Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Westons 1st Quality Cider
Here we have the first draught I have reviewed on here. To be totally honest though, its not actually the first draught cider I have reviewed... I started (as with the bottles) with the Magners 'Cold' (or Extra Cold... I cannot remember). However, I do not wish to line myself up to be sued, so I left it at 'Notepad' stage. I may resurrect it sometime - maybe.
Now, this cider is a draught cider from a bag in box. By draught, it usually means that its a still cider. As its from a bag in box (which doesn't do well with carbonation!) its definitely still. I am not entirely sure whats in the name - although I generally don't ask that question (and there are a lot of ciders with iffy names!!) Incidentally though, I have it on fairly good authority that 1st Quality is also known by the name 'Marcle Hill' for the Wetherspoons chain of pubs. Maybe that will help some people recognise it.
1st Quality isn't available in bottle (so if you want to try it, you will have to hunt it down).
On pouring, its a very light gold colour - obviously its bright, having gone through Westons conplex filtering system. Sadly, it doesn't offer up much in the way of an aroma either. If I am pushed, I would say there is a slight appley smell - but if pushed even harder, I would also say that there was a hint of sulphite behind it.
To taste, it is very juice like. There are definitely cider apples in here, and at 5% its not too far away from what I would expect from a full juice cider. But a full juice cider it isn't. The same authority who told me about Wetherspoons, also mentioned that it was not sweetened with sugar, but with apple juice. Westons pasteurise the juice and blend in some pasteurised apple juice before bagging in a clean room environment. This essentially means that it won't referment in the bag in box. Many will bang on about the sacrilige of this. I think they would be wrong - Westons could easily have used sweeteners (splenda, aspartame etc.) or even sugar. Blending with juice is a more natural way of doing it - although it necessarily means that filtering and pasteurisation are necessary.
Unfortunately for this cider, in my opinion, they have overdone it. The taste is far too juice like. It drowns out most of the tannins and acid, and I am left with a drink that doesn't really know if its cider or apple juice. The aftertaste too is very juicy.
Having said all that, its not a terrible cider - I have had worse by far. It only scored 53/100 though - which whilst being a bit mean does rightly suggest that I won't be hunting this cider down again in too much of a hurry.