This is a cider with any combination of “botanicals” added. Hopped ciders are included in this category. Other examples are ciders with lemon grass, herbal tea blends, etc.
Aroma/Flavor: The cider character must be present and must fit with the botanicals. As with a fruit cider, it is a fault if the botanicals dominate; a judge might ask, “Would this be different if neutral spirits replaced the cider?” Oxidation of either the base cider or the additions is a fault.
Appearance: Clear to brilliant. Color appropriate to added botanicals.
Mouthfeel: Average or more. Cider may be tannic from effect of botanicals but must not be bitter from over-extraction.
Overall Impression: Like a white wine with complex flavors. The apple character must marry with the botanicals and give a balanced result.
Entry Instructions: Entrants MUST specify carbonation level (3 levels). Entrants MUST specify sweetness (5 categories). Entrants MUST specify all botanicals added. If hops are used, entrant must specify variety/varieties used.
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.045 – 1.070 FG: 0.995 – 1.010 ABV: 5 – 9%
Commercial Examples: [US] Colorado Cider Grasshop-ah (CO), Wandering Aengus Anthem Hops (OR).