About Specialty Cider

About Specialty Cider
Specialty ciders include all ciders that do not fit neatly into other categories. These ciders may be barrel-aged, dry-hopped, spiced, made with single or heirloom apple varietals, fermented with an exotic or wild yeast strain, or any combination of these techniques. Ciders in this category have a diverse set of flavors, aromas and alcohol content. Most specialty ciders have seasonal or limited availability, but are becoming more readily available year-round as the category grows in popularity.

Top Picks for Specialty Cider

WildCraft Cider Works Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Cherry Cider
96 points
Bright red oak color. Aromas of cherry preserves, pinot noir, floral yeast, and rose hip and rose petal with a slightly chewy, crisp, effervescent, dry light body and a complex, medium-long taro custard, cherry skin, coffee cake, and herbal lozenge finish. A dry, sophisticated cider with fine interplay of fruit and wood.
Awards: 2017 Best Cider, 2017 Best Specialty Cider
Vermont Cider Co. Wassail Spiced Hard Cider
94 points
Clear golden amber color. Aromas and flavors of spicy carrot cake and mincemeat pies, sarsaparilla float, and rum and coke float with a silky, tangy, effervescent, fruity medium body and a graceful, complex, long finish displaying notes of chai, spiced squash, rum raisin cake, and cola finish. A complex, spicy, creamy cider with barrels of flavor to offer.
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.
Angry Orchard Eden Specialty Collaboration "Understood in Motion 01"
93 points
Light gold color. Aromas and flavors of spicy poached apples and pears, nougat, and flan with a vibrant, petillant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a complex, long finish revealing notes of dried mango and lemon, green apple flesh, and arugula finish. A complex, savory, artisanal cider with mouthwatering flavor and great structure.
Angry Orchard Iceman Hard Cider
92 points
Golden amber color. Aromas and flavors of earth, cognac, nutskins, carnation, chess pie, and bruleed apple with a velvety, bright, spritzy, off-dry medium body and a smooth, intriguing, medium-long finish with notes of grilled citrus and straw finish. Though shy on the nose, this distinctive cider has excellent food affinity.
Angry Orchard The Muse Sparkling Hard Cider
92 points
Light gold color. Aromas of apple soda, vanilla creme, and petrol with a round, crisp, effervescent, sweet medium body and an interesting, medium-length toast with apricot preserves and flamed orange finish. A toasty-sweet cider with tons of nuance and effortless drinkability; drink this.
Angry Orchard The Old Fashioned Hard Cider
92 points
White gold color. Aromas of caramel, lemon-lime, orange Creamsicle, and lavender with a velvety, vibrant, fruity light-to-medium body and an interesting, medium-long hint of roasted nuts, vanilla, pineapple sundae, and butter finish. A creamy, balanced mashup of flavors combine in this super drinkable cider.
Angry Orchard Ice Man Hard Cider
92 points
Old gold color. Sweet aromas of dark honey and pickled mango with a round, vibrant, effervescent, sweet medium-to-full body and a complex, medium-long peaches and apricots in honey, lychee, ripe melons with lime, tamarind, mandarins in syrup, and black tea finish. A concentrated and vibrant Ice Cider-like treat that will be a great after-dinner conversation starter.
Common Cider Company Hibiscus Saison Hard Cider
92 points
Brilliant siam color. Fruity, toasty aromas and flavors of wild berries, concord grape, cranberry scone, potpourri, and vanilla biscotti with a round, crisp, effervescent, fruity medium body and a polished, interesting, medium-length finish that exhibits impressions of raspberry jelly and hibiscus tisane finish. A totally delicious berry-hibiscus cider that hits the nail on the head of the flavor-of-the-moment.
Angry Orchard Crown Maple Wooden Sleeper Hard Cider
92 points
Clear golden amber color. Aromas of toasted banana bread, apple compote, whipped honey, peppercorns, and heather with a satiny, vibrant, spritzy, light-to-medium body and a peppery, elegant, medium-long vanilla milk steamer, caramel coated cherries, crisp waffle, and mango coulis finish. A rich barrel aged cider with an understated maple finish; delicious.