ENTRY CATEGORIES

Tasting

Click on the categories below to reveal descriptions

PREVIOUSLY NEW WORLD STYLE

These ciders have more acidity, freshness and citric or tropical fruitiness. Traditional examples of these styles of cider can be found in the Eastern Counties of England and parts of Central Europe, such as Western Germany and Luxembourg. Modern interpretations of ciders within this style are typical of ‘New World’ cider making regions, such as USA and Australia and New Zealand.

These ciders can be made with specific, traditional cider apple varieties, heirloom varieties or dessert/culinary apples. There may be some elements of bitterness and astringency from tannins to add balance, but acidity is the defining character. 

Expected characteristics:

  • Aroma: fresh citrus, green apple, apple strudel, floral, perfumed
  • Flavour: crisp or sharp acidity, but with appropriate fruitiness and/or sweetness to balance
  • Mouthfeel: light and vibrant on the palette but normally with a short aftertaste

Sweetness parameters:

  • Dry – cider with a Specific Gravity reading of <1.005
  • Medium – cider with a Specific Gravity reading of 1.005 to <1.015
  • Sweet – cider with a Specific Gravity reading of >1.015

Notes:

  • The ABV can be between 3% – 8.5%
  • Includes mainstream, contemporary and premium varieties and can be still or sparkling.
  • If the cider has been made through a bottle fermented or bottle conditioned (including full methode traditionelle) process it should be entered into Naturally sparkling cider.

Defined as the fermentation of apple juice to include the addition of other fruits and flavours either as a co-ferment or a addition after fermentation. 

Expected characteristics:

  • Cider with Hops: This sub category includes Cider with the addition of hops added at any stage of the cider making process.
  • Cider with Herbs & Spices: This sub category includes Cider with the addition of Herbs & Spices. This could include, but is not limited to: rosemary, chilli, ginger, cardamom etc.
  • Cider with Fruits & Flowers: This sub category includes Cider with the addition of fruits other than apple and/or flowers and blossom from plants and trees. This could include, but is not limited to: strawberry, blackcurrant, watermelon, elderflower, mango, rhubarb, orange blossom, rose water etc.

Sweetness parameters:

  • There are no sweetness parameters in this Class and these ciders may be still or sparkling.

Notes:

  • The ABV can be between 3% – 8.5%
  • Submissions for this style should be clear whether the additional flavour is the dominate one or if it is supposed to enhance the base cider. For example “Raspberry Cider” versus “Cider with Raspberry”
  • Judges are asked to look for, and reward ciders where the additional flavours work in harmony and balance with the base cider.

These ciders are characterised by a high level of sweetness, and typically a higher than average percentage ABV for most other ciders. This is brought about through the freeze concentration, and subsequent controlled fermentation, of apple juice.

Notes

  • The ABV can be between 5% - 15%
  • Ciders are made without the addition of any other fruit or flavour.
  • Judges are asked to look for, and reward, levels of acidity, tannin and alcohol to balance wiht the sweetness. 

There is no classic profile for this type of cider, and the end product will vary widely dependent upon the apple varieties used and the methods through which this range of alcohol has been achieved.

Sweetness parameters:

There are no sweetness parameters for this class.

Notes:

  • The ABV can be between 0% - 3%
  • Ciders in this class may be still or sparkling.
  • Credit will be given to ciders which demonstrate good body, complexity and balance.

Bottle Fermented

These are ciders that have an undergone a fermentation within the bottle, to create a natural sparkle. Typically, these ciders will be presented with a cork and wire closure, but those sealed with a crown cap will be permitted also.

These ciders have undergone and completed their primary fermentation in a vessel. They have then been placed into a bottle with the addition of sugar (and possibly yeast) and then sealed. The cider undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle creating a natural sparkle within. The cider may be left at this point with a natural yeast deposit in the bottom of the bottle, or can undergo the full methode traditionelle process, whereby the yeast is removed.

