How to Judge Cider



Have a good look at the cider, does it look appealing - drawing you to want to taste it?  Things to consider are colour, fizz, and cloudiness.

Overall Impression


Points are given for a more general nature of the cider. Considerations include: Would I drink another? Can I remember the characters of this cider?  What was best about this cider? Were there any major negative features?



The cider scores points for appealing features, and loses points for less appealing characters or faults. Also important are the intensity of characters, how strong are each of these features. Harmony and complexity of flavours are also considered.



Points are given for appealing characters, there is flavour, but also acidity, sweetness, and in some styles bitterness, and tannin or astringency.  How long does the flavour last, how strong is the flavour and how complex and harmonious are the characters and flavours.

Quality Assessment Scoring Guidelines


17 - 20 Points

Meeting all requirements and expectations of a cider of the particular style: clear varietal or style definition, complexity, intensity, balance and persistence. Free from faults.


15.5 - 17 Points

A very good cider, that doesn’t quite meet the standard required for a gold medal, but with more distinctiveness, complexity, intensity and balance than a bronze medal cider. Free from faults.


14 - 15.5 Points

A cider with a degree of distinctiveness, complexity, intensity and balance, free from major faults.

The above judging criteria and comments have been provided for the purpose of education and do not represent the views, opinions or position of judges, officials or the RA&HS. Any resemblance to actual persons, competitors, or exhibits living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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