elderflower Cider

February 26 2013 - 11:00 AM

How do you like them apples?  If cider is to be your poison for the evening and you desire one that’s a bit out of the ordinary (and if you lack time to, you know, ferment your own apples), allow me to present Angry Orchard Hard Cider – Elderflower.  The makers of Angry Orchard were kind enough to send me a couple of samples of this product along with a sweet glass.

Apparently Angry is the no. 1 selling hard cider in the U.S., according to IRI’s recent 13-week survey. Since I presume this to be an apples-to-apples comparison against the likes of Magners, the results surprise me: I have more often seen Magners and some other top brands on tap and in bottles. But the survey data shows Angry Orchard quickly becoming the apple of many consumers’ eyes.

I’ll add that I’ve never before reviewed a cider. Despite my palate for beer, I hardly drink ciders. The one I consumed for this review was my first cider in half a dozen or more years.  In the glass it displays a pale yellow color with a sparse trail of carbonation rising through the center. The head on the glass is fleeting, lasting for mere moments before dissipating.

It smells of sour apples and mildly of flowers. The elderflower with which it’s infused imparts the flavor with some floral notes, but there’s also a notable earthiness to balance out the slight sweetness and rewarding apple tanginess. The tangy and earthy flavors provide solid foundation, but even without them this would never approach being overly sweet.  Plus, the mouthfeel is quite light, with maybe a hint of creaminess around the mid-palate.

Overall, I’d describe this as light and easily drinkable cider. Due to its relative lightness, I wouldn’t call it the Big Apple, but it surely has its appeal.  I’m not sure what any cider gets paired with…perhaps dessert? I imagine this going well with a fruity tart or something with similar flavors. Indeed, drinking an Angry Orchard cider certainly feels healthier than drinking a beer.  After all, you know the saying: an apple a day…

–M. Sheppard