Angry Orchard "Iceman" Hard Cider

Angry Orchard has been the best of the hard cider brewers. The last one I had that was specially bottled like this was the worst of the bunch, but I assume it is because these are more experimental than the ones that come in six packs; I'm fine with a skilled artisan trying new things in small batches and letting me try them.

The deep gold beverage boils its head away completely. The aroma is more wine-like than pretty much any cider I've encountered so far. It absolutely reeks of white wine. With it's ABV of 10%, it's already pretty wine-like, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. Is this just another cider to drop into the list? Well, I assume the special packaging  implies it should be set apart.

First sip is meaty; it has a lot of the meat of the apple rather than apple juice, but the flavor is still very, very white wine-like. It's a sweet wine, as these ciders tend to be, but there is also a biting tartness to the taste that seems to offset the sweetness that tends to fill the whole cider family. Time for a proper swig.

Tip-in is apples and pears with a mild tartness covering the lot, as slight carbonation burn keeps things interesting. The middle is an interesting increase in carbonation burn around the top of the mouth as the alcohol from this apple wine joins it to make the bottom of the mouth seem sweet while the top of the mouth seems acidic (this gives the impression of it being much colder on top, and this might be the reason it was called "Iceman"). The finish is a wave of tart followed by a wave of sweet-tart. The mix seems muddled and questionable.

Bottom Line: It's different from the rest, and it has some serious work done. Ultimately, it is not as good as some, but it's better than others.



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