Tuesday 12 April 2011

Bulmers Red Apple Cider

Okay, a cider made using only red apples. Now, to me that sounds a little bit like making a cider from only large apples, or apples whose stalk leans to the left. There are some very good red cider apples; Kingston Black is a red apple and Tremletts Bitter is often red (although can have a bit of green to it which may disallow it). And there is another thought... if they get an apple that is mostly red but, by some accident there is a bit of green, do they cut it out???

Unhelpful I know, but this could go on for ages! Bulmers Red Apple is a limited edition cider - I presume to diversify the Bulmers range of cider. I must admit, I am struggling to think of anyone else that produces a 'red apple' blend of cider... maybe there will be a green apple cider to follow.

On pouring I was just a tiny bit disappointed that the cider wasn't red too. At least I would have got it then. However, this is a dark golden liquid with quite a sparkle to it. This dies off fairly quickly and I would say its a medium fizz as opposed to a high fizz. Doesn't exactly smell of cider though - not that it smells of an awful lot, to be honest.

I ought to clarify, I expect a cider to have an aroma - not a huge one that has been manufactured in some kind of 'steam of cider' effect, but a gently smell of cider. And that is cider, not really apples so much (although there are some great ciders that manage to maintain an apple taste to them). The aroma also helps the drinker detect other things, like faults for example.

Back to the Red Apple. After a few glugs of this now, it is really syruppy and stodgy. Sure, there are some good tannins in the cider - presumably the benefit of red apples which (no doubt) will scientifically have been proven to contain more tannin (joking!!!) There is also a real absense of any acid at all. It is also very stable and balanced - too much so really and there is little character to it, other than its lack of acid and stodginess.

Maybe I get this drink now. the Red Apples bit means it is a heavy western style cider. No sharps, just bittersweets. This is a bit of a guess though - some of my favourite bittersweets (many of the 'Jerseys' - Harry Masters, Dabinett, Chisel - plus Yarlington Mill) are not just red in colour. So perhaps its a turn of phrase. Its the only way I can think to define this cider. However, this cider suffers a lot from being too safe. Its thick, sweet and tannic. I really dont like it very much.

It scored 49.


  1. I agree... But my girlfriend loves it and has just finished her last bottle. Can you point us in the direction of a similarly flavored Cider - red or otherwise?

  2. Hmmm, there is a lot about this cider - what exactly is it that she likes? If its down to the taste, then its fairly ubiquitous so maybe try a Gaymers Devon. Aston Manor's Press 81 would also be an alternative to start with. If you are daring enough, try a Henney's 'Englands Pride' - its a great cider although I suspect the only thing it has in common with the Bulmers is sweetness. All these should be found not far from the Bulmers. Trouble I have found is that getting people to develop an individual taste in cider is generally small step at a time. Cider can be a bit emotive. Good luck:-)