Can Cider Chemistry Predict Sensory Dryness? Benchmarking the Merlyn Dryness Scale


TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Taylor & Francis


The growing popularity of hard cider in the United States has been accompanied by an inconsistent understanding of the nature and importance of consumers’ perception of dryness and sweetness in the product. In 2018, the New York Cider Association proposed the Merlyn Dryness Scale as a tool to predict cider dryness using basic cider chemistry, but this approach has yet to be validated in sensory experiments. In the current study, panelists (N = 48) evaluated three different commercial ciders served at two different temperatures (2 °C and 22 °C) in three parts: by rating the dryness of the sample on a line scale equivalent to the range of the Merlyn Dryness Scale, by using a simple check-all-that-apply (CATA) tool that included dryness, and by rating their overall liking on a 9-point hedonic scale. The results indicated that the Merlyn Dryness Scale may not achieve its goal of predicting perceived dryness in cider, as consumers perceived cider samples to be more dry than was suggested using Merlyn Scale chemical procedures. Contrary to expectations, the serving temperature of the cider samples did not significantly impact perceived dryness rating but did influence overall liking. This study suggests that predicting sensory dryness from cider-chemistry parameters requires further study.



Cider, Dryness (Taste), Merlyn Dryness Scale, Sweetness