Thursday, 18 August 2011

Three Cats Cider (GBBF)

Finally for the Great British Beer Festival reviews we come to a cider from that well know cider county Derbyshire.

Before reviewing, I ought to tip a nod to the organisers of the CAMRA festivals - not just the Great British Beer Festival, but all the regional events too. These people have a passion - OK its mostly about beer, and I have met some CAMRA people who really don't get or like cider having a part. But this nod is't to them, its to the people who volunteer to give us all a chance to try something new and have a set of principles that ensure (mostly) that drinkers get an honest and traditional product.

I have to say that I went on to drink a couple more ciders before having to go and chase a train to get home. I would have loved to review them for here but that is maybe for another time. Needless to say that there were some fantastic ciders at the festival this year and there were also one or two that, on the whole, were a little off the mark. Two stick out in my mind as falling into this category and, thankfully, one of them was after I decided to stop scoring and just soak up the atmosphere. The other, in my own opinion, was this one.

On the tag, I think it cam out as a 3 - a medium sweet. It also poured a golden coloured cider - rather more clear than I expected, but then cider can drop clear (as I have said rather too many times before).

What I get with this cider is sweetness. It kills the apple/cider flavour - well, almost any other flavour that could be found in a cider. I didn't get tannin, although I did if I tried hard to find it. I didn't get any acid - it was overpowered. In the end it just got plain sickly - and on speaking to a bar 'person' I found that other people who had tried it had pronounced pretty much the same verdict.

I have to say that forming an opinion on this cider was tricky. It resembled the sickly sweetness of some of the commercial ciders whilst being a full juice cider (well, I am not entirely sure if there was more sweetner than apple juice). So I have two conclusions: Either this is what the maker intended - in as much as the maker intended it to be this sweet because they thought that real cider drinkers like sweet ciders. Or, their hand slipped when they were adding the sweetner. Therefore, either way, I believe they misjudged something.

In scoring, I have tried to be as fair and honest as I can. I don't like slating full juice ciders without good cause, but I truly feel that this was just far too sweet (and I have tried other Derbyshire ciders which are really very nice indeed).

Sorry Three Cats - a score of 56/100


  1. I have drunk this cider several times and didn't find it as sweet as you did. The cider's producer is a great champion for the drink and organises the cider selection for the Derby CAMRA Beer and Cider festival.

    Many thanks for writing these reviews as they are always informative and entertaining and deserve a wider audience. Please keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks for that - I think I expressed my dilemma in the post - but I think you confirm that something could have been up with it... It really was so sweet.