The vintage ciders from the larger producers seem to be going down fairly well on here at the moment. So I come to Henry Westons 2009 Vintage cider. I have had this before - at Westons too no less. At the time I had guessed that at 8.2% it was full juice... not so though (I was told that it all starts at about 14% and is then cut back). I am not going to be drawn into it, but on that basis you should be able to calculate the juice content.
I remember this being one of my preferred Westons drinks, and I am glad to see it on the supermarket shelves locally. It is 'oak matured': I am going to have to do the experiment to see if oak aging actually makes a difference to cider, or whether plastic/stainless steel is the same.
Its a heavy hitting cider - some quite distinct tannins within it, and not a huge amount of acid to combat it. With this in mind, the medium dry sweetness is all but taken up by the tannin, leaving a dry mouthfeel. I rather like this (being a fan of dry cider), and the bittersweet notes together with the tannin gives this a nice character.
Its a bit watery though - I would expect it to feel thicker at 8+%. Its also pale yellow - almost straw colour. Colour doesn't score anything - this is just a desciption; but I must admit I wasn't expecting such a deep cider from this. Its also rather too fizzy for me and singles it out from the other vintage ciders I have tried, where carbonation is fairly scant.
I can see where this cider is going - its certainly not safe or dumbed down. For that, it scored 68 points on my little notepad scoring card. I wonder what others would give it.