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27 – Stander Cider & Perry

27A. Common Cider
27B. English Cider
27C. French Cider
27D. Common Perry
27E. Traditional Perry

The styles represented in this category are the principal established styles. The Common Cider and Common Perry styles are analogous to the cider and perry categories of earlier style standards. There are well-known styles not represented here–for example, Asturian (Spanish)–for which there are presently insufficient appreciation and a lack of commercial examples for reference.

In the case of a cider made to a style not explicitly represented here, it should be entered in the closest applicable category. The first decision is whether the cider was made with apples with significant tannin content that gives the cider noticeable astringency or bitterness. If not, it should be entered as a Common Cider. If so, the choice is between the English and French sub-categories; this decision should be based on whether the cider tends more toward sweet, rich, somewhat fruity (French) or drier and more austere (English). For perry of a non-represented style, the decision is, as above, based on tannin content. If in doubt, enter as Common Perry.




27A. Common Cider

A common cider is made from culinary/table apples, with wild or crab apples often used for acidity/tannin balance.

Aroma/Flavor:
Sweet or low-alcohol ciders may have apple aroma and flavor. Dry ciders will be more wine-like with some esters. Sugar and acidity should combine to give a refreshing character, neither cloying nor too austere. Medium to high acidity.

Appearance:
Clear to brilliant, pale to medium gold in color.

Mouthfeel:
Medium body. Some tannin should be present for slight to moderate astringency, but little bitterness.

Overall Impression:
Variable, but should be a medium, refreshing drink. Sweet ciders must not be cloying. Dry ciders must not be too austere. An ideal cider serves well as a “session” drink, and suitably accompanies a wide variety of food.

Comments:
Entrants MUST specify carbonation level (still, petillant, or sparkling). Entrants MUST specify sweetness (dry, medium, sweet).

Varieties:
Common (Winesap, Macintosh, Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Jonathan), multi-use (Northern Spy, Russets, Baldwin), crabapples, any suitable wildings.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.045 – 1.065
FG: 1.000 – 1.020 ABV: 5 – 8%

Commercial Examples:
[US] Red Barn Cider Jonagold Semi-Dry and Sweetie Pie (WA), AEppelTreow Barn Swallow Draft Cider (WI), Wandering Aengus Heirloom Blend Cider (OR), Uncle John’s Fruit House Winery Apple Hard Cider (MI), Bellwether Spyglass (NY), West County Pippin (MA), White Winter Hard Apple Cider (WI), Harpoon Cider (MA)

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27B. English Cider

This includes the English “West Country” plus ciders inspired by that style. These ciders are made with bittersweet and bitter-sharp apple varieties cultivated specifically for cider making.

Aroma/Flavor:
No overt apple character, but various flavors and esters that suggest apples. May have “smoky (bacon)” character from a combination of apple varieties and MLF. Some “Farmyard nose” may be present but must not dominate; mousiness is a serious fault. The common slight farmyard nose of an English West Country cider is the result of lactic acid bacteria, not a Brettanomyces contamination.

Appearance:
Slightly cloudy to brilliant. Medium to deep gold color.

Mouthfeel:
Full. Moderate to high tannin apparent as astringency and some bitterness. Carbonation still to moderate, never high or gushing.

Overall Impression:
Generally dry, full-bodied, austere.

Comments:
Entrants MUST specify carbonation level (still or petillant). Entrants MUST specify sweetness (dry to medium). Entrants MAY specify variety of apple for a single varietal cider; if specified, varietal character will be expected.

Varieties:
Kingston Black, Stoke Red, Dabinett, Foxwhelp, Yarlington Mill, various Jerseys, etc.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.050 – 1.075
FG: 0.995 – 1.010 ABV: 6 – 9%

Commercial Examples:
[US] Westcott Bay Traditional Very Dry, Traditional Dry and Traditional Medium Sweet (WA), Farnum Hill Extra-Dry, Dry, and Farmhouse (NH), Wandering Aengus Dry Cider (OR), Red Barn Cider Burro Loco (WA), Bellwether Heritage (NY); [UK] Oliver’s Herefordshire Dry Cider, various from Hecks, Dunkerton, Burrow Hill, Gwatkin Yarlington Mill, Aspall Dry Cider

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27C. French Cider

This includes Normandy styles plus ciders inspired by those styles, including ciders made by various techniques to achieve the French flavor profile. These ciders are made with bittersweet and bitter-sharp apple varieties cultivated specifically for cider making.

