This spring, the Angry Orchard Cider Company is releasing a new year-round Cider House Collection specialty cider - The Muse. Inspired by the festive nature of slightly sweet demi-sec champagnes and sparkling wines, the cider makers at Angry Orchard experimented with select apple blends, wood-aging and fermentation methods to create this specialty release. The Muse is an effervescent, fruit-forward cider perfect for celebratory occasions or as an unconventional alternative to white wine.
"For The Muse, we drew upon our nearly twenty years of experimentation with apple blends, wood aging and fermentation techniques to develop a specialty sparkling cider," says David Sipes, cider maker for Angry Orchard. "Ultimately, we chose to use a blend of apples from the Alto Adige region of Italy and from Normandy and Bretagne, France and to age the cider on French oak staves in order to create an effervescent, fruit-forward cider akin to slightly sweet demi-sec champagnes and sparkling wines."
The Muse has a distinct juicy apple aroma and is slightly sweet upfront, balanced by a bright acidity, and finishes slightly dry with a lingering flavor of sweet, fresh apples. The newest addition to the Cider House Collection is aged on French oak staves, which adds a subtle wood impression and imparts notes of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and hints of vanilla. To craft this demi-sec cider, the cider makers used a blend of culinary apples from the Sudtirol, also known as the Alto Adige region of Italy, a fertile valley known for wine making. Apple juice is then added from traditional bittersweet apples grown in Normandy and Bretagne, France, a region with a historic and thriving culture of growing apples unique to cider making. With the addition of The Muse, the Cider House Collection expands its portfolio to three specialty ciders, including Iceman and Strawman, all offered year-round in a 750ml, corked-caged bottle.
"The Muse displays the qualities of a fine, sparkling beverage enjoyable on its own and as an alternative to sparkling wines like Italian Proseccos, Spanish Cavas, and German Sekts," says David Sipes. "The Muse offers drinkers a refreshing way to explore specialty ciders, especially as a novel pairing with food, while also satisfying the American drinker's evolving and more sophisticated palate."
The Muse complements a variety of foods and is perfect for celebrating drinking occasions or for sharing with a friend over dinner. This well-balanced, fruit-forward specialty cider, pairs well with a broad range of flavorful foods, from spicy to creamy dishes. With its medium body, light effervescence and alcohol content of 7.7% ABV, The Muse also pairs well with dishes of varying weight and texture, from creamy goat cheese to grilled chicken. Similar to a white wine, the Cider House Collection ciders should be served cool, but not cold, around a temperature range of 45-52 degrees F.