Sweetness parameters:

  • There are no sweetness parameters, but these styles tend to err towards the dry end of the spectrum.


Bottle Conditioned (including French Style)

These ciders have been placed into a bottle whilst still undergoing their primary fermentation, without the addition of any other sugar. The cider continues its primary fermentation in the bottle creating a natural sparkle within the cider. The cider will be left at this point with a natural yeast deposit in the bottom of the bottle.

This method is classically utilised by the traditional styles of cider made in the Normandy and Brittany regions of France. Utilising the keeving (or cuvage) method, ciders of a naturally lower alcohol and naturally higher sweetness can be achieved. These styles of ciders are characterised by bold, rich volatile phenolics and big, soft, rich tannins.

Sweetness parameters:

  • There are no sweetness parameters, but these styles tend to err towards the sweeter end of the spectrum, owing to the nature of the process,

Notes:

  • Tannin dominant and Acid dominant ciders may be entered into this category and will be judged entirely on merit of the skill and craftsmanship of the bottle fermenting process.

Made from dessert and culinary pears, these drinks do not display the tannic characters of the traditional European perry pears.

Sweetness parameters:

  • Dry – perry with a Specific Gravity reading of <1.005
  • Medium – perry with a Specific Gravity reading of 1.005 to <1.015
  • Sweet – perry with a Specific Gravity reading of >1.015

Notes:

  • The abv can be between 3% - 8.5% abv
  • These drinks can be still or sparkling, including naturally sparkling.

Drinks that are made from specific perry pears that have been grown for the intention of making a fermented drink.

Expected characteristics:

  • Traditional perry is characterised by the presence of tannins, which impact upon the taste, structure and mouthfeel.

Sweetness parameters:

  • Dry – perry with a Specific Gravity reading of <1.005
  • Medium – perry with a Specific Gravity reading of 1.005 to <1.015
  • Sweet – perry with a Specific Gravity reading of >1.015

Notes:

  • The abv can be between 3% - 8.5% abv
  • These drinks can be still or sparkling, including naturally sparkling.

This is a relatively new category of cider, generalised as those desiring a light, floral, fruity cider, with varying degrees of sweetness. Most crucially, that the cider is pink in colour!

This ‘pinkness’ may be derived through the addition of a fruit/vegetable to the fermented apple – such as cranberry, raspberry, beetroot, hibiscus, apple skin extract etc. These ciders sit in this class rather than Flavoured Cider on account of their intention to introduce colour rather than flavour. The pink colouration can also be achieved, however, via the use of red-fleshed apples.

Expected characteristics:

  • Fruity, floral and perfumed
  • On the palette, there will be a range of sweetness levels, but there must be appropriate acidity to tannin to help balance
  • There should be no overt presence of an additional ‘flavour’, otherwise the cider should sit in the flavoured style
  • These ciders may be still or sparkling.

Sweetness parameters:

  • There are no sweetness parameters defined in this Class.


These ciders are from Northern Spain. They are characterised by having medium to high levels of acidity and lower levels of tannin. There is possibility of some volatile acidity and malolactic characters, but they should not be overtly dominant.

These are still ciders. They contain large levels of dissolved carbon dioxide so are normally poured from a height to break out the carbon dioxide and invigorate the drinking experience.

These ciders should normally be made from specific, traditional Spanish cider apple varieties.

Expected characteristics:

  • Aroma: fresh citrus, green apple, volatile acidity and volatile phenolics (both balanced and in proportion)
  • Flavour: crisp and/or sour acidity, light bitterness and astringency, fresh and fruity
  • Mouthfeel: light and vibrant on the palette, often with a long finish

Sweetness parameters:

  • These ciders are typically dry, with a Specific Gravity reading of <1.005.
  • Consideration will be given to ciders greater than this Specific Gravity if the quality of the cider is exceptional.

