Our panel go retro as the familiar taste of ginger beer gets a boozey twist

Company: Halewood International
RSP: £1.99
Market size: £14.6m
The competition: Magners, Bulmers

The consumer
I often find over-ice cider drinks on the market taste similar, so I was excited about this drink. It did not disappoint. It was spicy, but not as fiery as Fentiman's. The alcohol content was not that noticeable, but I recommend drinking this with a slice of lemon to add a bit of zest. At £1.99 for a 500ml bottle it was good value for money. Crabbie's alcoholic ginger beer should be a summer hit. Four stars (out of five)
Moira McAleer, guidance counsellor, Hampshire

The retailer
Crabbie's ginger beer is more likely to be merchandised alongside premium bottled ales than over-ice ciders. In terms of premium cues, Halewood have done a good job on the bottle, but the product will have challenges in terms of shelf standout. You have to look closely to realise this is not an ale, and if you don't, a £1.99 rsp looks expensive in comparison. Consumer communication will be key to potential success or failure. Three stars
Henry Moran, trading manager, Musgrave Retail Partners

The Grocer
Being a fan of the occasional Whisky Mac (scotch and ginger wine), I sampled Halewood's new offer with high expectations. It had a refreshing, spicy hit with a pleasant lingering aftertaste, so I was satisfied. The packaging won't win any points for style, but it was a good idea to emphasise Crabbie's Scottish heritage. This could be a mature and interesting alternative to the over-ice ciders and extra cold lagers this summer. Five stars
Alex Beckett, food & drink editor