For me, Strongbow has always been the "original" hard cider. It was around before most of the craft cideries that have sprouted throughout the U.S. over the past couple years and it was one of the originals to share half a pint glass with Guinness (aka the black velvet). So, it was quite surprising to me when I heard that Heineken USA had decided to discontinue the original Strongbow recipe in favor two new options - Gold Apple and Honey & Apple.
However, the change isn't necessarily bad. Strongbow Gold Apple is a pretty solid replacement for the original recipe and Strongbow Honey & Apple is a unique addition to the family. I believe Gold Apple will stand up in a black velvet as well as it's predecessor (though I haven't tried that just yet) and I think there is a ton of potential for using Honey & Apple in cocktails. If fact, I think it would make one hell of a cocktail when mixed with an ounce or two of Laird's 100 Proof Apple Brandy.
I'm definitely curious to see what further changes Strongbow makes to their lineup in the coming months. And, for the time being, I'm pretty happy with what they've got going on.
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