The best and worst Angry Orchard flavors

For years hard cider was something that not too many people were really into... it kind got lost amongst all the other "malternatives," including wine coolers, alcopops, and even the oh-so-'90s Zima (this was way before the era of White Claw). In 2012, Boston Beer Company (makers of Sam Adams) released the first of their Angry Orchard line of ciders, and, according to Paste, it immediately catapulted past every other hard cider on the market to become the nation's best-selling brand.

Eight years later, cider has definitely become a thing, with every hipster bar offering a selection of artisanal apple-based beverages. Angry Orchard may not be the cider snob's beverage of choice, but it is still hugely popular with less brand name-conscious cider drinkers. Angry Orchard has introduced a number of different varieties over the years, some of which have been extremely popular, others less so. At present, the Angry Orchard website lists 11 varieties: Crisp Apple, Crisp Unfiltered, Rosé, Green Apple, Pear, Stone Dry, Easy Apple (only available in the Explorer Pack), and the small-batch Ciderhouse Collection which includes The Muse, Iceman, Strawman, and Walden Hollow. While each one has its fans (and its detractors), the best-rated of these current offerings is the artisanal cider The Muse, while the lowest-rated is Crisp Unfiltered.

Angry Orchard's best cider

The Muse, which Angry Orchard describes as "a bubbly, effervescent cider," is made out of both culinary and bittersweet apples and aged in barrels made of French oak. Paste ranked it No. 17 out of 82 ciders rated for a 2016 article — and while two other Angry Orchard offerings came higher on the list (Apple Ginger was No. 14, while The Old Fashioned was their top pick), neither are in the current Angry Orchard lineup.

The Muse is also the highest-rated of all Angry Orchard ciders (past and present) on RateBeer, with 3.84 out of 5 stars. Website users note that The Muse has "very nice apple undertones of cinnamon, vanilla and maybe allspice," and "[g]reat body and carbonation," and is "refreshing and crisp," "[v]ery tasty and enjoyable," and "very drinkable." It somehow manages to be an "absolutely amazing cider champagne" while at the same time "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike champagne [but] in a good way."

Angry Orchard's worst cider

While Angry Orchard Crisp Unfiltered does have its fans, it is also the lowest-rated of any of that label's current offerings on RateBeer. Angry Orchard describes it as "an ode to traditional American cider," and it is made with bittersweet apples for a taste that is not quite as sweet as some of the other AO other ciders. RateBeer users gave Crisp Unfiltered 2.9 out of 5 stars, saying it was "[n]ot particularly crisp" and tasted of "overripe apples" with a "murky orange and brown" color.

The Cider Expert blog rated Crisp Unfiltered 3.5 out of 5 stars, with one reviewer commenting on its "artificially sweet flavor" as well as its lack of depth. A review by the Cider Says blog was even less positive, finding AO's Crisp Unfiltered to be low in both carbonation and complexity and objecting to the "weird chemical flavor [that] ruined it." The blogger even admitting to being unable to finish drinking this cider, saying that she and her husband wound up having to dump it out.