By Leesy Latronica
Since Boston Beer Co. (of Samuel Adams lager fame) launched Angry Orchard Cider Company in 2011, the brand’s straightforward, non-intimidating flavor profiles (and price tags) have earned its ciders a lasting home on supermarket shelves nationwide. The Cincinnati, Ohio-based label has since elaborated on its original set of three ciders, experimenting with seasonal flavors (such as spring and summer’s Elderflower cider, available through August) and most recently, the newest addition to its specialty Cider House Collection: The Muse.
Created in the spirit of mildly sweet demi-sec Champagne, The Muse is an apple-centric alternative to a celebratory glass of bubbly. At 7.7 percent ABV, it is slightly less sweet than a classic six-pack bottle—but the fresh orchard aroma hits the nose strong at first sip, followed by a delicately carbonated tartness on the lips. Cider makers blend culinary apples from Italy with traditional bittersweet apples from France before aging each batch on French oak, leaving a dry, slight musk that is enhanced by vanilla and spice at the finish.
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