If I recall correctly, Gold was one of the first ciders that drew me away from Magners and helped me realise there was more to life than Irish cider.
There are several cider makers in the UK who are rather large these days – almost outgrowing their 'family owned’ monika’s, but who hold on to the tradition. Thatchers is one (as well as Sheppy’s, Westons and Aspells).On the up side to this, while the ciders are still seen by many as traditional scrumpy/cider/cyder they are found all over the country. On the downside, the processes adopted to produce such volumes have led many traditionalists (itself not exclusively a positive term) to criticise that the ciders “don’t taste like they used to”. I am not old enough to know what they used to taste like but I suspect they were fine ciders.
I have heard this comment about Thatchers Gold a couple of times. But it is what it is – you can only gauge it on what the bottle sat in front of you tastes like.
On pouring, it is a very fizzy cider although this doesn’t last too long. I am not a fan of super sparkling cider – unless it is naturally produced or very lightly carbonated. It is also a pretty yellow cider – which is unlike a lot of west country style ciders.
The first mouthful is pretty watery too. Saying that, the second is better (why is it that sometimes the first sip of a cider is different from the next – maybe the mouth is cidered up by then!) It doesn’t seem to smell of much, although I did get a bubble up my nose when I stuck it in!. In fact, as the score suggests, it was a little thin and safe to drink on the whole.
Its definitely a western style of cider – there is some nice acid balance to it as well. However, its another safe drink – feeling rather sweeter than the medium dry label suggests. All said though, its a fair drink and better than others.
As far as my novice cider drinking friend goes, I am a little stuck on this one – I could probably give them this or Stowford Press or Old Rascal to drink and the difference would be minimal... though I haven’t reviewed either of those yet so lets not get ahead of ourselves!
The score of 57/100 is fair, for me. I must admit that I was a bit disappointed with it... surely its not changed since I last had it??? (that last bit was tongue in cheek, by the way!)