About Cider

Cider is made from fermented apple juice. As with wine, the character and quality of the resulting product will bear heavily on the variety and quality of the fruit used. The cooler climate of Vermont is well suited to high quality apple production, and produces a sizeable amount of quality sparkling hard cider. The finest ciders in North America may well emanate from the province of Quebec in Canada, which has an established artisinal cider industry with historical ties to Normandy cider. These Quebecois ciders are slowly starting to appear on the US market.

Top Picks for Cider

Ferme de Romilly  Extra Dry Cidre
95 points
Light gold color. Aromas of cantaloupe, dried sweet plantain, pressed flowers, chamomile tea, toasted pumpernickel, sundried tomatoes, and horse blanket with a slightly chewy, vibrant, spritzy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a nuanced, long crushed hazelnuts, dried mushrooms, tamarind, and artisan butter finish. A rustic and charming French cider that will be a hit among serious cider enthusiasts and wine-drinkers.
E.Z. Orchards  Roman Beauty Semi Dry Cider
94 points
Gold color. Attractive aromas of leather patina, warm earth, foraged mushrooms, lime spritzed jicama, and grilled corn with a round, crisp, spritzy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a complex, very long peach preserves, bruleed lemon, butter, and sesame candy finish. French cider lovers may fall in love with this balanced new world heritage cider with great balance, texture, and endless finish.
Northern Natural  Northern Star
94 points
Minutely hazy yellow straw color. Aromas of candied pineapple, tropical fruit custard, ripe cantaloupe, flint, and white strawberry with a velvety, vibrant, dry light-to-medium body and a complex, long celery, lemon spritz, biscuit, and honey finish. A vinous dry cider with great structure and endless gullibility; drink this.
Ferme de Romilly  Rosé Cidre
94 points
Brilliant amber color. Rustic aromas of apricot fruit leather, petrol, yuzu zest, roasted agave, cherry stone, bee pollen, crushed hazelnuts, barnyard, and straw with a lightly tannic, vibrant, effervescent, fruity sweet medium body and an intricate, very long heirloom apple, leather, and cantaloupe finish. An intriguing, fun n’ funky rose cider that’s akin to an orange wine; natural wine-lovers drink up!
Tempted  Irish Craft Dry Cider
94 points
Light gold color. Aromas of tart apple, jasmine, pickling spices, smoked meats, blue cheese, and celery with a slightly chewy, crisp, effervescent, dryish light-to-medium body and an intricate, medium-long dried blood orange, acorn squash, minerals, and eucalyptus finish. A proper English-style cider with table-friendly tannins; deserves a thoughtful pairing.
Kaneb Orchards  Cranberry Crisp Cider
93 points
$15
Best Buy
Pink coral color. Aromas of ripe strawberry, fresh, crisp apple, and pickled mango with a vibrant, effervescent, dryish light-to-medium body and an even, charming, medium-length green apple with walnut praline, strawberry jelly, and persimmon finish. A crisp and friendly fruit cider that’s balanced and lively.
93 points $15 Best Buy
Loïc Raison  Rubis Cider
93 points
Dark copper color. Aromas and flavors of cranberry tart, orange zest, strawberry preserve, blackberry, clove, and straw with a lightly tannic, crisp, effervescent, fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, compelling, medium-long finish. Rustic berry flavors, palate-pleasing texture and a stylish vibe make this a conversation-worthy cider for the table.
Wards Cider  Pickers Hut Winter Spice Cider
93 points
Light gold color. Aromas and flavors of caramel drizzled peach, spiced orange tea, grapefruit zest, chai latte, carrot cake, and nutmeg with a satiny, vibrant, spritzy, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and an involved, medium-long finish with touches of clove finish. A complex spiced cider with a lingering finish; a lovely, harmonious example.
Kaneb Orchards  Cranberry Crisp Cider
93 points
Bright pink coral color. Aromas of honeycrisp apple, strawberry, and rose hip with a satiny, vibrant, effervescent, fruity medium body and a smooth, engaging, medium-length strawberry jelly, strawberry ice cream, and currant finish. A lighthearted and concentrated, fruity cider with a candied sweetness; totally delicious.
Louis Raison  Rouge Délice Cider
92 points
Deep amber color. Aromas of baked apple pie, geranium, and sorghum with a satiny, crisp, spritzy, fruity light body and a tingling, refreshing, medium-length caramel, golden raisin, roasted walnuts, and roasted banana finish. A sweet, nutty treat that could be a cider stand-in for port.