With the orchards in full blossom, it’s an exciting and promising time of year in the world of cider. However nothing is more exciting or promising than this year’s CIDER OF THE YEAR AWARDS!
The shortlist is finalised, bringing not eight, but TEN to this year’s finals, covering all five of our favourite cider styles – West Country, Modern, Flavoured, Pear/Perry and Fine Cider.
We gathered the biggest cider know-it-alls we could – headed by our Brand Ambassador for Cider, Ross Duncan, the judging panel consists of our area Cider Masters, Beth & Joe, Sean & Alex from Fetch the Drinks and Ed & James from Crafty Nectar. Between them, they’ve tasted too many ciders to mention, so we knew we were in good hands.
On the 26th of March, our crack-shot team of cider experts got together to work through more than sixty submissions. It took time, it took chat, it took a lot of tasting, but in the end, they are all very happy with the shortlist they created.
[drumroll] This year’s shortlisted finalists are as follows:
- Murmuration from Pilton Cider – named for the formations of starlings that swirl over the Somerset orchards at harvest, this cider is a perfect blend of Jonagold apple varieties paired with Pilton’s classic Somerset Keeved cider. Giving perfect balance of flavour and structure.
- Mad Jack from Cockeyed Cider Co. – this is a great example of cider making from the deep dark depths of Devon. Producing a traditional tannic cider by using ancient methods of cider making from 100% pressed cider apple juice. This means you can get cockeyed responsibly, naturally.
- Night Bird from Nightingale Cider Company – 70 years and 3 generations later, Sam Nightingale has hit The Stable this year with a new product from Kent. Made from Kentish dessert and culinary apple varieties, it uses a wild fermentation which produces a crisp well balanced cider.
- No.8 from Crafty Nectar – using their fantastic No.7 cider as the base, they have then blended in Yorkshire Triangle Rhubarb juice. It’s a zingy, well-balanced, flavoured cider that hits all the right senses.
- Hallets PX from Hallets Cider – produced in Wales, this cider uses a carefully selected blend of cider apples, which is then matured in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, giving it raisin notes, a tropical fruit aroma and a rich flavour that lingers.
- Apricot Cider from Dudda’s Tun Cider – in the heart of Kent they pride themselves on pressing their very own apples from their family-run Pine Trees Farm. Fermenting only from 100% fresh pressed juice, using wild yeasts and specially selected fruits, they produce a super light and moreish cider full of delicate apricot and apple flavours.
- BumbleBee Hard Cider from BumbleBee Cider – from a young company only two-and-a half years old, this is their wonderful original cider which has a full bodied tannic burst that softly mellows, leaving you feeling refreshed. And why Bumblebee? It’s their lasting tribute to the little guys, who pollinate next year’s apple blossom.
- Gospel Green Brut Vintage 2016 from Gospel Green Cyder Company Ltd – it is a premium fine cider using Méthode Champenoise technique, made with 100% of the finest English dessert apples grown in Hampshire, less than a mile from the cider house. Hand crafted, each bottle is produced exactly the same as champagne giving a light acidity and slight earthiness to the taste.
- Silly Moo from Trenchmore Sussex Cider – a farmhouse cider produced using a marriage of East vs West cider styles, this 100% fresh pressed, unfiltered, naturally cloudy cider from Sussex really hits the spot. The name came from the cows becoming a little silly after eating the apple pomace which is left behind after pressing.
- Ramborn Perry from Ramborn Cider Co. – produced in Luxembourg using very old traditional pear orchards, it was created as part of Ramborn’s commitment to protect and revive the many unique varieties of fruit grown in the region. this award winning Perry gives classic tannins along with a refreshing and luxurious flavour.
From the 1st of June you will be able to vote for your favourite – we’ll be serving these ciders, ready for you to judge. You’ll be able to cast your vote online, on social media and of course, at the bar.
We look forward to you all getting behind the Stable Cider Awards again this year, making it bigger and better than the last. Hopefully by the time you’ll have tasted them all, you’ll be as cider obsessed as we are…!
Bring on the apples!