Diverse, dry, and delicious, American hard cider is making a comeback. Here are 15 bottles well worth a taste.
Wandering Aengus Wickson Cider
($8; 500 ml) Made from crab apples, this arresting cider has a musty, almost vegetal astringency; try it with shellfish.
Doc’s Draft Dry Hopped Hard Cider
($6; 22 oz.) Fermented cider is infused with flowery, citrusy Centennial and piney Chinook hops to produce a bright, floral drink with notes of pink grapefruit. It’s zesty, a little sweet, and very refreshing.
Reverend Nat’s Providence Traditional New England Hard Cider
($14; 750 ml) Fermented with raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, this oak-aged cider is surprisingly lean given its apple pie aroma. It’s wonderful warmed slightly.
Uncle John’s Russet
($14; 750 ml) A bubbly prosecco-like cider with a rounded tartness and an earthy fruit fragrance, this hard cider would be nice to serve with both the relish plate and the holiday bird.
Farnum Hill Semi-Dry Cider
($16; 750 ml) Golden in the glass, with aromas of fermented fruit, this cider’s rich nose and full body belie its sharp, tannic finish. Complex and delicious—just right for pairing with autumn’s braised meats.
Foggy Ridge Cider First Fruit
($15; 750 ml) Hazy and pale with whiffs of bloomy-rind cheese and just a hint of sugar on the palate, this chardonnay-like cider resolves in minerally oyster notes. It’s a natural with seafood.
Slyboro Cider House Hidden Star Semi-Dry Cider
($12; 750 ml) A frothy head, clear appearance, loads of brisk, fresh apple on the nose, and a balanced sweetness characterize this New York farmstead cider.
Virtue the Mitten
($30; 750 ml) This blend of bourbon-barrel-aged cider and juice from fresh-pressed cider apples delivers horse-radishy aromas and hints of spiced vanilla and caramel—a good pairing with a well-aged cheddar.
($8; 22 oz.) Apples not traditionally used for cider—Golden Delicious, Fuji—yield an elegant, easy drink with a soft bubble and rich aromas of green banana and peaches.
Eve’s Cidery Rustica
($15; 750 ml) This light, honey-colored cider is as sweet and snappy as a freshly cut apple. Try it over ice as an aperitif alongside a young cheddar or a mild blue cheese.
Bad Seed Dry Hard Cider
($13; 22 oz.) From a family orchard in upstate New York, this dry, stony cider opens with a pungent fragrance but wraps up with a crisp, steely finish.
Alpenfire Flame Brute
($22; 750 ml) French and English cider apples lend this effervescent, complex Washington State cider a rustic fragrance, creamy mouthfeel, and pleasingly bitter finish.
West County Cider Pippen
($13; 750 ml) A deep butterscotchy aroma yields to a bone-dry, tangy finish in this cider from Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains.