Thursday, 31 March 2011
Westons Oak Aged Cider (Medium Dry)
Putting my cards on the table I am a dry cider man. That and preferring either still or only 'spritzig' cider (low carbonation for the layman and unpretentious:-). So, should I stick to what I know best, or explore other styles? The answer to this is clear - after all, those people coming to real cider from an industrial cider background generally seem to start with sweeter offerings than the drier ciders.
OK, so this is Westons. I know that its not a full juice cider. If I were blogging about ciders that met CAMRA's criteria, or criteria seemingly set by a few on t'internet it wouldn't qualify. But, just like Magners, Bulmers, Gaymers and a couple of others, why should it not have a place. After all, these companies are offering cider - not alcopop with cider in the title.
Support for Westons et al over, lets judge this with the criteria and form already used for the others. I know this has turned out a lot of mid 50's to mid 60's ciders so far. They have predominantly been supermarket offerings which should really be scoring rather better than they are to be honest. To me it speaks more about the mediocrity of supermarkets than it does about the cider makers. When these have run out, and the real full juice offerings are tested I do expect scores to be both higher and lower. It was stinky cider that opened the door for industrial/manufactured cider in the first place... and I suspect this won't have ended completely.
Anyway, moving back to the cider on hand, this is a medium carbonated variant of the Westons Oak Matured family. Sure, I would have preferred a drier version, but there you go. Its a nice golden colour too - rather deeper than the Old Rosie stock blend, and with what seems like more bittersweet fruit in it too judging by a more full tannin that comes with both the aroma and the taste.
There is a definite character to this one too over Old Rosie. I am not entirely convinced, but there is a flavour coming through that is specific of one or two varieties (though I am not experienced enough to pin it down). Its a nice flavour too. Despite its extra sweetness, which fights against the tannin and drowns any real acidity, its not a bad one this.
However, it's not one that lasts on the tongue with the aftertaste fading too. I suspect this is due to its making rather than the sweetness - a lot is filtered out and there is a pay off with pasteurisation too.
In all, I must admit I am a little surprised. Its well balanced for its medium dry standing. And with a score of 68/100 I clearly enjoyed it!