The first question for this cider is whether it should go under its own name or as Gaymers?! Well, despite appearances Addlestones as a company (which is what I expected) never existed. Addlestones is a brand name available since 1986 from Matthew Clark plc/Gaymers. With that in mind, this cider falls under the Gaymers category; though I guess I am disappointed asI was expecting to find an old cider producer behind the name. Never mind... its all marketing at this level of production.
Looking at other sources, none suggest that Addlestones is a full juice cider - which is probably accurate for Gaymers. And despite the description on the Addlestones site as this being a 'live' cider, nowhere does it claim to be full juice. Also, I am a bit confused by the talk of..."The unique Addlestones cloudiness is caused by the fact that Addlestones is fermented twice". Cider ferments until all the sugar is gone or you stop it. To have a second fermentation, you need to add more sugar... and this one is only 5%... Oh well.
OK, there is no judgement here for ciders of all shapes, sizes and methods of production. I do get cross when marketing people obscure what should be open and honest in order to dupe people into thinking it is something it isn't. I cannot see the point. And I am tempted to dock points from this cider for that fact. However, I should have probably done that for other ciders already, so I won't... not that Gaymers would care eh!
So, is this just a safe manufactured cider (as, to be honest, I am expecting) or does it have any character. Well, on pouring it has a gentle moussy carbonation and a smell of tannin and a tiny bit of acid. Not a bad start. It is also a dark golden colour with a fairly uniform cloudiness (could it have been engineered?).
To taste, this cider is actually a nice blend of apples, with tannin and acidity coming through. First you get the tannin, then the acid and fruit. The cloudiness does notihing for me (and nothing for the cider except give it a little more body than it would otherwise have). Ironically, there the aftertaste is very short. May be a little tannin lingers but that is about the sum of it. Too common with mass produced ciders. But that shouldn't detract from the fact that this is really not bad.
A somewhat surprising 66/100 for this cider. Purists and those seeking a real product may want to deduct a few (but then I would recommend purists deduct a few from most of the ciders tried on here so far).