The cider makers at Angry Orchard announced national availability of their latest project, the Orchard's Edge series. The first two hard ciders in the series – Knotty Pear and The Old Fashioned – hit shelves this month. This new series is inspired by unexpected ingredients and aging processes the cider makers have been working on at Angry Orchard's new Innovation Cider House on its orchard in Walden, New York.
The hard cider industry has seen incredible growth over the past several years, and drinkers are embracing it as a refreshing alternative to beer or wine. As drinkers continue to rediscover the American cider tradition, they are interested in trying ciders with more complexity. Craft brewers have been experimenting with ingredients and processes for the past thirty years, and now that the cider drinker's palate is also maturing, cider makers have the opportunity to push the limits and develop more complex ciders, like Orchard's Edge.
The ciders in the Orchard's Edge series are aged on American oak and feature non-apple fruits like pears and oranges along with exotic spices like cardamom, all meant to work with and enhance cider's most important ingredient: the apple.
Cider maker's notes on each style:
- Orchard's Edge Knotty Pear (6.5% ABV): While not a perry, Knotty Pear is made with a blend of domestic culinary pears, including Bartlett, Doyenne de Comice, Bosc and D'Anjou, and apples grown in the United States. The cider leads with ripe apple, baked pear aromas and spicy, herbal hints from the cardamom. The pears also give the cider a subtle spiced essence along with notes of citrus and mint. Aged on American oak, this cider has a pleasant, dry finish.
- Orchard's Edge The Old Fashioned (6.5% ABV): Developed from a blend of American apples like Gala and Fuji, The Old Fashioned is aged on charred oak bourbon barrel staves with dried tart cherries and California grown navel orange peel. The cider has a delicate citrus aroma with hints of vanilla and bourbon flavor from the wood aging process. The Old Fashioned has lasting tannins and a full, round mouthfeel.