- This includes the English “West Country” ciders and other ciders inspired by that style.
- These ciders are made with bittersweet and bittersharp apple varieties cultivated specifically for cider making.
English ciders are traditionally fermented and aged in wood barrels, which adds some character; however, the barrels used are rarely new, so there is no overt wood character. ABV: 5-8%.
No overt apple character, but various flavors and esters that suggest apples, particularly tannic varieties. English-style ciders commonly go through malolactic fermentation (MLF) which produces desirable spicy/smoky, phenolic, and farmyard/old-horse characters. These flavor notes are positive but not required. If present, they must not dominate; in particular, the phenolic and farmyard notes should not be heavy. A strong farmyard character without spicy/smoky or phenolic suggests a Brettanomyces contamination, which is a fault. Mousiness is a serious fault.
Barely cloudy to brilliant. Medium yellow to amber color.
Full. Moderate to high tannin, perceived as astringency and some bitterness. Carbonation still to moderate. Bottle-fermented or bottle-conditioned ciders may have high carbonation, up to champagne levels, but not gushing or foaming.