Traditional French procedures use small amounts of salt and calcium compounds (calcium chloride, calcium carbonate) to aid the process of pectin coagulation. These compounds may be used, pre-fermentation, but in limited quantity. It is a fault if judges can detect a salty or chalky taste.

Aroma/Flavor:
Fruity character/aroma. This may come from slow or arrested fermentation (in the French technique of défécation) or approximated by back sweetening with juice. Tends to a rich fullness.

Appearance:
Clear to brilliant, medium to deep gold color.

Mouthfeel:
Medium to full, mouth filling. Moderate tannin apparent mainly as astringency. Carbonation moderate to champagne-like, but at higher levels it must not gush or foam.

Overall Impression:
Medium to sweet, full-bodied, rich.

Comments:
Entrants MUST specify carbonation level (petillant or full). Entrants MUST specify sweetness (medium, sweet). Entrants MAY specify variety of apple for a single varietal cider; if specified, varietal character will be expected.

Varieties:
Nehou, Muscadet de Dieppe, Reine des Pommes, Michelin, etc.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.050 – 1.065
FG: 1.010 – 1.020 ABV: 3 – 6%

Commercial Examples:
[US] West County Reine de Pomme (MA), Rhyne Cider (CA); [France] Eric Bordelet (various), Etienne Dupont, Etienne Dupont Organic, Bellot

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27D. Common Perry

Common perry is made from culinary/table fruit.

Aroma/Flavor:
There is a pear character, but not obviously fruity. It tends toward that of a young white wine. No bitterness.

Appearance:
Slightly cloudy to clear. Generally quite pale.

Mouthfeel:
Relatively full, low to moderate tannin apparent as astringency.

Overall Impression:
Mild. Medium to medium-sweet. Still to lightly sparkling. Only very slight acetification is acceptable. Mousiness, ropy/oily characters are serious faults.

Comments:
Entrants MUST specify carbonation level (still, petillant, or sparkling). Entrants MUST specify sweetness (medium or sweet).

Varieties:
Bartlett, Kiefer, Comice, etc.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.050 – 1.060
FG: 1.000 – 1.020 ABV: 5 – 7%

Commercial Examples:
[US] White Winter Hard Pear Cider (WI), AEppelTreow Perry (WI), Blossomwood Laughing Pig Perry (CO), Uncle John’s Fruit House Winery Perry (MI)

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27E. Traditional Perry

Traditional perry is made from pears grown specifically for that purpose rather than for eating or cooking. Many “perry pears” are nearly inedible.

Aroma/Flavor:
There is a pear character, but not obviously fruity. It tends toward that of a young white wine. Some slight bitterness.

Appearance:
Slightly cloudy to clear. Generally quite pale.

Mouthfeel:
Relatively full, moderate to high tannin apparent as astringency.

Overall Impression:
Tannic. Medium to medium-sweet. Still to lightly sparkling. Only very slight acetification is acceptable. Mousiness, ropy/oily characters are serious faults.

Comments:
Entrants MUST specify carbonation level (still, petillant, or sparkling). Entrants MUST specify sweetness (medium or sweet). Variety of pear(s) used must be stated.

Varieties:
Butt, Gin, Huffcap, Blakeney Red, etc.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.050 – 1.070
FG: 1.000 – 1.020 ABV: 5 – 9%

Commercial Examples:
[France] Bordelet Poire Authentique and Poire Granit, Christian Drouin Poire, [UK] Gwatkin Blakeney Red Perry, Oliver’s Blakeney Red Perry and Herefordshire Dry Perry

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