Today, the cider makers at Angry Orchard announced the national release of its new seasonal hard cider Angry Orchard Tapped Maple, available now through April. Tapped Maple blends American culinary apples with a hint of maple syrup from Vermont maple trees for a not-too-sweet cider with a big, bright apple taste.
Because cider making follows a seasonal path alongside apple trees and harvest, cider makers are especially tuned into the seasons. At Angry Orchard's Cider House in the Hudson Valley of New York, the cider makers like to play around with adding seasonal ingredients to cider recipes to create unexpected, but seasonally appropriate, flavor combinations. For example, with Angry Orchard Tapped Maple, they took inspiration from the highly-anticipated late-winter tapping of maple trees to make something completely new. The base cider is made from culinary apple juice and is actually quite dry. The maple syrup – rich in flavor and natural maple sweetness – adds a delicate balance, and gives the cider a strong maple-forward aroma, and full, round mouthfeel. It's a great flavor profile for the last days of winter leading into spring's cool start.
"Like apples, not all maple syrup is created equal. The flavors can vary significantly from season to season and depending on production techniques," said Ryan Burk, Head Cider Maker at Angry Orchard. "My team and I visited maple farmers from across the Northeast to dive deeper into the qualities that make maple syrup unique, then took those findings back to our Cider House to incorporate this natural sweetener into a dry cider we'd been working on. Ultimately, we found a nice combination with Tapped Maple."
Tasting Notes from Angry Orchard's Cider Makers:
Tapped Maple (5.0% ABV): Made from apples high in acidity, the dry cider base is then backsweetened – a common cider making technique that occurs after fermentation – with maple syrup to achieve balance between contrasting flavors. This cider is made from a blend of culinary apple varieties from the renowned Pacific Northwest region including Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith, Gala and Pink Lady apples. Tapped Maple offers a flavorful contrast to dishes like southern fried chicken or pork tacos, but also pairs well with classic hearty desserts like bread pudding.
The seasonal experimentation also led to another new limited release cider in Angry Orchard's Winter Orchard Sampler Variety Pack, Angry Orchard Spiced Apple. Spiced Apple combines a fresh apple taste with lively seasonal spices, much like a classic baked apple pie. A mix of culinary apples like Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith and Gala French, and bittersweet apples, such as Amere de Berthecourt, Beden, Medaille d'or, Michelin, and Binet Rouge were used in the making of Spiced Apple.
Having traveled the world exploring various apple varieties and ingredients and uncovering new processes and techniques, the cider makers at Angry Orchard continue to hone their craft as they develop inventive and refreshing styles for drinkers to experience. The cider industry has made a recent comeback, as drinkers have embraced hard cider as a go-to alternative to beer and wine, and it's carving out its rightful place at the table.
Tapped Maple is now available in 6-packs and the Winter Orchard Sampler Variety Pack nationwide through April 2017. Spiced Apple is available as a limited release in the Winter Orchard Sampler Variety Pack through April 2017. Suggested retail price for a 6-pack is $8.99-9.99, and $15.99 – 18.99 for a variety 12-pack (price varies per market).
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