Well, a little ways back in August, our medium blush cider Sweet Cheeks was awarded two stars in the Great Taste Awards 2018. That's now two of our ciders with a prestigious Great Taste Award! Needless to say, we plastered social media with the news at the time. Here’s a bit more on what the awards are all about, what it means for us as a cider makers, but most importantly what it means all the cider drinkers out there.
What are the Great Taste Awards?
Great Taste describes itself as “the world’s largest and most trusted food and drink awards”. Over 12,500 entries are put in front of a panel of 500 independent and impartial judges from the food world - chefs, writers, buyers and retailers - and they award one, two or three stars.
What do the Great Taste Awards stars mean?
One star means “simply delicious”
Two stars stands for “outstanding. Above and beyond delicious”
Three stars stands for “exquisite. Wow taste that!”
Why did we enter The Great Taste Awards?
Well, we’re obviously really proud of our cider and we tend to wang on about how awesome it is. But we don’t want you to just take our word for it. Winning awards is our way of building trust with our customers, something that’s really important to us as an independent maker.
In 2017, we were awarded a One Star Great Taste Award for our medium SideBurns (roughly 25% of entries receive one star).
Sweet Cheeks was awarded two stars. Only 15% of entries were awarded 2 stars!
Why was SweetCheeks Cider awarded Two Stars and why is it important?
Well, apparently because it was "oustanding. Above and beyond delicious!". This is what the judges had to say;
“A great 'kir royale' colour and all the fruit comes through distinctly on the nose. On the palate, it manages to express both the hedgerow and the orchard. The balance is great, the cider isn't too sweet and there is a good soft finish. A grown up drink that surprised us with its sophistication.”
Yee-har! (that's Rory, founder and master cider maker, in the background by the way)
This was a really key award for us. For some time now, mass-market, industrially manufactured "cider" has been churning out high sugar, low apple content, fruit-flavoured cider. These drinks, in our view, tarnish the good name of proper cider. These products clearly have have an impact on consumer perception of what cider is and ought to taste like. Rory set out to a create a fruit flavoured cider fermented from 100% juice, where the whole apple juice flavour came through, naturally flavoured with complementary hedgerow fruits of elderberry and blackberry. To be awarded for the very thing you set out to achieve with the drink in the first place is, well, somewhat gratifying.
What does this mean for you?
Firstly, and important us too of course, the award helps us get our beloved SweetCheeks cider under peoples' noses. And if SweetCheeks is one of your first encounters with a proper cider flavoured with fruit, then we've done our bit in bringing real good cider to the good people of the UK and beyond.
Secondly, it means you’ve got one of the world’s best food and drinks awards helping you make great choices. It’s a busy old world out there since the internet explosion, and the the explosion of choice, both in the stores and online, is mind boggling for most.
For our Cotswold Cider Co lovers, this award simply confirms your great taste. For those who are yet to sample our wares, get in and enjoy knowing there’s The Great Taste Awards stamp of approval to help seal your decision.