Cider BBAs

Cider doesn't have a big role in cocktail bars, but it's still on a good number of menus. Here are our panel's top five picks from our cider session. 

If the BBAs tasting was anything to go by, the cider category is brimming with innovation – this year a flavoured cider, Thatcher’s Blood Orange, was Category Champion.

Tasted blind, judges were impressed, calling it “a well-made cider”. They loved the “contemporary” design, which they thought had “clarity” about what the product was offering.

In second was Stowford Press Low Alcohol (0.5% abv), proving that these low and no ciders can match their alcoholic counterparts. Judges were “really impressed with this one”, citing the tannins and flavours as “representative of an alcoholic cider” – and giving a silver medal and the highest score of any cider. They “couldn’t fault the price” either, scoring it gold on value for money.

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In third was Thatchers Haze, which was described as having “a classic, clean finish, with good sweetness which doesn’t taste artificial”. A silver for taste and a bronze for packaging, it was the product’s value for money that impressed most – at rrp £2.00 for 33cl it took gold for bang for buck.

Talava Apple cider scored a silver on taste, judges enjoying the hoppy flavour, while the branding was “contemporary” and something that stands out in a bar. Cidra Sweet scored well across our measures. “For something which looks and feels premium it’s great value,” said one judge.