The Stable, if you didn´t already know, have launched their very own cider awards for the first time this year. Renowned for its pizza and a broad range of premium ciders along with
music have got together some of the best and well-known cider-minds in the country.
The 3 judges, Gabe Cook, Dan Heath and Ed Calvert have whittled a vast selection of real cider down to just 8! I`m sure there would have been some argy-bargy moments (especially after tasting a few) of which ones progressed between the 3 of them but they’ve done it and hopefully they`re all still friends…
Ed Calvert, CEO of Crafty Nectar which specializes in cider subscriptions along with supplying the on/off trade with real cider from small producers from around the country sai
“The Stable awards shortlist covers a broad range of cider styles from the traditional to ciders pushing the boundaries with innovative techniques. It’s a modern approach to a cider competition that is super exciting and inclusive."
The batten has now been passed over to the Stable customers to shortlist it to 5!
The vote will officially begin on the 3rdof May and it`s up to the punters, that´s you guys, to pick out your favourite cider over the next 6 months. So don`t panic, take your time, get to know all of these cracking ciders and make your vote count!
But before you start wetting that whistle of yours, we’ve gone to the trouble of giving you a bit of background on the 8 contenders.
Let's take a closer look…
- Halletts Draught, Wales
Made from aged Dabinett (one of the best varieties out there) and blended with the current year`s cider. This cider is likely to float a lot of people’s boats! Super clean, medium body with good fruit. More info on Hallets Cider
- Pilton Original, Somerset
A keeved cider from this boutique cidery, which specializes in keeved ciders. Fresh bittersweet cider apples are partially fermented creating a natural sparkling cider with natural residual sugar. If you`re on for a spicy pizza, then get on this one to soothe that heat!
- Sxollie, Golden Delicious, South Africa
Made from 100% Golden Delicious apples from Elgin in the Western Cape. This cider has indeed travelled far to reach our shores but it`s a vibrant and fresh number, that`s easy going and will surely delight a number of you.
- West Milton, Lancombe Rising, Dorset
Another keeved cider which has made it to the final 8, interesting indeed considering there`s not that many keeved ciders produced in the UK. Complex cider which comes with the keeved cider territory. Think more savory flavour profiles, like caramel and biscuit than a fruit driven cider. This is definitely a marmite of a cider…you`ll either absolutely love it or you won`t.
Available in our Fine Cider Box
- Sandford Orchards, St Louis Hopped, Devon
One for the hop mad loving crowd. This cider has been infused with Ella and Willamette hops. Expect a zingy profile with a real citrus edge. Is it cider or is it more like an IPA?
- Hunts Cider, Andsome Bay, Devon
A blend of bittersweet and bittersharp cider apples to create a balanced medium to sweet sparkling cider. Their description doesn`t really entice me…but will it deliver on what matters…the taste.
- Sheppy`s 200, Somerset
Another cidery that has been making cider for hundreds of years…that`s great…but let's talk about the cider. It`s full-bodied with good structure, which normally means that it’s food friendly. A delicious easy drinking cider.
8. Ashridge, Blush, Devon
A lightly carbonated, medium sweet cider made from organic cider apples with some blackcurrants added to it, to give it that natural red tinge. Flavoured ciders account for 25% of the market, some of which are pretty distasteful and some are pretty darn good, depending on how they`re made. So ladies and gents, stay open-minded and give it a try.
So there you have it. It’s a great line-up of ciders and one that caters for all real cider drinking lovers.
Crafty Nectar are thrilled to be involved in this great event, whereby the smaller cideries can get a little bit more support and limelight.
Small cideries are popping up all the time and as a big cider drinking nation, we need to give them all the love we can, to help this industry grow in the right direction. Support the small cider-makers by drinking real cider, full of flavour and free of concentrate. Not a bad deal is it.
So get to your nearest Stable…get tasting and then get voting! Good luck to all of the cideries and may the best cider win!
Written by George Read - Cider Aficionado in Training