Thursday, 17 March 2011

Healey's Cornish Rattler

"I'ts cloudy, it's cyder, it bites!" Well, a bottle with an image of a surfer looking over a sunset with a clean, unbroken wave coming in to shore would have probably meant that I would have bought some without even thinking about it 20 years ago... maybe that's the point.

This is my first Cornish cider... sorry, cyder for a while. And I don't know that much about Healey's either (other than you can get it in Sainsbury's just outside of Bridgwater in Somerset. It also instructs you to "just chill" - so no ice cubes then:-) Well, I guess its just the packaging... or maybe I really am a cider snob after all. The taste will decide.

I have to admit, when I was young I thought that cider came from Devon and Cornwall - after all, that is where we always ended up on holiday. My father always used to stop off for some 'Cripple Cock' or something like that near to Dart Meet on our way to Kingsbridge with family sized tent, trailer and (usually by that time) squabbling family. He always used to moan about the cider too if I recall. But it was the tradition that mattered

Doing a little more research, Healey's is Cornwall's largest cyder producer, with their main brand being Cornish Rattler cyder and perry (or should that be pear cyder??). The pictures on their website are of a large scale production, with tankers and great big stainless steel vats on their farm. OK, so you need to have a bit of capacity to be able to supply such a large area as the south west of England.

Opening the bottle, its more hazy than cloudy - not a problem. If I am honest, I prefer a clear or hazy cyder to a sparkling bright or cloudy one. Carbonation is moderate and dies off fairly quickly too. There isn't a whole lot to smell though (I know, you don't buy drins for their smell, but this is meant to be a review so I have to stick my nose into it eh!).

And... it doesn't exactly bite either. I expected some bittersharp to come through, but all I get it a balanced taste with not a huge aftertaste. After the first couple of tastes, I fear it is another safe one. Though there is more acid in this than my first impression, its not a whole lot of it. Definitely western in style (well its a Cornish cyder after all), its a little watery - which is surprising given the tannin in it.

In summary, having finished the bottle, I would say its not bad - I didn't think it would be. However, if it is a snake that bites, its had its teeth removed first.

A score of 61.

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