Hard Cider Review: Angry Orchard Iceman

16 May

Depending on your guiding philosophy of paleo feasting, there are many different answers to the question of which sorts of alcohol are paleo. The most strict interpretation is no alcohol at all. The people who to focus more strictly on carbs than other metrics tend to favor hard liquor. Those who advocate more for ensuring that all foods consumed maximize the health benefit will typically stick to red wine. From a historical perspective, mead was certainly our ancestors’ earliest fermented beverage. In terms of minimal processing / additives and natural ingredients, home-brewed mead, cider, or wine are your best bet.

I am less strict about carbs than most paleo devotees (I’m also fat and okay with that), and while I do like a nice scotch, I tend to gravitate toward my home-brewed mead, or sangria (my version: red wine, oranges, honey), or hard cider. I used to really love beer, but when I discovered that the reason most food makes me sick was gluten, beer had to go forever. Now I refer to hard cider as “beer” because that way I can pretend I live in a world where I can have a cold beer after work.

So, I drink a fair amount of cider. I’m going to start posting reviews of some of my favorites.

We’ll kick it off with a new discovery — Iceman from Angry Orchard. This is an ice cider: the pressed apple juice is partially frozen before fermentation, and the frozen water removed to yield a concentrated, sweet juice that is then fermented to perfection. Basically, it’s a very similar process to freeze distillation except done before fermentation and not afterwards.

The finished product is without equal. I think I can safely say I have never tasted a cider this wonderful. The nose is pleasant and fruity. It has a full body with perfectly tiny bubbles, and is sweet but not cloying, smooth, and infinitely drinkable. The flavor profile is very well-balanced. At 10% ABV, it’s suitably fierce; this is a sipping cider, not a chugging cider.

A bottle (750mL) runs around $14-16 retail; it’s somewhat hard to find as it’s a limited run, but worth the hunt.

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