Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Cider Review: Angry Orchard's The Old Fashioned +Plus Ryan Burke in Wine Enthusiast!

I spent my weekend in the backyard. Our cool front has given my end of Summer gardening extra motivation. Trimming, weeding, mowing, and adding a few perennials to my herb beds kept me busy. But when you absolutely wear yourself out by late afternoon, it makes the subsequent shower and relaxation even better. And those are the conditions under which I tried this week's cider: Angry Orchard's Old Fashioned. This is part of their Orchard's Edge line.

Everyone knows Angry Orchard, so I'll just save their introduction. I'm guessing most readers have met this well-represented cidery before. But, I will recommend going to their website, even if you think you know the brand well. You can find out about their ciders, upcoming events, cocktails and recipes (my favorite): http://www.angryorchard.com/. If anyone has tried the Cinnful Pie, let me know. That's at the top of my list for Butternut Squash now.

Some of my previous Angry Orchard reviews include:

Walden Hollow: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2016/09/cider-review-angry-orchards-walden.html

Knotty Pear, another offering from the Orchard's Edge line: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2016/06/cider-review-angry-orchards-knotty-pear.html

Stone Dry:http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/10/cider-review-angry-orchard-stone-dry.html

A roundup of Strawman, The Muse, and Traditional Dry: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2014/05/roundup-of-angry-orchard-reviews.html

Elderflower: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/06/cider-review-angry-orchards-elderflower.html

But more about this Orchard's Edge offering,the Old Fashioned.

One of my favorite shows of all time, Mad Men, features a bartender making an old fashioned in the first scene of the show. Its the definition of a classic drink with bourbon or whisk(e)y, bitters, citrus, and sugar. This cider incorporates many of those elements. Let's take a look at the official description.

The Old Fashioned is made with a blend of American apples and is aged on oak with dried tart cherries, California grown navel orange peel, and charred bourbon barrel staves, offering citrus and cherry aromas with a a bright apple flavor and slight vanilla notes.The Old Fashioned is made with a blend of American apples and is aged on oak with dried tart cherries, California grown navel orange peel, and charred bourbon barrel staves, offering citrus and cherry aromas with a bright apple flavor and slight vanilla notes. It has lasting tannins and a full, round mouthfeel.
Other facts to know about this cider include its ABV of 6.5%. The Old Fashioned is made with culinary apples including: “Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith.” This cider is available year-round.  One last caveat. This cider was a review sample shared with me a while ago.

Appearance: sunflower yellow, brilliant, tiny bubbles

Ooh pretty! This cider poors a warm sunflower yellow. Its color is edging into peach. I'd call the cider brilliant, and I can see a medium amount of very tiny bubbles.

Aromas: bread, peaches, oranges, and apples

The aromas wafting up from my glass include lots of fresh fruit: apple, peach, and orange. Equally prominently lots of clean bready yeast aromas abound. The cider smells sweet.

Sweetness/dryness: sweet

As expected, the Old Fashioned is sweet.

Flavors and drinking experience: fruity, cherry, body, punch like

The Old Fashioned doesn't remind me of the drink (thankfully) but it does come across like a punch. There are lots of fruit notes and some real body in this cider. The fruitiness is dominated by lots of cherry. I'm not much of cherry person, but the bourbon barrel element keeps that balanced well. I love the orange, which remains easy to pick out of the crowd of flavors. No one element is too strong and instead the impression remains integrated. Best thing, there's a teensy hint of bitterness that I like.

Its not very cider like, but that's the like Orchard's Edge line. I think that's the point. Angry Orchard wants to experiment.

I can see lots of folks enjoying this on late nights while bonfire sitting. I can just imagine smelling fire and sitting on a log while sipping this. Or I can recommend it as I had it on my porch after some over-enthusiastic late summer yard work. Ouch. This cider was a relief indeed when paired with summer yard noises and a cool breeze.

And hey, good cider news! Ryan Burke of Angry Orchard just made Wine Enthusiast Magazine's list of 40 under 40 Tastemakers. They write him up with some gorgeous photos: https://www.winemag.com/content/40-under-40-2017-ryan-burk/

He totally deserves this honor, and he's bringing cider to the eye and tastebuds of new folks right and left. Kudos!