Hard Cider Review: Ace High Imperial Apple Cider


With summer coming around the bend (it’s been nearly 90 all week here in Florida), I wanted to focus on food and drinks that pair well with hot, muggy weather. That’s why, this week, I picked up a six-pack of Ace High Imperial Apple Cider to review for this post.

As usual, I’ll begin with some notes about the company, and cider more generally. From there, I’ll go over my tasting procedures for this kind of drink, before rounding it out with my thoughts on it, as well as some suggestions for pairing. A little spoiler: I’m a big fan and will be looking for this the next time I’m near that liquor store again.

ACe Cider Company

ACE has been making Cider in California since the 1990s, and its production remains there today. Since they grow a lot of apples in California, they’re able to use fresh apples and other fruits for their range of ciders. Additionally, this is a cider that’s made in a more traditional style: there’s no added sugar. So, to the usual American palette, which is used to added sugar in everything from juice to bread (seriously, go in your pantry right now and I bet your bread has a ton of added sugar in it), this will taste a little bit on the dry end.

Generally, ciders are light and easy-drinking, though some, like this one, tend a little bit tart. They’re also naturally gluten-free if you’re a person who is sensitive to gluten. This makes cider, in my view, a great addition to your summer party planning.

Tasting Procedure and Notes

To taste this cider, I kept things simple. I had a pint glass that was chilled in my freezer, into which I poured the cider, and then enjoyed it as cold as possible. I did notice that each can was highly carbonated, so you might want to point it away from you when opening it.

On the nose, there was very little smell to this cider, which is more or less what I’d expect from a chilled cider. I’m sure that letting it warm up would yield some notes of apple, but warm apple cider really did not sound awfully appealing when it was nearly 100 degrees out.

Taste-wise, this was an exceptionally clean cider. The major flavor, tart apples, was front and center, and it wasn’t overly sweet. I am not totally sure of the variety of apples that ACE used for this one, but the taste was similar to biting into a Granny Smith at perfect ripeness. The finish was also smooth, with a light note of cranberry. All in all, this is a great, easy-drinking cider.

Pairing and Conclusion

This cider would go fantastically well with spicy food more generally, and I had it with some hot wings. It would also pair wonderfully with barbecue and other summer favorites.

Overall, I’d highly recommend this hard cider to anyone who is looking for something a little lighter than beer or wine to enjoy with the sun is out and the weather is hot.

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