Angry Orchard "The Muse" Carbonated Apple Wine (Hard Apple Cider)

I'm not sure what to make of all of these special large-bottle Angry Orchard hard apple ciders. The fact is, the two that I've already had have given me the impression that these larger, smaller batch bottles are just not as good as the average Angry Orchard offering. If this one continues the trend, I may just stop buying them on principle.

The deep gold beverage is clear as a bell and has a surprising head when it is just poured. The bubbles are big and energetic, so they fizz out fairly quickly. Still, not all is lost, as the ring of bubbles that accompanies so many beers is present here - and it's a welcomed sight. The aroma is more apple juice than wine, but the wine aroma is in there with it, that is unquestionable.

First sip is more wine-like than other Angry Orchard apple ciders have been, but you can definitely taste the apple. The wine (a white, no doubt) is sweet, and it also brings a certain dryness to the whole affair. It's not a bad beverage. The alcohol is almost missing, though. It tastes more like they made a sparkling apple cider than a hard one. A swig, perhaps? Why not.

Tip-in is thick with apple tartness and wine sweetness while the carbonation stings at the top of the tongue. The middle spirals into white wine; the fact that this is made from apples is easily forgotten when you're in the middle of the drink. Instead, it is just a white wine with some hint of oak, but it's a very gentle, easy to drink one. The finish is not quite as gentle, with the tartness and sourness dominating the mouth. The trail-off is apples and even a little sweetness to tamp down the tart.

Bottom Line: More complex than your average hard cider, it would be a shame to mix this with something like they do with other Angry Orchard ciders in bars these days. Enjoy it straight.

3.5/5

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