It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing color, the temperatures are falling, and the cider donut ciders are back on the shelves. It’s hard to say who was the first ones to do it, but now there are many different cider companies who make a cider donut variation. Which is the best? We had the same question. So we pitted 3 of the major labels against each other to see which we preferred.
Citizen Cider “Baker’s Dozen”
Citizen Cider is a Vermont-based cider company out of Burlington. They also make seltzers. We love their Dirty Major, which is a ginger-infused cider.
Downeast “Cider Donut”
Downeast Cider is out of Massachusetts. We are fans of their summer flavors: Strawberry and Pineapple (previously called Aloha Friday).
From Citizen Cider’s website: “Sometimes the best part about visiting an orchard isn’t the apples… it’s the cider donuts. In fact, we love them so much that a dozen isn’t quite enough. We want a Baker’s Dozen! This delicious cider, inspired by our own House cider donuts, combines a fresh, fruity nose with aromas of cinnamon, vanilla, and allspice. It’s so good, we think you’ll agree and want more than just one.” 5% ABV
From Downeast’s website: “What could possibly taste more like fall in New England than a cider donut. Sweet and creamy with a fresh pressed cider backbone. You can skip apple picking this year and just drink one of these.” 5.2% ABV
From Bier Cellar’s website: “A seasonal cider in collaboration with North Country Donuts. This fall treat is brewed with actual donuts, combined with their dry cider, resulting in a semi-sweet cider, with notes of vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon.”
From Stowe Cider’s facebook post: “From the second you open the can you are transported to that feeling of walking into the donut shop on a Sunday morning with aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. The first sip starts with a touch of sweetness from the brown sugar and finishes with the perfect amount of apple tartness to create an unforgettable cider that keeps you coming back for more. Each can is packed with all the flavor of a classic cider donut and the result is a crushable 5% semi-dry and gluten free cider.” 5% ABV
$13.99 per 4 pack of 16oz cans
$13.99 per 4 pack of 12oz cans
$16.99 per 4 pack of 16oz cans
Very light, apply flavor. Barely perceivable vanilla and cinnamon flavors.
Very rich baked-good taste. Strong vanilla and cinnamon flavors. Was described by some as “almost medicinal testing”.
A good in between of the other two. Nice apple flavor without too much vanilla and cinnamon, but still noticeable.
We had a group of 5 weigh in on this decision, and the results were mixed. 2 of the five (including Kayla) strongly preferred the Downeast’s deep flavor. The other 3 (including Erik) preferred the light, apple-forward taste of the Citizen Cider. No one voted Stowe Cider as their favorite, but we all ranked it in the middle, so if you’re not sure where to start, that would be a great cider to try. If you think that’s too much cinnamon/vanilla, go for the Citizen Cider. If you think it could use more cinnamon/vanilla, go for Downeast.