Notes:

  • The ABV can be between 3% – 8.5%
  • Includes mainstream, contemporary and premium varieties.
  • If the cider has been made through a bottle fermented or a bottle conditioned process (including full methode traditionelle) it should be entered into Naturally sparkling cider.

This class contains ciders that do not adequately fit into any other category. Examples of ciders that could be entered into class include, but are not limited to, apple wines, fortified ciders and co-ferments that include other alcoholic beverages (apple juice fermented with beer wort, grape must etc).

The judges will use a combination of the information provided plus their own skill as a cider professional to determine whether each product is a great example of its speciality and its consumer appeal. 

Sweetness parameters:

  • There are no sweetness parameters for this class.

Notes:

  • The ABV can be between 3% - 20% abv
  • Ciders in this class may be still or sparkling.

PREVIOUSLY WEST COUNTRY STYLE CIDER

These ciders are predominantly identified by the presence of tannins and polyphenols, some of which illicit an impact upon aroma, taste, structure and mouthfeel. Acidity may well be present, but the presence of tannin is the defining character here. 

The flavour characteristics are achieved through the use of bittersweet and bittersharp apple varieties which have been grown for centuries for the sole purpose of making cider. These apple varieties are now grown, and the resultant tannic ciders are made, all over the world and we welcome entries from everywhere.

Expected characteristics:

  • Aroma: ranging between fruity, spicy, medicinal, woody or earthy (contributing to overall complexity and not being overtly dominant)
  • Flavour: a balance of acidity, bitterness, astringency, sweetness and fruitiness
  • Mouthfeel: broad, layered and complex with a long aftertaste

Sweetness parameters:

  • Dry – cider with a Specific Gravity reading of <1.005
  • Medium – cider with a Specific Gravity reading of 1.005 to <1.015
  • Sweet – cider with a Specific Gravity reading of >1.015

Notes:

  • The ABV can be between 3% – 8.5%
  • Includes mainstream, contemporary and premium varieties and can be still or sparkling.
  • If the cider has been made through a bottle fermented or bottle conditioned process (including full methode traditionelle) it should be entered into Naturally sparkling cider.

This class contains ciders that have spent a considerable portion of their life, whether during fermentation and/or maturation, in a wooden vessel. These ciders contain no other fruits or flavours.

These ciders will have a flavour profile that has been discernibly altered by the impact of the wooden vessel it has spent time fermenting/maturing in. This includes, but is not limited to: Fresh Oak, Ex-Spirit cask, Ex-Wine cask.

Sweetness parameters:

  • There are no sweetness parameters for this class.

Notes:

  • The ABV can be between 3% - 8.5%
  • Ciders in this class may be still or sparkling.
  • Cider that has been placed into old oak vessels to aid the maturation process through the action of microflora, but where no discernible wood character has been imparted, should be entered into their relevant category.
  • Any type of apple may be used for these ciders and could they could display either tannin dominant or acid dominant characteristics.
  • They will be judged on their balance, execution, cider making skill and hedonic enjoyment.

Design & Packaging

A solo product being entered to be judged individually on its own merits. Ciders will be entered into the following sub categories

Established:  A product that has been established in the marketplace and the design and packaging has not been altered in the last 12 months.

New:  A new product which has entered the market place in the last 12 months.

Repackaged:  A product that has been established in the marketplace but the design and packaging has received an overhaul in the last 12 months. Examples of the old and new packaging must be provided either in physical or photographic format.

A product range can consist of a portfolio of products where the design and packaging have been deliberately co-ordinated to be sold as a range of products. Solo products cannot simply be entered together as a group. Ciders will be entered into the following sub categories

Established: A product that has been established in the marketplace and the design and packaging has not been altered in the last 12 months.

New: A new product which has entered the market place in the last 12 months.

Repackaged: A product that has been established in the marketplace but the design and packaging has received an overhaul in the last 12 months. Examples of the old and new packaging must be provided either in physical or photographic format.