Tuesday 15 February 2011

Thatchers Gold Somerset Cider

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!)


  1. I love Thatchers Gold.I have never found it to have a watery first taste,just the taste of fresh apple. Cheers

    1. Thatchers Gold is a cut above most tinned ciders and vastly superior to Strongbow. I also like the fact that each tin does not have 6 spoons of sugar added in the after taste.

  2. That's interesting. I have tried it again since (I have friends who love this cider too). I have to say that I stand by the review though... still, its better than Strongbow eh.

    I guess this kind of thing will always be subjective to a degree.

    Thanks for the comment though.

  3. Sure it's better than Strongbow, but you are right - it it very watery and not only with the first taste. And the aftertaste is not huge either. Very week tannins and a little acid to balance them. Funny thing - I'm drinking a lot of ciders (and it's not that common to be a Polish guy, livinig in Scotland and drink cider:))and came to this one after 1,5 year of trying ciders. Other Thatchers ciders are really far more better.

  4. I agree - but there is the catch! For you to get cider in Scotland its either got to be locally made (e.g. Thistly Cross) or else mass produced... which sadly all too often means commodity/industrial cider. Of these, Thatchers are better than most (though I am currently waiting for their 2012 Vintage to hit the shelves!!!)


  5. You can find Gwynt Y Ddraig in Edinburgh also, so this is nice. I try to taste as much ciders as possible, but am always returning to Aspall, Sheppy's and Henneys.
    Yeah, Thistly Cross is made locally ( I've got the Whisky Cask on my shelf to try) and we've also got here Cairn O'Mohr which is fairly nice and Waulkimill - but you can't get hold of them in stores. Once I will a proper job I will try to buy ciders through the internet.


  6. Oh and by the way - two questions:) Why didn't you post a review of Old Rascal and did you heard (tried?) the new (I think...) SV by Thatchers? It's called Prince William but I didn't see it in any stores. Well, I haven't seen Cox either which makes me think that I arrived in the UK a little bit too late:)


  7. As far as I can remember there is no reason for not trying 'Old Rascal'... in fact, I thought I had:-)

    I haven't seen their new SV, although as one of the main growers of a new set of cidr fruit varieties (including Prince William) I would be very keen to do so.