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

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.
Two K Farms  2019 Russet Heritage Cider
93 points
$14
Best Buy
Emerald straw color. Herbal aromas of pecans, apricot, fresh mint, fennel, bee pollen, and aniseed with a lightly tannic, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, refreshing, long tart green apple, ginger-spiced marmalade, hints of coconut, and tea finish. An enchanting and complex Cider that’s light on the palate while offering a lengthy finish; spicy, fruity, and satisfying.
93 points $14 Best Buy
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.
Maison Hérout 2017 Grand Cuvée Extra-Brut French Cider
92 points
Golden yellow color. Aromas and flavors of pickled apples, golden kiwi, herb and cheese scone, and jasmine tea with honey with a satiny, crisp, dryish light body and a sleek, refreshing, medium-long finish displaying notes of dried apricot, ginger, toasted pine nuts, and bruleed citrus. A dry, appetizing French Cider with lovely balance and flavor integration.
Two K Farms  2019 Spitzenburg Heritage Cider
92 points
$14
Best Buy
Silvery emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of struck match, gooseberry, banana bread, osage orange, and avocado with a satiny, vibrant, effervescent, light body and an even, medium-length finish revealing nuances of baked green apples and caramel-drizzled nuts. A funky, fruity single varietal cider for the table; pair with funky cheeses topped with fruit compotes. Sauvignon Blanc lovers need apply.
92 points $14 Best Buy
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.