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

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  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.
Wards Cider  Ginger Cider
91 points
Pale yellow straw color. Aromas and flavors of candied ginger, Chinese 5 spice, and vanilla fondant with a satiny, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a long finish that shows notes of thyme and lime peel finish. A pure spiced cider with and all natural appeal.
Northern Natural  Lavender Apple Hard Cider
90 points
Minutely hazy yellow color. Grassy aromas of tart lime candies, fresh basil, marijuana, fresh cut grass, and mango with a soft, vibrant, bone-dry light-to-medium body and an interesting, medium-long jicama finish. A crisp and clean herbal cider.
Wards Cider  Dry Hopped Cider
90 points
Bright light gold color. Hoppy aromas and flavors of spiced peach, sunflower, chrysanthemum, and passionfruit with a slightly chewy, vibrant, effervescent, off-dry light body and a polished, appealing, medium-length finish with impressions of sharp apple and pineapple relish finish. A vibrant and tropical dry-hopped cider with piles of alluring aromatics; and herb cooler of a cider.
Big Apple Hard Cider  Little Italy Cider
90 points
Deep amber color. Spicy, fruity aromas and flavors of dreamsicle, chocolate halva, and hint of herbs and peppercorn with a supple, vibrant, effervescent, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, refreshing, long finish that presents nuances of hints of ginseng and gentian, green apple skin and blood orange, and honey finish. A pleasing, clever, and sophisticated combination citrus and herbal flavors that is sure to please Negroni fans.
Woodchuck Cidery  Bubbly Pearsecco Cider
89 points
Golden yellow color. Attractive aromas and flavors of banana creme, fruit salad, toasted coconut, and light caramel with a round, dryish light body and a smooth, easy finish that exhibits touches of Bartlett pear, gooseberry, and hint of floral honey finish. A rock solid cider with pure fruit flavors; try as an aperitif.
Two K Farms  2018 Barrel Aged Specialty Cider
88 points
$14
Best Buy
Silvery emerald straw color. Vinous aromas and flavors of golden delicious apples, pineapple upside down cake, roasted peaches, and buttered popcorn with a satiny, lively, effervescent, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length finish that shows accents of pumpkin loaf finish. A barrel-aged Cider for Chardonnay lovers; toasty, autumnal and balanced.
88 points $14 Best Buy