Monday, May 23, 2022

Cider Review: Angry Orchard's Baldwin Traditional Method, plus GLINTCAP results!

As I write, I’m smelling a Strawberry Rhubarb pie baking in the oven. The smells of buttery crust and spring fruit are making  my mouth water. That’s what led me to share this set of cider notes for today. I think Angry Orchard’s Baldwin Traditional Method would be the perfect cider to pair with the dessert that’s coming. When I poured this, it was shared with good friends and a pleasing dessert as well.

This is my first Angry Orchard review in a while! I’ve not had access to many new ciders of theirs, but some friends at the Walden, New York Research and Development cider house shared this with me. So many thanks!

I have plenty of earlier Angry Orchard reviews, too many to list them all. Here are a few highlights though.

Understood in Motion 2:

Understood in Motion 3: this collaboration with Tom Oliver of Oliver’s Cider (this was my #6 cider of 2018):

Wooden Sleeper:

Spiced Apple:





As always I recommend going to the cidery website to learn more about what Angry Orchard is up to:

There’s not a ton of available information about this cider online, but here’s what I know.

The Baldwin Traditional Method is a single-variety cider made with New York state Baldwin apples and finished in the traditional method. That means it’s twice fermented, with the second fermentation occurring in the bottle. The cider’s ABV is 8.7 which classifies it as an apple wine (legally). The cider was bottled in 2018 and disgorged three years later in June of 2021. That’s a lot of resting time in addition to the second fermentation! 

Appearance: hazy, lemon flesh, bubbly

The cider reminds me of lemon curd as I see it in the glass. The color is very much like the flesh of fresh lemons with a creamy haziness that makes me think of lemon curd. The Baldwin has a mousse of bubbles when first poured that has me very excited about the second in-the-bottle fermentation. 

Aromas: apple flesh, cinnamon, powdered sugar, honey, lemon

Tantalizing is the only word for this. The Baldwin Traditional Method smells vividly like crisp white apple flesh with a bit of cinnamon. I get secondary notes of powdered sugar, honey, and lemon.

Sweetness/dryness: Dry but fruity

Some folks say that Angry Orchard will not release a truly dry cider, but they are wrong. Lots of the limited releases from the Walden facility are completely dry and get their flavors from other elements, and the Baldwin Traditional Method is one of them. It’s a fruity, citrusy cider, but not a sweet one.

Flavors and drinking experience: lemon, bitter, clean, high acid, and super bubbly

The Baldwin is pleasing to me in a key regard that isn’t often satisfied. This cider has tons and tons of tiny zesty fun bubbles! The first strong flavor that the cider delivers is lemon, with immediate bitter notes (but not tannins). They fade fast and give way to a clean dry body. The cider is lean! From there,  it performs a clean finish that fades evenly with high acid.

The whole drinking experience is solidly pleasurable. It manages to dodge some of the bumpiness and lack of balance that can occur in a single varietal cider. I love a dry, super bubbly cider with dessert. That’s how I tasted this one, and I recommend that pairing to emphasize the textures and clean flavors of this cider. I’d pour it again tonight with my strawberry-rhubarb pie, that’s for certain!

And in the most exciting news, we have Best-in-Class results from GLINTCAP!

Check them out here:

Full medal results will be coming closer to the end of the month.