Monday, 30 May 2011

Gaymers Stewley Cider

Another of the Gaymers 'Premium' range of ciders from a single orchard... I guess (given the size of Gaymers) they have rather a few orchards to select from!! So far, this range of ciders has been pretty good so far - certainly better than some of their more standard offerings. This one comes from their Stewley orchard in Somerset and pitches itesf as "rich, rounded and well balanced with an intense bittersweet apple aroma, citrus zest and conserved fruit notes"

Citrus zest??? Conserved apple notes??? Clearly my reviewing language needs broadening! (though, conserved apple... which must essentially be apple sauce or jam is surely boiled... Don't you just love marketeers:-)

Well, it is certainly a nice golden colour and - what do you know - it has a full bittersweet aroma to it - lovely. The carbonation is pretty low and dies off quickly to an unintrusive bubble. So far it has not only lived up to the label, but more importantly makes me want to drink it. I must admit that, of late, I have been a little disappointed with the medium/large producers (Westons, Thatchers, Sheppy's, Gaymers and Aspalls) of late. However, they do all seem to have a premium cider or two that demonstrates what they could do (if only they wanted to!).

The Stewley isn't just a full bittersweet smell, its a full bodied, bittersweet mouthful too - there are no complex acids to balance against it and the low carbonation exposes the tannin all the more. It is very nice for it (although the idea of a balanced cider seems to be rather a subjective concept). It is a little sweet though. I know, its on the label as medium dry. In fact, the low carbonation, high tannin, low acid and sweetness make this quite a 'naked' cider - may I even call it a scrumpy? Very nice indeed (and not rough; which is the image lots of people think of as scrumpy).

The aftertaste is very light - almost too light. Having said that, the tannin does last through to the end and it gives Stewley a nice glow.

A score of 70/100 and a bronze apple for Gaymers

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