Depending on what part of the country you come from, there is a cider brand that dominates a regional market that you likely know.  Bold Rock is one of those brands. Their cidery was founded in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is a huge player in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.  Since they started in 2012, their product portfolio has grown from a variety of ciders, hard lemonades, RTD’s, and spirits.  With their constant updates and innovations, they have pushed their own imperial cider (a popular trend as of late) with a new core product, the aptly named “Imperial Cider”.  This 8.2% ABV cider is a supercharged version of their standard offering in the semi-sweet category. 

We were able to get our hands on some bottles and tall boy cans to let you know how this boozy offering turned out.  The review is broken down into categories to more easily learn about the cider (appearance, nose, and taste).


Like most of their products, Bold Rock is as well filtered as it gets which results in a very clear and light golden color.  On the pour, you get a small, quick head of carbonation that settles quickly.  What remains is the clear cider with a few small bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass.  This slight carbonation adds to the nose and taste of the cider but is not overdone. This helps keep the smoothness even with the higher ABV.


When it came to the nose of the cider we were a bit surprised at how tame it was for an imperial cider.  With the low carbonation, the scent of the cider is a bit more reserved with light apple skin and a bit of a higher ABV alcohol smell.  That last part is hard to describe as there is not a distilled scent but the smell of higher ABV ciders is a bit more wine-like.  Other notes on the nose included: sugar, honey, light malt, and some floral undertones.


As with most imperial ciders, the flavor is what we came to see and this product fits the bill for their brand.  It will remind any of the brands’ current drinkers of their Draft cider in overall taste.  This means a fruit-forward taste and a smooth apple finish.  The main flavor you get after the first sip is a little bitterness followed by their trademark apple skin flavor.  The notes of sugar and honey on the nose come through mid-palate and the finish is a short sugary tart finish.  The higher ABV is notable in the flavor but not harsh enough to create a negative experience.  With the retention of 12-14 g of sugar from their draft cider, the alcohol flavor or feel is masked and gives off a very light apple brandy vibe.  For those who are looking for a balanced imperial cider, this is for them.


We believe this cider is a good fit for Bold Rock’s portfolio and the cider market has responded well to higher ABV ciders.  The fact that there are various packaging options is helpful in getting this out into consumers’ hands!  To find this cider near you visit their webpage: