Sunday, 25 September 2011
New Forest Traditional Farmhouse Cider (Medium Dry)
I am unclear as to what relationship this version of New Forest's cider has to the Snakecatcher. My suspicion if that it may turn out to be a tamed, cleaner version of the same blend. This Farmhouse cider can be found at a number of Waitrose around the South of the UK, plus the usual specialist off licences, shows etc. etc. And don't forget Borough Market in London too. Knowing New Forest Cider, it is likely to be a proper heritage cider - made with care and love (well, that is the benefit of knowing who you are talking about I guess!!)
Nicely, it would appear it has only been shown the carbonation machine - only very lightly sparkling. However, it looks as though it has been filtered, carbonated and probably a little sweetened too. This is pretty much standard process for stuff found in supermarkets - who neither want the percieved risk (I can't see what risk personally) of a simple cider or the risk that it won't sell as well as filtered ciders. Well, people want crisp, crunchy apples that are beautifully shiny and round - why wouldn't that extend to ciders - knock out flavour, make it bright and 'shiny' and you're on to a winner?! The people get what the people deserve... says the grumpy middle aged man!
This is nothing like a 'crisp and crunchy' cider though. The aroma is deep and tannic. Very nice indeed. Its also a deep golden colour. Similar to Snakecatcher on both counts.
If this is Snakecatcher reborn for the masses, the filtering has forced the cider to lose some of its harshness - plus a little of its character too. However, its a testament to New Forest Cider that its still got stacks of character left, even if it is slightly lost in the process.
The taste is all bittersweet tannins. I cannot detect a huge amount of acid behind it. Very Herefordshire in character, look and feel.
The cider tannins last well beyond the mouthful, and it has a lingering alcoholic taste. Easy drinking (though do be careful!!) The sweetness is a little bit of a distraction to the taste, but not so much as to drown it (read that with 'I like dry cider' in mind!). When I previously said I would prefer a Snakecatcher that was a bit sweeter, I think this has gone a touch far. It does fit with its Medium dry monika though.
A very nice cider indeed - and just shy of another silver. It scored 79/100... I was very tempted to 'bump' it up a point!