Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Beer >
Mar 20, 2009 10:51 AM

Favorite Hard Cider

A board post on "What is Hard Cider" came at the same time I had three different hard cider varieties in my fridge for an at home tasting. I'm in love with Woodchuck Amber. What is your favorite hard cider?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Cidre Bouche du Normande, from Etienne Dupont. Though if you're in love with Woodchuck it might not be to your liking.

    1. Magners and Cider Jack are my two favorites.

      1. Cidre Bouche du Normande is a good one. Woodchuck is too sweet for me. I like Strongbow, Aspall and Blackthorne. Wandering Aengus Ciderworks makes three nice ones ranging in dryness. Fox Barrel is good.

        All time favorite for both my wife and myself has to be Strongbow.

        1. i enjoy the woodchuck amber and the woodchuck 802 dark and dry.
          i brought a couple bottles of FANTASTIC cider from market in England and I can't remember what the brand was.
          I enjoy strongbow if i can find it on draft - which is not very often. :(

          1. J. K. Scrumpy's organic cider is deeeelicious. And a great sauce base to deglaze a pan after pan roasting pork. Much more what I look for in a cider than the champagne-y Etienne DuPont stuff (which, admittedly, is the best of that ilk - just not my cup of... errr... cider).

            Has anyone seen the Calvados/cider blend that DuPont put out? I've been waiting to see bottles but it hasn't happened yet.

            There's also a cider from Basque whose name escapes me that is unbelievable. Very different. It's spontaneously fermented which lends an earthy funkiness to it and it's nearly still and supposed to be poured into a cup a few feet away to work some more air into it. Isastega maybe? It actually reminds me of a geuze blended with a funky, apply white wine.

            4 Replies
              1. re: lmg

                Second. Probably my favorite right now.

              2. re: mrgrotto

                The Basque cider is likely Sarasola Sagardoa. A B. United import.

                You might be thinking of the Dupont reserve cider that is aged in Calvados barrels. I still remember drinking a '98 vintage in 2005. Funky! Apples, socks and cheese rinds in a really soulful and delicious way. The newest vintage shouldn't be too hard to find. Ask your local that carries the regular Dupont.

                We recently did a tasting with Dupont Reserve and Farnum Hill farmhouse blend. Both were top notch ciders.

                J.K. Scrumpy's is good stuff though a little too sweet for my tastes. I agree that it makes a killer pan sauce.

                1. re: Tabrams

                  Nope, mostly:

                  The Basque cider is distributed through Ideal. Purveyors of all the excellent throwback spirits from Austria (Rothman and Winter, et al.) and couple few dozen great wines. I think I was actually close regarding the name. I will have to track down the one you mentioned, though. I'm intrigued.

                  Dupont does make a blend called Pommeau which is actually a blend of apple juice and Calvados. (My mistake. I thought it was a blend of cider and calvados.) Although a cider aged in Calvados barrels sounds equally delicious.