Best Cider


The Fifty Best Cider Tasting 2019


The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of hard ciders with members of our judging panel. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the ciders were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles and served well chilled. Only ice water, neutral unflavored crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each wine on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the highest. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no bronze medals awarded for this tasting.

The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The states/countries of origin and ABV are identified for each cider.


Melick's Hard Cider
Semi-Dry Traditional

(Oldwick, New Jersey) 6.7% ABV

Aroma: Apple orchard, white flowers, honeysuckle, touch of honey, pear, white grapes, spearmint, earthy, mineral.
Palate: MacIntosh apple, pear, hint of honey, white grape, lemon peel, citrus, vegetal note, buttery chardonnay, touch of tannin, balanced, approachable, refreshing.
Finish: Lemon, subtle citrus, fruity, tart, dry, great finish.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Melick's Hard Cider Semi-Dry Traditional

Melick's Hard Cider
King St Hops

(Oldwick, New Jersey) 6.9% ABV

Aroma: Sweet moscato grape, wine notes, cola, musty, funk, earthy, minerals, crisp.
Palate: Red Delicious apple, strawberry, cranberry, orange peel, pineapple bark, wood-aged grape, sour apple, hops, leather, tannins, crisp.
Finish: Sour cherry, musty apple, lemon peel, ginger, hops, brett, prosecco, dry, crisp.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

Melick's Hard Cider King St Hops


Ironbound Hard Cider
Pinelands Rosé

(Asbury, New Jersey) 4.6% ABV

Aroma: Strawberry, raspberry, Golden Delicious apple, sour apple, cherry, grapes, rose, floral, clay, funk.
Palate: Apple, cherry, black cherry, melon, white grapefruit, citrus, rose, cola, gueuze, saison, sour.
Finish: Granny Smith apple, tropical fruit, sour mash, sour, sparkling, crisp, clean, smooth, well balanced.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Ironbound Hard Cider Pinelands Rosé

Rekorderlig Premium Swedish Hard Cider

(Sweden) 4.5% ABV

Aroma: Strawberry, kiwi, candy apple, cherry syrup, pineapple.
Palate: Strawberry, cherry, dark berry, watermelon, pineapple, coconut, candied fruit, raw sugar, cotton candy, rose petals, mint, crisp, loads of flavor.
Finish: Honey Crisp apple, apple Jolly Rancher, cherry, melon, spearmint, sweet.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Rekorderlig Premium Swedish Hard Cider Strawberry-Lime

Aval Cidre Artisanal

(Bretagne, France) 6% ABV

Aroma: Red Delicious apple, red apple, bubblegum, orchard fields, citrus, earthy, notes of mushroom, brett, tree bark, fresh.
Palate: Red Delicious apple, red apple, Gala apple, Golden apple, pear, pineapple, honeydew melon, lemon, honey, rosé wine, sour, saline, toasty, wood barrel, well balanced, smooth.
Finish: Raspberry, Bing cherries, watermelon, citrus, sweet, flavorful.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Aval Cidre Artisanal Rosé


Rekorderlig Premium Swedish Hard Cider
Hard Apple

(Sweden) 6.5% ABV

Aroma: Apple, lemon, citrus, spearmint, musty, barrel.
Palate: Sweet pear, Anjou pear, baked Granny Smith apples, lemon peel, golden raisins, caramel, sweet cane, honey, white wine, oak, powder, clean, crisp.
Finish: White peach, orange, citrus, honey, sweet fruit, clean.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Rekorderlig Premium Swedish Hard Cider Hard Apple

Aval Cidre Artisanal

(Bretagne, France) 6% ABV

Aroma: Fresh crisp apple, Empire apple, pear, orange peel, toasted bread, light vanilla, clove, spice, wood, wooden barrel.
Palate: Tart Red Delicious apple, pear, Bosc pear, apricot, sour cherry, strawberry, lemon, orange peel, coriander, malty, musty, funk, forest floor.
Finish: Pear, apple skin, floral, herbal, mineral, brine, wet stones, medium dry.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Aval Cidre Artisanal Apple

Ironbound Hard Cider
Highlands Farmhouse

(Asbury, New Jersey) 6.2% ABV

Aroma: Crisp Golden Delicious apple, Gala apple, grapefruit, honey, violet, floral, black tea, woody.
Palate: Pineapple, mango, dried apples, lemon-lime, Lemon Heads candy, sour prunes, hops, vegetal, brine, sour, saison.
Finish: Apricot, lime, citrus, apple skin, nutmeg, wheat, soft, tart, dry.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Ironbound Hard Cider Highlands Farmhouse




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