Today we’ll take a look at what’s going on in terms of beer (and cider) in my refrigerator. I found a Mayflower Brewing Company Winter Oatmeal Stout of mine. My roommate had a variety pack of Angry Orchard ciders scattered about. Usually cider isn’t something I’d be interested in reviewing, but the elderflower seasonal flavor caught my eye, so I picked it up. Mayflower is a craft beer company out of Plymouth. Angry Orchard is owned by The Boston Beer Company. Boston Beer is behind Samuel Adams, the “largest craft brewer” in the United States, according to its website.
Let’s start with the oatmeal stout, Mayflower’s winter seasonal beer. Like a traditional stout, the beer is on the heavy side and dark in color. It’s brewed with three types of oats and dark barley malts. Traditional stouts have a roasted, almost almond flavor. Mayflower’s winter brew is much sweeter and very drinkable. The beer is smooth, and from the bottle, only poured with a thin, brown head that dissipated quickly. The smell of it was infused with toffee and roasted coffee. Carbonation was very minimal.
Oatmeal stouts on the whole get their name from the large amount of oats used to in the brewing process. However, this finished product doesn’t taste like oats. The oats merely create a smooth, drinkable beer due to the proteins and lipids oats have. A stout like this would pair perfectly with some pub or winter comfort food.
A cider is an entirely different end of the spectrum. Cider has increased in popularity this year. Angry Orchard was launched nation-wide last April, but it’s become more recognized since then. Elderflower is one of its seasonal selections that comes in the variety pack.
Elderflower cordials have been a European tradition for centuries. (If you’re drawing a blank, think St. Germain.) It was quite possibly genius to put it into cider. The cider is a pale yellow and is very bubbly for a while after it hits the glass. The carbonation dissipates within minutes. What’s left tastes almost like juice. It’s fruity, tart, light and honestly a delicious change from heavier choices. This cider has a strong aroma of flowers, but to the taste, the elderflower is not at all overwhelming. The apple, both sour and sweet, cuts through and creates a perfectly balanced drink.
Below is a photo story showing the labels, color and pouring qualities of both the stout and the cider.