Expert's verdict...19/25

Presentation is excellent, with a well-judged balance between the French and English languages communicating the premium continental message. It is easy to drink and I suspect the mellow herbal qualities, with a balanced sweetness of fruit, will appeal to younger women. At 5% abv, the cider is also strong enough to appeal to their male partners and to provide the brand with more than a niche opportunity. We would seriously consider stocking this product to capitalise on the growth in premium cider.

John Taylor, head of buying - impulse, Musgrave

Consumer's verdict...17/25

This looks good and comes across as a high quality product, as intimated in the blurb. The only slight downfall is that the dark colouring would make it stand out less on a supermarket shelf. The initial taste is good, but ? you wouldn't want more than one or two bottles before changing to something less sweet. ?My partner is not into cider, but she liked this. I would buy this again but not as a regular drink - more for hot sunny days in the garden.

Ashley Hoadley, insurance broker, Tunbridge Wells

Overall verdict...36/50

Little Creatures Company: Hamana Launch Price: £1.49 per 330ml bottle Today's Price: £1.49 per 330ml bottle Acid test verdict: 42/50

In the on-trade, where importer Hamana is concentrating its efforts, this pale ale has achieved several listings and is performing very well, says the company.

"Like-for like volume sales are consistently up 50%," says MD Geoff Bradman. "It is very much a discovery brand and our consumer base is very loyal, because of the sheer quality of the beer."

Little Creatures has yet to take off in the off-trade, where its main distributor is Oddbins. In the year ahead, brand support will be focused on consumer education and trial via PR and PoS.