Angry Orchard – Iceman

Angry Orchard "Iceman"

Angry Orchard “Iceman”

Though the non-flavor-related driving themes of my Strawman review still more or less hold true for Iceman (for the money you’ll pay to buy it you’d be better off supporting a smaller craft outfit), I thought I’d get a review on the books for practice and for the sake of being comprehensive.

Iceman is dramatic, a bold clear orange in color and 10% ABV.  Taking its cues from ice ciders, its aroma is sweet, sweet, sweet, like candy-dipped apples, and the flavor follows with more strong sugary notes, caramel and toffee over the intensity of the tart apple.

Even for my sweet tooth, Iceman is on the verge of being too much like ice ciders and ice wines, generally consumed in small amounts, a sip at a time. It’s a big taste.

On the up side, while it’s pricey for cider (especially for commercially produced, widely-available cider), Iceman is more of a decent deal for someone who wants to try ice cider but doesn’t want to shell out $$$$ for a tiny bottle of the stuff.

Locate some Iceman for yourself here.

Angry Orchard – Strawman

Angry Orchard Strawman

Angry Orchard Strawman

Neither pumpkin-flavored nor seasonal, Strawman is one of Angry Orchard’s trio of “Cider House Collection” ciders, meant to be “rare and innovative.” It’s made from “traditional culinary and bittersweet apples” then aged in oak.

It’s a cloudy orange, with low fizz, and a bitter, slightly spicy and funky aroma. Tart acid and bitterness dominate the taste, underlaid with a bit of wood and enough sweetness to keep it from being dry.

I thought Strawman seemed an overly brash, sharply boozy-tasting cider until I saw that it’s got an ABV of 10%; that explains the alcoholic bite to an extent, though I’d still place it closer to the 12% Prohibition than the comparable 10% Bad Apple.

All in all it’s an interesting cider, very aggressive, definitely not something you’d want to drink with sweet or mild foods.

While I’m happy Angry Orchard is trying out higher-end, more interesting and complex ciders than their regular lines (though really, all I want from them is Elderflower all year round), I’m gonna have to be That Cider Snob for a moment:

At the price point of Strawman (and the rest of the Cider House Collection), you can do better.

Instead of buying 750ml of Strawman, you could buy as much or more actual small-batch craft cider that’s just as creative and interesting, from small operations that are probably local to you (wherever you are) and probably could use your business and support more.

If you respect the Angry Orchard name and want to drinking something from them that’s a little more interesting than usual, by all means try the Cider House Collection. But folks, I encourage you to check out the smaller outfits in your area and give them a chance.