What Does Hard Cider Rose Taste Like? I Tried 4 Different Varieties & Here's How They Stacked Up

Ad failed to load

Well, guys, I used to be a human woman, but as my friends and family and now all of you know, I have become but merely a funnel for rose hard cider, the latest trend that is sweeping the internet. Two weeks ago the launch of Angry Orchard's Rose Hard Cider made quite the millennial pink splash online, prompting a lot of similar drinks to come out of the woodwork. But for all the viral insanity of that one particular brand, you may be surprised to find that rosé hard cider is far from a new concept, and has in fact been lurking in the peripheral of your local liquor store for years. But what exactly does rose hard cider taste like, and how do the different brands stack up against each other?

These questions are particularly relevant now that it's clear that rosé hard cider is having its ~moment~. If the summer of 2017 was the Summer of Rosé, then the summer of 2018 — if not the year — is certainly poised to be the Summer of Rosé Hard Cider. And just as no two rosés taste the same (at least before you and a friend team up and polish off a bottle, that is), no two rosé hard ciders do, either. In an effort to get down to the bottom of this hard-hitting and journalistically compelling mystery, the Lifestyle team at Bustle cracked open four different rosé hard ciders available in stores right now to get a sense for what each one of them had to offer. Read on for the juicy deets (and also so we can tell our parents that we didn't get slightly day drunk at work in vain).

Angry Orchard

Emma Lord/Bustle
Ad failed to load

First up was the drink of viral lore, Angry Orchard's Rosé Hard Cider. For most of the Bustle editors, this was their first experience in rosé cider, and unintentionally became a comparison point for all of the others. In a previous Bustle article, we wrote in depth about what we thought of the flavor, which ultimately, we agreed, was sweeter and more apple-forward than the others — I personally got some Jolly Rancher vibes from the first few sips (and I say that in a loving way, because my sweet tooth is as notorious as my aggressive as my adoration of all things pink). Of the selections, this one was the one we felt was closest in flavor to traditional ciders; Bustle's Kathryn Kattalia may have hit the nail on the head by affectionately dubbing it "apple juice for grown-up babies."


Emma Lord/Bustle
Ad failed to load

The second on our list was Strongbow Apple Cider's variety of rosé hard cider, which is its most recent flavor addition (others include Gold Apple, Orange Blossom, Artisanal Blend, and Cherry Blossom). The Rosé Apple version was distinct from the other three varieties of rosé hard ciders we tried in that the carbonation was a little more noticeable, for people who enjoy that extra kick — Bustle's Kristin Magaldi noted that it was more reminiscent of a moscato or a sweet white wine than the others (although not as sweet or apple-forward as the Angry Orchard version). It also had a little less flavor depth than the others — a good thing for those who don't want to be overpowered with apple or sweetness, but maybe lacking for people who are specifically looking for that out of a cider.


Emma Lord/Bustle
Ad failed to load

This may be the most recognizable bottle to true fans of hard cider rosé; Wölffer's Dry Rosé Cider has been around for years, which is about how long I've been sneaking it into Central Park for summer picnics (got to love that discrete packaging, y'all).

Wölffer's version was, hands down, the unanimous Bustle favorite — probably because it was much drier than the others, and because of that, far more reminiscent of the rosé we all know and love. The flavor is a bit subtler, and it has a not-quite-sparkling hint of carbonation that is *quite* refreshing. Interestingly, this one also sets itself apart with a 6.9 percent ABV, compared to the three others, which are all between 5 and 5.5 percent.


Emma Lord/Bustle
Ad failed to load

Crispin is also a new addition to the mix, launching their rosé hard cider in December 2017. Bustle editor Tanya Ghahremani already taste-tested it earlier this month, and the Lifestyle team came to a general consensus that of the varieties, this one was the most noticeably "floral" in taste, with a hint of pear — unsurprisingly, it is crafted with apple and pear juice, as well as rose petals and hibiscus, according to their website. In terms of sweetness, it was probably somewhere in between Angry Orchard's and Strongbow's, not noticeably or unnoticeably sweet. Of the varieties, this one probably had the lightest taste, with Bustle's Kristin Magaldi comparing it to a Pinot Grigio. (For what it was worth, this one was also deemed "most Instagrammable" — always an important consideration when summer rolls around.)

