Wednesday 28 September 2011

Green Valley Dragons Tears Cyder

Ever heard of this one? I must confess that when I first picked it up I thought (only for a second) that it was another Gwynt y Ddraig. But no. Its not Welsh, its from Devon - Clyst St George (in case you cannot guess from the photo)

Now, although I have never come across a cider from Green Valley before, I have heard of them from a book. Their story is covered in James Crowdens 'Ciderland' and is a pretty interesting one - one or both of the owners worked for an old cider producer, Whiteways, which was bought (by Gaymers???) and eventually shut down. Without looking at the book, I am not sure exactly how much of the old kit Green Valley bought, but certainly some oak tanks and possibly the press and mill.

So, what is the cider like then? Apart from being filter bright, this cider is a lovely golden colour with very little fizz to it. The smell is full and very western - Devon cider is different again to the Herefordshire and Somerset styles. And this is "made from Devon apples"... whether that is devon varieties (there are a few) or not I am not sure.

To taste it is very delicious. The low carbonation allows the full flavour to come through. Its far from being bone dry (which is good), but I would see it more as a medium/medium dry than a dry... Given this though, it is full of flavour. The tannins are medium in strength and create a character that compliments that sharp acidity.

Its not mouth puckering, but these heavy tannins do leave something on the tongue. And the flavour lingers.

Having said that the tannins are fairly heavy, its a fruity cider with great body to it. A very drinkable drink - and I would say pretty much full juice too (though the fairly low strength (at 4.7%) does make me wonder if its fully full juice. Close enough. Lovely

A score of 78/100 and a bronze apple (a Devon one).

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