Like a white wine with complex flavors. The apple character must marry with the botanicals and give a balanced result.
Clear to brilliant. Color appropriate to added botanicals.
The cider character must be present and must fit with the botanicals. As with a fruit cider, it is a fault if the botanicals dominate; a judge might ask, Would this be different if neutral spirits replaced the cider? Oxidation of either the base cider or the additions is a fault.
Average or more. Cider may be tannic from effect of botanicals but must not be bitter from over-extraction.
Additives may include white and brown sugars, molasses, small amounts of honey, and raisins. Additives are intended to raise OG well above that which would be achieved by apples alone. This style is sometimes barrel-aged, in which case there will be oak character as with a barrel-aged wine. If the barrel was formerly used to age spirits, some flavor notes from the spirit (e.g., whisky or rum) may also be present, but must be subtle.