Final Verdict

Emma Lord/Bustle
Ad failed to load

Fortunately, when it comes to rosé hard ciders, you really can't go wrong — they're all delicious, and most preferences people had for one over the other had more to do with the general flavor profiles they gravitated to than the quality of the cider itself. Crispin was definitely the most floral, Strongbow the most carbonated, Angry Orchard the sweetest and most traditionally apple-y, and Wölffer the closest to rosé (and the team fave).

It's worth mentioning that because apparently we lost our minds at about the seventh round of communal sipping, we thought it would be an excellent idea to combine all of these into an unholy quartet of rosé hard ciders, as evidenced below*.

Ad failed to load

(*No editors were harmed in the creation of this hard cider rosé dump-age.)

For what it's worth, rosé jungle juice isn't half-bad (but maybe don't try this at home). As for the non-Frankensteinian versions, all of these varieties are currently available in stores and online, and are available year-round rather than seasonally, so you'll be able to enjoy them at your leisure. Remember to rosé responsibly, y'all.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

I Wore 'Dad Shoes' For A Week & They Were SO Much Cooler Than I Thought They’d Be

It’s no secret that fashion loves a good polarizing trend. Not too long ago, Birkenstocks made their high fashion runway appearance at Céline and Crocs followed suit on the runways of Christopher Kane and Balenciaga. Now, it’s time for the "ugly" sne…
By Dale Arden Chong

7 Surprising Things That Happened When I Went A Month Without Drinking

If someone asked you if you could take a break from drinking alcohol, would you be able to do it? You may think it’s no big deal to take a month off from drinking, or you may think it’s a *huge* deal, as alcohol seems to be the center of many social …
By Natalia Lusinski

5 Books Under 300 Pages That Are Perfect For St. Patrick's Day Weekend Reading

The grocery stores are stocked with corned beef and cabbage, the local pubs are starting to advertise a particular shade of beer, and in city streets all across America, signs about parade routes have been posted for everyone to see, so you know what…
By Sadie Trombetta

8 Ways Younger Millennials Communicate That Older Millennials Don’t Get

When comparing the ways our parents grew up communicating and the way we all grew up communicating, it seems like their generation and ours grew up in a different world. The technology our parents grew up with was so basic, it's ancient in comparison…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

This Is The ONE Sign That Won’t Be Affected By Mercury Retrograde This Month

It really doesn't seem fair that one astrological sign can ever enjoy the benefit of escaping the wrath of Mercury retrograde — that is, of course, unless that sign is your own — but it happens. Occasionally, the stars just align in the right way for…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

Why My Boyfriend & I Started Couples Counseling 6 Months Into Our Relationship

Right away, Kurt and I agreed on almost everything. We had met through a mutual friend in 2015, but we didn't start dating until we came across each other on Bumble a few years later. That's when we discovered that we were on the same page when it ca…
By Rachel Simon

This Lace-Front Wig Is Going Viral Because No One Believes It's Actually A Wig

To understand how Zendaya easily goes from a pixie cut to voluminous curls or how the Kardashian-Jenners switch hair colors as frequently as they change clothes is to know the power of a good wig. Now that there's a lace-front wig going viral, the Tw…
By Summer Arlexis

This Primer & Mascara Combo Literally Doubles The Length Of My Eyelashes

Even as someone who loves beauty, I was never been particularly passionate about finding the perfect mascara. And then I got lash extensions for the first time. While I enjoy the long, full lashes that lash extensions provide, I always found myself j…
By Olivia Muenter

I Accidentally Fell In Love With My Friend With Benefits & It's Painful

Against my better judgment, I have fallen in love with my friend with benefits. I think I may have fallen in love with him month ago, but being stubborn AF, I fought against those feelings, tooth and nail, and, when it was suggested by a couple close…
By Amanda Chatel

This Viral Post About A Woman Breastfeeding In Public Actually Has A Happy Ending For Once

And today in things that will warm even the coldest of hearts, we have this: A story recently posted to the r/TwoXChromosome subreddit about a dad’s response to his daughter shaming a breastfeeding parent is everything. Posted by Redditor u/starsonwi…
By Lucia Peters

These March Beauty Launches Require Your Immediate Attention

I write one of these beauty editorials every month (feel free to check out January and February 2018 if you're in need of even more products to shower yourself with). Sometimes, I get worried that there won't be enough newness to share — especially b…
By Amanda Richards

Here's How You’re Most Likely To Get Your Heart Broken, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Getting your heart broken can be one of the most painful experiences you can have in your life. But if you're into astrology, being familiar with your zodiac sign can be pretty helpful. For instance, when you know the ways you're likely to get your h…
By Kristine Fellizar

Finger Piercings Are Trending & The Internet Is Very Divided About Them

A new "accessories" trend is asserting itself on Instagram and it's subversive, non-traditional, and so darn precious. It also looks a tad painful but the end result is worth it. Dermal diamond finger piercings are a thing and they may make actual ri…
By Amy Sciarretto

How I Learned Losing Your Job Isn't The End Of The World

Two and a half years ago, I was taking a day off from my marketing job at a San Francisco tech startup to host a friend when I got a call from the CEO. Apparently, I'd missed a pretty big day: 80 percent of the company, including the whole sales and …
By Suzannah Weiss

Meghan Markle's First Appearance With The Queen Included An Homage To Princess Diana

Fashion pundits love keeping a close eye on what the women of the monarchy are wearing, especially when there's an overlap with Princess Diana's sense of style. We're nothing but nostalgic when it comes to Princess Di and her on-point aesthetic. Find…
By Marlen Komar

Why Arizona's Exit From 'Grey's Anatomy' Is A Huge Blow To The LGBTQ Community

Whenever I re-watch Grey's Anatomy, I don't start with Derek Shepherd waking up in Meredith's apartment after their first hookup. I start with Season 5, when Callie first meets Arizona in a bar. I start here, because I want to watch someone like me f…
By Martha Sorren

I Couldn't Find A Beauty Campaign With Plus Size Models, So I Made One Myself

In the fall of 2015, I visited relatives in my hometown, a small suburb of New Jersey. There isn't much to do there, apart from dining at Applebee's or hitting the mall. As a plus size woman, cruising through a shopping mall is a mixed bag. Certain d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

7 Signs You're The Emotionally Unavailable One In Your Relationship — And How To Work On It

It can be a weird feeling when you realize your relationship isn't working. But it happens — even in a long-term relationship — that, despite spending months or years together, you can realize that something is just missing. Sometimes that thing that…
By Lea Rose Emery

The 21 New Books That Goodreads Users Are Most Excited About This Spring

Despite the fact the Northeast is being pummeled by yet another storm that threatens to trap the region in snow and ice for eternity, winter is finally almost over, and you know what that means. No, I'm not talking about April showers or May flowers …
By Sadie Trombetta

Chelsea Clinton Gets Real About Twitter Trolls & What REALLY Infuriates Her About Trump

Before you read the first word on the first page of Chelsea Clinton's new book, you already know one thing: Strong women have always been a big part of her life. There's her mother, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was the first woman to run for president…
By Erin Delmore

If You’re Addicted To Rewatching ‘The Office,' There’s An Actual Reason For That

A few weeks ago, I tweeted that I was looking for fans of The Office who can't stop, won't stop rewatching the series, and that they should email me if they'd like to contribute to an article about their obsession. By the next morning, I had 32 messa…
By Lia Beck

Pregnant Chinese Women Have Been Eating Pearl Powder For Generations To Give Their Kids Clear Skin

If I were to line up next to my sisters, the difference is immediately noticeable: where my skin is a bit patchy and unmemorable, their skin radiates. Both of their faces have a discrete, poreless glow, and I’m certain you could bounce a kernel of ri…
By Angela Chen

This Is The Most Common Myers-Briggs Type

If you've ever really wanted to get to know yourself, you'll probably want to try out the Myers-Briggs type indicator test. You've probably seen a lot of articles online, and wondered about what the most common Myers-Briggs type is, as there's a lot …
By Kaitlyn Wylde

Halo Brows Take The Unibrow To New Heights — Literally

If there's one thing you can count on Instagram to deliver, it's some of the wackiest makeup trends, especially when it comes to brows. Considering beauty enthusiasts are all too eager to get creative with their arches, it's no wonder halo brows are …
By Summer Arlexis